writer

Writing in the Long Form

August 23, 2018
writers bookshelf

Three weeks from today, I will be sitting at a table in the Waco Convention Center autographing copies of my memoir, Reclaiming Joy: A Primer for Widows, for the very first time; and I will have my book to add to my bookshelf. How naive I was when I started! Earlier this week I scrolled through my old blogs just to be sure I don’t repeat myself …

Continue reading

Oh, Jane, Where Were You When I Needed You?

April 12, 2018
book cover

A couple of months ago, I met my very successful young author-cousin for lunch. Susan came into the bistro, sat down, propped her chin on her clasped hands and asked, “Do you realize how extraordinary it is to have your first book published when you are 77?” “Yes.” But I didn’t know that in advance. I decided to write the book I needed but could …

Continue reading

God Is a No-No

April 27, 2017
Writer's Bookshelf

…and 18 Other Lessons Learned in Writing a Book I am a reporter by trade, a writer in the short form. I can churn out 1,000 words in my sleep. How naïve I was when I decided to write a book. I had never written in the long form. I did almost everything wrong, and those 60,000 words took three years to produce. In fact, …

Continue reading

Want to Visit Japan?

September 27, 2016
Japan

Some Practical Advice On each trip as a solo traveler I learn more about myself—what I want and what I need. Japan presented special problems—most of which I had not anticipated, but it was immensely rewarding in spite of the challenges. Food Japan was hard—language, food, weather, jet lag, crowds. I wouldn’t dream of tackling it on my own, and in hindsight I might have …

Continue reading

Learning from Sheryl Sandberg

May 19, 2016

Who would guess that I have anything in common with Sheryl Sandberg, the brilliant, young, Jewish COO of Facebook? or with the 94-year-old Alzheimer victim in the London suburbs? We are all widows, sharing the universal language and experience of grief. In her recent speech to the University of California–Berkeley graduating class, Sandberg—widowed one year 13 days previously—described being “swallowed in the deep fog of …

Continue reading

Announcing a New Blog Schedule

February 7, 2016

After nine months of Sunday blogs about widowhood, I’m changing my blogging schedule to once weekly on Thursday,  to free up time to finish my book, RECLAIMING JOY: A PRIMER FOR WIDOWS. I blogged every day the first two months, then cut back to three days a week for the remainder of 2015. However, my Sunday blogs never had the readership that weekday blogs have. I started …

Continue reading

Loneliness–A Catalyst for Change

September 17, 2015

Elizabeth Head Black, a gifted writer, blogged again recently about loneliness. Elizabeth’s personal story is a story of loneliness–17 moves in 49 years. She turned to the Psalms for comfort and found God’s answer to her loneliness. A book emerged from her meditations on the Psalms–Hand in Hand: Walking with the Psalms Through Loneliness. Though her life is full as the wife of the priest at the …

Continue reading

Defying Stereotype, Mixing Genre

August 2, 2015

As I scanned the crowd in the Wylie Theatre lobby, looking for a place where I could eat my box lunch, an attractive blonde on a nearby bench made eye contact and gestured that I could squeeze in beside her. I’m not good at striking up conversations with strangers, but we were both attending the DFW Writers Conference, so there were natural conversation starters. While …

Continue reading

The Semi-Colon Is Dead. Long Live the Dash!

June 17, 2015

After my reader reviewed the third draft of my book, the first thing she told me was that I needed to get rid of all those semi-colons. Editors trip on semi-colons. I wasn’t going to argue with her. She has edited 35 published books, and her own book is used by the Harvard Graduate School of Business. She knows exactly how many semi-colons are in her …

Continue reading

The Value of a Writers’ Conference

June 10, 2015

Writers’ conferences are on all the “to do” lists for aspiring authors, along with branding, blog, social media presence and the like. Finding community is two-pronged: Authors need to build community with both potential readers and with other authors, agents and publishers. I found the Moravian Writers’ Conference through Beth Kephart, whose book I liked: Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir. She was …

Continue reading