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18 Oct, 2019

A Peek into a Book by Rachel Hollis, Who Writes with Spunk, Attitude and Energy about What’s Actually Going on in her Life and Shares How She Does It All

October 18th, 2019|Tags: , |

Lately, I have been taken with books by young female dynamos: Tami Lahren's Never Play Dead captivated me in August, and now I have a new one to share: Girl, [...]

30 Aug, 2019

Excellent Advice for the Creative Soul from an Unlikely Source: Tomi Lahren

August 30th, 2019|Tags: , |

Excellent view of the White House and the Washington Monument as we were flying out of Washington, DC, and I was reading this book... I am not usually one to [...]

16 Aug, 2019

Why Your Life is Easier with a Plan, and a Little Sneak Peek at Annette Gendler’s Second Book

August 16th, 2019|Tags: |

I used to work in consulting as a project manager, so I should know this: Life is easier with a plan. Without a plan, all those tasks you should be [...]

12 Jul, 2019

How the Experience of Surgery and Tremendous Physical Pain Changes You Forever

July 12th, 2019|Tags: |

This Wednesday was the one-year anniversary of my hip surgery. Unfortunately, this anniversary makes me sad. Recovering from this surgery sent me through hell and back, and I am not [...]

28 Jun, 2019

What to Do When a Deadline Looms and You Are at a Loss What to Write About

June 28th, 2019|Tags: , |

Get going on the road to writing (Empty road in Nevada, August 2011) Last Thursday, I was at a loss what to write for Friday's blog post. Uninspired, I thought, [...]

12 Apr, 2019

6 Years of Morning Pages: Why I’ve Stuck with Them and Recommend Them to Everyone

April 12th, 2019|Tags: |

Writing Morning Pages is still the practice I most recommend to anyone who wants to bring writing into their life, and to anyone who wants to live a more deliberate [...]

8 Mar, 2019

On Keeping More Than One Notebook

March 8th, 2019|Tags: |

A writer should always keep a notebook. And I do! But what if you keep more than one? What if one notebook simply isn't enough to sort your thoughts, ideas, [...]

22 Feb, 2019

The Little Black Notebook and the Daily Bucket List Fix to Time Management

February 22nd, 2019|Tags: |

It seems to me that a good part of life is spent trying to figure out how to best manage yourself. At least that's the case for me. Every New [...]

15 Feb, 2019

Annette and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

February 15th, 2019|Tags: , , |

I was driving to my cousin's house for dinner last week when two warning lights came on in the car. Then the instrument panel went dead. When I put on [...]

25 Jan, 2019

The Benefit of a Traveler’s Daily WhatsApp Messages to a Friend: Boosting Mindfulness and Creating a Travel Diary

January 25th, 2019|Tags: , |

The WhatsApp message that began the daily ritual: "Here a photo for you, view from our hotel, you also sent me such nice photos of the big wide world [...]

28 Dec, 2018

How to Evaluate Your Social Media Use and Free Up Time

December 28th, 2018|Tags: , |

I just lived without my main email for almost two weeks, and that turned out to be quite nice. Just before I left on a longer trip, I messed up [...]

21 Dec, 2018

Writer’s Workbook 2019

December 21st, 2018|Tags: , |

The new edition of the Writer's Workbook is here! All you gotta do to receive it is subscribe to my newsletter. If you are a subscriber, you will have received [...]

30 Nov, 2018

Are You Creating Assets?

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , |

Once in a while, one of Seth Godin's daily missives sticks in my mind, such as his idea of focusing on creating assets. That's how I understood his post The Daily. [...]

12 Oct, 2018

The Rainy Day File

October 12th, 2018|Tags: , |

One evening last summer, my brother and I lingered by the camp fire after the rest of the family had gone to bed. As the flames died down, we looked [...]

14 Sep, 2018

Learning to Pace Myself

September 14th, 2018|Tags: |

Nine weeks out from my hip surgery, I wish I could say I've learned to pace myself. My recovery seems to be largely about taking it slowly, treating myself gently [...]

27 Jul, 2018

Hip Surgery: Some Insights from my Recovery So Far

July 27th, 2018|Tags: , |

Cover image of my favorite children's book, given to me by my American grandparents in 1968 I feel like Cinderella these days as I am recovering from hip [...]

