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Diary: One Author's Life 

In-depth Interview of Laura Sassi, Debut Children's Book Author

Congratulations to author Laura Sassi on the publication of her first children's book, Goodnight, Ark published by Zonderkidz/Harper Collins! I love this book so much that I plan to give it as a gift to all of the little ones in my life.

I met Laura at a gathering of writers last  Read More 
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A Tribute to the Queen of Book Clubs

One of the most extraordinary and influential persons in book publishing today is a woman from Texas who thinks nothing of walking around Manhattan publishing circles with a tiara on her head.

If you see her, look out, that’s Kathy L. Murphy, founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club, the largest book club in the world with more than 600 chapters. She exudes a lovely combination of kindness, confidence (but never arrogance), and old fashioned American “can-do” optimism.  Read More 

Moonbeams, Rosy Cheeks and the Power of Folk Wisdom

Sunday night the moon was so huge and the sky so clear that if I’d kept the drapes open I could have read a book by moonlight. As the moon rose and a moonbeam began to cross the living room floor through a window above our front door, I paused to marvel at its intensity and beauty. Then I stepped back abruptly. Why? Because I remembered some old folk wisdom I learned from the Delany Sisters.

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The Art of Communication

The note was attached to the front page of our morning newspaper. “Dear customer,” it read, “I am taking over my daughter’s route for the next few weeks. Getting up very early to drive the route is too hard for her at this time. She is expecting a baby in the next few  Read More 

Reflections on Being a 'Little' Sister

On the day I met centenarians Sadie and Bessie Delany, the first thing I did when I got home was to call my sister Helen.

You would not believe these two women – these two sisters – that I met today,” I told her. “They are 100 and 102 and still having the same squabbles they had when  Read More 

My Creative Process: The 48-hour Read-Straight-Through Marathon

I just completed a 48-hour writing and self-editing marathon in which I read my new manuscript from beginning to end with as few breaks as possible.

This requires some serious discipline. No television, no reading, no Internet. No ice cream, no meal preparation. Just snacks, water, and coffee. And, occasional stretching exercises and power  Read More 

When a Novel Sparks Meaningful Dialogue

One of the interesting aspects of writing a novel set in the early 1960s is that many of the people who read my book lived through the era.

I’ve heard from many women (my own mother included) who remember having feelings similar to Jackie Hart, my lead character in Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society. A middle-aged wife and mother of three, Jackie is restless and feels more than a bit unappreciated but she lives at a time when women’s options were far more limited. Read More 

My Salad Days: Confessions of a Lousy Waitress

All the kids coming home from college and starting summer jobs have brought back memories of the summer I managed to get what was considered a plum job: I was hired to be a “salad girl” (a type of waitressing job) at a famous, Colonial-era, New England inn.

As one might expect, the job  Read More 

All God's Creatures, Great and Small (and Sometimes Annoying, Too!)

When we first heard the sounds back in January, the noise seemed to be coming from outside the house, under the deck. They were thrashing noises, like a sizeable critter was trying to make itself comfortable on a cold winter’s night.

My husband investigated and was confident that “it” or “they” could not  Read More 
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Farewell to a Friend

A close friend died recently, apparently in her sleep, at the age of 54. She was divorced and lived alone. When her grown sons hadn’t heard from her for a few days, they went to check on her and found that she had passed away.

She and I had been great pals in college,  Read More