Writing Advice From Alice McDermott

I recently attended the Washington Independent Review's first annual Books Alive conference. One of the many speakers in attendance was award-winning author Alice McDermott. In college, I read Charming Billy, for which McDermott won an American Book Award and the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction, and loved it. I grabbed a seat at one of the front tables in her breakout session, "What's Novel About the Novel?" I dream of being a novelist, after all. Someone asked the panel a question that I don't exactly remember. But Alice McDermott's response stuck with me. She shared writing advice that resonated with her when she was trying to write and raise small children -- a boat I find myself I at the moment. I'll paraphrase: As soon as your children have left for school or daycare or for grandma's house, clear off your kitchen table with one sweep of your arm (she animated by making a sweeping motion with her arm) and get to work writing. Don't stop … [Read more...]

First Lady Michelle Obama, Eli Manning and the Partnership For A Healthier America

So this happened Friday... I attended the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit on March 8, 2013 at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. The energy in the room was infectious. This fitness foodie totally geeked out. I loved learning about the Farm to School program, hearing the dynamic Cory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ, and discovering the Reebok's BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success) program from its ambassador New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning. Listening to the First Lady deliver the closing keynote was pretty cool, too. OK, REALLY COOL! (so was getting a press pass with "White House" on it.) Now, I'm even more inspired by her Let's Move! campaign. What's inspiring you today? … [Read more...]

5 Reasons to Attend Eat Write Retreat This Year

Last year, I had the incredible opportunity to attend Eat Write Retreat in Washington DC for free as a volunteer. Unfortunately, I had to back out a few months before because of pregnancy complications. So instead, I watched the hashtag (#EWR12 this year) and read all the amazing post-conference blogs and really wished I had been there. Well, not this year. Nope. This year, I will be there, thanks to Robyn and Casey asking me to volunteer again. And I’d like you to join me. Here’s why: Networking Networking Networking The number one benefit I read over and over again last year was about the connections made at the conference. Blogger after blogger wrote about making great friends and really connecting with the other attendees. This is a small, intimate conference that is conducive to building lasting relationships. And there are opportunities throughout the weekend to connect with “the pros” – they’ll be dining beside you, not just talking at you. Food Styling & … [Read more...]