Sylvia Plath described depression as a bell jar stuck over your head, distorting your every experience of the world. I remember reading that description as a kid and not getting it.

A jar over your head? Uh, why not just take it off? And how would a jar get there in the first place?

Sure, I’d felt grief when my grandparents died. I remember lighting a candle for Grandpa, howling at the emptiness. And who can forget The First Heartbreak? After my first love dumped me, there was that first night of pure…

Read more

#Me Too: Sexual Harassment before It was a Thing—or How to Get Chased around a Desk and Survive 


I was 22.

It was my first job out of college, as a journalist and PR person in Washington, DC. I made more money and had more perks in this job than I do now, decades later as a humble social worker and novelist. And this Washington job was elusive; I had to compete to win it. When I did win it, I was triumphant, at least at first.

Then it tortured me in ways I have never written about until today.

My first Big Girl job gave me an expense account, plush office, my own secretary (I had no idea what to…

Read more

Gem in the Rough—OR, the Sweet Lessons of Aging 


We are all doing it.

Getting older, that is. Perhaps we are wondering and curious at the process and results; or scared or bored or contemplative about the prospect, sudden and unfolding. But we all know that aging happens. We don’t really feel it happening—until we do. Right?


Why am I discussing this now? Because my mother is in her nineties. Because most of my friends have already lost both parents. Because my little dog (only 3!) is sick, and I don’t know whether she will heal. Because my

Read more


Plunk-plunk-plunk.  Yes, that’s me, sitting at the upright Hamilton piano that I bought for my son’s lessons music eight years ago. He’s playing Mozart these days, and it moves me. After years of nagging him, years of wheedling him to practice and get off his latest electronic device and shlepp with me to lessons, years of mediating between him and his formidable tower of a piano teacher; years of listening to my son go plunk-plunk-plunk--magic happened. Sonatas flow from his dancing adolescent hands. He…

Read more

FREE Promotion of Silent Bird on Kindle: WHAT FOR? 

Free download on Kindle!


In this brave new world of electronic books, this brave new writer actually bought a Kindle.  Seems obscene to make one's books available in Kindle and then not buy one.  What was my hesitation in the first place?

At first I felt...kind of panicky.  Like: OH NO, not eliminating BOOKS!  Please nonononono, not books going the way of the dinosaur and the do-do bird and the VCR.  Please don't make my passion obsolete.  Dear Civilization, don't brush away my anchor under a fusty…

Read more

Dear Dad: 

January 22, 2014


Dear Dad:

Two years ago today you died.  I don’t know how I feel right now.  Numb, mostly, I think, or maybe that’s healing.  Grieving seems to be like an intermittent stomach ache: like, hey! I feel okay again! And then I want to curl up in bed and put the heating pad on my stomach and cry. Life will never be completely whole, completely unbroken…as it never is for anyone.  I guess life just changes shape, its broken off bits rounding off and smarting frequently, leaving us yearning…

Read more

Congress Should Write Fiction 


We have a polarized Congress, right?  C’mon, there really is no way else to describe it! Polarized. As in, “I see my point of view and not yours,” and “I view the world this way and don’t put a serious earnest effort into viewing the world your way.” In other words, I don’t bother with anyone else’s point of view, or POV, as we writers call it.

Congress writes their national and local dialogue in the first person only.  Never third person; never multiple viewpoints; never the ambiguous joy of putting…

Read more

The Bird Has Flown: My New Book—SILENT BIRD—Has Left the Nest! 


Why would anybody do this?

By “this” I mean sit nearly immobilized for 30 hours on a holiday weekend, hands on laptop keys, nose red and congested, with hot drinks nearby, cold medicine taken in bulk, brain addled and fogged and a little delirious. Why write a book when there are papers to grade, soups to heat, bills to pay, dishes to wash, house to decorate, curative sleep to be coaxed, coddled and hopefully enjoyed?

This is a profoundly stupid question because OF COURSE there is no reason except the…

Read more

Too Much Homework! 

I have a teenager.  Anyone else out there in cyberspace got one (or more) of those?

Not that I OWN my teenager!  Certainly not.  How would I figure out how to completely assimilate another identity as colorful, and usually much more colorful, than my own?  The National Institute of Mental Health confirms what I suspected, hoped and feared.  That is, that my teenager is not only “on loan” to me (my beloved Grandpa always did say to my parents that childhood is “borrowed time”), but he is not finished yet…

Read more

DOG: Meet Dog Beach 

You know your dog. 

You know your dog almost as much as your dog knows you. 


I mean: if you are angry when you come home from work, Dog watches apprehensively, tail erupting in a speculative wag of joy before—wait for it…!—the next one.  OK to spaz out completely? Doggy’s eyes plead.  Can your lousy work day please tolerate it?

If you are sad, who is the first to notice?  Who shlumps on the sofa, nose down, to sigh and bear your weight for you?  When you are discouraged, so is Dog.  When you are…

Read more

Come visit me!

My video trailer... coming soon!

Coming soon...

My sister Irene's site

This is my sister's recently opened site, filled to the brim with music and art.  Her song, "Love Again" will be featured on the audio version of TWICE BEGUN (coming soon).