When I was Twenty-One  . . .

When I was Twenty-One . . .

When I was twenty-one in 1974, I spent two days at Dachau Concentration Camp in upper Bavaria. It was preserved as a memorial for all those who had died there . . .

Sweet Little Lies

Sweet Little Lies

The truth is we all lie . . . . Studies show that the art of the whopper is the daily practice of teenagers and septuagenarians alike—a social lie or two, a snippet of exaggeration . . .

We the People

We the People

“. . . Maybe I have learned some personal lessons. Twice I have married into republican families complete with edges of racism, a belief in creationism, and misogyny, not to mention a penchant for guns. . .”

Pie as Antidote

Pie as Antidote

“. . . My grandmother’s pies were another story. Her piecrusts had more flavor and were tenderer and more flakey. I wanted to know why?”

Small Things

Small Things

. . . My husband asks me from time to time, “Why did you marry me?” My answer is always the same, “Because you had a gas grill.” It’s as good a reason as any, because I cannot explain why or how I love him. I just do. . .”

Allure of the Woods

Allure of the Woods

“When I was in high school, I used to pilfer cigarettes from my grandmother’s pack—Lark filters—and sneak off into the woods to smoke them one after the other.”

The Stories We Tell

The Stories We Tell

. . . I laughed, recognizing Dad’s prank of leaving a narrative for the next user—an Irish trick he often practiced. There were others, as well: wrapping a toilet roll in fancy Christmas paper and gifting the most important member of the family with a useful item. . .

Banning Books and More

Banning Books and More

. . . We waited most of the afternoon, my mother fidgeting and sighing through her worries, while I read sporadically. I happened upon an article about banned books, and in the juxtaposition of that day—my sister’s cancer surgery and another school shooting—it struck a chord. . .

An American Epidemic

An American Epidemic

. . . The Washington Post reports that a toddler, a child under three-years-old, has killed or wounded either him or herself, or another person at least once weekly in 2015—and if past is prologue, we can expect a dozen or so similar tragedies before the new year.

But the toll is actually much higher. . .

Lessons for Writing a Second Novel

Lessons for Writing a Second Novel

. . .There are cautionary tales about authors who change genre, or write far afield from previous work. Readers cultivated so carefully will look elsewhere for what they want, what they once found in that debut novel. . .

Verba Mea

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