Author Archive

5/31/22, Mort Janklow

Posted on May 31, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

There have been some hard events in these last days. The tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, and on a more personal level, my beloved friend and extraordinary literary agent, Morton Janklow, who really built my career, for forty years, passed away peacefully in his sleep last week. Yesterday would have been his 92nd birthday. After publishing my first book at nineteen, I met Mort a few years later, and he became my agent, my champion, my mentor and close friend, and a father figure to me. He helped me build a remarkable career. He was brilliant, kind, warm, funny, erudite, eloquent dignified and a gentleman, with a deep love of family and the publishing world he shared with me. He worked until the very end, and I will be forever grateful for the years we shared, and all that he did for me. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him, and so very much by me. I thought you might be interested in the NY Times obituary about him. I will miss him forever, personally and professionally.

 

with much love, Danielle

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/25/books/morton-l-janklow-dead.html?referringSource=articleShare

 

 

5/25/22, AGAIN?

Posted on May 25, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

Serious times. Tragic Times. Columbine….Sandy Hook….and now Uvalde….so many other schools….so many children…..so many others, in grocery stores, in churches, in subways, in parks, on the streets….gunned down, because the weapons were available. It’s about inadequate mental health care, about greed and commerce, about a highly profitable lethal industry, and those who defend it. I don’t care about politics. I care about children and other humans, whatever their color or nationality. I ache for the grieving parents whose worst nightmare just happened. I have buried a son. I know their pain, I’ve lived it.

 

When did children become expendable, when did we stop protecting them, and why? Why wasn’t more done after Sandy Hook, as those parents live with a weight on their hearts forever. In Ukraine children are being bombed and mowed down, infants have been killed, and in schools all around this country. Children used to have fire drills, now they have drills about what to do when a gunman enters their school. They live with fear and survive trauma. Will they be the lucky ones who survive, or the tragedy of those who don’t. Why are the shooters not singled out and stopped sooner. Why are the weapons so readily available? The tragedies are too numerous now to remember…Las Vegas….the school shooting years ago in an Amish school, committed on peaceful unarmed people. Parents drop their children off at school now not knowing if their precious babies will be coming home. What world are they growing up in where violence is commonplace?. And some of our braver lawmakers have said “What are we doing? Why is this happening? Why is no one acting to stop it?” Questions we have to ask ourselves. High school students blame us for not doing more to protect them, and they’re right. These very young children at Uvalde, and at Sandy Hook had no voice to accuse us with, to ask the hard questions. It is OUR job to protect them, and we are failing abysmally. If we go to the grocery store, or the hardware store, or to church on Sunday, we don’t know if we will be gunned down while buying a loaf of bread.

 

We MUST protect the children and each other….We nurture our children and love them and teach them, and guard their health and get them vaccines against diseases…..and this scourge, this plague is far worse than any other and more destructive. And we will go to bed tonight, knowing that a mother’s heart is aching in Texas after the worst day of her life. Twenty one of them. We must do more than mourn them. We need to change things, to make a difference, to not just roll the dice every morning and hope that our kids will come home from school today. We need action and commitment and courage. When our children were born, we vowed to protect them. And then one deranged person changes everything….with a gun, and bullets. There aren’t enough tears in the world to wash our consciences clean, of all that we haven’t done to change it.

 

A tragedy like this cant happen again.  Those children deserved to grow old, to have children and grandchildren one day. We are all responsible for their deaths, because we have done nothing to stop it. May all of the children who have died as victims of these tragedies live forever in our hearts, and it’s up to us to save their sisters and brothers, protect them, and make it a safe world.

 

with all my love, Danielle

 

5/16/22, Gratitude, Time, Timing, and Blessings

Posted on May 16, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a good week. Spring has arrived and I love it, although things have been a little hectic lately, with big projects and writing, family plans, and a massive purge/spring cleaning I did in my closets!!! It was an ambitious project, and fun to weed things out that I don’t wear, (and fashion mistakes I’ve made!!)

