Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

5/31/21, Self Portraits

Posted on May 31, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’ve had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, which marks the unofficial beginning of summer—although the weather has been pretty chilly in some places, but summer is summer and warm weather should be here soon. On the day to remember our lost loved ones, Memorial Day, it seems a fitting time to honor all the people who have lost their lives to Covid.

 

And on the Covid front, there seems to be good news, the numbers are down in the States and in Europe, mass vaccination finally has Covid on the run, and far fewer lives are being lost in many places (although we still mourn all the current losses in India, as they struggle with Covid). In California children all the way down to the age of 12 are being vaccinated. In France, vaccination opened up to ALL ages today, which will speed things up immeasurably. And California has started an amazing lottery to encourage California residents to get vaccinated: 10 people will win 1.5 million $ each, 30 will win $50,000., two million can win $50 gift cards, and another million people will win free beer and baseball tickets. Whatever works to encourage people to get vaccinated, so we can all be safer from the virus in future, and reach ‘herd immunity’.

 

Something struck me this week about the way we view ourselves. I have always admired people who are humble, and it seems as though the more talented and exceptional they are, the more humble they are. I’ve never much liked people who are puffed up, full of themselves, and brag about their talents and abilities, and I’ve admired greatly those who are more modest. One of the most humble men I have ever known was Alex Haley, who was a dear friend, and my mentor at the beginning of my career (the author of “Roots”). No one was warmer, kinder, more compassionate, and more humble than he. It was one of his many traits I admired greatly.

 

I was speaking this week to a man whom I love and admire, exceptionally talented, brilliantly smart, a wonderful human being, and he is so modest that he has no idea how extraordinary and unusual he is. He sees himself as an ordinary person, with nothing special to recommend him, he sees his flaws and mistakes as no one else does—-while other people with little to recommend them can’t wait to tell you how fabulous they are (and usually aren’t).

 

There is a fine line between modesty and humility, and being blind to our own virtues. I dont usually see myself as a special person. I see my flaws, my weaknesses and my failures and all the areas where I could be better, my mistakes glare at me like headlights, blinding me to all else. Long ago, I was friends with the head of my publishing house, quite an impressive very capable man much respected in the field. And he said to me, “Every day I sit in my office, at my enormous desk, and I wait for someone to walk through the door and say ‘Donny, what are you doing in this office, in that chair—-go back to where you belong immediately’. I think we all feel that way at times. In publishing circles, I am often treated as a star, people see and are sometimes impressed by my fame—–and in my own mind’s eye, I am somewhere between 15 and 35, on a ‘grown up’ day, and I see all the ineptitude, the things I can’t and dont know how to do, the awkwardness, my shyness, and I feel almost like a fraud when they treat me as a star, and I wonder when they will discover that I’m just as unsure of myself as I was at fifteen. A wise woman once said to me “Dont compare your insides to other people’s outsides”. Other people always appear to be more competent and talented than we feel.

 

It’s a good trait not to be showing off and bragging, but maybe for the more modest among us, we need to take stock occasionally, and realize and notice the things that we do well, and where we shine—instead of focusing on our flaws and beating ourselves up for what we’re not or what we dont know, or can’t do well (yet).

 

When I do interviews on TV, it always feels surreal. I try not to think of millions of viewers watching, or I’d faint on the spot. People do my hair and make-up, I’m lucky enough to be interviewed by Robin Roberts, who is a fantastic, wonderful person, on Good Morning America.  And for five minutes, I feel like a star. And then I go home, or back to a hotel where I’m staying, take off my clothes for TV, put on jeans and a sweater, call my kids, play with my dogs—-the make-up and hair look good for the rest of the day, but underneath all that I’m still me, the same person I was at 15, and 25 and 30, with the same talents, and the same ineptitudes, just as shy, and often unsure of myself, wishing I could be more, or better, or more capable in many ways. I think most of us feel that way.

 

I see your talents and beauty, and you see mine—but do we see our own? Do we ever give ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done, or do we see the one mistake we made? I tend to be hard on myself, always striving to do better and be more. And maybe that’s not a bad thing, but now and then we should probably all take stock, and realize where our strengths lie, and how many things we have done well.  Fame always seems a little fraudulent to me. Without the make-up (that I could never do myself) and the perfect hair for TV, I’m still the same girl I was at fifteen, and you probably feel that way too.

