Author Interview

Lizbeth Meredith recently interviewed me for her blog, LAMeredith, and here is the result – some insights about writing, publication, promotion, and how to detach enough to write a memoir that keeps readers turning the pages. As Lizbeth kindly says, “I so admire your perseverance as a mom and as a writer. Your…

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Blog Tag

I  love games and words equally, so – voila! – blog tag with two wonderful writers. Thanks to my fellow Dream of Things author David Berner, whose new memoir recently won the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year award, for “tagging” me.

Our publisher, Mike O’Mary, only purveys high quality writing, so I am honored to play blog tag with David. Here’s how it works: I answer some questions…

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A Love Note to Readers

A Love Note to Readers

Writing is often lonely work. When it goes well, it is deeply satisfying. When it doesn’t, it is beyond frustrating. Word by word, sentence by sentence, we writers labor to share a created reality with our readers. When readers respond with gratitude, support, and kudos, well, it feels wonderful.

I’m writing this love note to all my readers, near or far. Thank you for reading Swimming with Maya,…

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Mindset Matters

“If you want to improve in anything, start seeing mistakes and failures for what they are — the precise means of your education.” Gregory Ciotti

What’s your mindset? Research shows that people with a “growth mindset” are more likely to focus on taking small steps to reach goals, experimenting along the way, while people with a “fixed mindset” tend to believe that talent is inborn and…

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100 posts!

100 posts!

What The Goldfinch Teaches Memoirists

What The Goldfinch teaches memoirists

I love memoirs that push the edge of the genre, using fictional techniques to tell a riveting true story. Authors like Alice Sebold (Lucky), Jenette Wells (The Glass Castle), Cheryl Strayed (Wild), and Ann Patchett (Truth and Beauty) spring readily to mind. But fiction writers can teach memoirists a thing or two – Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, is a case in point.

In T…

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Why write poems?

When words wash over you like waves at the beach, make you laugh out loud, or gasp in astonishment, or choke back tears, you know you are hearing a good poem. That’s the beauty of poetry – it’s music to your ears and to your heart.

I write poems in order to hear the music of the language building inside me - and so that  I can share that song with others in call and response.



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Theme and Plot - The Yin and Yang of Memoir

Theme and Plot – The Yin and Yang of Memoir

The Story Circle Network Conference in Austin, Texas was an amazing gathering of women eager to help one another write their stories. From April 11 – 13 we gathered to learn from each other.

It was a rich three days of conversations, workshops, and celebrations centered on memoir and personal stories. We shared the challenges and successes of the writing life, as well as supporting each other in…

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That’s the Way Life Lives

That’s the Way Life Lives

Maya’s quirky little saying, “That’s the way live lives,” was meant to comfort me. Today, on the 22nd anniversary of her death, it still does. I have a beautiful bouquet of lilacs on my writing table in  her honor. Her spunk, fierce intelligence, and beauty are with me more than ever today. And her wisdom: Life has its way with us. Flowing with it is the only sane choice.

Swimming with Maya– the…

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Planning for the Unexpected

Planning for the Unexpected

Eleanor Vincent:

This is an excellent post by my friend and colleague, Rashel Sanna, about a very important topic. We all need to plan for death, unpleasant as it may seem. I recently completed an advance directive with Rashel’s help since we work…

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