 

We all have our own ways to relax. Life today is stressful, after the pandemic, and just generally. Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some families. I live with constant publishing deadlines, to deliver books, or edit “text proofs” (the last shot at changing the printed pages for a book before it goes to the printers). It’s like having homework assignments due constantly, for the rest of your life. And other jobs are stressful because of constant contact with the public, which can be incredibly stressful. I deal with the press and the media, interviews and reviews. And the demands and needs of a big family can be stressful. Some people meditate or do yoga, or go to a gym, or jog, or do philanthropic projects that feed their soul. Or they have a glass of wine at night when they come home from work, or watch a favorite TV show. Whatever helps you to relax, as long as it’s legal and healthy, is a good balance to the constant stresses in our daily lives, which can be something as simple as a flat tire, or a big repair bill for your car or your roof, or as stressful as an argument with your boss (or your teen agers!!), or a serious health scare. Stress can be ongoing and chronic and part of your ordinary daily life, or situational in a crisis that lands on you suddenly. Either way, constant stress is hard to live with.

 

It sounds corny, but what gets me back on track and out of crisis mode in the daily grind of constant stress that rises steadily like the water level in a flood—-is that I try to devote several quiet hours once a week, to reading religious articles, about how to apply one’s faith to one’s daily life, to improve one’s attitude and be a better person. It’s like a breath of fresh air, and everything comes back into focus. I really cherish that time once a week, and  it makes a big difference. I devote a few minutes every day to some religious thought, and then I hit the ground running in my daily life. And after reading articles steadily for a few hours once a week, I feel like a new person, with new energy to face new and old challenges.  I like it best when religion is applicable to daily life, and not just theory.

 

Whenever I can focus on gratitude, it changes my whole perspective, being grateful for the blessings and positives in my life instead of focusing on what’s wrong. I also love acupuncture for stress and find it extremely helpful!!!

 

Time. With constant deadlines as part of my work life, it never fails that just when you are juggling One Big project, two others come along, AND the car breaks down and needs an expensive repair, Two more projects get heaped on me, and I am suddenly panicked about time, and I can see no possible way I’ll get everything done on time. And weirdly, no matter how busy I am, and no matter how little time I think I have, if I calm down, take a deep breath, no matter how big the pile of projects is, I just about always find that I have exactly the time I need. I always think there is no way I can do it all, and then I do. Time seems to be expandable, it expands to give me the time I need, to meet all the projects and deadlines I have, and I actually manage to finish everything, when it looked impossible initially. (I have to remind myself of that often when I start to panic!!)

 

Timing. Nothing happens fast in publishing and sometimes in life. Between the time I have an idea for a book and start making notes on a yellow pad and the time you have the book in your hands, it takes at least two years, sometimes three or four (particularly if there is a lot of research in it). And other projects are like that too, construction projects, waiting for a deal to come through, or to get hired for a job. Sometimes I want to scream it takes so long for things to evolve, and move forward, and solutions and answers can have long delays. But what I almost always find is that when a project has been delayed but happens later, the timing in the end is always the right one, the perfect one. There was always some really good reason for the delay that turns out to be a blessing in the end, although it didn’t seem that way when it was happening. The house purchase that just doesn’t go through and the deal keeps falling apart, and a MUCH better house turns up while you  were waiting, the deal goes through easily on the second house, and you are thrilled with the result and a much better deal and prettier house. Timing is usually right, even though I get REALLY impatient while I wait for things to happen!! Whether business issues or personal. There is just about always some really good reason for a delay, even though I can’t see it.

