Tag: inspiration


Pawsitive Thinking

My dog has been sick for the last few months. It’s been a process to try to figure out what’s wrong. We started keeping a journal to see if we could figure out the triggers to her symptoms. I mention this because, first, it’s extremely helpful for vet visits, and second, because it’s introduced a level of discipline to make sure my partner and I are consistent and diligent in logging what the dog eats, when, and what happens next.

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I wanted to write about friendship because it’s the word that I most associate with Miss Demeanors. These women are not only marvelous writers, but they are also marvelous human beings. I’ve lost count of the number of times someone has shared a kind thought or helpful piece of advice. I really can’t imagine the past two years without them.

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Fear 101

We’ve talked about fear on Miss Demeanors and promised to delve more deeply into a topic familiar to most writers and all human beings. Indeed, there are countless bestselling books written about fear. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh are examples.
            Writers seem to be particularly susceptible to fear. Fear of failure, fear the words will stop flowing, fear of bad reviews, fear of no reviews. Even fear of success. There are unlimited kinds of fear it seems.

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The Empty Chairs at America’s Thanksgiving Table

 To the families and friends of those lost at Parkland, Tree of Life, Thousand Oaks, Santa Fe High, the Capitol Gazette, and at so many more inexplicable moments of mass violence that they have become an  unforgivable blurred memory of terror; To those who lost loved ones or are without homes after the wild fires throughout California; To those who have lost loved ones or are without homes after horrific hurricanes in Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and still Puerto Rico; To those who have lost loved ones to illness and age; To those who are separated from loved ones by their service to our country; To those who have lost or are separated from loved ones by the ravages of opioid addiction; To those who are alone or separated from loved ones for reasons no one seems to understand; I understand the emptiness of “thoughts and prayers” as you sit at a Thanksgiving table with empty chairs today. As you sit at a table in a shelter or with strangers who have made room for you at their tables. As you defy the Norman Rockwell image of the holiday. Thoughts and prayers are only words. But words offer acknowledgement and acknowledgement is the seed of action. Though my words may be inept, I honor those missing from your Thanksgiving table today.         

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Sweet Dreams Are Made of These

My subconscious is on some serious stuff. It must take it while I’m asleep.  Last night, I woke up to the frightening music of my dog’s intestinal track (if you have been fortunate enough to have a dog live past ten years, then you understand). As a result, I remembered my ENTIRE dream . I was in Jamaica, chatting with my dead grandfather. He gave me sugar bun, a Jamaican concoction that is exactly what it sounds like: a bread, “bun”, made with raisins and glazed with sugar. I then took my kids out into the backyard where he showed me rabbits dressed up in human clothing, much to my children’s delight. My husband insisted that he had to go because hanging out with dead people was giving him the willies. I let him go and ate the bun.  This will make it’s way into a story–mark my words.  The story for my last thriller, Lies She Told, came to me in a dream–partially. I went to bed, after a glass of red wine, thinking about where I would get my next thriller idea from and I had a nightmare about this woman in a seedy Brooklyn apartment with blood on her hands. I felt that I was watching her from above or slightly over her shoulder. Close third person, in other words. She didn’t look like me, but I had the sense that she was me. And, after that, I wrote a thriller about a writer and the character in her head that may, or may not, be based on her–perhaps without her consent or conscious knowledge.  A lot of art, I believe, is taking what our subconscious mind gives us and rationalizing it until we have something that translates into a kind of story for broader consumption.  It’s late. I wonder what I’ll dream up next…    

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