Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Wisdom of Not Talking Your Book to Death!

Coming SoonPeter CoyoteOn the day I confided to a friend I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue writing my memoir, Peter Coyote made a comment in an interview with Phil Bronstein at the Commonwealth Club that left me excited to start writing again. But the next day as I considered my enthusiasm, I pondered this: had I talked my book to death?…

While you wait for the next edition of my Writer’s News newsletter and the answer to my burning question, run to your nearest bookstore (sorry, I’m old school) and buy Peter Coyote’s latest book, The Rainman’s Third Cure: An Irregular Education.

Authors, give a shout if you’d like to be a featured author in a forthcoming Authorly Advice column. Qualifications: You’re a published author—in a book or an anthology— and you’d like to be interviewed about your thoughts on the joys, challenges, and the intricacies of being a writer.

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Look on the Bright Side of Life

AvyIceCreamConeThis morning I was scrolling through my Avy Tales reminiscing about my life. I like to do that from time to time, because I’m proud of my prolific-ness, something Mommy likes to brag about. She adores my spry sense of humor and thinks I would have made the perfect cover photo for the Animal Minds National Geographic issue in the 2007. Alas! I wasn’t born yet. As I read my tales, I was dismayed to realize I hadn’t blogged since December of last year. I blame this on a lot going on. (Note: we writers like to blame not writing on things like chasing ground squirrels into their holes or waiting for Mommy to share her ice cream cone.) Things going on: Mommy and Daddy moved me to a condo in San Francisco last December. And then Mommy’s daddy got sick, and died in May. Mommy blogged about that, but what she hasn’t blogged about is how our move to San Francisco has affected her and me. (more…)

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Life Happens

DadMeJohnDeer

Dad & Me April 2013 at John Deere Museum in Moline, IL

In February when I sent my invitation to announce my forthcoming Writer’s News newsletter, I thought it’d be a week or two before I hit the send button. But as I worked with my web-team to get the look and feel “just right” and every word perfect, February turned into March, and March ran into April. Then life tossed me a curveball on April 15th. My brother called to tell me that our dad had been admitted to Methodist hospital in Peoria, IL. Dad’s house cleaner had found him doubled over on the couch. His symptoms, a bowel obstruction caused by scar tissue from a 20-year-old surgery. Conveniently I was in in the Midwest instead of California and drove to Peoria the next day. When Dad went in to surgery four days later, it hadn’t occurred to my brother, sister-in-law and I that he would be dead 18 days later. (more…)

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Seven Books I Read in 2014

Ana ReadingOnce upon a time, I was a voracious reader. In my late 20s and early 30s, books were an appendage. I read while I gulped down my breakfast, at night alone at my table in my studio apartment, as soon as my favorite TV show had ended, every day during my mass-transit commute from Lincoln Park to the Chicago Loop.

One day, with my nose stuck into Steinbeck’s East of Eden, I was yanked from my seat on the 156 151 Busat the corner of LaSalle Street and North Avenue, pulled down the isle, and shoved down the stairs of the bus’ rear exit. When I turned to see what a fellow passenger had rescued me from, flames were bursting out from under the seat I had occupied. (more…)

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