 

And Blessings. I came across a phrase in my reading the other day that I love and don’t always remember. “What blesses one, blesses all”—the concept that if something that involves several people is a blessing for me, it will be a blessing for you, and the others as well. I wont make out like a bandit with a huge blessing and advantage, and everyone else involved gets short shrift and loses out. A REALLY good outcome is one where ALL of the people involved get a blessing and something positive out of it—a Win Win for all. There is nothing better, and if it’s a blessing for me, it will be for you too. No one person “wins” while everyone else gets short changed. Situations that bless everyone involved are The Best!!! I love the belief that What Blesses One Blesses All—-and we ALL win!!!

 

Anyway, those are my stress relievers. They’re not magic. They take a little bit of faith, some deep breaths, some patience, and sometimes you just need to remember all the times when things worked out well, and try to know that it can happen this time too!!!….and if that doesn’t work, there is always jogging and yoga!!!

 

We are all struggling with something, and sooner or later just about ALL problems resolve. The secret and the challenge is staying calm and sane until they do!!!

 

Have a GREAT stress-free week!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

5/12/22, “Gone Fishing”

Posted on May 12, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a nice Mother’s Day, either as the recipient of your children’s attention, or as the giver of joy to your real mother, or a mother figure in your life. It’s a very special day, when one gets to show admiration and gratitude to the important women in your life—-it’s one of the few days of the year when mothers get to hear words of praise and thanks, instead of the usual laundry list of what one failed to do, or somehow managed to do wrong. I LOVE mother’s day, and my children have never disappointed me. They go all out, for which I am deeply grateful. I celebrated Mother’s Day in two cities this year, as I have for a long time,—twice as much fun!!!

 

I recently took 3 weeks “off” to visit all my children, now living in 4 cities in the US, while I’m in Paris much of the time. Until the pandemic I visited them every 3 or 4 weeks, since the pandemic and the ongoing risk of Covid, I visit them less often, but for longer and only see them every few months. They are all allegedly grown up (are any of us ever REALLY grown up?? Not always, no matter how old we are, we have our childish moments, and I do too.) But in any case, they all have lives and jobs, and some of them are recently married. And no one wants their mother hanging around at those ages, so the challenge for the mother of adult children is to keep it light, not stay too long, keep the critical comments to a minimum if at all, and don’t be a pain in the neck. I did not enjoy time with my parents at their ages. My kids are amazingly tolerant of me, and I try hard not to be a nuisance, but probably am anyway. And the criticism, if any, is mutual at those ages, they also tell me if they think the new curtains I picked are butt ugly, or if my daughters hate what I’m wearing. As I’ve often heard, motherhood is not for sissies, at any age. But for the most part it is an immense amount of joy. I am crazy about my kids.

 

To be a little more precise, when I say I took time off to visit them, in my case, it still means that I am working when I’m not with them during my visits, with conference calls with agents, and lawyers, dozens of emails I answer daily late at night, and I always have a manuscript near at hand to work on when I’m not with my kids, after I leave them after dinner,  or when they’re busy in the day time. I edit then, which is easy work to pick up and put down for an hour or two. Not like the actual writing of a book which is intense work I cant interrupt.  In fact, I take very little vacation. Usually less than 2 weeks a year, or about that. 1 week in July to be with my 5 youngest children on holiday somewhere with a beach, 5 days at Christmas at home, and about 3 days for my birthday, when all my kids come home. And my kids are VERY generous to spend a week of their vacations with me in July, a long weekend for my birthday, and Christmas week with me. And it’s very very very rare for me to take a weekend off, most of the time, I write on weekends too. I like staying busy, and filling my time, and I write a lot.

