Tears prick my eyes as I write this. I’m thinking of two formidable women in my life, one 88 years old, the other 96 years old. You don’t know these women. They’re not famous. But both have met considerable challenges in their lives and remained compassionate. Margaret Brown, later known as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” […]
This week I’m having the pleasure of working in San Francisco. It’s full of small bookstores and great Victorian houses, both which add to the city’s distinctiveness.
I’m inspecting my fingernails. I’m playing with my drum. Anything will do except to sit down and write. When you write, you’re exposing yourself, not only what you think but your talent and skill level. It can be frightening. Nellie Bly, at age 14, read an article in the Pittsburgh Dispatch newspaper entitled, “What Girls […]
My shoulders are heavy and my stomach is tight. It’s just time to purge the house. Yet I hate facing stuff I should let go of, maybe because we grew up poor. Surely you’ll need the black cotton jacket that makes you look 20 years older? What happens if you run out of regular soap […]
I’m staring at the cell phone, listening to two other women. It’s 9:15 PM at night, past my bedtime, and we’re still planning. The Willamette Writers Conference in Portland is just a little over a month away, and I’m on the conference committee. We’ve got work to do. The two other women can’t easily work […]
My irritation flares at a man at the gym. Even though he’s doing bicep curls wrong, he pompously decides to tutor me. He’s testing me. I doubt he’d speak so condescending to a man. Emily Roebling was tested when she took over for her husband Washington, the chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge. Washington’s father, the […]
Tears are running down my cheeks. The oncologist is saying I need an ultrasound with a biopsy. If they can’t find the lump with that procedure, they’ll do another MRI. I’ve had four tests since March, and now I’ve got more to do. Plus wait again for the results. I write about strong women, and […]
I’m scared. I’m having a MRI done today, and they’re checking for breast cancer. In the past month, many women have told me their own journey with cancer. They don’t mention fear, but I know they were afraid. Still, they faced what they needed to face. “Everyday courage” is what I call it. You won’t […]
For the next two weeks I’m in New York researching Ancient Egypt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum. I’ve got many other museums on my list, like the Tenement Museum on Orchard Street, which will give me insight into how people lived in cramped quarters. I’ll try to take in a couple […]
This week I’m in Tampa, Florida, working with an editor to improve my skills as a novel writer. It’s a big thing. I’m flying across the country and spending hours with her. But this is how important writing is to me. It’s worth it.