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Tag: writer

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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A Writer Grows in Hoboken

Last week on a date a gentleman asked me when I decided to become a writer. I answered without hesitation. “I never decided to become a writer,” I said. “Writing picked me.” That’s the best I can explain it. One day I was reading Nancy Drew books, the next I was making up my own Nancy Drew-like character and writing a book of my own. An amateur effort, unquestionably, but I was maybe 11 years old. From there it was simply me paying attention to my strengths and to what made my heart soar. Grammar, spelling, reading, writing. Being...

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This Nancy with the Laughing Face

As I handed my book, Why Sinatra Matters, to its author to sign in a Hoboken bookstore last week, he looked up at me, noting it was an original edition from 1998. “Is this for you?” asked Pete Hamill. “Yes,” I said. “What’s your name?” His pen was poised. “It’s Nancy … and I think you can guess why.” He looked at me again, this time with a smirk. “Because you have a laughing face?” I laughed as if to prove it. The truth is I’m named Nancy Ann after my two grandmothers, but my father likes to tell...

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Art Is ‘King’

Truly, I don’t know how any human being living a life of settling could walk out of Beautiful, The Carole King Musical and go back to some going-through-the-motions existence. I just don’t. It would require being shut down to lush layers of life lessons wrapped in a neat, entertaining package. I sat stunned and teary at the show’s close and then, still stunned, stood with the appreciative crowd and clapped my butt off. What had I just witnessed? If I wasn’t already steeped in my own creative journey – writing, writing, writing and more writing – I think I...

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