 

A comment on my Instagram caught my attention this week, which startled me. It said “It must be nice to be able to fly around all the time”. Hmm….fly around all the time? Do I? I did before Covid, but much less so now, given the risks of travel, airports, etc. And then I realized that the comment isn’t wrong. It’s not easy once children have grown up and gone, and being alone without a partner—-a double whammy. Both of my homes are full of empty bedrooms where my children used to live, and I’m happy to say I still have one daughter at home, although she leads a full busy life of her own. But I realized that the comment is true. There are more downsides than upsides to being alone, but the fact is that the only schedule I have to check is my own (and my kids if I want to visit them). If I am longing to see my children, I can get on a plane and go to see them. If one of them has a problem, I can be there as fast as air travel will allow. If I wanted to take a vacation alone, I could—though that has no appeal to me at all. I work hard, which allows me the luxury to travel, even if I have books to write and deadlines, and I work hard, and only take two weeks off a year. In France, people get five weeks of vacation a year by law, and if they have school aged children, they take school vacations too, which gives them months of vacation every year, not weeks. the French have more paid vacation than any country in the world, although I don’t. But the fact is that I don’t have to consult anyone’s schedule but my own and my kids, and my writing deadlines, and I can fly to see them when I want to. And because I work incredibly hard, I can afford to get on a plane and go when I want to. So the comment wasn’t wrong, and it is nice to fly around when you want to. There is no boss or partner to stop me or tell me I cant go. My natural innate work ethic and discipline make me feel guilty whenever I take time off—but the truth is that I’ve earned it, I deserve it. I publish 7 books a year, and I have always been a full time presence in my children’s lives. But I always feel somewhat guilty when I take “time off”, and think I should be working when I’m having fun. But yes, it is nice to be able to pick up and go whenever I want. It’s one of the advantages of being my own boss, although I am a hard taskmaster with myself, and don’t give myself a lot of free time. There is always something I think I should be doing. I’m not good at just sitting around, or even relaxing. And I love my work and my kids, so time with either one always seems well spent.

 

So “Gone Fishing” doesn’t really apply to me. And for now, I’ll stick to my two weeks of vacation per year. And the rest of the time, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, writing and visiting my kids, wherever they are, and flying around to see them. I don’t like travelling or vacationing alone. I’m not adventurous about exotic travel, and it’s not fun taking vacations alone. But yes, it IS nice being able to fly around whenever you want. and maybe one day, I’ll take more than just two weeks off per year. But not just yet!!!

 

Have a great week, doing fun things, and whatever you love to do. For now, I’ll try to take a few more days off during the year, just for fun….I’m working on it….

 

 

love, Danielle

 

5/5/22, Mothers

Posted on May 5, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is well with you, and that things are returning to normal after the pandemic. I keep hearing about how things have changed, familiar businesses have disappeared, new employees are hard to come by, many people have changed jobs, or haven’t found new jobs yet to replace their old ones. Every time I need something repaired, at home, or with my car, I’m told how difficult it is to get parts. (I have been waiting for a replacement refrigerator since last August, and I’ve now been told that I wont have it before September. Over a year to get a new fridge). My florist can no longer get certain flowers. Caterers that were easy to come by and ready to take on any event, no longer have the staff they did before and turn down parties because they just don’t have the experienced servers to staff them, and new staff no longer want to work the same demanding hours, and wont work on holidays.  I have been helping one of my children refurbish a house, and shopping recently at popular furniture brands, half the merchandise had been discontinued and the rest was back ordered for many months. What should have been easy to accomplish was much harder than expected, and before the pandemic. I was stunned, and imports are sitting in containers on long delayed ships. And my publishers, one of the largest in the world, are still not back in their offices, and all their employees are working from home. And in spite of less service, and very delayed deliveries, prices seem to have gone up across the board. Everything is more expensive than before. So other than our concerns about our health, whether consumer, vendor, or employer, the ripple effect of the aftermath of Covid is affecting us all.

 

This Sunday is Mother’s Day—-with nine (adult) children, it is still one of my favorite holidays!!! I love it. My mother left when I was 7 years old, and I grew up alone with my father, so there were many instances in my own childhood, when I was without a mother. But it’s interesting how life provides what we need. Throughout my life, there have always been older women who filled parts of that role for me. A truly wonderful stepmother from the time I was sixteen, and a one time friend of my mother’s whom I connected with later in life and was also an extraordinary mother figure for me. And throughout my life, there was always one or several women who fulfilled a motherly role for me, and one or two who still do even now and have served as role models in my life.

