So what sparks joy in your life? OK, let’s start in your closet. That’s where Marie Kondo begins her tantalizing revolution, tangled up with the socks and undies. Marie Kondo is of course the author of the tidying up books that have become amazingly popular. She teaches us how to organize our closets using a…

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For the first time in a long time I did book signings this summer and fall. Delightful Summer Signings My publisher assigned an enthusiastic new publicist to A Family of Strangers, and she arranged three signings as the book debuted. Two were out of town, lots of fun and productive. One was in Maryland pictured…

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Sometimes best laid plans should be discarded. We spent yesterday with our oldest grandson. Liam, seven, had another day off from school, so my husband and I bopped down to Ohio to spend it with him. Last month we had the pleasure of spending a day with Liam, too, and as part of it we…

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This morning as I scooped homemade yogurt into a plastic container to enjoy for the rest of the week, I thought about all the things I do the long way, starting from scratch. Granted, making homemade yogurt in the Instant Pot is as easy as slipping on flip flops. I do it, at least partially,…

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Winners: Congratulations to Ola Norman, who was chosen by my old buddy random.org to win a copy of Diane Chamberlain’s new book, The Dream Daughter. Ola was lucky number 13, which just goes to disprove that particular superstition. Diane’s book has gotten great reviews and was chosen as a People magazine book club pick. Didn’t…

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I played hooky from Southern Exposure two weeks ago. It was a time of now and then. Let me explain. Now and Then in Real Life Now: We drove to Pensacola where my husband performed a small, private ceremony outdoors near the beach for our lovely niece and new husband. Then: On arrival, memories of the…

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Last week I talked about taking time off this summer, probably the most I’ve taken off in all my years as a writer. I expected to accomplish a lot, and found that one of the main things I did accomplish was to get some rest. I managed to waste a lot of time feeling guilty…

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One of the things I learned early in my career was to make sure I left time between books for renewal. Slipping back into normal “no-deadline” life means cooking and cleaning, going out with friends, and this week, having my youngest son and his family, complete with my two young grandsons–here to enjoy our Florida sunshine…

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