 

Take stock of the many things you do really well, and I’m sure there are many!!! Recognize your talents, be proud of yourself.  And I’ll bet you have a lot to be proud of, even if you still feel like you’re just a kid and winging it most of the time. Your own personal way of ‘winging it’ may be pretty fabulous and you dont even know it!!! Hurray for you!!! You have a right to be proud of yourself, and not to be too critical and hard on yourself. And make sure you hang out with people who appreciate you, and praise you for who you really are!!! Try to see what they see in you, and you’ll get a whole new view of yourself!!

 

Have a great week, and I hope wonderful things happen for you!!!

 

 

love, Danielle

 

 

5/25/21, Re-Entry, the challenges of Good Change

Posted on May 25, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week, and are getting ready for the Memorial Day weekend, which is always the unofficial beginning of summer in the US, a kind of warm up for the Fourth of July. Although holidays have been celebrated worldwide during the nearly year and a half of the pandemic, nothing has had the same atmosphere or mood during that anxious time. And in most cases, holidays that were too enthusiastically celebrated had disastrous after-effects with lethal spikes in the numbers of new Covid cases, with a high price to pay for holidays. With vaccines available now around the world, and more readily in some countries, it will actually be possible for people to celebrate holidays with far less risk, and in some places none at all, although caution is still advised (masks, social distancing, and common sense, with Covid still part of our daily lives, although rendered less lethal now due to the vaccines.)

 

I’m reminded of the wise words of a friend several years ago, a psychologist, who said that good change can sometimes be harder to adjust to than bad change, which several times in my life I have found to be true (like the arrival of a new baby, which is such a joyous event, but can certainly alter your daily life dramatically, and be a bumpy adjustment, and for some even lead to postpartum depression). We’re not suffering from post-partum now, but for many, the adjustment to many changes post-Covid can be stressful and anxiety provoking. I read somewhere recently that some people are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the aftermath of Covid, even as things begin to ease up. I notice changes in my life too. My sleep patterns (and I don’t sleep much in the best of times) have been altered, and haven’t settled down yet to what they were pre-Covid, with sleep more elusive, nights shorter, or waking in the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep. (I just get up and go to work, rather than lying in bed and stewing about why I can’t sleep). I hear that from people a lot, that they’re having trouble sleeping. We’ve all been through some harrowing times, and need to acknowledge that.

 

For myself, although I was safer in France at times, and felt more secure there when the numbers of daily cases and deaths were terrifyingly high in the US, which kept me where I was, and Paris is certainly not a hardship post even in the midst of Covid—-three long lockdowns, and the rigors and forced solitude of confinement were an unfamiliar stress, and being separated from my family for more than a year was a challenge every day. Birthdays, holidays, and happy events missed, family gatherings cancelled, weddings and other events being cancelled and postponed sank everyone’s spirits for more than a year, and was a common occurrence in everyone’s lives. The restoration of normal life is an enormous comfort, and being reunited with loved ones a special gift, it still feels somewhat tenuous, and we have all been reminded of how radically and how suddenly life can be changed dramatically. The whole world became a dangerous place, and in many cases came to a dead stop for more than a year. And people are still mourning lost loved ones, and financial stresses are affecting people all across the globe. And ‘normal’ feels suddenly unfamiliar and a challenge to achieve. Unable to be vaccinated myself, and with some members of my family not vaccinated yet for a variety of reasons, I have still not been able to hug my children, but just the sight of them with masks and social distancing warms my heart. We’re ‘back’, but none of us are quite home free yet. But we’re getting there, and well on our way.

 

As with any hard event, even a war, blessings have resulted from it too, family relationships that have become closer, romantic ones that started in the pandemic, people who got to know their children better than ever before, new past times we never had time for before, and helped soothe some of the stresses of the pandemic, a lot of my friends took up gardening and really enjoyed it, or discovered new hobbies, and made new friends. And it seems as though everyone who could got a dog, and are crazy about them now. So we’re left with pluses and minuses. The minuses were heavy, jobs and businesses lost, and lost loved ones, but the pluses are noticeable, worthwhile, and real too.

