Reflections

Four thoughts on how to live a rich and rewarding life

When my kids were little, my life advice to them was lofty. The older they got, the more practical I became. By the time they entered college, my counsel revolved around debt avoidance and family planning. But now, my youngest will celebrate college commencement. I’m facing an empty nest. As a result, I’ve been pondering… Continue reading Four thoughts on how to live a rich and rewarding life

Reflections

The unexpected joy of midlife friendship

Friday is friend day. Once a week, I get together with a group of female friends in the late afternoon at a coffee shop on “The Hill” in St. Louis. We chat about our lives. We share our triumphs and challenges. We talk about families, careers, movies and politics. By 5 p.m., we scatter, promising… Continue reading The unexpected joy of midlife friendship

Reflections

Winter survival: An open mind and a zipped coat

There’s beauty in every season, even winter. All it takes is an open mind, and a zipped coat, to discover it. This morning, my husband and I braved the freezing temperatures to keep our six-mile Sunday walking date. We craved fresh air and nature. Plus, we knew we'd jog a bit more to keep a… Continue reading Winter survival: An open mind and a zipped coat

Writing

What writers need to know about fair use

Some things exist that may bring you comfort. And yet, you may not really understand how to use them. Examples include the airplane seat cushion that doubles as a flotation device; the home fire extinguisher stuffed into a kitchen cabinet; and the fair use legal doctrine. In a previous post, I highlighted three copyright myths.… Continue reading What writers need to know about fair use

Book Reviews

In a Lonely Place: Pulp fiction at its finest

The psychological thriller, In a Lonely Place, is a groundbreaking book; one that you’ve probably never heard of. But thanks to efforts to resurrect the work of women mystery writers, this 1947 novel by Dorothy B. Hughes has been introduced to a new generation of readers. The setting is Los Angeles after the Second World… Continue reading In a Lonely Place: Pulp fiction at its finest

Writing

Three copyright myths debunked for bloggers and content writers

You’ve just crafted inspiring text to share online. Now, you’re hunting for an image to complement your post. The last thing you want is to be on the receiving end of a letter from a lawyer claiming you’ve violated the copyright of a photographer or designer. If you’re a blogger, writer, content creator or digital… Continue reading Three copyright myths debunked for bloggers and content writers

Travel

To make the most out of a trip to Paris, avoid these 5 mistakes

When it comes to planning a vacation, guidebooks and TripAdvisor reviews are chock-full of helpful tips. For me, one of the challenges is that I can overlook some of the finer points of the travel advice because I’ve been swept away by a tsunami of information. Having just spent several days in Paris, I’ve come… Continue reading To make the most out of a trip to Paris, avoid these 5 mistakes

Productivity, Travel

7 tech tasks for a long layover

‘Tis the season for travel. Whether you’re going to grandmother’s house or jetting off for a romantic trip to Paris, you may find yourself on a plane, train or even riding in an automobile during the holiday season. What will you do to pass the time while en route to your destination? Reading, scrolling through… Continue reading 7 tech tasks for a long layover

Book Reviews, Writing

Six lessons for writers from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast – Part 2

In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway struggled to make the jump from journalist to novelist. In A Moveable Feast, he describes the steps he took to improve his writing, as well as his decision to turn down good paying reporting gigs to hone his craft. Yesterday, I highlighted the first three lessons about writing that can… Continue reading Six lessons for writers from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast – Part 2

Book Reviews, Writing

Six lessons for writers from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast – Part 1

Ernest Hemingway makes 1920s Paris come alive in A Moveable Feast. Feet splash in puddles. Fires warm cafes in the Paris of December. The smell of baguettes fresh out of the oven fills the air. Copious amounts of white wine accompany dishes of oysters or fried fish. But there’s more. The reader also learns of… Continue reading Six lessons for writers from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast – Part 1

Travel

How art and research boost the pleasure of a big trip

When I was a kid, anticipating Christmas brought almost as much pleasure as the day itself. List making, tree trimming, shaking and squeezing packages while guessing the contents rivaled opening the gifts on December 25. As an adult, something similar happens when I book a big trip. Learning about my travel destination and understanding the… Continue reading How art and research boost the pleasure of a big trip

Health

Three benefits of walking six miles with a loved one

What possessed me to suggest taking a long walk on a Sunday morning? That I can’t remember. But I do know that somehow, I convinced my husband to give it a try. A year later, we continue our weekly walking dates. Our outings began in August 2017 in Forest Park, an oasis of nature in… Continue reading Three benefits of walking six miles with a loved one

Gardening, Reflections

Surprising results from zombie tomatoes

What do zombie tomatoes, a little bit of love, a touch of neglect, and ultimately letting go -- without giving up -- have to do with success? Well, I’m going to tell you. In March of 2017, my husband and I decided to grow tomato plants from seeds. We planted them in our basement under… Continue reading Surprising results from zombie tomatoes