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Journey into the Lives of Women, One Story at a Time

Grandson On Board

This week is Grandma/Grandpa camp at our house at Chautauqua Institution in New York. Liam, seven, our oldest grandson, is spending the week with us, going to Boys Club in the mornings and learning to be a naturalist in the afternoons. Today at 5 we’ll go to a special kids presentation by the Chautauqua opera…

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Sunday Inspiration: To Make a Difference

“To make a difference in someone’s life you don’t have to be brilliant. Rich. Beautiful. Perfect. You just have to care.” -Mandy Hale This has been National Geographic week at Chautauqua with the theme of A Planet in Balance with some excellent lectures. The message is, as Mandy Hale says, that we just have to…

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The Devil Made Me Do It, Or Did S/He?

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. The most common question novelists are is asked is where they get their ideas. There’s a good reason for this question, one I often want to ask my favorite writers, too. Ideas are by far the most interesting part of writing, for both writers and non-writers. All…

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Sunday Inspiration: Depression and Anxiety

This powerful video was sent to me by a friend whose daughter made the video and later ended her own life, overcome by the depression and anxiety that had haunted her too long. This is what she says about it: “My daughter Margaret (Peggy) was making a video on depression and anxiety aimed at teenagers…

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Give Me Your Tired…

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus (1883) Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome;…

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Sunday Inspiration: The Best Time

“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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We Interrupt This Program for a Word from our Sponsor

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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Sunday Inspiration: Best Commencement Speeches 2019

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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A Family of Strangers: One Week Away

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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