 

Even happy events in life are not always 100% smooth. And the return to normalcy doesn’t always happen in a straight line or as fast as we wish. Switching from one country to another always has with it an element of culture shock. At the end of a flight, you’re suddenly in another world, another life, with a whole new set of challenges and rules. I had a lot to catch up on coming back to the States, and I jam packed all the long overdue appointments into my first weeks back, medical appointments and exams, the dentist, accountants, lawyers, government papers I needed for international travel, all of the appointments stressful, and I faced two and three a day, so I didn’t have much time to savor my return, and none of the required appointments were pleasant, but I wanted to get through them quickly. My daily role as parent and employer made demands on me too. And all of it after a year of anxiety and worry, and even business negotiations that dragged on far longer than usual. I think we were all stretched to the maximum of our tolerance for stress for more than a year. I worked hard during the entire pandemic every single day, but nothing was as easy or stress-free as it usually is. And winding down from that kind of stress is a challenge too. I missed important family events for more than a year. We won’t get the time back, and we can’t mourn the time we lost forever, we just have to move forward now with fresh energy, and look ahead to the many things we can enjoy now and will in future, and hang onto the blessings we did have in the past year, and there were many of those too. I am really grateful for the good people who came into my life in the past year, and the relationships that developed and strengthened as a result.

 

I only take one vacation a year, in the summer with my kids. There was no way we could do it last year, so I haven’t had a vacation in almost two years. And I almost never take a day off from writing. I keep my nose to the grindstone all year long, and my hands on my typewriter keys!!! My writing schedule is grueling, but I love what I do, which makes it possible. And although time off was inevitable for people during the lockdowns, I was able to work then too, even if not as easily as usual, but I still worked. But I’ve been reminded of the benefits, and necessity sometimes, of time off too.

 

I did something in the past week that I rarely do, I took a day off during the week to drive out of the city with my youngest daughter, to the places she has enjoyed during the pandemic. We drove out to the country, had a wonderful lunch together, and spent a terrific day. I came back to the city at the end of the day, feeling happy, relaxed and renewed. The time together was a special gift. And although the pandemic was isolating in many ways, physically and mentally, I cherish the time to see friends now, or talk to them, and didn’t take much time off to do that before. I think that people who take the time to do that now will make a healthier, happy re-entry back to normal life. We can see more people now, are freer to move around, and do the things we enjoyed before, and hang onto the new past times we’ve discovered in this very unusual year.

 

I think in the long run, the pandemic will have taught us many positive lessons, and much about ourselves and what matters most to us. But don’t be too surprised if your re-entry is a little bumpy, and you feel different than before. We won’t all suffer from Post-traumatic stress, but the reality is that we have all been through a lot, in one way or another, and it will take some time to hit our stride again, but we are well on our way now. The memory of the hard times will leave their mark, but so will the blessings we derived from it too. Take some time to catch your breath, get back to ‘normal’, and be gentle with yourself.

 

Have a great week and a wonderful holiday weekend!!!

 

 

love, Danielle

 

4/19/21, “No More Fear”

Posted on April 19, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

How was your week last week? I hope it was a good one, and you had at least one good surprise, or some really happy moments. Some nice things happened for me last week, we are planning a wedding for one of my daughters late in the summer and are looking forward to it, a celebratory moment and a happy event. We’ve all had a hard year and deserve to have some fun when things are safer. The vaccine roll out seems to be happening in the US but the daily Covid numbers are still high and rising, and we still have to be careful and keep our defenses up. It’s too soon to relax our guard with Covid, the experts say, although I think we are all tired of the strain and stress, and how hard it is to make plans more than a few days away.

 

I finished correcting a set of galleys yesterday for one of my books, and really loved the story, and I am excited about the books I have coming out this year, we’ve been working on the cover for the holiday book, both in the US and the UK, and it’s a book I’m really excited about. And I’m very excited about the book coming out next week in hardcover, “Finding Ashley”, and I really hope you love it too, and the mothers and mother figures in your life. There is an important sister relationship in the book too. As an only child, I have always been deeply touched by the relationships I see among my children, among siblings. It is a very precious relationship, not always easy, because siblings can be very different, but it is a very powerful bond, stronger than friendship. My kids are all very close and I think they treasure their relationships with their siblings.

