Archive for 2012

The Many Faces of New Year’s Eve

Posted on December 31, 2012

When my children were small, my husband John and I would let them ‘stay up til midnight’, which was Big excitement for them!! What they didn’t know was that we set our clocks ahead, and ‘midnight’ was really about 9 pm, when we would serve them ginger ale when they were really young, and later non-alcoholic champagne. They would blow horns and rattle noise-makers, jump around and ‘celebrate’, and by 10 pm (for real, although they thought it was 1 am), we would get them all in bed, and then he and I would happily fall into bed in our pajamas, eat popcorn and watch old movies on TV, and finish off the ginger ale (neither of us drank alcohol).  I had absolutely no desire to get dressed up, go out, or dance the new year in. I was totally happy at home with my husband and kids. New Year’s had never been a night that particularly appealed to me. With drunk drivers on the roads, rowdy people partying, it just never seemed like much fun to me, and I was much happier at home. » read more »

Filed Under Family, Holidays, Kids | 11 Comments

Happy Merry

Posted on December 24, 2012

Christmas. Just the word evokes so many memories. Good ones, sad ones, the excitement of Christmas as a child. Maybe more than any other, it is a word that evokes something different for each of us. The Christmas cards and snow scenes look the same, but the memories don’t. There are as many interpretations of the holidays as there are people in the world. For some, it was a magical time in their childhood and youth, and still is as adults. For others, it was bitterly disappointing as children, but has improved. For some it is the loneliest time of the year, and for others the time they most look forward to, when their family gets together.   A friend of mine remarried several years ago, she had children and so did her new husband, but their traditions were completely different, she had always overdone Christmas with lots of fun and decorations, their new family’s style was more austere, with few gifts and almost no decorations. They tried to compromise and find a middle ground on their first Christmas together, and she called me to report that all the children, his and hers, had wound up crying on Christmas Day, as one of them said in a wail, “Can’t we have a NORMAL Christmas?”  A “Normal” Christmas, or holiday, is different to each of us. Even in the same family, people have different ideas about how it should be. » read more »

Filed Under Family, Holidays, Kids | 6 Comments

Sandy Hook

Posted on December 17, 2012

Hi everyone, I am in Paris as I write this, and news and details are sparse here about the shooting in Connecticut, but we have heard of it, and everyone is saddened by it. So shocking, so sad. So unthinkable, to open fire on people, and especially children. And even more agonizing to think that the parents of those children must have been preparing for the holidays, picking gifts, planning family events, maybe talking about Santa Claus……and now they will be mourning their lost children and loved ones. A sudden, instant, turnaround of everything they hoped, believed and planned. And how will the other children ever feel safe in school again??

And sadly, this is not something we’ve never heard of, it’s not an event we are unfamiliar with. It brings instantly to mind the university shooting in Tennessee not so long ago, the terrible shooting at the Amish one room school house, and others all the way back to Columbine in Colorado. It is truly a national tragedy for us that such deeply troubled people go unnoticed, untreated and unstopped until they have taken all these young lives, and altered the course forever of the lives of those who survived it. Incredible trauma. And I dread thinking that we will hear of other events like this again one day. There have always been these terrible school and random shootings all the way back to my own youth. What rage and deep illness leads the perpetrators of these crimes to want to hurt so many, and carry out our worst nightmares on so many innocents. » read more »

Filed Under Current Events | 9 Comments

Heartfelt Thanks

Posted on December 10, 2012

Hi everyone. So many of you have written such sweet posts and good wishes to my daughter who lost her home in Hurricane Sandy, that I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you. It was a shocking, traumatic experience, and a great loss to her.  Most of all I am grateful that both of my daughters in New York are alive, and weren’t physically injured. And their dogs survived it too. But one step beyond that, there are the things we cherish, the memories attached to things we have saved or collected, and the nest we build as a safe haven from the world. Losing that haven is like having a layer of yourself ripped away, and I have watched with sadness and dismay how saddened and displaced my daughter felt when she lost her home. It’s like being a turtle without a shell. And we question ourselves for being attached to material objects, a favorite chair, a dress we loved that something important happened to you when you were wearing, photographs of beloved people that can’t be replaced, and it hurts to lose the things we love. Right or wrong, a piece of our identity is wrapped up in those things, and it is hard to lose any of that. I know that time will heal the wounds, but it was a catastrophic event for so many. And to reassure those of you who asked about my daughter, she is okay. I’m sure it is a time in her life that she will never forget, but she is grateful to be alive. As bad as it was, it could have been worse, and has been for many people, particularly those who lost loved ones. But thank you with all my heart for asking about my daughter and sending good wishes. We truly appreciate it, and I have passed your kind thoughts on to her. » read more »

