The Wonderful, Wacky World of Writers

I’m just gonna put this out there because it makes me sad: too many people are not reading. They are spending their time on other things, which is great, but I would like to see the average books people read a year climb (see a piece I wrote last year about average number of books…

Fictography For Old Time’s Sake and as a Teaching Tool: Back Home

/FICTOGRAPHY/ def. — The intersection of photography (submitted by readers) and fiction (written by me!). A few years ago, I executed a writing challenge whereby readers submitted travel photos they took, and I would write the story that I imagined went along with that photograph. Today, as I write this, my students are engaged in…

Book Review: A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

* After reading Christina Baker Kline’s wonderful book Orphan Train last year, I knew I had to read her newest book, A Piece of the World, based on a woman named Christina who was supposedly a muse of Andrew Wyeth’s and the subject in his painting Christina’s World (pictured above). Knowing little about art except…

Deciding to Be A Hallmark Movie in Annapolis, Not Just Watch One

* Last night, my college roommate and dear friend, Elizabeth, and I took to the streets of Annapolis for the annual Parade of Lights. Our husbands were engaged otherwise, and so we were on our own. A resident of Shady Side, south of Annapolis her whole adult life, she had never been to see the…

I Decided To Have A Go At It

Last summer, I wrote a short story called Life With Nan. You can find this story in my recent publication The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry. What’s happened to me after writing that story is interesting. Just as Contelli’s Mimosa, a short story I wrote in college, became a full novel entitled Beneath…

Bucket List Item – Staying at the “Real” Inn Significant

*** Tomorrow, my birthday wish will come true, thanks to my husband. When he asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told him I wanted to stay at the Sandaway Suites & Beach in the quaint, Eastern Shore town of Oxford, Maryland. It just so happens that it’s the real-life inn that inspired my…

Mother’s Day & Some New Reviews

*** Mother’s Day is this upcoming Sunday. Do you know what I want for Mother’s Day? I don’t want to do a damn thing. Nothing. I want to turn off my brain, have someone else serve me brunch (which we have already arranged, thank goodness!), and do, as Audrey Hepburn says in Roman Holiday, “just…

Through Books, You Can Travel

*** One of my favorite aspects about reading novels is that they allow us to travel to places we may never get to experience, at least not the same way the author sees them. Books such as Adriana Trigiani’s The Shoemaker’s Wife or Alice Hoffman’s The Museum of Extraordinary Things—two books I can’t and have no desire to…

Answering the Question: How Many Books Have You Sold?

How many books have you sold? It’s the question people like to ask me about my recently released novel entitled Inn Significant. It seems to be the question people have on their minds as the marker that indicates how successful the book has been thus far. The funny thing is, I liken the question to…

A Good Book Will Never Let You Down

I’m about to finish Adriana Trigiani’s touching and inspiring novel entitled The Shoemaker’s Wife. I’ve enjoyed reading this sweeping story of Italian immigrants loosely based on the history of the author’s own grandparents. From the mountains of the Italian Alps to New York City to a small town in Minnesota, the characters and sights covered…