 

I read something I found helpful yesterday, and will share it with you. I ALWAYS find the writings of Joel Osteen helpful and inspiring. Many of them are written in a way that is useful even for people who aren’t religious, they are so strongly positive. I love Joel’s books, and he recently came out with a small one, on the subject of Fear.

 

I have always been a worrier, even as a child. I had a bumpy childhood, my mother left when I was very young, and I grew up alone with my father. Losing a parent at an early age kind of sets you up to worry about how things are going to turn out—and what if the other parent leaves too, or dies?—then what? Children are sensitive to changes and instability in their lives. And much later, as an adult, I lost my son Nick—which again is a harsh reminder that bad things can happen and you can lose someone you love. So, I do worry, some of my children are worriers too, though not all. On the practical side, if you’re a worrier by nature, things usually go pretty smoothly, because you try to anticipate what could go wrong, and plan accordingly (like what if it rains the day you are hosting a big picnic or an outdoor event—do you have an alternate rain plan??) I also envy the people who just figure they’ll wing it and invent the alternatives as they go along—I would lie awake at night worrying about it, if I didn’t have a backup plan. Like if I’m travelling for some big event, I always take an alternate outfit, because what if the zipper gets stuck, or you spill a bowl of soup on yourself, or someone else does. Travelling with 9 children taught me that little trick early on!!!

 

Being a worrier is a burden too, because you’re always trying to anticipate what could or might go wrong. And some of the events in our lives (like lost loved ones) make us fearful. And Joel’s books are the perfect antidote for that, they are kind of handbooks to life, how to deal with life’s crises. His books have always helped and reassured me immensely. The ones I’ve read are normal length books, with many chapters, and I have loved them all. He also has a great sense of humor which comes through in his writing. (I have been lucky enough to meet him and his family, and he is an amazing person!!)  He recently came out with a very small book called “No More Fear”. There are 30 chapters. Each chapter is a single page. It’s a fast read, and touches on a multitude of subjects, there are photographs in it, it’s a pretty book. But it is once again kind of a fast handbook to life, and this book focuses on fear obviously.

 

It is a warm, kind, reassuring reminder that we don’t need to be scared, that life works better if we aren’t scared, don’t panic, or assume the worst, and keep a positive attitude and trust that things will work out. Let’s face it, we’ve all had a tough year, worrying about our health, the health and safety of the people we love, terrified by the horror stories we’ve heard of Covid. For people with their own small businesses, in most cases it has been a challenging year. For people with jobs, they’ve worried that the company they work for could go under. In cities that have been under heavy lockdown, hairdressers, restaurant owners, waiters, even gardeners have been out of work for months. It’s been hard to make plans, nearly impossible to travel, kids have been out of school a lot, weddings and graduations have been cancelled. Celebrations have been few and far between, social gatherings have been forbidden. All the fallout of Covid has set the stage for us to be worried, even afraid, it has been an anxiety-producing time, and even with the vaccines now, the end isn’t clearly in sight yet. Fear has been with us ever since Covid arrived.

 

I sat down with Joel Osteen’s new book, read it carefully, and as with all his books, when I finished, I gave a sigh of relief. It reminded me that we don’t have to be ruled by fear, that we don’t need to be afraid all the time. Some things are good to be afraid of: an alligator in your backyard, an intruder with a gun, an airplane in trouble, a rattlesnake at your feet—-a pandemic!!! But we can’t live with fear all the time, we have to be able to unplug sometimes, we can’t live in a constant crisis. Joel helps one cope with the ordinary situations in life which frighten us—-that may not even turn out badly, they may turn out wonderfully in the end, but we worry about them until they do. I loved his book, and will read it again many times. It also reminded me of one of my favorite Bible passages, that I have clung to often:

 

“God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of Love and of a sound mind” Timothy II:7 There are various versions of it in more modern translations of the Bible. Most of the time, fear is not a good thing (except in the case of the alligator I mentioned, or the rattlesnake)—-we can’t live in fear all the time. And we’ve had a lot of it in these 13 months of the pandemic. We need to be able to unplug from that fear, to breathe, to relax, to laugh, to have a good time, to see friends and family when it’s safe to do so.