When My Stomach Speaks to Me

Posted on December 3, 2012

Hi Everyone,

I had an experience recently, which was all too familiar. It’s something that happens in business sometimes, in employee/employer relationships, romantic ones, or even in families.  For me, it usually happens in human relations, and it’s a matter of hearing and following your instincts and good judgment. It’s what happens when you get new information (and not necessarily good information) in a situation. It has happened to me typically when I hire a new employee. All is hopeful at first, you’ve made what you think is an intelligent decision, after reading their resume, checking their references, maybe even comparing them to other candidates for the job, and you selected them!! All seems to be on track and you move ahead, confident in your decision…..and then three weeks later, or six weeks, something you don’t like happens, maybe just a small thing, and a yellow light goes off in your head. Caution: New information. » read more »

Filed Under Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The Process and The Team

Posted on November 26, 2012

Hi Everyone,

As some of you know, from reading my Blogs on a variety of subjects, I’ve reacted with amazement, shock, and outrage when people have asked me in my fan mail, who writes my books.  WHO writes my BOOKS??? Are you kidding? Who do you think writes my books, as I hover over my typewriter for weeks at a time, working on a first draft, with unbrushed hair, in an ancient nightgown, with every inch of my body aching after typing 20 or 22 hours a day at a stretch. That’s who writes my books: Me. and in recent years, I’ve discovered from my agent and publisher that it has become common practice for some very well-known successful authors to write the outline for a book, and hand it over to a team of writers to write the book. Holy Sh–!!! How do they do that?? Both the author and the elves. I have a fit when a copy editor fiddles with a word, or moves a comma. I WRITE EVERY WORD of the books myself. And believe me, by the end of the book, I look it, and am pretty beaten up and look like I’ve been through the wars, it’s hard work!!!. But bleeding fingers (for real!), aching hands (I popped a vein in my hand on my last book, which has happened before), » read more »

Filed Under Writing | 47 Comments

Giving Thanks

Posted on November 19, 2012

I like the idea of a holiday based on giving thanks and gratitude. There is something so healing and loving about it, a holiday where we don’t focus on ourselves and moan about how old we’re getting, or get presents, but a holiday where we reach out to others, to include them. We all have that Norman Rockwell vision of Thanksgiving, with a golden turkey on the table, and smiling family gathered around the table, and we also know that holidays don’t always work out that way, and can be fraught with stress, strife or disappointment or bitterly lonely for some. (Even the turkey can be challenging. One year, we dropped the turkey off the platter and it slid across the floor, to everyone’s horror. We took it out to the kitchen, dusted it off, reappeared trying to look ‘normal’ about it, and it was delicious anyway. Another year, my cleaning person at the time decided that the turkey was in the way in the refrigerator and put it in the freezer without telling me, and when I went downstairs at six in the morning to start cooking it, it was frozen solid, like a boulder, and I had to run around buying enough chickens to feed my family. We skipped the turkey that year. So from a culinary standpoint, we’ve had our comic moments around Thanksgiving). » read more »

In the Wake of Sandy

Posted on November 12, 2012

As happens with major disasters which we read about, the media turn the page. They move on to other stories, other catastrophes or points of interest. We cry over injured children in photos of war zones, or after an explosion, see women mourning their dead, or injured soldiers. We read about earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, which take over our lives briefly, and then something else comes along, and the media forces us to focus on something else. But the people in the affected areas, and victims of those catastrophes are living with the fallout of the disaster for years. I feel that way about Hurricane Sandy now. As I mentioned before, it hit close to home for us, when one of my daughters lost her home and everything she owns, so I have a front row seat on the tragedies Sandy left in her wake, not just for us, but for so many. Lives lost, homes destroyed, whole neighborhoods impacted, and that won’t recover for a long, long time. For us, the disaster is still our main and only focus, and how to comfort my daughter from her tragic loss. But thank God she is alive!!! Others weren’t as lucky. » read more »

Filed Under Current Events | 8 Comments

Stand Up!!

Posted on November 9, 2012

Hi Everyone,

My son described an amazing moment to me recently, and introduced me to a new organization that I had not previously heard of. But I want to find out lots more about them now. I’m already impressed by what I know.

At the first night of the World Series, on the way in, before the game, everyone was handed a sign (I think it looked like a paddle) as they came in. The organization that provided it was called ‘Stand Up To Cancer”, and there was a space where you could write in the name of someone you know who has been affected by the disease.  And the plan was for all the people who had someone’s name to write in, to hold up their signs at the end of the fifth inning—-both fans and players alike.  » read more »

Filed Under Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Posted on November 1, 2012

Hello Everyone,

I write to you in sorrow over the shocking catastrophe that has struck the Eastern states of the US, in the face of what is now called the greatest natural disaster in US History. It has taken me some days to catch my breath and even know what to say. We are all so horrified, and grief stricken for the people who lost homes, belongings, all their worldly possessions, or worse, loved ones. Natural disasters are more terrifying than anything man can create. Fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, anyone who has experienced them has a profound respect for the force of nature. » read more »

Filed Under Current Events | 11 Comments