 

Being a mother is an extraordinary honor and privilege, and has been the greatest joy in the world for me, more powerful than any other. It is a special bond, which doesn’t always go smoothly, but can be one of the sweetest relationships in the world and an incredible blessing. Motherhood is not for everyone, and for some it is a form of bondage that weighs heavily. Too often one hears that things will change someone for the better when they have children. I don’t believe in that theory. Some women know that they are not cut out to be mothers, and I respect that point of view entirely. Some women live to become mothers and thrive once they are, others dread it and see it as an intolerable burden. Those women are wise not to have children, going counter to one’s nature about something so important rarely has a happy result for mother or child. And many women also grieve and feel incomplete if they can’t have children. But having benefitted so richly from generous women who took me into their hearts to fulfill a motherly role for me, I can say with certainty that even women who are not biological mothers can play a hugely important part in someone’s life in a motherly role that is mutually fulfilling for both and can be as close, or even closer at times, as ‘real’ motherhood.

 

So I celebrate all kinds of mothers on Mother’s Day, whether biological or adopted, or a warm affectionate relationship that can change someone’s life forever for the better. you can make an enormous difference in someone’s life in a motherly role, whether you gave birth to them or not, and whether official or not. It was certainly true for me growing up, and even now.

 

So happy Mother’s Day to Mothers of all kinds and natures. Being a mother is not an easy role, although to some it comes more naturally than others. And sometimes the closest of mothers and daughters can encounter bumps and challenges and friction in their relationships. Love is always the answer, even at the hardest times. And a child who appears to hate you at one time in your relationship may be the child you will be closest to one day.’ Motherhood is not for sissies’, whether real or adopted. And even if it doesn’t always feel that way, and there may be disappointing times, it is always a blessing and a learning process that benefits everyone. No one can humble us or hurt us like our children, or give us as much joy.

 

I hope you have a wonderful mother’s day, and can celebrate it with the mothers and daughters in your life, whether ‘official’ children or not. I hope it will be a happy day for you!!!

 

Have a great week, love, Danielle

4/26/22, Be Alert: Young People at Risk

Posted on April 26, 2022

 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope the weeks are rolling smoothly for you as we approach spring. I hope this is a good time for you, in every way that’s important to you.  I read a quote recently of Robin Williams, which really touched my heart. To paraphrase it, “Everyone you have contact with is dealing with something you know nothing about.” It reminded me of how true that is. We are taught early on not to share our griefs, to “keep a stiff upper lip”, and many people feel private about their problems, relationship and family issues, and the standard response to “How are you?” is ‘Fine’. We usually don’t respond to mere acquaintances or even good friends with the truth when things aren’t going well, as in “My life really sucks”. We are often private and discreet while carrying a heavy load. It helps to share and to talk to someone, and out of pride and discretion, good manners or shyness, we don’t always reach out when we need help. It really does help to talk to someone who cares about you and wants to help.

 

My son Nick had bi polar disease for his entire life. I first noticed the signs before he was two years old. No psychiatrist or doctor would listen to me until much later, when he was sixteen. it was a long lonely road trying to get help for him between two and sixteen, when he was finally medicated. The medication helped a lot, so much so that he thought he was cured, which led him to try stopping the medication at 18. The end result was that he committed suicide at 19. He was severely impacted by the disease, and even once medicated, it had gone untreated for too long, and we tried everything but we could not save him. I was open about his illness, and not ashamed, but mental illness comes with a lot of stigma, and particularly at the time, many people hid the fact that they or a loved one suffered from mental illness and spoke about it in whispers, or not at all. Today, people are more open about it, which is a vast improvement.

