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Home again . . .

Posted February 8th, 2014 by in Blog

This afternoon I leave sunny Ft. Myers and return to Houston where it hasn’t been very sunny the past couple of weeks. Today, though, some sunshine is predicted, although the high is only supposed to be about 59 degrees. That’s fine with me; I happen to enjoy cold weather. Houston summers are long and brutally […]


The movies of our lives

Posted February 6th, 2014 by in Blog

The other day, Facebook made movies of every subscriber’s life. They filtered through all the news and pictures we shared over our years of membership and set a smattering of it to music. Voila! A movie of our life. It’s a clever idea. I admit I enjoyed looking at mine and others. However, it’s hardly […]


Keeping the Action Onstage

Posted February 4th, 2014 by in Blog, This Writing Life

A common mistake many beginning writers make is telling the reader about something important that happened instead of showing it in a scene. Case in point: most of you know that I teach various writing classes online. Recently I read the opening of one of my most talented students, a woman who has already sold […]


Write what you know . . .

Posted February 1st, 2014 by in Blog, This Writing Life

How many times have you heard that piece of advice? A lot, right? It’s a simple statement, pretty easy to understand . . . after all, we wouldn’t want to write what we don’t know. But that oft-repeated advice almost stopped me from ever attempting to write a book. Why? Because I didn’t think I […]


If only I had the time . . .

Posted January 29th, 2014 by in Blog, This Writing Life

Many years ago, I bought the book Madeleine L’Engle {Herself}, Reflections on a Writing Life, compiled by Carole F. Chase. What Ms. Chase did was (from the front jacket blurb) put together hundreds of L’Engle’s most illuminating statements about writing, creativity, and the writing life, including material from L’Engle’s workshops and speeches that have never been […]


A Safe Place . . .

Posted January 27th, 2014 by in Blog, Pat Tales

For the past week my daughter and I have been visiting my sister in Ft. Myers, Florida. Also here is my sister’s oldest daughter, with her two young boys. Nathan is two and a half, lots of fun, and quite a handful. Well, he’s two. That says it all. Will, the baby, is only three […]


In memory of . . .

Posted January 24th, 2014 by in Blog, Uncategorized

Today is the second anniversary of the passing of my husband. In some ways, this second year was harder than the first. I wouldn’t have believed that. In fact, when my attorney gave me a copy of a human interest article from the New York Times written by Jane Brody on that very subject, I […]


The Five Ws

Posted January 22nd, 2014 by in Blog, This Writing Life

Having worked for a newspaper, I learned early on that it’s crucial to orient your reader. As soon as possible, we were taught, we needed to let the reader know who, what, when, where, and why. And if we could also include “how,” so much the better. The same is true of fiction. Maybe not […]


And what’s your book about?

Posted January 20th, 2014 by in Blog, This Writing Life

Awhile back I was watching a program on PBS about the Jewish influence on Broadway musicals. The discussion turned to Fiddler on the Roof and its beginning stages. “What is this story about?” the writers were asked by a potential producer. “It’s about a poor man in Russia with several daughters he hopes to find […]


Leaving home . . .

Posted January 17th, 2014 by in Blog, Cat Tales

Tomorrow I leave for Florida and a three-week visit with my sister. For a few days now, I have been apologizing to Jack and Cleo, who hate to be boarded. Lucky for them (and me), good friend Pat Rosen has invited them to stay at her house where they will have the company of her […]