Why Serendipity is Not Just For John Cusack

I’m no astrologist, but in my experience, there must be an alignment of the heavens that causes someone of a certain age to crave ‘80s rom-com movies. Last night I found myself inexplicably searching for anything starring Hugh Grant, Tom Hanks, or John Cusack.

I chose Serendipity, which isn’t technically an 80’s movie, but since it stars John Cusack, it counts. Incidentally, I once had my own moment of serendipity with John when he came into the Chicago spa where I used to work. He was taller than I expected, with a slumping, hunched-over posture that I assume comes from years of trying to be incognito. Unlike in the movie, there was no love at first sight, at least on his part.


How to Write 3 Weekly Blogs in Just 30 Minutes

Do you work with clients? If you’re a service provider, or healthcare practitioner, therapist, real estate agent, or anyone who works one-on-one with a variety of people, this blog is for you.

You have an opportunity to powerfully connect with your clients by simply sharing your interactions.

Maybe you have a weekly newsletter or a blog already up and running. You likely have a website and an email database. So how often are you communicating with your fans or followers or potential clients?


From Eeyore to Tigger: 5 Ways to Make Life Pooh-tiful

Confession: I used to be a bit of an Eeyore. Just like the famous stuffed grey donkey, I was prone to gloominess and pessimism. I may not have said aloud, like he often did, “thanks for noticin’ me,” but that could sometimes describe my vibe.

So one year on my birthday my husband surprised me with a spontaneous trip to Austin, Texas for the annual Eeyore Birthday Bash.


7 Secrets To Being A Loved One

The title of my first book, Hello Loved Ones, comes from an “endearment “ used casually by the father of the narrator when he comes home drunk after long unexplained absences. He tosses these words at his children, who are starved for his attention, before leaving them again. The novel looks at the importance of love in action and questions whether love is determined by blood or by choice.

A Course in Miracles teaches that love is always a choice and that, in fact, nothing exists except the choice between love and fear.


The Longest 30 Seconds of Your Life

I heard comedian Yakov Smirnoff on the radio talking about his career and how he was invited to write jokes for Ronald Reagan during the Cold War. Before immigrating to the U.S. from the Soviet Union, Smirnov had been required to submit all his jokes to the Department of Humor in his communist country. Sex, politics, and religion were off-limits. Now he was being given the creative freedom to write a joke for the president of the United States to deliver at the 1988 Moscow Summit.


The Most Important Hallmark of a Good Writer

Sometimes, like it or not, you have to practice what you preach.

In a writing class I’m teaching, we talk about finding inspiration. My advice to anyone struggling to find a story is always to tune into what’s happening right here, right now, in front of you. I like to say that we don’t find the story, the story finds us.

So when the time came to face the blank page today and decide on a topic, I had to take a mental inventory of my week. How have I spent my time? What have I been thinking or talking about?

Then came the groan. Oh no….not that.


One Writer’s Struggle to Defy Distractions

Three rabbis walk into a coffee shop. No, it’s not a joke. Three rabbis are sitting at the table next to me discussing a problem at the synagogue. Judy Feinstein has done something wrong. It seems to be a problem of paperwork. Where did she get the information to fill out that form? one asks. And the young one says let’s just cut through the mustard.

Hey. I’m trying to write here. I’ve got my laptop charged up and I was about to unleash some edgy dialogue. I resent the distraction, but only mildly. Mostly I’m interested.


Writing Tip: Change Paragraphs When…

How do you know when to start a new paragraph? Follow these rules:


Rainy Days And Mondays Got You Down? Or Are You Fint Soms Snus?

Have you ever had that experience of seeing an old friend or acquaintance out of the blue, maybe in the grocery store or at the gym, and ducking before being spotted? Why do we do that? For me, there’s always the certainty that of course so-and-so won’t remember me. Nevermind that we sat next to each for three semesters and I know the name of her first pet (Ginger) and that poor Ginger was run over by my friend’s dad in their driveway. No, I am the owner of a sort of invisibility cloak.

So I’ve made it one of my goals recently to approach my life with a little more presence.


10 Jane Austen Quotes That Will Make Sense Of Your Writing Life

Every now and then, I feel myself gently drawn back to one of my favorite stories, Pride and Prejudice. It holds special appeal In the last lazy days of summer, when I want nothing more than to read all day, or take a walk, or sit in the sun, and by night to don a pretty dress and dance with a handsome man.

Such is my romantic view of Victorian life.