Gardening, Reflections, Writing

Why this colorful flower is my favorite writing cheerleader

Only a few weeks ago, I thought this flower was a fail. But it turned out to be a gardening win. And while it lasts, for me it is more than a zinnia. It is my writing cheerleader. In the summer, I like to work from my screened-in back porch. It is a small, cozy… Continue reading Why this colorful flower is my favorite writing cheerleader

Gardening

How to know when to harvest beets

“Sir, it’s always beets.” (Portlandia, Season 4, Episode 3.) Dwight Schrute devoted his farm to beets. Portlandia’s writers came up with a skit featuring beets. And this year, we decided to grow beets. This was our first time planting the root vegetable packed with vitamins and minerals. It isn’t just the root that is good… Continue reading How to know when to harvest beets

giveaway, Writing

Free giveaway to celebrate latest audiobook release

My novel Erasing the Past was released on audiobook today! Narrator Brian McGovern has put together a superb performance of the romantic suspense novel with a sci-fi twist. Erasing the Past has touches of The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Notebook and even the film drama, Mr. Nobody. To celebrate the latest release, I have five… Continue reading Free giveaway to celebrate latest audiobook release

Gardening

The good. The bad. The struggling. My urban gardening adventures.

I like working in the garden. I like thinking about working in the garden. And it may come as no surprise that I even like grading my gardening efforts. I analyze both the triumphs and the opportunities for improvement. As the spring transitions into summer, here are a few of my gardening yeas and nays.… Continue reading The good. The bad. The struggling. My urban gardening adventures.

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

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, Reflections

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