13 Apr, 2018

What 5 Years of Writing Morning Pages Can Do

April 13th, 2018|Tags: |

Five years of writing Morning Pages equals twelve notebooks On April 8, 2013, I wrote in my very first Black n' Red notebook: "I shall give this writing Morning [...]

15 Jan, 2018

Minneapolis Literary Event Giveaway!

January 15th, 2018|Tags: |

Calling all women writers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area! I'll be on two panels, signing books and schmoozing at ModernWell's Literary Kick-Off Event on January 28, 2017, 1:00 - 7:00 p.m., [...]

28 Dec, 2017

The Artist & Writer’s Workbook 2018

December 28th, 2017|Tags: , |

The Artist & Writer's Workbook 2018 is here! Available as a free download if you sign up for my newsletter! (All my subscribers have already received it.) This year's title [...]

30 Nov, 2017

Book Companion Post: Writing About Family

November 30th, 2017|Tags: , , |

My last visit with my brother-in-law Louis this summer As a memoir writer and particularly as the author of a family memoir, I am often asked how my [...]

4 Oct, 2017

Finalist! Giveaway!

October 4th, 2017|Tags: |

It's celebration time! I am thrilled to share that Jumping Over Shadows was named a finalist for the 2017 Book of the Year Award organized by the Chicago Writers Association! [...]

29 Sep, 2017

The Ups and Downs of the Author’s Life

September 29th, 2017|Tags: |

"So how's it going with your book?" is the question I'm most often asked these days when I meet someone I haven't seen in a while. The truth is I'm [...]

19 Jul, 2017

My Book and I in Jerusalem

July 19th, 2017|Tags: , , |

My book and I just had the great fortune of spending time in Jerusalem. For me it was an "again," and, while my book per se had not been to [...]

3 Mar, 2017

Sticking with Morning Pages

March 3rd, 2017|Tags: |

I love my Morning Pages. In fact, I'm going on four years of doing them. And yet, these days, I'm having a hard time sticking to this practice. This is [...]

29 Apr, 2016

Three Years of Morning Pages

April 29th, 2016|Tags: |

I was sure it had been four years since I adopted the habit of writing Morning Pages, but one of the benefits of blogging is that it does provide a [...]

1 Feb, 2016

The Gift of a Poetry Reading

February 1st, 2016|Tags: , , |

Yesterday I treated myself: I went to a poetry reading. Normally, I am loath to schlep up to the north side of the city on a Sunday afternoon, but it [...]

21 Jan, 2016

Life without my Laptop

January 21st, 2016|Tags: |

My laptop died a week ago. It was six years old, and I can't really blame the thing. It held up pretty well being logged around the world. Nevertheless, I have [...]

21 Dec, 2015

Artist & Writer’s Workbook 2016

December 21st, 2015|Tags: , |

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//forms.aweber.com/form/65/114379965.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "aweber-wjs-1pkfkcpzf")); It's the time of [...]

27 Oct, 2015

A Place to Write

October 27th, 2015|Tags: |

My preferred cubicle at the Writers Workspace "So what do you do now that you don't have the Hemingway House?" I get that question a lot since my writer-in-residence gig [...]

23 Jul, 2015

The Creative Bubble

July 23rd, 2015|Tags: , |

I have been in a creative bubble for the past few weeks, focusing my mental energies on a creative project, namely a restructuring of my memoir manuscript. I didn't know [...]

7 May, 2015

Thank You, Abigail Thomas

May 7th, 2015|Tags: , , |

Once in a while a book comes along that is like an old armchair. You simply don't want to get up. You could read on and on until your butt [...]

14 Apr, 2015

Two Years of Morning Pages

April 14th, 2015|Tags: , |

Today is my two year anniversary of Morning Pages. Incidentally I find myself in the same spot where I began this practice in earnest: on the banks of the Potomac [...]

15 Jan, 2015

Artist & Writer’s Workbook 2015

January 15th, 2015|Tags: , |

Before we move too far into this new year, I am happy to present you with the Artist & Writer's Workbook 2015. Last year, for the first time, I decided [...]

