Day 2: Story Circle Network Writing Conference

Today I went to classes on poetry, marketing, the value of place in writing and developing a writing voice. There were so many great options that it was hard to decide which classes to pick. I was very pleased with my four choices: the presenters were excellent in each and I came away with information…

Repost: Elie Wiesel’s “Night” and Its Relevance Today

Today I worked with one of my UCLA students on a paper centered on Elie Wiesel’s book, Night. This is Wiesel’s first-hand account of being forced to leave his home in Transylvania (along with his entire village) and relocate first to Auschwitz and later to Buchenwald concentration camps during World War II. The volume is…

The Prompt: The Winds in Your Life

The Winds in My Life The winds of my life have been persistent, like the winds in Texas can sometimes be, constant, blowing your hair in your face, pushing your car door shut, sending that needed piece of paper in your hand skittering down the street as you chase after it. Not devastating winds, not…

Why I Serve as a Lay Eucharistic Minister

Last night I served as the Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM) at the Vigil Mass at my church, St. Thomas the Apostle, Hollywood. This means that I robed up in my black cassock and long white cotta and spent the majority of the mass standing to the left of the priest (Canon Ian Elliot Davies) at…

Interview with Susan Albert, Author of Loving Eleanor

I have had the pleasure of recently reading Susan Albert’s new book, Loving Eleanor, which is a historical novel about the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist, Lorena Hickok. This is a wonderful book that explores the many levels of friendship as well as the difficulty national figures face when trying to maintain a sense…

Online Essay Class: Why You Should Take It

Hello to my women friends, I am offering an online essay class that begins tomorrow through Story Circle Network, an organization that celebrates women’s writing. The price is right: $160 if you are a Story Circle Network member; $200 if you are not. This is for 5 weeks of lessons, with a chance to learn about…

Nurse Jackie: Learning As I Watch

Ray has returned from Texas and this evening we will be celebrating by binge watching more of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie starring Edie Falco. For those of you who are also late to the game in terms of watching this Emmy award-winning series (2009 – 2015), I can say that it takes a hard look at…

Flash Memoir Repost: Nils, Norway and the Chicken House

In the spring of 1975 when I was 22, my boyfriend Nick and I decided we would go to Europe after I graduated from college in June. (He was already finished with school and up for an adventure). The goal was to go for a year and the original plan (or at least the one…

Book Review: Finding Grace

I am very proud to say that I was the story consultant and first editor on Finding Grace, this very fine book by Patricia Dunn-Fierstein. This coming-of-age novel set in the Deep South during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement tells the story of Charlie, a thirteen-year-old girl, whose new friendship with a…

The 21 Best Things I Did in 2015

Upon reflection, here are twenty-one of the best things I did in 2015. These are in no particular order. I just want to remember what I did that brought me happiness this year. 1) Spent a day a week with my granddaughter. This might top the list as “best” since this lovely child has been…