 

Suicide has long been the second highest cause of death in the US in young people under the age of 25, after car accidents, which is #1. And today it’s on the rise at a rapid rate. I personally feel that young people and adolescents of high school, and particularly college age, have paid the highest price of pandemic survivors, more so than any other age group. They have missed out on two years of their college experiences that they worked so hard for, instead of enjoying campus life, and building the social foundation for their adult lives, they are locked up at home studying alone, and going to school on computer, meeting no one, making no friends, and have lived with lockdowns, curfews, restaurants and bars and meeting places closed for a year, no access to sports experiences, making new friends, and learning in a group setting. The future looks dim to them, they are uncertain about jobs, finances and their future. MUCH too often I am hearing now about suicides among late teens and young people in their early twenties. I don’t know the current statistics, but successful suicides tended to be more heavily male in the past, and more and more I am hearing about young women taking their own lives as well.

 

In the past two weeks, two star athletes and star students took their own lives at Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin, both young women with outstanding achievements, and no warning signs to their family and friends. And this weekend I learned of a fifteen year old high school student, who took her own life, also with no warning. None of these three had a history of depression or mental illness, and those who loved them are shocked by the path they took, clearly in desperation.

 

Young children also commit suicide more often than we think. Out of compassion for their families, many states forbid listing the cause of death as suicide before the age of 13, which skews the statistics. The tragic fact is that children as young as 6 commit suicide. When I spoke to the Senate sub Committee about suicide, at their request, after my son’s death, a famous very learned psychiatrist said that she is well aware of children’s suicides from the age of 6 on, and some have left suicide notes written in crayon. (When I read my son’s journals after his death, I discovered that he had written about suicide almost daily, from the time he was 11. We kept him alive 8 years longer than he intended).

 

Suicide is on the rise, children, adolescents and young adults are at grave risk. We need to be more alert and aware than ever. Covid has hit their world even harder than it has ours, as adults, or at least as hard. They feel that they are missing their youth, the future looks uncertain to them, and the challenges and hardships of today are liable to impact all of us into the future. Young people are sad and uncertain, and feel cheated of their youth, and for some, it’s a challenge they don’t know how to face, and need help and support doing so.

 

Sunday May 1st is my late son Nick’s birthday. In his honor, and in his name, I reach out to you. If you, reading this, feel at risk, or if you love someone who is, there is help out there. Call a friend, tell a parent, call one of the hotlines and talk to someone. The future is never as dark or as bleak as we think it is when we are at a low point. And as parents, we need to keep an eye on our young adults, those with the most serious leanings in that direction often give no warning before they act. Watch, listen, talk, reach out, follow your instincts. My son gave many warnings, he suffered from bi polar disease all his life, he made three unsuccessful suicide attempts before the final one. All the warning signs were there, and we did our very best to change his course. But so many young people give no overt warnings, but the behaviour and the intentions and the despair are there. Be aware and alert, and if you are the one feeling drawn to harming yourself or taking your life, there are people around you who want to help you. Let them in, reach out. There is help, there is a future, maybe even a very good one. And there is hope.

 

These young people need our help and our protection. The future is waiting for them, after these hard times in Covid.  Not a single young life should be lost in this battle, no matter how dark these times seem to them.

 

Let’s all be as aware as we can be, and as brave as we can be to help them get through these times. These young people are our future, let’s help them get there safely and be the safety net under them for as long as they need one, until better, easier times come again. The future belongs to them. Let’s help to get them there safely, and help turn the tides of these treacherous waters they are navigating now. Their support system can start with us, if we reach out to them.

 

Have a safe, happy week,  with much love,  Danielle.

 

4/19/22, Beautiful

Posted on April 19, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a lovely Easter, or Passover and are enjoying some sunny days!!!!!