25 Nov, 2014

Why a Real Life Story is Never the Whole Story

November 25th, 2014|Tags: , |

A drab and wet November morning--perfect for revising at the Royal Coffee House. Monday evening two weeks ago I wrote a story. I wrote it sitting in my car, with [...]

15 Aug, 2014

My First Interview as an Author

August 15th, 2014|Tags: |

It's official: I'm a writer. The cat is out of the bag in my neighborhood. The local newspaper, the Hyde Park Herald, did an author interview with me due to [...]

25 Jul, 2014

Writer-in-Residence at the Hemingway Foundation

July 25th, 2014|Tags: , , |

My big news since returning from Tel Aviv: I will be the 2014-15 writer-in-residence at the Hemingway Foundation! This entails having a studio up under the roof of Hemingway's birthplace home [...]

23 Jun, 2014

The Power of Practice

June 23rd, 2014|Tags: , , |

While I am off amidst the frenzy and heat of the World Cup in Brazil, I leave you with a post on practice, inspired by Natalie Goldberg's newest book, The [...]

18 Jun, 2014

My Writing Process – A Blog Hop

June 18th, 2014|Tags: , |

Writing on the couch I've been tagged by my friend Gillian Marchenko, a former student of mine and author of the memoir Sun Shine Down, to participate in the #MyWritingProcess [...]

5 Jun, 2014

A Jewel Box for Ideas

June 5th, 2014|Tags: , |

My Morning Pages are really a jewel box for ideas. I realized, in writing this morning, that ideas function with the same abundance principle as the rest of life. If [...]

8 Apr, 2014

One Year of Morning Pages

April 8th, 2014|Tags: |

My stack of Morning Pages notebooks tells me that today, 4/8/14, is my one-year anniversary. That means one year of writing every weekday morning, stream of consciousness, by hand, in [...]

11 Feb, 2014

Writing Down the Bones

February 11th, 2014|Tags: , |

Following up on yesterday's post, The Bookshelves of Others, the book I spotted in the bookcase in my bedroom at VCCA was Natalie Goldberg's classic Writing Down the Bones. I entertained [...]

20 Jan, 2014

Cut and Tape a Text

January 20th, 2014|Tags: , |

I love the cut and paste feature of Word, but every now and then, I resort to scissors and tape to arrange a text. Whenever I struggle with structure, I [...]

1 Jan, 2014

Looking Back: My Most Meaningful Read of 2013

January 1st, 2014|Tags: , , |

My most meaningful read of 2013 was, without a doubt, Julia Cameron's The Right to Write. It transformed my understanding of the creative process; it has me writing Morning Pages [...]

30 Dec, 2013

Looking Back & Ahead: A Writer’s Workbook 2014

December 30th, 2013|Tags: |

Download my free 14-page workbook to review and plan your writing life. For the writers among my readers, I have a little gift: my Writer's Workbook 2014 (download it by clicking on [...]

10 Oct, 2013

When Is a Piece of Writing Done?

October 10th, 2013|Tags: |

This very good question came up in my Advanced Memoir class recently, and my answer is twofold: A piece of writing is done when you feel you have been able [...]

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 [...]

1 Oct, 2013

The Gift of Morning Pages

October 1st, 2013|Tags: |

Writing Morning Pages has become an important daily ritual for me ever since I read Julia Cameron's book The Right to Write. That book was so transformative for me in [...]

22 Jul, 2013

Why Writers are Fortunate

July 22nd, 2013|Tags: , , |

For our June class, my Advanced Memoir Workshop at StoryStudio Chicago read Rosanne Cash's memoir Composed. It's not the kind of memoir I would have chosen to read myself, but [...]

25 Jun, 2013

Anatomy of a Writers Workshop

June 25th, 2013|Tags: |

Adirondack chairs abound on campus At the Kenyon Writers Workshop as a Fellow in Rebecca McClanahan's Literary Nonfiction Workshop, June 2013: Arrival - The friendly reception makes me feel welcome; [...]

6 May, 2013

Patience, A Writer Must Have

May 6th, 2013|Tags: , , |

Patience, the trees seem to say, we're not ready to be green yet. My kids have been into Yoda lately, thus my inverted title, but I really feel that Yoda's [...]

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