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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 »

I was looking under my couch trying to find my glasses, when I remembered a time, maybe 25 years ago, when my daughter's gerbil Lassie escaped. We'd looked everywhere for this rodent to no avail and Jean had left for first grade in tears.   "If you find her, you'll call the school, right?"  I… Read more »

I’m in Chicago, it’s Mother’s Day weekend.  I won’t be with my husband and daughter on Sunday, and my mom died a few years ago, I’m here for auditions for the reading of SQUASHED The Musical, the most fun new venture — a musical of my first novel, SQUASHED, the book that got me started in… Read more »

I started crying for no apparent reason yesterday.  Was it the mess in the kitchen?  Not enough to warrant tears. Was it was concern about someone I love? I didn't think so. But of course, it was Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, the week my mom and I shared more uniquely than any… 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 »

Among the throng of readers devouring books out there, and we writers just want to say, thank you, there is a little realized approach to reading that can bring unique fulfillment: Imagine what the writer was going through when she or he wrote what you have in your hands. For as much drama as the book you are now reading might possess, as much wonder as it might stir within you, trust me, the drama of actually getting that thing to print is a story in itself.

I can remember a cupcake materializing in the midst of a rotten day. A candle being lit despite the darkness. A birthday party planned even though it had been too tough a season to really think about that. My mother, sister, and I made Pilgrim dolls and decorated the house one Thanksgiving, even though our… Read more »

Today is my mother's birthday and my mind is filled with memories of frosted angel food cakes and flowers and books — so many of those — and prayers and courage and kindness.  My mother, Marjorie Good, died this year on January 2nd.  Her two battles with cancer were the most intimate I have witnessed…. Read more »

"If you stop sucking your thumb…" I said to my daughter twenty-five years ago.  She sucked her thumb harder and held onto her koala puppet Qantas and another toy koala named Laurie.  Jean said they were engaged.  She looked at me knowingly.  I had to come up with a serious offer to get her to… Read more »

Years ago my daughter had a rock polishing set. We put the rocks in a canister, plugged it in, and it would turn them over and over, endlessly and loudly. The worst part was that the process took two weeks (not mentioned in the ad campaign) — two weeks of incessant grinding.  After a few… Read more »

Everyone is trying to save money in this economy. So I made a big, bold statement — I am not going to buy anything I don't absolutely need. And I meant that. Then I went to this store — one of those large stores that are painted blue and yellow — and I saw this… Read more »

Philadelphia. Spring, 2007. I stood in the bath center of a large department store — I don't remember which one. I'd been given an important shopping task. My mission was to buy a shower curtain and towels for my father-in-law's new bathroom. This might not sound like a big deal, but you have to understand,… Read more »