Posts about
Encouragement

I am not a stand-up comic Anyone who has spent a few minutes with me knows this. I didn’t know this. I desperately wanted to be one, to tell joke after joke and have people dissolve in belly laughs, the kind causing unacceptable liquid to fly out the nostrils, while you, the stand up comic… Read more »

Many years ago, I wanted to be a reporter, the kind that rushed to breaking news stories. I’d picture myself, microphone in hand in front of, say, a burning building and the news anchor back in the studio would ask me, “Joan, what do we know so far about this situation?” The thing is, I… Read more »


You just never know what finds it’s way into a story. Years ago, my friend Chris Blair, who had been a school librarian for thirty years, told me about a heart condition that had limited her into her twenties. She couldn’t run, she couldn’t play sports. And I remember wondering, What’s it like not to… Read more »

I came upon the word juggernaut this morning. It’s not an every day word; it means, in essence, unstoppable. But I decided to look it up (this is a great way to avoid starting a first draft). Merriam Webster defines juggernaut as “something (such as a force, campaign, or movement) that is extremely large and… Read more »

Because of a flood decades ago, I have nothing that my grandmother wrote, except, I suppose, all that she wrote on my heart. She was a professional storyteller and sometimes I can see her sitting on a stool in the kitchen, a big yellow bowl in her lap, whipping egg whites with a wooden spoon… Read more »

Life has been very un-funny these last few days. I had 27 action items on my To Do list that received no action at all except for late at night when I moved them to the next day’s list. There was a family medical concern, there were interruptions, misunderstandings; the tyranny of unrealistic expectations bore… Read more »

I really love Ironman and Captain America, but our relationships can go just so far. Because the greatest thing ever is to have a relationship with a bonafide flesh-and-blood hero, who puts herself or himself out there for you and others. My grandmother was like that. She moved in with us after my parents were… Read more »

My computer died. I sat there and looked at it. It was cold, the screen was dark. I pushed buttons, I talked to it, I prayed. I called my computer genius husband who had to work late at the office, but he said, “Things can be done.” This is how geniuses talk. “What things?” I… Read more »

My Wheaten terrier Max can go from 0 to 60 in a couple of seconds—it’s a wonder to see, particularly if you know Max’s backstory. One trainer diagnosed him with “global phobia,” which was a nice way of saying, Don’t expect this dog to leave the house. Max would look up at me like a… Read more »

I adore eggs — I eat them, I collect them. I love what they symbolize — new beginnings. And every now and then I'll open a book or a drawer and an egg will be there. Not the chicken variety — the small ones I've cut out of paper and written on when I was… Read more »

The strongest emotions we have as people are hate and love.  Both, if we open ourselves to them fully, will change us and the world around us.  Of the two, I believe love is the stronger, although it might not make nearly as much noise as hate and it certainly won't get as many headlines. … Read more »

I had a dumb accident two weeks ago,  browning a chicken in a 450 degree oven; my wrist touched the heating element and…well…it was a bad, bad burn.  I iced, covered it with antibiotic cream, non stick bandages, picturing the scar that would come. Day after day I slathered it with ointment, kept it covered,… Read more »

I just had one of those moments that makes you wonder…

When I was trying to break in as a new writer, sometimes I would drag myself to my desk,  asking the wrong question —Does the world really need another story?   Early in my career, I posed a similar question to a rowdy group of high school freshman who were not listening to much of… Read more »

The turkey is gone, the carcass has been made into soup, Black Friday is history, and maybe the spirit of Thanksgiving feels like it's wearing thin.  Keeping Thanksgiving is a lot like keeping a friend's place in line.  You guard it. Very deliberately…  Each day, no kidding, no exception.  No matter what's going on, how… Read more »

A bad storm like Sandy keeps coming long after it stops.  We're left with the wreckage and the clean up and the ghastly feeling, and all the while trying to hold onto hope.  I've always had a bone to pick with Emily Dickinson who said, "Hope is the thing with feathers…"  I suppose some hope… Read more »

My water heater reached it's expiration date.  I never think about my water heater.  I don't go down in the basement, look at it, pat it, and think, ah, here's my water heater.  I had forgotten it was eleven years old, and had over-reached its ten year warranty.  But then I took a shower and… Read more »