22 May, 2017

Book Companion Post: Filling in the Blanks on Family History

May 22nd, 2017|Tags: , , , |

These past few days I have been able to do what I love best in my writing life: rummage around in family history. I've been rewriting an essay that O [...]

10 Mar, 2017

Purim Costumes from Home Depot

March 10th, 2017|Tags: , , |

The mermaid and the astronaut mentioned in the story... This Sunday is the Jewish holiday of Purim. I used to dread the arrival of Purim because that meant I [...]

28 Aug, 2016

Little

August 28th, 2016|Tags: |

{August Break 8/27: Little} This little metal rose in a vase is all but 2.5 inches tall but was made by my son as his mother's day present to me [...]

22 Aug, 2016

Today Is…

August 22nd, 2016|Tags: , |

{August Break 8/21: Today is...} ...a day to hang out with family and friends.

15 Aug, 2016

Love Is…

August 15th, 2016|Tags: |

{August Break 8/14: Love Is...} My grandparents' engagement photo, April 1932; they started us all off with a whole lot of love. I'm currently planning a trip back to their [...]

4 Aug, 2016

Sweetness

August 4th, 2016|Tags: |

{August Break 8/4: Sweetness} Of course "sweetness" makes me think of food but it also makes me think of delicious little people, and so today I am posting a favorite [...]

5 Jun, 2016

Grandpa and the Tractor

June 5th, 2016|Tags: , , |

Father's Day is coming and so it is fitting that my essay about my grandpa, titled The Tractor, should be published this month on Thread, a literary magazine. Writing about [...]

9 Sep, 2015

The Postcard Tradition

September 9th, 2015|Tags: , , |

I haven’t been around because I’ve been chilling, and before I was chilling, I was traveling—days crammed with stuffing suitcases, riding taxes and buses, making it to the airport on [...]

16 Jul, 2015

Two Turrets: My Grandfather’s and Hemingway’s

July 16th, 2015|Tags: , , , |

Turret of the Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois Turret of my grandfather's former apartment in Liberec, Czech Republic The Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois has a [...]

13 May, 2015

The Sweetest Little Gift

May 13th, 2015|Tags: , |

I just had to share this: My 17-year-old son gave me this for Mother's Day--a tiny rose he crafted from tin and copper, propped into the cutest little vase, namely [...]

2 Apr, 2015

Happy Passover with my German Grandmother’s Hazelnut Torte

April 2nd, 2015|Tags: , , , , |

I'm in the midst of getting ready for Passover, but I wanted to share that my grandmother's signature Torte made it to Tablet Magazine. Story and recipe here.

10 Jul, 2014

Sirens over Tel Aviv

July 10th, 2014|Tags: , |

This is the Tel Aviv building where we are currently staying on the top floor - the penthouse is set back so you can't see it from the street, plus it's rather [...]

15 Jun, 2014

In Honor of Father’s Day

June 15th, 2014|Tags: , |

I'm rerunning my six-word Dad memoir from three years ago, that sadly will always be true because, even 29 years after he died, the tears can still creep up on [...]

19 May, 2014

Eyeing the Emptying Nest

May 19th, 2014|Tags: |

I've been in a blogging slump, and I figure it's better to admit that than to publish lackluster posts. There are books I want to write about, photo essays I want [...]

11 May, 2014

Being a Parent Must Be Awesome…

May 11th, 2014|Tags: |

My "awesome" Mother's Day present this year "Being a parent must be awesome," says my 13-year-old son, eyeing me from the upper bunk as I wake him up in time [...]

7 Oct, 2013

Writing about Real People

October 7th, 2013|Tags: , , , |

Writing about real people, especially family, is probably the number 1 issue writers of personal stories worry about. But it is not just an issue for nonfiction writers... In my [...]

17 Jul, 2013

Rebecca McClanahan on Writing about Family

July 17th, 2013|Tags: , , , |

With her memoir The Tribal Knot - A Memoir of Family, Community and a Century of Change, RebeccaMcClanahan did what many of us wish we would do – "do something" [...]

5 Jul, 2013

My Grandparents’ House

July 5th, 2013|Tags: , , |

 The latest photo of my grandparents' former house, taken by me on my last visit in June 2009. My essay 'Thrown Out' of the Family Home was published in [...]

16 Jun, 2013

A Giraffe and a Donkey

June 16th, 2013|Tags: , |

For Father's Day I want to share two of my most treasured possessions: a giraffe and a donkey that my dad made out of wire - a simple present for his [...]

6 Jun, 2013

25th Wedding Anniversary!

June 6th, 2013|Tags: |

6/6/88 - we thought that was a cool date; still is, because both of us can remember it. We're not ones to make a big to-do about our wedding anniversaries [...]

14 May, 2013

A Salute to Joyce Brothers

May 14th, 2013|Tags: , , |

When I saw the news on my Chicago Tribune homepage last night that Joyce Brothers had died, my heart sank. I never met her, never had an exchange with her, [...]

13 May, 2013

A Little Album of Love

May 13th, 2013|Tags: , , |

with my parents at age one As part of my "Create" motto for this year, I've been reading Julia Cameron's Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creatively, and I [...]

