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Protesters in Willimantic, CT, June 5, 2020

Peaceful citizens gathered in Willimantic, CT on June 5, 2020 to protest the killing of George Floyd and rally in support of Black Lives Matter. I marched with them and in the days since, I’ve watched as countless protests continue across our country and around the world. For once, I feel hopeful that the voices of the people will affect real change.

Our world is a daunting place these days. It can seem pointless to focus on writing a novel in the… Continue reading

Where I Stand

I regularly feel like a coward, the exact opposite of the brave characters who people my novels. In my private life, I am outraged by injustice. The tragic murder of George Floyd sickens me and haunts my nightmares. Yet I’m reluctant to say anything publicly the way other writers I admire do. I reason that people who agree with me don’t need more revving up, and that the people who don’t agree with me will shut me out. I don’t trust the Internet to be a safe place for my… Continue reading

When No One’s Watching

Strawberry plantSince I finished the third book in the Vault of Dreamers series three years ago, I’ve been writing on my own, not under contract. I’ve been free, in other words, to write whatever I want, without deadlines or expectations to pressure me. Of course, I haven’t had a significant income, either, which is not sustainable indefinitely. I’ve been writing on the speculative, eventual payment plan, working with the firm intention of completing a book that can go on submission. This is very different, however, from writing under contract, when,… Continue reading

Thank You, Grocers!

Thank you, Grocers!As I walked in a nearby park today, I came across a series of chalked messages encouraging us all to smile and say hello. Some messages expressed gratitude to health care workers, truckers, and grocers. One said, if we had masks on, to smile with our eyes. It absolutely brightened my afternoon.

We’re into Week 3 of social distancing, aka distant socializing, and though numbers of cases keep climbing, we’re getting early data about fevers through Kinsa thermometers that shows our efforts are making a difference. April is going to… Continue reading

Double Down or Recharge

Whether you’re worried about your daughter-in-law who treats Covid-19 patients in a NYC hospital (like I am), trying to double as a home-school teacher while tele-working, or scrambling to find health insurance when you’re newly unemployed, you’re probably dealing with a lot more stress today than you were a month ago. Even people in fairly stable situations are more anxious and isolated than normal.

In such times, it’s tempting to turn to books for a different perspective. Here are suggestions in case you want to double down and immerse yourself… Continue reading

Why Writing Matters

Two toddlers with bubble wandsRecently, I was invited to join the Writers Council of the National Writing Project, and for this I was asked to state why I believe writing is important. It’s a worthy question, and I chewed it over.

As I see it, three facets of writing matter: the original act of getting down a first draft, the revising puzzle, and the chance that a final result might move a reader. They’re intertwined, of course, but the real power lies in those first two stages. When we create and deepen our… Continue reading