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Tag: writing

Giving Senior Citizens Space to Feel

We’re in a time when a woman will be partaking in a conversation and the next thing you know what will come spilling out in an almost even tone is that time when her doctor raped her. It happened to me this morning. “Nancy, it was five years before I realized what he did to me was wrong.” **** On the evenings when I prepare a topic, or prompt, for my senior citizens’ writing group the next morning, my greatest challenge is to try to gauge the mood or mindset of my students. By this I mean that there...

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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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My Sliver of Uncertainty

I’m one of the lucky ones. About 95 percent of the time, I’m absolutely certain my life is on the right path. But then there’s that creeping five percent. What goes on there? Is that something I even want to share with other humans? Yes. Yes, it is. In fact, it’s vital that I do. I see danger in 24-hour, seven-day-a-week Susie Sunshine mode. Hi, I’m so upbeat. I can see the positive in everything. Oh, your husband lost his job? Don’t worry. Your child was born with a scary disability? It’ll all be just fine. Just. Fine. See?...

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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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Experiencing ‘The Unspeakable’

Since declaring myself Unfettered a few years ago, I’ve mostly exceeded my own expectations of what that means. I’ve let it evolve, let my authenticity lead the way and all that. And then every so often something appears on my radar that coaxes me to strip off another layer. Fetter, be gone. Enter Meghan Daum, a writer whose book The Unspeakable was pretty close to un-put-down-able when I picked it up on New Year’s Day. I had begun my self-designated reading day opening Anna Karenina (my fourth attempt over 15 years or so), but with all apologies to Tolstoy...

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