I wonder what she’s reading, this well-dressed woman hiding there in the tall grass? Tolstoy? Shakespeare? An escapist 19th-century romance novel? I love this painting, In the Flower Meadow, by Claude Monet (1876) and the questions it raises. It’s in one of my favorite books, A Year in Impressionism, which I stop and savor many times a week for moments of joyful viewing.
Whoever this woman was, I’m glad she snuck out of the house long enough for a lazy afternoon of private reading time. I assume by the flounces in her hat that she probably had capable help at home to cook dinner and watch the kids during her absence.
As usual, I am in the middle to too many books. I’m making my way through a few soon-to-be-published memoirs whose authors offered me a sneak peek; Beverly Cleary’s delightful memoir, A Girl from Yamhill; and The New Corner Office: How the Most Successful People Work from Home, by Laura Vanderkam. I Zoomed into a discussion with Vanderkam about her new book, hosted by the Independent Women’s Forum, and picked up a great tip. She advises thinking about work in terms of tasks, not time. It sounds so simple but I found that in reframing my work around tasks as opposed to chunks of time, I have really been more efficient at getting things done faster. Who knew? If you’d like to watch this presentation, which was only thirty minutes, you can see it here.
I just reviewed a book called Saving Sara: A Memoir of Food Addiction, for Story Circle Network. It’s at times a harrowing but ultimately redemptive tale, and you can read my review here.
In the last newsletter I did not hawk my own books even once. That’s a long enough silence, so if you have been meaning to check out one of my books, especially my memoir The Skeptic and the Rabbi: Falling in Love with Faith, check them out here.
Reflections on an Anniversary
We pledged to build a life together, come what may, on July 12, 1987. No one can ever foresee what the future holds, and on our recent 33rd anniversary, I considered how much we have grown, changed and grown closer during these years. In this picture, Jeff and I were at a banquet for a local Jewish institution, where we were honored two years ago.
Read the story here
Mrs. Hollander’s Opus: An MS Sufferer’s Legacy of Optimism and Faith
When I first met Kaila Hollander, I was in tears of frustration over my inability to keep my baby calm. She treated me to a dose of her trademark optimism, encouragement, and sensitivity. I had no idea that she was already suffering from multiple sclerosis, which she would battle for the next thirty years, never losing her smile, her faith in God, and her determined independence in the face of severe physical disability. Our community unexpectedly lost Kaila in early July. Here is my article about this extraordinary woman who is deeply missed.
Read the story here
From My Editor’s Desk
What do the authors of a new humor book that parodies the self-help industry, a poetry collection, a spiritual memoir, and two very different books about successful communication strategies all have in common?
I’m pleased to say that they have all approached me for some form of editorial guidance and/or endorsements. It’s always a pleasure to discover new writers and their work, and to begin working with new clients recommended by other clients or colleagues. I’m also working with writers who are developing important personal essays and helping them get those essays ready to market.
I received this cute cartoon from one client, who has had several books previously published by Simon & Schuster. Seeing the kind of edits I recommend versus what he has experienced in the past, he told me, “You’re my first real editor.” That really made my day.
Do you have an article, book, or website whose content needs a fresh pair of eyes? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing everyone good health, good humor, great ice cream (none of that watery, low-fat garbage), resilience, patience, love, friendship, faith, and all the good things that make life so special. I welcome your emails at email@example.com.
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