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I have it.  I'm finishing a book.   The symptoms:  Total focus, irritability, the need to close my door and do whatever it takes (which is a lot) to finish a novel, interspersed with excitement, joy, and obsession for detail.  Also, from my office certain sounds can be heard — laughing, crying, shouts directed at… Read more »

When I was fifteen I had close to to the worst year of my life. In the midst of it, I can remember watching an ice skating competition and so wanting to be out there jumping and twirling with freedom. I didn't want to think about the hours, the days, the years of rigid practice; didn't… Read more »

One of the things I love about living in Brooklyn is the great stuff you can find on the stoops and steps — left there by people who just want to pass it on. Yesterday I found an old Bon Appetit magazine from 1999 celebrating "The Century in Food." It's hard for me to think that… Read more »

It occurred to me when I was having a chai latte with my editor, that in the new book I'm writing, I have too many bad guys. Actuallly, this had occurred to my agent a few days before, and when he told me, I decided he was wrong, because I really liked all these bad… Read more »

My dog Max is terrified of garbage trucks. No matter what I do — talk soothingly, give him his favorite treats, put him in another room of the house — he acts as though the Evil Death Star has come to suck him into its atmosphere.   I got a book about calming dogs' fears, and… Read more »

When I was in school, I wrote all the time — short stories, essays, poetry, songs, greeting cards. I had a few poems published in my high school literary journal. I was on fire with the love of writing. Over the years, sometimes that fire has gone out. It's usually when I'm too busy or… Read more »