 

I just thought I’d mention Joel’s book in case it would comfort you as it did me. And we all have our own way to seek relief from stress and fear, jogging, other forms of exercise, talking to a friend, a good meal, a glass of wine, religious beliefs. There are many ways to deal with fear, and Joel’s book is just one of them. But I loved it, it helped me, and I wanted to share it with you.

 

And one day, hopefully not too far from now, this whole scary time will be behind us, and a distant memory. But for now, it helps to find something encouraging that makes you feel better and gives you hope again. Joel’s book did that for me. Take good care, and be good to yourself this week, you deserve it!! Have a great week, and I hope wonderful things happen to you!!

 

love, Danielle

4/7/21, Stolen year

Posted on April 7, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you’re well. Saying that has new meaning these days, doesn’t it? It’s such a relief to know that our loved ones are well, and that we are. And how often we have heard of people we know catching the virus in the past year, or have been in contact with it and didn’t catch it. It is such an unpredictable disease. Whole families I know have caught it, while one single person in their midst doesn’t. Or one person gets it, and no one else in the family does. In most of the couples I know, if one got it, the other didn’t. And who gets it and who doesn’t seem to be entirely unpredictable. And we all have to be careful.

 

And I think most or all of us feel that we have lived with constant anxiety for the past year, worrying about getting it, getting tested, waiting for results, worrying about jobs, losing loved ones, or salaries, and constantly guarding ourselves with masks, and gel and distance. Every time you feel an ordinary twinge, have a headache or a runny nose, you think “OMG, do I have it?” I’ve had a few nights myself when I convinced myself I was sick and was terrified, only to feel foolish in the morning when I was fine. I’ve had some long anxious nights myself, or lonely ones away from my family, and our fears inflate like balloons at night. So many people I know have complained that they’re not sleeping well. How can we, with the anxiety we cope with every day, while still trying to lead normal lives, and sacrifice ourselves to keep our loved ones safe if they are particularly vulnerable. No one knows who will catch it and who won’t, why some catch it and others don’t. Our social lives have suffered (and are a thing of the past for most of us), in Europe we’ve had no restaurants in France for nearly six months, with no idea when they will open again. We’ve lived with 6pm curfews, or total lockdowns, for five months out of the last thirteen. It takes a lot of fortitude to come through all that unaffected. And young people and old people are the most sequestered and are battling depression, relationships are impacted, kids aren’t in school and get on their parents’ nerves and are missing their friends. We have been running a marathon of stress for the past year. Personally, I miss seeing people freely, and going to a restaurant for a relaxed meal with friends. Wow, wouldn’t that be a nice change!!! I’ve seen more of the inside of my apartment than I want to see for a long time. Some days it’s okay, and some days it’s not. And that’s hard to predict too. I lost twelve pounds in the first 3-month confinement, others have gained.  And now, in many places, it’s a struggle to get the vaccine. And which one do you get? Will there be a reaction? How bad? Stress, stress, stress, stress.

 

I was speaking to someone the other day who was complaining that we have lost a year out of our lives, that it was ‘stolen’ from us. And perhaps it was. And I know blessings from it too, parents who have come to know their children as they never did before, bonds that have formed, relationships that have flourished, while others have ended in divorce. Some people have gotten married, and babies have been born. Good things have happened too, but the noisier things are louder.

 

I don’t like the ‘stolen from us’ theories. We haven’t been robbed. And although on the surface we can easily see the losses, but there were beautiful things that emerged too, for each of us. If you are reading this, you are probably healthy. I think we need to take this year and use it well, use it like balm on the wounds we suffered, turn it to good use, treat it as a learning resource, sift out the precious moments, like gold in a pan. Because there have been precious moments and good times. We have to hold those moments high, like a banner to wave to encourage others.

 

The year wasn’t stolen, we still have it in our memory bank and always will. I would like to view it as a valuable learning experience, a historical moment, a gift of some kind, a valuable lesson, and a blessing that first appeared to be a punishment, but then the winners emerged. We have been part of history, we have proven theories, we are still standing, which is a victory in itself. Personally, I have written almost incessantly all year. No one stole my year, it is here in my memory box, it wasn’t easy, but that makes the victory all the more impressive. You should get a stripe on your clothes, epaulets, a badge, a medal, a symbol to show that you were there, we all were, whatever country you were in.

