Handling the Insecurities of Publishing A Novel

*** It’s a challenging endeavor. I’ve done it twice now with fiction, and twice with nonfiction books. And I’m about to do it again when I release my latest, third fictional novel. There will always be anxieties that manifest themselves into insecurities about putting our work out there. The tendency to feel nervous about it […]

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Magic Comes Alive at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando

*** After years of considering this trip, our flight descended into Orlando’s airport. We are not like many families I know who seem to go to Disney World like I go to Safeway. We have not been to Orlando for six years, and the Mouse is not our destination this time. Instead, we are bound […]

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In Snape and Col. Brandon There Was Committed Love

Learning the news of Alan Rickman’s passing today made me stop and pause. Rickman, 69, star of stage and screen, who is probably best known for his role as Snape in the “Harry Potter” films, lost his life to that dreaded demon, cancer. Rickman’s ability to play a variety of roles left us eager to […]

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Suggestions for Helping Kids (and Adults) Enjoy Reading

I’ve been teaching now since 1993 when I instructed that first course in public speaking. Over the years, I’ve moved from teaching public speaking into teaching writing and other communication courses. Over this period of time, I’ve noticed a dramatic drop in the amount of outside reading done by students (I’ve also noticed, as have […]

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Thick Skin

This week in classes we’ve talked a lot about the craft of writing…what goes into it, what makes a good piece, what makes a good novel. One thing I’ve learned in life, love, and writing is that we have to have thick skin. If we can’t take criticism well—either to heed it or let it […]

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Does “Harry Potter” Deserve an Oscar Nod?

*** As a movie enthusiast and an Oscar Party hostess for the last 20 years, it is my humble opinion that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” should get an Oscar nod. My fingers are crossed for it. While I usually prefer book to film, the cinematic experience of seeing this novel come […]

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If You Want to Scare Me This Halloween, Make Griphook, Not Voldemort, Your Costume

In the world of “Harry Potter,” Voldemort, or rather “He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named,” that freaky, creepy, evil wizard who wants eternal dominance, hides horcruxes in an attempt to prolong his wicked life (forever), and desires to rid the world of muggles, is certainly a scary figure, indeed. But we know he’s bad. The worst. He’s The Dark Lord. […]

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A ‘Magical’ Homemade Harry Potter Adventure for Kids (of all ages)

As the anticipation grows for the premiere of this week’s final installment of the Harry Potter movies, I thought I’d share an idea for a week-long Harry Potter Adventure you can do with your kids, or your friend’s kids, or kids you borrow just to do it because it’s so much fun. There’s been a […]

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