We’re taking the show on the road

Last December, Chanel Brenner, Alexis Fancher, and I read poetry about the deaths of our sons at Beyond Baroque, a literary arts center in Venice California. See my blog post about this event here. We’re reading again this Sunday April 24 at 4 pm at Pages: a bookstore in Manhattan Beach California. We’ve modified the program a bit; however, we are carrying through the same theme: WRITING HEALING POETRY Turning Grief into Art We hope you’ll join us. Each of us will read thirteen to fourteen poems. Mine are mostly in my memoir in prose and poetry, Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide. Chanel will read from her book of poetry, Vanilla Milk, and Alexis will read from her poetry chapbook, State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies. I can attest that the poetry is fabulous, and I know you’ll like the refreshments as well. … [Read more...]

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Introducing Patti Hawn, author of Good Girls Don’t

A few weeks ago two friends told me about Patti Hawn and suggested I meet her. After all, she lives in my hometown, she’s written a memoir, and she’s about my age. Without missing a beat, I sent her a private message on Facebook and suggested we get together. And she accepted and named one of my favorite restaurants where we could grab lunch  - I liked her already. We met for lunch a few days later (a blind date, so to speak), and we talked for an hour and a half without stopping. We also exchanged memoirs. Thus a beautiful new friendship was born. I read Patti’s memoir, Good Girls Don’t, almost immediately and was taken by how detailed and intimate it is (I’ve shared my review at the end of this post). So I asked her if she’d write a guest post for Choices about how she wrote her deeply personal memoir with such clarity.   Here’s Patti: The Gift of Memories By Patti Hawn I wrote my book Good Girls Don’t shortly after reuniting with the son I surrendered to adoption … [Read more...]

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Some thoughts about going back to a day job

My first inclination was to say no at an offer to work on a proposal for three weeks. Not because I don’t like the work. I like proposal work a lot and feel I can really do a service in helping a group of engineers write one that will win them a government contract. My main reason for wanting to say no is the more than hour drive on the freeway each way (Manhattan Beach to/from Anaheim CA). During the drive to work I have to face the light force of the rising sun, whereas my drive home is usually at dusk that turns quickly into a night sky. Traffic stops and goes along the way are also is in the mix. Driving under those conditions make me nervous and long for the ten-minute commute back and forth to the day job I retired from in 2010. However, I do like the work and I loved being asked to do it. I’ve had so much experience helping engineers write proposals that I didn’t question my ability to help them out again - even after being away from the work for so long.  Once I walked in … [Read more...]

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