“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.” -Chinese proverb One of our speakers used that quote this week here at Chautauqua Institution, and it struck me as especially inspirational. Instead of wallowing in guilt over what I haven’t done in the past — which I…

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I survived launch day! I’m delighted to say that yesterday A Family of Strangers went on sale. My husband bought freshly picked garden flowers at the farmer’s market to celebrate, and after a shopping trip for paint for our newly renovated bathroom (half-successful) and a bed frame with a simple headboard (not successful) we went…

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For many students June is an end and often a beginning, complete with ceremony and celebration, and this is a perfect time to look at some of the best commencement speeches. So much inspiration is packed into those minutes on stage. Commencement speeches are often as relevant to me as to the graduates, since like…

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I feel like I’m about to give birth again. Of course a book arriving on bookstore shelves–and eReaders, too–is not the same as having a baby. Having done both, though, I can appreciate the similarities. A novel and a baby take months of nurturing and special care before they make their debut. Parents and authors…

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Who likes change? Raise your hands. I see some of you are waving wildly to get my attention. I see some of you cringing in the corner. I’m afraid I cringe with you. Change is a good thing. Too much of it can send me into a tailspin. So, in the last month I’ve done…

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Do you agree? Novelists tackle forgiveness often in our fiction. Are our characters stronger because they’re able to forgive the imperfections of others? And how about the people we know in our real lives? What can’t you forgive? Who can’t you forgive? And how do we go about it when we’re ready? Each of us…

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