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 Born to Write
 A Blog by Author Amy Hill Hearth

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 

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 

The Delany Sisters and "Graveyard Talk"

The Delany Sisters, my old friends, had a delightful expression when referring to an important secret. They called it “graveyard talk,” or something you might say to a gravestone when no one else is around.

I think the world we live in needs more “graveyard talk,” especially since the advent of social media. I  Read More 

Dad, My Biggest Fan, turns 90

All you really need to know about my Dad is that he will celebrate his 90th birthday this Saturday and he’s making long-range plans. That’s right, folks. He is thinking about the future and aiming for 100. His own mother lived to 101 so he thinks this is reasonable.

Ideally, he says, his goal  Read More 

Edith Wharton and Her Dogs

Did you know that the great American author Edith Wharton adored dogs, and typically had several at a time? She was unapologetically sentimental when it came to the subject. “My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet,” she once wrote. At her estate in Lenox, Mass., one can even visit the pet cemetery, complete  Read More 

'Fessin' Up to Mom

I have one thing in common with Garrison Keillor of “Prairie Home Companion” fame: He once said he could never write anything that would embarrass his mother.

I understand that completely. My parents are in their late eighties and they read every word I write, and always have. In fact, I would not be  Read More 

The Delany Sisters and Their Porch

Many years ago, Sadie and Bessie Delany (who would become famous at age 100 and 102 as “the Delany Sisters”) moved from an apartment in the Harlem section of New York City to a still-rural section of the Bronx. The reason? They wanted a porch.

Actually they needed a porch, as they explained with some desperationto the builder.  Read More