 

I’m excited that I have a new book coming out this week, in hardcover, “Beautiful”. It’s the story of a young Super Model who is at the wrong place at the wrong time, in the terrorist attack of the Brussels airport. One side of her face remains perfect, and the other half is severely damaged, which forces her to rethink what beauty is to her, and in the world. Which half is the one that matters? The perfect half, or the other? Is she still beautiful after the attack?. And more importantly, what really IS beauty, and what does it mean? What makes someone beautiful, a flawless face, or a light from within?. In her quest to face the challenge she is confronted with, the young model digs deep, and goes to Africa, where she discovers the children in Angola, who live with still active minefields and many are similarly afflicted as the woman in the book. Working with them, in the beauty of Africa, she discovers a whole new dimension added to her life, which makes her life meaningful again. I really hope you love the book.

 

It is especially dear to my heart, as I have a young niece who was in that very attack, and has taught us all many lessons of courage and love, perseverance and strength. And it’s interesting for us all to examine what we believe from time to time, about beauty, and what it really means to each of us.

 

Have a wonderful week, with lots of good things happening for you!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

4/11/22, Resurrection, Rise and Shine!!!

Posted on April 11, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope life is sailing along, and that things are going well for you.

 

Every year, during this week before Easter, I touch on the religious and philosophical concept most dear to me. And with holidays of many religions converging at this time of year, it seems the appropriate time. The whole idea of Easter is Resurrection: Rising again, recovering, starting fresh and new. We’ve all had a hard run for the past two years, with Covid nipping at our heels, and a dark cloud over us for a lot of that time of the pandemic. And we are still feeling the impact of it, and are trying to outrun it with vaccines, and masks, and various forms of caution even two years later. It’s been a hard time for most people, particularly those who got sick, or lost loved ones. Covid has been very present in our lives for these two years, and has created new stresses and anxieties in our lives.

 

And aside from Covid, there is just plain old life. All the challenges we face daily, with kids, and jobs, and people we love, and bosses, and illnesses, car repairs and bills to pay. Life is a challenge. Some times are better than others. And some challenges are brutal. Some people’s lives just sail along, their kids never have major problems, their marriages were the right choice from Day One and still are, their kids don’t move away to other cities and live close to home, their jobs work out perfectly, and major tragedies have never happened to them. I know some people like that, although not many. And you probably do too. I wonder how they got so lucky. But most of us don’t have that smooth a ride in life. And among those people, who among us has not had a bitter disappointment, lost a person we loved dearly, or a job we really needed and lost it unfairly, who hasn’t had a problem with a child, or a betrayal by a friend, who hasn’t had a broken heart at some point, or a relationship that fell apart or marriage that ended badly. Most people have been through some tough stuff. It’s a struggle to bounce back from the hard blows, and you can wind up beaten down by life…..and that’s where I love the concept of resurrection. It is good to remember that religiously, before the resurrection, came the crucifixion. And THEN the resurrection came, AFTER the tough stuff.

 

I LOVE the idea of resurrection, rebirth, starting over, starting fresh, a clean slate—-even if you have NO religion. You don’t need a religion to believe in Resurrection of your spirit, of your body, of your life—-all you need is a tiny bit of faith that life can turn around and be okay again—that you can fall in love with the right person after the wrong one broke your heart, or that your bumpy relationship can recover, or that you can recover from an illness, find a new and better job—or the boss who nearly drove you insane and poisoned your life might quit and move on. Resurrection is the rainbow after the storms. It’s the chance to start again—to get another chance. It’s a fresh start after you thought you just couldn’t do it anymore. It is rising from the depths where you may have fallen, and getting another chance at life. And after you have suffered, how much more will you appreciate the gifts that life gives you—the recovered health, the new outlook on life, the relationship you’ve always hoped for, the person you love who recovers from an illness, the really good job that suits you perfectly. Good things do happen. Life can turn around. You are not doomed to be unhappy forever.

 

I love the idea of resurrection, and it always comes at the right time, when you really need it.

 

May you feel new again, and get a fresh start if you need one. May you feel reborn, with all the joy and peace that entails. For any of us who feel in need of a resurrection, may it be yours. And it can happen any time–not just on Easter. Easter is just a reminder that it is possible, and can happen for all of us.