 

I salute you all. Thank you for being there, for sharing the experience, for the kindnesses you did, for the gestures you made toward others, for the respect we showed each other, thank you for being part of this year. I stand proudly beside you. We did it, we made it, we’re still struggling, but we will come through it in the end.

 

Have a great week!!!

 

love, Danielle

 

3/8/21, “In Shakespeare’s words”

Posted on March 15, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope you had a good week. I got something wonderful from a friend this week, supposedly quoted from Shakespeare. I have no way of verifying that or authenticating it, but whoever wrote it, if not Shakespeare, said some wonderful things I think are worth sharing. So I am sharing them with you.

 

“I’m always happy, because I don’t expect anything from anyone. Expecting things always hurts.

Problems are not eternal, they always have solutions. The only thing that has no remedy is death.

Don’t let anyone insult you, humiliate you, or diminish your self-esteem.

Shouting is always the tool of lazy, mean people, those who don’t think.

We will always know people who consider us to blame for their problems.

We have to be strong and rise when we fall, from the falls that life imposes on us.

We have to remember that after a dark solitary tunnel, good things always come.

Before discussing something….breathe.

Before speaking…listen.

Before you criticize….examine yourself.

Before writing….think.

Before hurting someone…look.

Before giving up….try.

Before you die….LIVE!!

The best relationship is not one with a perfect person, but one where each person learns to live with the flaws of the other, while admiring their qualities.

He who doesn’t appreciate what they have, will lose it one day.

If you want to be happy, make someone else happy, if you want to receive, give of yourself.

Surround yourself with good people, and be one yourself.

Remember that sometimes when you expect it the least, someone will do something nice for you.

Don’t spoil your present by looking pointlessly back at the past.

A strong person tries to keep their life in order, and even with tears in their eyes, will adapt with a smile, and say “I am good.” ”

 

I loved this, and I hope you do too!!! Have a great week, love, Danielle

 

3/1/21, Good Morning America with Robin Roberts

Posted on March 1, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope the last week was a good one for you. We’ve had better weather, and some sunny days, which cheered everyone up!!! And today is a VERY exciting day. Tomorrow my new book, The Affair, comes out, in hardcover. And today, I am appearing on Good Morning America, with Robin Roberts, who is one of THE nicest people I know, and an amazingly talented, wonderful (very beautiful) woman, whom I am honored to consider a friend. I am a huge admirer of her talents, her intelligence, her poise, her charm, her kindness to guests on the show. Being on the show with her is an honor and a privilege every time, when she has me on the show. This time will be new and different, I won’t be seated next to her, I will be three thousand miles away, in my own living room in Paris, on Zoom, joining the show live. And I’m somewhat behind in technology—it will be my first Zoom!! I will miss giving Robin a hug at the end of the show, but in the pandemic, the show is put together with appearances by Zoom, although Robin will be in the studio.

 

I’m usually very shy, and VERY nervous before TV appearances, particularly Live ones, but Robin makes it a wonderful experience every time, highlighting the books and being incredibly kind to me, which puts me at ease. I am so thrilled to be on the show with her, and we’ll add a clip of the show to the blog so you can see it too, in case you missed it on TV. Robin is just a spectacular person, and I know you’ll enjoy watching her.

 

Have a great week, full of happy surprises, great opportunities, fun moments, and good news!!

 

love, Danielle

 

Here is a link to my interview:  https://bit.ly/3uLv366

2/22/21, Why Not?

Posted on February 22, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

How are you? Hanging in, I hope. Despite the challenges, the sometimes alarming news, and learning to live with masks, curfews, reports of contagion and mutations of Covid 19, and living our work life on Zoom, our family life on Face Time, and having no social life at all (with restaurants closed, and a 6pm curfew in Paris), we’re all struggling to maintain a semblance of normalcy in our lives, and explore new avenues. I’ve been working a lot and doing some fun things related to the work front, some great promotional opportunities that keep life interesting. And meanwhile, I have a new book coming out on March 2nd, The Affair. It’s a fun, slightly racy book as the title suggests, and I hope you love it!!

