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Tag: memoir

An Ode to Therapy

Almost immediately as I began reading Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen’s memoir, I had this thought – this is written by a man who has had some very good therapy. The writing is not only lyrical, but there is an ‘awake’ component that comes through on almost every page. Then, boom, on page 312: “The results of my work with Dr. Myers and my debt to him are at the heart of this book.” **** Around the same time I published my first book, a memoir, this popular fellow Jersey native published his. It was late 2016 and I was in promo mode, not reading mode. Then one recent day I was in the library looking for something else and there it was – Born To Run. To be frank, I went into it with low expectations. Another so-so celeb book? Still, I was intrigued. Very quickly I realized I was wrong. And what a joyful comeuppance it was. This immediately became one of those rare books I can’t read fast enough yet don’t want to rush through because I don’t want it to end. Push-pull. Hurry-slow down. At points I was reading it from my ‘writer’ mindset and marveling at a poetic turn of phrase: “Here we live in the shadow of the steeple, where the holy rubber meets the road, all crookedly blessed in God’s mercy, in...

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Let’s Be Clear Who Won in 2016

I approach my favorite bench at the Hoboken waterfront, happy to sit down and read for a little while with a cup of coffee at my side. The bench is empty and so I plop down. As I sip my coffee, I hear the guy on the next bench. “Old woman. Why does it have to be an old woman sitting next to me?” It takes me a moment to realize he is referring to me. I don’t react, as clearly that would serve him well. So he raises the volume on his voice. “Old woman. Old woman. Damn...

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A Memoir Request of the Former First Lady

Dear Mrs. Obama – I’ve been reading with great interest about the book deal you and President Obama have struck with Penguin Random House for your respective memoirs. Congratulations! With all due respect to your husband (and I have massive amounts of it), it is yours that I cannot wait to read. Oh my, yes. You’ve been holding back out of necessity for eight-plus years. Now we want to hear what you have to say about everything from the frivolous to the serious. The way I see it, while Barack Obama may be obligated to share with us the...

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Snowflakes with a Conscience

My phone rings at 9:10 a.m. on a Thursday. It’s a dear friend who needs to talk. Problem is, I’m on my way to the doctor because my entire body has broken out in hives. But context is in order, so let’s back up. The week went something like this: Friday, Jan. 20 – I take myself to Poets House in Lower Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River and while away an afternoon drinking coffee and reading from a 2003 volume of short stories, poems, and interview snippets from The Paris Review. Divine, glorious experience. The evening gives way to a lively happy hour with friends. Saturday, Jan. 21 – Participate in the Women’s March on New York City with a smart, determined group of friends, new and old. The night brings the beginnings of the nasty stomach bug that’s making its way around. Sunday, Jan. 22 – A blur. Lifting my head off the pillow proves challenging. So does keeping anything down, including water. Monday, Jan. 23 – Light! I can feel myself coming back, slowly. One banana, one piece of toast at a time. I even coach two clients in the evening. Tuesday, Jan. 24 – The literal purge starts to feel like it should extend to more. I start cleaning out files, creating a list of action items, making sure to rest when needed. It’s a productive...

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My 2016 Highlight: Birthing a Book

The colorful image that is to be my book cover is on my screen. I’m opening Photoshop because it needs to be squeezed into a template and I haven’t a clue how to do that. I’m going to try to teach myself. I play with cropping and save the new image. Still too big. I tinker with other tools. Save. Again. And again. Fourteen images later, it’s a fit. A friend helps to fine-tune it. Victory. Yes, I’m self-publishing my first book, a memoir that took 10 years to write. This marks 30 years (mostly) making a living as a writer for me, a trained journalist. It’s always been a passion. I was obsessively clipping columns from my local newspaper in New Jersey when I was 12. Who is this woman, I wondered, who gets her picture next to her article? Now I’m a purist in a field that hardly resembles the one I trained for and worked in. Once I found my way after a rocky start in college, fully paying my own way, I spent 15 years as a sports writer/columnist at two newspapers. I’ve mostly moved with the times, making the switch from print to web in 1998 with a job at I’m no dinosaur. But when it came time to publish my book, my writer snob came out in full force. You are going...

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