And what’s this got to do with writing anyway?
One of my writing colleagues recently published an article about prejudice against beauty. What? Who doesn’t like beauty? We all enjoy seeing beautiful things, places, faces. But what we don’t usually consider is how that pretty face makes us feel. Envious? Intimidated? Intrigued? Superior? Before that gorgeous gal utters a single word, have we judged her based on appearance? Continue reading
I’m sitting in a dark room sandwiched between two old women in wheelchairs. The one on my right is my mom. We are watching An American in Paris. I don’t think I’ve seen it before. Over the last month, my mother’s health and well-being have preoccupied my life. Continue reading
It doesn’t take a Cultural Anthropologist to figure out why readers are dropping like swatted flies. How many hours a week do people spend binge watching TV shows or playing Candy-crush? Kids won’t, or can’t, peel their eyes away from their smart phones. Teens insist on sharing every boring moment of their lives on Snap-chat and Instagram. And millions of us are addicted to funny animal videos on youtube or reality shows about billionaire families, crazy stage moms, and plastic surgeries gone wrong. Hey, I’m not criticizing – I’ve watched my share of “Shame your dog” videos and Russian car crashes. Bottom line: bookworms are in rapid decline, and the situation is critical. Continue reading
Nothing freaks writers out more than the inability to write. It can happen at any point in a project but most often strikes mid-stream. You are stopped cold, confronted by a startling realization that your story has lost direction and is sinking into an abyss of confusion.
There are countless reasons why writers stumble, lose focus, and end up suffering the paralyzing effects of writer’s block. A few quick fixes: Continue reading
I tend to be a peace-maker. I avoid conflict, don’t like confrontation, and most certainly never go looking for trouble. But something in me is changing, and, in certain situations, I’m having a bit of trouble keeping my mouth shut . . . Continue reading
I am four years old. My mother has taken me grocery shopping, one of my favorite outings. As we roam the aisles, I traipse behind her as she checks prices and places items in the cart. I ask for cookies and treats, but she says no. I am distracted and don’t notice her rounding the corner. When I look up, she’s gone. My heart stops, or at least that’s what it feels like. I stand still, paralyzed, and in a tiny voice I say, “Mommy?” Continue reading
The phone rang on a cold December morning, the week before school let out for Christmas break. It was my son’s kindergarten teacher. My heart leaped in my chest, certain my precious baby had fallen and cracked his head open or broken his leg. “What happened? What’s wrong?” I was already searching for my car keys, desperate to get to the school before the paramedics arrived. “Nothing’s wrong,” the teacher said. “Well not exactly wrong . . .” Continue reading
Your day has been derailed. You’re unmotivated. You’ve lost focus. You can’t concentrate. You would rather do the laundry, wash the car, or file your back taxes. Most writers have days when writing is near impossible. We have weeks when the stars refuse to align, forces conspire against us, and ideas that once seemed brilliant have lost their sparkle. At these times, my friend, you have two choices: give up and quit or do what I do: “DIS” yourself. Continue reading
Sticky Bun Coffee Cake from SiftingFocus.com
Cecilia Rose, or Cece as called by her friends, ventured into town reluctantly. She had agreed to visit an old friend and now regretted it. After ten years in Los Angeles, her small, Northern California hometown made her uncomfortable and claustrophobic. She did not relish the prospect of running into people she used to know. But the desire to avoid being seen did not dissuade her from taking a quick detour . . . Continue reading