How The Funeral Dress Inspired Me to Write A Novel This November

Confession: I have not read The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore, the From Left to Write October book club selection. I fully intended to when I signed up to read it and write a post inspired by it.  But, between writing assignments, book reviews and motherhood, I haven't had a chance to even crack the spine. The Funeral Dress is about a young mother who takes it upon herself to sew a dress for her mentor when that woman suddenly dies. There was something about the plot and the small town setting that stirred a story in me. So, I've decided to participate in my second National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November. For years, I have been talking about writing a novel. Just talking about it. For. Years. I've started several, and by started I mean I've written a page or two here and there. The most fiction I ever wrote was 75 pages for a grad school class seven years ago. That novel is still languishing unfinished. This November, I am going to write 50,000 … [Read more...]

Q&A With Thin Reads Founder Howard Polskin

Have you discovered Thin Reads? It’s a web site created by digital media pro Howard Polskin. The site is devoted to e-book singles – short fiction or non-fiction that’s longer than a magazine article but shorter than a book. Here’s what he had to say about his latest venture and the growing e-book industry. What inspired you to create Thin Reads? I met with John Tayman, one of the co-founders of the wonderful e-book single company He told me about this new form of content he was publishing. Before I boarded my flight back to New York, I downloaded two e-book singles from Amazon. By the time I landed, I was hooked on the form. But I wanted someone to guide me on what to buy and give me a heads-up on what was good. There was nothing in the market. That’s when the light bulb went off to create Thin Reads. What does Thin Reads offer readers? For readers coming to my site, there are four simple things we offer: reviews, author interviews, news and analysis of the … [Read more...]

Daiya Cheese Quesadilla #GlutenFree #DairyFree

I've been reading The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison and all I can think about is cheese. But here's my problem: I'm trying to cut out cheese because, well, we're just not friends. Cutting out cheese, all dairy actually, is really hard when you are reading a book ALL ABOUT CHEESE. Since I started reading the book, I've been craving a grilled cheese sandwich -- one with crisp, buttery bread and cheddar cheese oozing from the sliced middle. However, I have yet to find a gluten-free bread that fits this order. So, I decided to improvise by making a gluten-free, dairy-free quesadilla. At the grocery shopping, I picked up rice tortillas and Daiya wedge-style cheese. Its supposed to cut and melt like cheese even though its a dairy-free product. When I was dairy-free, Daiya was the only dairy-free cheese I would buy. The shredded mozzarella was great for making pizza, even though the smell was less than desirable. The Daiya Cheddar wedge looks a lot like a block of Velveeta and … [Read more...]

The Execution of Change

Change is good. That's my current mantra. I am learning that change happens in large doses in my life. In the span of a week, I lost my job and my dad resigned from his. Six years ago, when I was offered said job, more change happened at the same time: my parents reconciled and my sister announced her pregnancy. And I know there is more change to come. My son will be starting kindergarten next month, and soon my childhood home will be home to someone else. It's all a little overwhelming, to say the least. But I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, whether that reason is immediately evident or not. I know in my heart that this change is for the better even though, at times, I feel like I've been knocked over by a wave, my life etched in sand erased by the tide. I've been trying to figure out what comes next, only to realize that what comes next isn't exactly up to me. I want to follow my heart but my practical mind keeps interrupting me. I want to pursue … [Read more...]

Those We Love Most

The day I received Those We Love Most, a novel by Lee Woodruff about what happens to a family after a child dies, I devoured the first five chapters. I probably would have read more had it not been so late at night. The very next day, a two-year-old girl died after she was accidentally run over in the parking lot at a local park. The irony. In January, two young girls died in a house fire. My community is mourning. And my heartbreaks for the parents. I don't ever want to know that pain. Ever. So I'm trying to be more present in my own life, to appreciate the moment I'm in rather than looking -- and worrying -- too far ahead. It's not easy. As I write this, the light of a Wednesday evening is fading, my son is pushing his sister in her swing in the backyard, and she is giggling into the breeze. I know moments like this are fleeting; I try to soak them in whenever I can. Which moments would you seal up in a bottle if you could? This post was inspired by … [Read more...]