Change it to paper and ink …

I've spent most of our corporate COVID confinement working through mounds of family history. As the the heir apparent of all things family-related, I have boxes of old letters, charts, ephemera, and photos to sort through. It has been a wonderful adventure. I have learned things about my grandparents that I never knew—that my grandfather …

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The real CAIRNAERIE …

Tucked into a grove of centennial oaks atop a rise that is a slight quarter mile off Route 100 in Pulaski County, Virginia, is a beautiful old house. For readers of CAIRNAERIE, it should look very familiar. Chimneys punctuated the steeply pitched slate roof and rose as if large birds were perched atop. Ornate cornices …

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In defense of the Xmas letter …

During the holidays, a message from an old friend popped up in my Facebook feed. It read—with a tinge of regret—that because some people had disparaged the annual Christmas letter, she would not send one out this year. Her Facebook message would have to suffice. I felt sad for her and for those who wouldn't …

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Late-blooming geniuses

Have you ever known a bonafide genius? Have you ever aspired to be one? I've been reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell—one of the most innovative writers I've ever come across. The book, What the Dog Saw, is a compilation of essays Gladwell wrote for the New Yorker. In one essay, he asks the question of whether prodigy is …

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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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