 

I’m scheduled to appear on Good Morning America on Monday, March 1st, which is always the high point of my year. Robin Roberts is one of the most amazing women I know, someone whom I admire enormously and have a deep affection for. Being on the show with her is always an honor, a privilege, and a heartwarming treat.  As a guest on the show, she makes you feel very special, and like a Queen. This time, I will miss out on giving her a hug in person, but even being on the show with her on Zoom is exciting. I’m the least high tech person I know, so a small team of people (Covid tested before) are coming to help man the equipment, and the person who does my make up for TV is in New York, so I am trying someone new. The Thrill of it for me will be being on the show with Robin, as always. We’ll be talking about my new book, “The Affair”.

 

That same week, I am very honored to be included in an exciting promotional event by Loewe, the luxury fashion brand that make gorgeous clothes, and I’ve been invited to join their very talented designer Jonathan Anderson for a special event—-full of surprises, and a very exciting opportunity for me. They are wonderful people to work with, and Jonathan Anderson is an incredibly talented designer.

 

I just finished an article for a major American magazine, which is fun to do. And am editing two books that will be coming out soon. So I’m keeping busy, and the work challenges of the pandemic make us all come up with new, different and creative ideas and ways to do business and share our work in new ways. High end restaurants are doing take-out, that would never have considered it before, people are making films, documentaries, writing books and articles in spite of the challenges we’re all facing. It’s a learning experience to do new things and brings new elements into our work. It’s teaching us all creativity and flexibility, with a “Why not? “attitude. In fashion, without the traditional Fashion Week shows, they are finding new ways to show us their collections, and we’ve all adapted to shopping on line. The secret is to keep businesses and industries alive, and make them better than ever. It’s a time of exploration, serious thought about new avenues, and inventiveness. It’s a benefit of these unusual times. People are discovering new talents, and interests, they’ve never thought of before and didn’t know they had. So if you’re tempted to do something new, try it, do it!! You may find a whole new world opening up to you with a talent that has lain dormant all your life. I think “Why Not?” is the right answer right now. What have we got to lose? Try something new, a painting, a hobby, something you haven’t had time to do before. Stuck at home, you have more time to try new things. (And no, I am not learning to cook, that might be asking a little too much of my limited talent in that area. But anything relating to writing or art seems like a great idea to me. And I’m very excited to be invited into the world of fashion by Loewe.)

 

My youngest daughter started a tie dye business and is having a ball, my artistic daughter in law is doing paintings for commissions, and my daughters who work in fashion are expanding their horizons too, as is my son in his field. And I have several friends starting new businesses, not easy, but well worth doing if you can. It’s a time for entrepreneurs, and brave, creative people. And when the pandemic finally ends, it will leave us with newly developed talents, new interests, new connections, and new friends, along with the ones we had before.

 

So why not? Whatever you’ve been mulling over and hesitating to try, give it a whirl, you may open the doors to a whole new opportunity and some fun, even if it’s doing a thousand piece puzzle, watching shows you’ve never seen before, learning a new language,  painting, baking—-even making money doing something you love to do and never thought of charging for before. The possibilities are endless.

 

So I’ll see you on Zoom, and let’s have some fun with what we CAN do, rather than mourning what we can’t do right now and think we’ve lost. And when this is all over, we’ll have found a new talent. Why not?

 

 

Have a great week, I send you a virtual hug and lots of love,

 

Danielle

 

2/15/21, Love

Posted on February 16, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I hope that all is going as smoothly as possible for you on the roller coaster ride of the pandemic. The numbers seem to be coming down in a lot of places, and then you read about the “mutations” and it scares you all over again. I hope we’re all being as careful as we can be, and being as safe as we can, without missing out on life entirely. It’s a fine line to walk, following all the rules, and not getting totally isolated, and missing out on life entirely. And lots of people are trying to figure out how they feel about the vaccines.

 

People are social animals, and it’s really hard to be deprived of the company of others and our loved ones. I always feel better when I get out and see people. I REALLY miss seeing friends at restaurants. The restaurants in Paris have been closed since late October, and there is talk that they won’t open again until April and May. I see a few friends at my home, with plenty of fresh air and a respectful distance, but there are only a handful of people I see now. I can’t wait to give a party when this is all over!!! I can hardly wait for that.

