Where’s a Cheerleader When You Need One?

Where’s a Cheerleader When You Need One?

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was part of my high school’s cheer team. I was also a member of the band, playing—yes, you read it here—the cymbals. Those cymbals were red hot when we New Yorkers played the Wisconsin fight song. Alas, we could only play the...
The Right Fork

The Right Fork

A number of years ago, when my children were younger and we were living in Mexico, my family was invited to the residence of a NATO ambassador and his family for a New Year’s Eve dinner.  Our children were all the same age and the wife and I were close friends, both...
What Happens When All the People Are Mexican

What Happens When All the People Are Mexican

“But the novel is set in Mexico,” she said. “All the characters are Mexican.” “That’s right,” I replied. “Lives of the people fighting the drug cartels. And Mexico’s class structure.” A fateful phone call This was about 5 years ago. I was speaking on the phone to a...
Mexico, Two Dogs, and An Unexpected Gift

Mexico, Two Dogs, and An Unexpected Gift

A few weeks ago, I cleaned out the room I use as an office and writing lair. Piles of paper got shifted from one side of the room to the other, new artwork went up (thank you, Command hooks) and some much-needed tax receipts got organized. And I found a CD with the...
How Deep Are Your Reading Roots?

How Deep Are Your Reading Roots?

I blame my oldest sister, really. She was studious and serious and had a lot of books. She organized them tidily on bookcases in the basement where they joined books my uncle had left when he joined the Navy and headed for Vietnam. The shelves also had room for an...
35 Ways to be the Worst Traveller in the World

35 Ways to be the Worst Traveller in the World

I travel internationally about every 4 months or so. This means I get to watch fellow travelers, many of whom unsuspectingly offer colorful characteristics and situations ripe for my next mystery novel. Yes, I admit it. I travel with a notebook and all too frequently...
Why Writing is Hardly a Solitary Occupation

Why Writing is Hardly a Solitary Occupation

Alot of famous quotes moan about why writing is such a solitary occupation. About writers bleeding at the typewriter, with only a bottle of gin as company. Thanks to social media, however, this is hardly the picture of the modern writer. Most writers use Twitter,...
The Lovely Glow of Too Many Irons in the Fire

The Lovely Glow of Too Many Irons in the Fire

I’ve got too many irons in the fire. I’d like to say that this is a rare event. But juggling multiple projects can be fun, which must be why I tend to overbook my creative energies. Here’s what is going on: Bookstore of the Future project Yesterday I reached out to 55...
5 Excellent Phrases to Sound Busy and Important

5 Excellent Phrases to Sound Busy and Important

Although I’ve been wrapping up the short story collection MADE IN ACAPULCO, transcribing the old letters that will become the memoir GIRL MEETS PARIS, and outlining the next full-length Emilia Cruz novel DIABLO NIGHTS, I took a break to read BRIDGET JONES: MAD ABOUT...
On Learning from Mistakes

On Learning from Mistakes

I made two mistakes recently. The first was an expensive one. Mistake 1 Flush from my record-breaking (my records, anyway) month in September, spurred by the publication of short story The Beast in the Huffington Post’s Fiction 50 showcase, I went for some...
The Enduring Magic of Book Night

The Enduring Magic of Book Night

Other families have Game Night or Movie Night. We have Book Night. It started out as a means of self defense. We had two kids under the age of 5. My husband and I both had full time, demanding jobs, and he was pursuing a college degree at night. Reading for Survival I...

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