 

May this be a special time for you, of resurrection, and the renewal of hope and joy in your life.

 

with all my love, now and always, Danielle

 

3/28/22, They’re Back!!!!

Posted on March 28, 2022

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week last week, and that a good new week is taking off nicely. All the same BIG problems are still with us: Covid and its variants, and the heartbreaking war in Ukraine—with no easy solutions to either of those problems. I hope the war ends soon.

 

Troubling times make distraction a very welcome relief to get our minds off the problems we can do nothing about. My new book High Stakes came out a week ago and it’s a fun book that I hope you’ll love, about 5 women who work at a dramatic and literary agency in New York.  So that’s one distraction!!

 

And I was SOOOO EXCITED to find out that Bridgerton, the Netflix series which I loved and was one of their greatest successes EVER last year, just showed up with Season 2 on Friday, and I dove right in on Saturday and binge watched all 8 episodes!!! I absolutely loved it!! I enjoyed it just as much as the first Season 1. And it took my mind off everything for the eight hours I watched it on Saturday. I got up early on Saturday so I could watch all of it.

 

So tune into Netflix and have a ball!!!! Take some time off, or an evening off, you won’t be sorry you did!!

 

 

Have a great week, lots of love, Danielle

 

3/22/22, Hope

Posted on March 22, 2022

 

Hello Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a good week, and that some good things happened to you. Maybe Valentine’s Day got you off to a good start. I hope it went well!!!

 

It’s hard to find a suitable subject these days, with so many serious things going on. Fashion Week, in any city, pales by comparison, or cute shoes, or even my dogs. These are serious times. As we go through our daily lives in our various cities in countries where we are safe, our ordinary lives and problems are in sharp contrast to the horrors of war that we see on the news from Ukraine, where an unthinkable battle/war is being waged, where innocent women and children, and ordinary civilians are losing their lives and their homes and their country is buried under debris from the bombs, the images we see are heartbreaking, and millions are fleeing, while being peppered with bombs. It is more than sobering to watch, and the children break my heart.

 

In England, France and the US, we’ve moved into a new phase with Covid, where tests are no longer required, vaccine passes are no longer necessary, and masks have been dropped—only to be warned on the news that it’s too soon, and that there is a new variant, Ba.2, which is thought to be THIRTY TIMES more contagious than Omicron, which was something like 50 times more contagious than the one before. So how are we supposed to feel relaxed with that lurking? I am keeping my mask on any time I go out, and am feeling squeamish about very public places, and won’t go to indoor restaurants. In France there are still 100,000 cases a day, and in Germany 300,000. That doesn’t sound like it’s over to me.

 

War and Pestilence, it still sounds biblical to me.

 

But even with that going on, I took a card my daughter sent me to be framed, I had publishing and legal and insurance meetings today, seeing my accountant tomorrow, when I’m not writing, I have to do all the grown up very boring stuff that keeps life on track and sure isn’t fun. I dropped by to see a friend today, and bought cute plates for our Easter brunch.

 

Life is a strange mixed bag of ordinary tasks sometimes, with HUGE issues to ponder in the world, like Covid and Ukraine. While I sit quietly at my desk tonight, writing to you, someone is crawling out of the debris of a bombed burned out building, a child is crying, people are hungry and thirsty and freezing cold….the harsh realities of life woven in with the ordinary tasks, and then a brief, fleeting happy tender moment, of friendship, of love, and hope, a smile, a hug from a child, and my dogs snoring next to me when I finally get to bed at night.

 

We have to seize the beauty where we see it, and catch the rays of sunlight and moonbeams when they happen….and always in the midst of tedium, and chaos, and even heartbreak, somehow we have to see a ray of hope, and hang onto that.

 

Be safe, and well, and happy, and careful, with all my love,    Danielle

 

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