A beautifully shaped lie

Recently I read Julian Barnes' "Nothing To Be Frightened Of," a memoir about death, a topic I've been forced to be interested in (well, who won't be?) since the drawn-out dying of my husband from cancer, now two years ago. Al's death turned out to be a wrenching relief, for me anyway, and I'm now [...]

2017-05-31T17:58:09+00:00 August 10th, 2010|

On Enabling: can we love them to death?

The word "enabling" came into general usage about what? l0, l5 years ago, I guess. Rather than "came into," it "seeped into" American via the psychobabble community. Of course it does have validity. Question: If my kid has a drug problem and I bail him out of jail twice, am I helping him or hurting [...]

2017-05-31T17:58:09+00:00 July 26th, 2010|

Writing novels equals box-office poison?

I admit I'm case-hardened to the strange ways of book publishing. Over the years - 30 some - I've kept the best of my rejection letters for several novels. Before computers, these were well-formed letters by snail mail that often offered helpful suggestions along with the rejection. As time went on, I realized that I [...]

2017-05-31T17:58:09+00:00 July 8th, 2010|

The eunuchs in the harem – the writing biz

The 800-pound gorilla in the bookstore: In my babyboomer life, it has been: potboilers, romance novels, chicklit, formulaic mystery/detective series, etc. In my 30-plus years of writing professionally, the very mention of the word "novel" has consistently made agents and editors react (often subtly) as if they were hearing the word "poison." And this has [...]

2017-05-31T17:58:09+00:00 June 16th, 2010|

Writing titles – I’ve gone blank

I have a habit of collecting titles for books that may or may not ever get written. Sometimes the title seems so good there's no need to write the book. Example: How Not To Mourn - pertains to when I became a widow, nearly two years ago. And that summed it up for me - [...]

2017-05-31T17:58:09+00:00 May 5th, 2010|

Why I liked being in a Muslim country

OK, those full black veils with the little eye slits I saw in Egypt are definitely creepy. But I was soothed and uplifted by the call to prayer of the muezzin (sic) from the tops of the minarets of the mosques throughout the day. God and worshipping God is folded into everyday life and I [...]

2017-05-31T17:58:09+00:00 March 22nd, 2010|

Egyptian writer – highly recommended

While in Egypt recently, I was turned onto a wonderful writer, Alaa Al Aswany. "The Yacoubian Building" was a great read and a breakthrough novel in Egypt, as it deals with sexuality in a frank way that is, apparently, new to the literature there. You come away understanding, among other things, why young men turn [...]

2017-05-31T17:58:09+00:00 March 19th, 2010|

The surprising happiness of young women in Egypt

Back from intense trip to Egypt and no this blog will NOT be about the ancient and awesome attractions. Per usual, my favorite activity was watching people. In the virtually unliveable city of Cairo, my eye was drawn over and over to the young women - to their joie de vivre. 99% with heads covered, [...]

2017-05-31T17:58:09+00:00 March 15th, 2010|