Tiptoeing into the marketplace …

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a fan of marketing. In fact, I'm terribly cynical about advertisers and all their tricks to get me to buy their products. Yet ... Yet, I understand the need to stand out in a marketplace that is as crowded as it has ever been. In the book world, …

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A master of friendship …

Yesterday I learned that my friend, Sandy, had died. She was older than I was and far less accomplished than most. In fact, she had spent her seven decades as one whom society used to describe as "mentally retarded." She had no advanced degrees, no career, no fame or fortune — all those descriptors we …

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The gift of September 11 …

Today's post is an adaptation of a piece I wrote on the 10th anniversary of 9-11. It is worth remembering the day, but it is especially important to remember what happened afterwards.  The sky was an exquisite shade of blue that morning. Nothing hinted at the immediate future — or the malevolence that had taken …

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How to outwit writer’s block …

Talk to any writer or read any number of writing blogs and you will likely find one universal fear: the dreaded phenomenon of writer's block — that moment when your brain goes blank and a great chasm opens up between your head and your fingers. Thankfully, I can say I never have writer's block. Never. …

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Sisyphus at the summit …

While lunching last week with a fellow writer, I was explaining how starting any project fills me with unspeakable fear. When asked to take on a writing assignment, I generally say "yes." Based on my 30-plus years of experience, I should be able to handle just about any writing assignment. Operative word: should. But as …

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How I learned not to procrastinate …

Once as a teenager, I was on a trip with my dad in Richmond, Virginia. I don't remember the circumstance, but I do remember the weather. It was raining so hard that people were escaping the deluge in the lobby of the John Marshall Hotel. Shaking his umbrella, a smiling gentleman said to me, "It's …

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How the many layers …

For every author, there comes that swallow-hard and grit-your-teeth moment when you open a review of your work. Recently, I was in touch with a reader/reviewer from Ireland who reviewed CAIRNAERIE. Looking over his list of reviewed books, I noticed something that I really liked. His reading choices, like mine, are highly eclectic — and …

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To learn what you can teach me …

My niece, a New York City actress with a long list of credentials and accomplishments, never reads her reviews. Many in the theater do not. I read once that the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman never read his own. He believed it would be hard not to fixate on that moment of glory or to rise …

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Three little related things I so love …

Three things I love: a blank sheet of paper, an early sunny morning, and a blank calendar. All three hold enormous expectation. Great expectations, you might say. This morning I am delighting in all three. After years of meetings, assignments, appointments, obligations, I'm facing that blank calendar with the excitement of filling it with things …

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