Magical Memoir Moments

I'm living in the cottage to the left of the larger building. Photo take from the bridge between the Arboretum and the campus of St. John's University.

Finding a Public Voice: At Homecoming

Seth Godin says that you can tell whether or not you have a tribe by discovering they miss you when you don’t show up. I didn’t post last Wednesday, and I didn’t send out a Magical Memoir Moment on Thursday. You probably thought I was just contemplating life beside the lake. Or watching the mist…

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The practice jersey. I'm well past #63 now.

How #70 Became 70: A Tribute to the Linebacker of My Life

My husband Stuart turns 70 today. I found an old photo of him as a high school linebacker wearing #70. It led to a meditation about Stuart’s role as the linebacker of my life.

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Moon over Orlando. A wishing moon.

How I Found My Word for 2016

My word for 2016 arrived just in time for Epiphany, the holiday we celebrate today. The timing is perfect! Learn how I found it and share your dreams for 2016.

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A Week in Sarasota: The Bittersweet Disruption of Cars

As you read these words, I am heading back north from Sarasota, Florida. I leave behind the palm trees, Gulf breezes, white sands, delicious fresh sea food, key lime pie, beach sunrises and sunsets, — and some wonderful surprises! Two of the surprises had to do with cars.   Just last week I described my…

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My Amtrak Writer's Residency: Five Tips for Authors After 4,000 Superliner Miles

A few months ago, the online world buzzed with the news that Amtrak had decided to offer “residencies” —¬† a writer’s competition that offered free travel worth up to $900. Thousands applied, including me. The odds were stacked against winning, but the marketing campaign succeeded in reigniting my old dream of seeing the USA via…

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Stuart speaks with his first cousin at the Rhodes Reunion -- name tags necessary!

On Being Not Quite Amish: A Mennonite Perspective

Last evening, as Stuart and I came into Union Station by train here in Chicago, we followed two young Amish families. They walked rapidly, carrying a matching powder blue luggage set without wheels, assorted other bags, and several babies. The men wore black hats. The women black bonnets, black hose, and long dresses. Everyone around…

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Three Reasons to Read Your Memoir in New York City

Some writers leave the provinces and yield to the siren call of the city in their youth. My favorite author Willa Cather did that. She was published by Alfred A. Knopf, a powerful imprint designating quality, so powerful it has survived many mergers and is part of Penguin Random House, one of the Big Five…

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Why I Love to Travel and Why the Big Apple is a City Like No Other

Do you like travel stories? Some people hate to see the pictures their friends take on vacation. I’m personally¬† the opposite . . . as long as I get to hear good stories. I especially love small world/chance encounter tales. Yesterday Serendipity bopped us on the head –over and over. Meet Jamie. He’s a doctor…

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On the Road Again: Coming to a City Near You?

Forty-five years ago, these two merry wanderers decided to set off on the journey of life together: We used the image of the Conestoga Wagon to dream together, having been influenced by the story that a Mennonite invented the wagon, and having read lots of Little House on the Prairie books, we somehow associated freedom,…

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How a Romantic Getaway Led Me to An Ideal Reader: And Another Book Giveaway

Kathy Pooler is one of my most prolific and generous memoir writer friends. If you’ve been following this blog, you have met her talking about how to use Twitter to build meaningful relationships. Today she is featuring a guest blog from me about how I stumbled onto an “ideal reader” while on a romantic getaway…

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