 

Valentine’s Day turned out to be really lovely. I talked to all my kids, and they spoiled me as usual, and a very dear friend came by for a visit. It is soooooo nice to talk to a friend, share opinions and just relax, and have a good laugh. And the day before, two other friends came for a visit. So it was a pretty nice weekend.

 

It has been very, very cold in Paris, and icy-scary-slippery on the streets, and it snowed twice. I spent some time with my son and daughter in law on Face Time helping them move things around in their home, to make more room (I swear by Ikea closets, and have them everywhere!!). And it was really fun, being part of it. I am a great ‘space maker’, with nine kids, and always a house full of people, with a ton of stuff—and five daughters who have a lot of clothes, I’ve been figuring out how to create space for ‘stuff and people’ for years. Give me a measuring tape, a note pad, and an Ikea catalogue and I can create miracles. I had a walk in closet with a window once, and turned it into a tiny cozy bedroom. It worked well for several years!!!

 

I’ve been doing some writing and editing. Sometimes I feel that I am slower at getting things done in the pandemic. There is always an underlying anxiety, which is distracting, and I don’t whiz through things as fast as I usually do. I don’t like putting things off till the next day, but some days I just have to.

 

And I was reading your comments to this blog tonight. Thank you for your wonderful messages.

 

I’m going to share something with you that I have on my desk. I have it framed and it inspires me. I’m not sure where I got it, but I framed it so I can see it every day, right next to my computer. Maybe it will inspire and comfort you too.

 

It’s titled “Love”

 

“There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; No disease that enough love will not heal’; No door that enough love will not open: No gulf that enough love will not bridge; No wall that enough love will not throw down; No sin that enough love will not redeem.

It makes No difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, How hopeless the outlook, How muddled the tangle, How great the mistake; A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all. If you can love enough, you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world.”

 

 

I hope that helps you. It does me. Stay safe and take care, and have a fantastic week!!!

 

all my love, Danielle

 

2/1/20, Busy!!

Posted on February 1, 2021

 

I’m writing a new book for you!!! See you next week!!! Have a great week in the meantime,love, Danielle

 

 

1/25/21, Something Different

Posted on January 25, 2021

 

Hi Everyone,

 

When I first started writing, I wrote poems. I started in my teens, and the first things I published were poems, before I started writing novels, and one of my first books published was a book of love poems. I still write poems, although not very often. I always compare poems to artists’ sketches, they are just quick little drawings of one’s feelings, while a book is like a big oil portrait. (and short stories are somewhere in between.) The poems I write are usually love poems and they’re very spontaneous. They just bubble up to the surface and I quickly write them down.

 

That happened with the poem below a few days ago. I was thinking about the face we all present to the world, and the unseen scars and ‘broken parts’ we hide deep within us, hoping that no one will see them, fearing that others will love us less because of them. All or most of us have ‘broken parts’, scars from the past, old hurts, sadness or abuse in our childhood, the damage inflicted by people who hurt us. The scars are there, buried deep, and we hide them, not realizing that those who love us see them anyway and love us all the more because of those old broken parts, just as we love them with and for their broken parts. Those scars make us who we are, stronger, better, more human, more compassionate, lessons learned at a high price that have become part of us, and make each of us special, unique, and more beautiful, in the world, and to those who love us.

 

Have a great week,  love, Danielle

 

   Broken Parts

Looking in the mirror

    of another’s eyes,

   you realize

       who they see,

the scars so glaringly

    evident to you,

  the broken parts,

    the darkest ones

        you think

  only you can see

     seem insignificant

        to other eyes,

  and matter not at all.

you’ve worn them

    for so long

  you’ve forgotten

     that they’re there,

the scars have faded

    to a shimmer,

  the wounds no longer

    quite so deep,

 you look again

   to see if they’re

        healed

   or well concealed,

     only to realize

        that seen by

           loving eyes

  they’re part of the beauty

    they see in you,

        the courage

    and the strength,

   not ugly to them

      but part of

          the landscape

             of your soul,

   just as their flaws

         or wounds

             or broken parts

     are part of who

           you love in them.