25 Mar, 2013

A Family Tradition: Hazelnut Torte (Kosher for Passover)

March 25th, 2013|Tags: , , |

My version of Oma's Hazelnut Torte on its very own cake stand, used only on Passover For every birthday of my childhood, there would be my German grandmother's Haselnusstorte (hazelnut [...]

15 Feb, 2013

Chocolate Pudding

February 15th, 2013|Tags: , |

Isn't chocolate pudding the perfect little comfort food? Easy and quick to make, and good in any season? Yesterday I made some in preparation for tonight's Shabbat dinner. We don't [...]

19 Dec, 2012

A Childhood Window Recreated

December 19th, 2012|Tags: , , |

Recently, as I was rewriting a chapter from my memoir into the essay Giving Up Christmas that was published in Tablet Magazine, I leafed through a photo album of childhood [...]

13 Dec, 2012

12/12/12 – A Quiet Day

December 13th, 2012|Tags: , , , |

Inspired by Xanthe Berkeley's challenge on Shuttersisters to create a time capsule of 12/12/12, I decided to capture this ordinary day so that sometime in the future, maybe 20 years from [...]

10 Dec, 2012

My Most Meaningful Read of 2012

December 10th, 2012|Tags: , , , |

Last Thursday evening I participated in the #StoryDam chat (lots of fun if you're a writer and on Twitter), and one participant pointed out Rebecca Murphy's Relish12 challenge as a [...]

9 Nov, 2012

In Memory of Kristallnacht

November 9th, 2012|Tags: , , , |

The "Temple of the Israelite Cultural Community" in Reichenberg, burned down during Kristallnacht November 9-10 marks the anniversary of Kristallnacht, when in 1938 in all the territories controlled by the [...]

5 Nov, 2012

Writing About Family

November 5th, 2012|Tags: , , |

My grandmother and me at my wedding I'm thrilled to be guest blogging on Shirley Showalter's blog today. Topic: Writing About Family. It's the hairiest issue in writing memoir, at least [...]

23 Oct, 2012

A Little More than Déjà Vu

October 23rd, 2012|Tags: , |

Has it ever happened to you that you find yourself in a situation where you feel you’ve been in that exact same situation before? As if you were repeating your [...]

8 Oct, 2012

On Owning a Story

October 8th, 2012|Tags: , |

When you write memoir, sooner or later you come upon the issue of, "Is this my story to tell?" - "What about the other people in the story?" As with [...]

21 Sep, 2012

A Plant as a Companion

September 21st, 2012|Tags: , |

Our asparagus fern rules the sunporch The other day I was reading E.B. White's One Man's Meat again, and in the particular essay I happened upon, he was talking about [...]

4 Sep, 2012

On Easing Separation Anxiety

September 4th, 2012|Tags: |

I remember those days of handing a screaming child off to a preschool teacher very well. The first time around it was tough to leave my two-year-old son, especially when [...]

27 May, 2012

Bike the Drive

May 27th, 2012|Tags: , , |

Catching my own shadow biking earlier this year, when I was still wearing a heavy jacket. This morning, as this post is going up, I am biking the Drive. Bike [...]

20 May, 2012

At the Hyde Park Garden Fair

May 20th, 2012|Tags: , |

It's one of our family traditions to go to the Hyde Park Garden Fair, held in our neighborhood the third Friday and Saturday in May, to buy the plants for our porch. (It's [...]

13 May, 2012

A Momoir for Mother’s Day

May 13th, 2012|Tags: , |

Picture of me holding my daughter, Summer 1996 I'm reposting my Mother's Day post from last year, mainly because I still like my six-word "momoir"  inspired by SMITH Magazine's project in [...]

29 Nov, 2011

A Hot Chocolate Party in the Cold

November 29th, 2011|Tags: , |

This blog makes me do things, such as following through on fun schemes like having a hot chocolate party outside, in the cold. Our dotted pumpkin showed signs of wilting, [...]

24 Jun, 2011

Writing Letters to my Children

June 24th, 2011|Tags: , |

Now that my kids are all away at camp, I’m doing an odd thing: I’m writing them letters. It’s an unfamiliar thing. It feels awkward to recount my daily activities [...]

19 Jun, 2011

My Six Word Dad Memoir

June 19th, 2011|Tags: , |

In honor of Father's Day, here are my six words on Dad: "Died too young. Found in pictures." Feel free to add yours!

17 Jun, 2011

What Goethe and Packing the Kids off to Summer Camp Have in Common

June 17th, 2011|Tags: , |

Goethe's parental home in Frankfurt, Germany. I’m in the midst of packing three kids off to summer camp as I am sure many other parents are as well. Every year [...]

8 May, 2011

My “Momoir” in Honor of Mother’s Day

May 8th, 2011|Tags: , |

My older son & I, Sanibel Island, Oct 1998 Following on Friday's post regarding SMITH Magazine's six-word "momoir" project in honor of Mother's Day, here's my own: My kids: toughest [...]

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