May 11, 2018

In my book, Welcoming Ways, I suggest an activity for making a children’s blessing necklace to welcome our babies (and older children too) into the world. This touching ritual is perfect for any get together where the host wants to set an intention of good will and hope.

In advance, choose an array of colorful beads with holes large enough for waxed string to pass easily through (available at crafts stores). Put the beads in a special box and have your guests choose one when they arrive. Sit in a circle. Each person...

February 10, 2016

The new quarter of the Writer's Tribe™ gathered in The Gallery at Book Passage. Eight enthusiastic authors sat at a round table and discussed each other's manuscripts—giving and receiving feedback in the spirit of generosity and honesty. We looked for where the energy vibrates in each work-in-project (WIP). We suggested vivid details to build quintesssential characters and story worlds (settings). We pointed out awkward sentences or transitions that confused us. We read aloud our favorite sentences from each WIP. We...

April 30, 2015

Define yourself as an author, no matter where you are in the publishing process. Stand like a tree trunk in that belief from the beginning of your career. Declare your essence. Remember what your mission is as a writer, and affirm daily why you write.

Define yourself:

1) Writer: n. person who writes; author. Syn: wordsmith

To write: mark paper or some other surface by means of a pen, pencil, etc. with symbols, letters or words. Syn. to create

2) Author: n. writer, esp. of books. Syn. man or woman of letters, creator 


April 20, 2015


My mind has a curious way of sniffing out, first, the conflict-based thoughts hiding in its nooks and crannies, then pulling up a comfortable chair and dwelling in worry for as long as I will allow. When I notice this happening, I try to re-direct my thoughts to peaceful ones. But some days positivity doesn’t stand a chance against negativity and  my mind is back in the corner rooting out chaos. 

Why does conflict have such a strong pull on my attentions? It is as though I have fallen into a deep rut and only w...

April 17, 2015

Give and receive in the spirit of generosity. Find where the energy is in the text and offer your appreciation before you express prescriptive comments for revision.


How to introduce your writing sample to your writer's group:

  • Provide a one minute summary of the narrative action. Let this summary be neutral.

  • What kind of story is this?

  • What defining choice(s) does the main character face?

  • What is the conflict, crisis and resolution?


Tips for how to give feedback:

  • Read the text twice. The firs...

April 15, 2015

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I share my notes about writing and revising my debut novel, ANYA'S WAR. I journaled about process during the several years before the novel's publication date (February 2011). Here is an entry from September 2009:


I’ve decided to undergo another global rewrite of ANYA'S WAR 25 days before final revisions are due to my editor, Liz Szabla of Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan. I am in seculsion for a week in my studio and have spent two of the seven days dusting, vacuuming and rearrang...

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