An archive of all my public posts.

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  On Writing

    Book Review: The Art of Fiction by James Salter

    James Salter is one of my favorite writers. His book “A Sport and a Pastime” was one of the most beautiful, evocative and memorable books I’ve read in my life. The simplicity of his language betrays the emotional complexity of his stories and characters. This book was taken from lectures he gave to writing students and so the tone is as if he is speaking to us, personally, about his love of writing. He writes about his successes in writing and his failures, notably the poor reaction and bad reviews of his memoir Burning the Days. The book is short but packed with great details about his own writing as…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  On Writing

    How Pat Conroy Uses Dialogue to Reveal Character in Prince of Tides

    Before I started writing stories and essays, I wrote plays. This was more of a happy accident than anything planned. I loved theatre and loved being in plays, but my performances were hit or miss. Some days, I was full of energy and confidence and would belt out songs in musicals as if I were destined to be Annie on Broadway. I played Charlie Brown in a musical at summer camp and had a lead in the musical “Bells Are Ringing” in middle school. After school, I went to the Pittsburgh Playhouse and studied drama and theatre hoping to ride my success as Chuck into a high school theatre career,…

  • blog,  Mindset

    Stress is a Choice

    I went to college on the other side of the country from where I lived. It was a nine hour trip, with two layovers, not including travel to and from the airport. I went alone, sight unseen other than the catalog. I had an independent spirit then, just as I do now. I don’t remember the trip being hard, I remember it being exciting. But I do remember being worried that the cab driver who brought me from the airport to campus would take me to the wrong college and I wouldn’t realize because I’d never visited. Everything turned out fine. I got dropped off at the correct college, found…

  • blog,  Pop Culture

    Meeting Walter Kirn

    The first time I met Walter Kirn was in the late 90s. When I met him again last year, I didn't expect that it would result in an adventure with Harper's Magazine!

  • blog,  News

    Shouting Out Great Content!

    Good morning! It’s the last day of my vacation. I’ve had a fabulous time with family in Boston and then New Hampshire for two weeks. We’ve had great food, gone on hikes, been zip lining, toured caves, cooked together, laughed together, road tripped together and the younger generation all took a week of science camp together. This is very special to me because I live so far from family so it’s like moving planets to get everyone together.In addition to all the fun activities, I’ve also had some down time to read and listen to some podcasts and I want to introduce you to a few gems I’ve discovered. I…

  • blog,  Life Lessons,  Mindset

    How I Maximized My Creative Potential with a Ketogenic Diet

    If you pay any attention to health and diet circles you have likely heard of the Ketogenic diet by now.  Keto is a high fat, high protein, low carb diet designed to switch you metabolism to work in a state of ketosis burning fats instead of sugars for fuel. My metabolism has slowed down in recent years and with it, my energy levels have decreased. I am a very busy person and just don’t have time for low energy, so I’d been looking for ways to address this when I heard about the Ketogenic diet. I had been hearing about it for over a year but it wasn’t until a…

  • blog,  Life Lessons,  Mindset

    Off Grid August

    When I was in my twenties, I went on a four-month trip through Europe on a EuroRail ticket. This was before cell phones. I bought by the minute phone cards in each country I visited so that I could call home once or twice a week. Except for the moments when I was on the phone, no one knew where I was. I could be in Paris one day and Rome the next. If I went missing, no one would know what country to start searching to find me. This was both scary and thrilling, but mostly thrilling. Now that I am older, being completely unavailable is not thrilling. In fact,…

  • blog,  Creativity,  Essay,  News,  On Writing

    A Touch of Chaos – Writing from The Edge

    I want to connect with you personally. Social media has made us antisocial. We connect through screens and snippets but not personally. I’m moving away from this as much as possible in a search for real connection and true engagement. Sending an email to you that you can reply to privately is the first step, sending snail mail to Patrons who support me on Patreon is the next step. I write fiction, plays, essays and now personal letters to share my ideas and imaginings. I try every day to maintain the balance between order and chaos to maximize my creative energy to share with you. We all seek and desperately…

  • Attraction,  blog,  Love is Blind Book,  Mindset,  Thoughts on Women Book

    You Don’t Have To Like Everyone

    We all want to be good people. We want to treat others well and be treated well. We want to be optimistic, tolerant, generous, honorable, agreeable and kind and many other virtues that we would use to describe someone we would admire very much. We want this because it is right, but also because the pain of being rejected because we don’t have these traits is real. We want people to like us. To be liked, we try to follow the golden rule and treat others how we would want to be treated — with patience, tolerance and love. This is how we open ourselves up to abuse. This is how we…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  Pop Culture

    Democrat to Deplorable by Jack Murphy (Book Review)

    Jack Murphy’s book Democrat to Deplorable: Why Nine Million Obama Voters Ditched the Democrats and Embraced Donald Trump has done what media pundits, pollsters, psychologists, political experts and fortune tellers failed to do over the past 18 months—it has put into words a coherent, persuasive and compelling explanation of what so many voters saw in Trump, and not just any Trump voter, but the 9 million voters who crossed party lines, leaving their Democrat label behind even when that meant being labeled “Deplorable.” Using his own personal experience, extensive interviews and a detailed survey, Murphy shows how broken campaign promises, backfiring policy decisions, a complex global economy and a changing culture created…