The Guest House: A Unexpected Research Gift

I spent much of July acquainting you with The House Guests, my latest novel. Months ago, as I did research , I came across this powerful poem by Rumi because of the similar title. Today I want to share it with you. Does “The Guest House” relate directly to “The House Guests?” I think it…

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Laugh Like Your Life Depends On It

Do I look upset to you? Very, very upset? Or did you say to yourself (correctly) that, no, Emilie is channeling Lewis Black for a good laugh. Because that’s what I’m doing, and a pretty good job of it, too. On Saturday Proman and I did what we’ve promised ourselves we would do for a…

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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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The Sweet Spot Between Pride and Guilt

Do you feel like you’ve accomplished enough in your life? Or do you feel as if you never quite got there, or will? I’ll confess I’m firmly in that second category. I don’t care about lists or number of books sold–at least not too much. I don’t care if every reader who picked up one…

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Chautauqua: The Most American Thing in America

According to President Theodore Roosevelt, Chautauqua, where I spend my summers, “is the most American thing in America.” President Roosevelt may well have been speaking about the traveling Chautauquas as well as the “Mother Chautauqua” planted on Lake Chautauqua in Western NY in 1874, after a period of great political crisis as well as religious…

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Strike Up the Band for Reading

Distractions are part of the deal for writers. A child cries. A stomach rumbles. A favorite TV show is on in another part of the house. And if you’re a writer at Chautauqua Institution in Western New York, one of those distractions each year is a vivid reminder that books matter. A lot. Today a…

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Resurrecting the Past

While my new book, When We Were Sisters, explores the lives of two foster sisters who are slowly resurrecting the past they shared, in my own life, I’ve been doing some of the same. Some of you know that we lost our beloved beagle several weeks ago. Nemo’s death was a surprise of the kind none…

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Global Literacy

A reminder to all of us from the proofreading website Grammarly. If you’re reading this blog, then you have been given one of the greatest of gifts, the ability to read. International Literacy Day was September 8th, a fact I just discovered, but the message is important any day of the year. I’m looking forward…

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