Musings from ME

Introducing Musings from ME, my monthly-ish newsletter. Below you will find a mix of my latest published work; favorite personal essays from years past; book recommendations; good news about writer friends; and random thoughts on matters related to writing and reading.

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Hot Off the Press


Please enjoy my latest article, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, in the 2020 February issue of CONNECT, the member magazine of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Q: What Else Do I Write?
A: Candidate Profiles for an Executive Search Firm

This was never something I thought I would do. I answered an ad five years ago, and have now interviewed hundreds of C-suite job seekers and turned their words and experiences into snapshots of what they bring to the table. I really enjoy the people at the firm, even though I am occasionally driven to pull my hair out, gobble Advil, or both. It is a sometimes mind-boggling, occasionally frustrating gig that is great fodder for an essay about what candidates say on a phone interview. While I work on that piece, here are some of the sad facts I’ve learned from the resume-reading portion of the process. (Shannon, Dianne S. and Diana C. – this one’s for you!)

I am no longer surprised that career execs with decades of experience and six-figure salaries…

… can’t write a sentence with a subject, a verb, and appropriate punctuation.
… can’t spell and don’t use spellcheck.
… think we will be impressed by a list of high school awards received 40 years ago.
… include gag-worthy statements like “I iterate effectively” or “teamwork  gets me going.”
… don’t realize that hundreds of other candidates aim for uniqueness by describing themselves as  “a strategic and highly successful, team-oriented change agent.”

Stay tuned for what they say on the phone!

Fruitcake Follow-Up


My two Christmas fruitcakes looked and tasted just like Mom’s. We ate one and put the other in the freezer for next year, and  I didn’t miss sending holiday cards one single bit.

If you missed my December email telling you all about my fruitcake/holiday card dilemma, click below to catch up!

Word Rant

I keep a journal and have kept journals. 
I write in a journal and have written in journals.
I have never, ever “journaled,” nor will I …. even though the word is now in the dictionary.

Word Love


Every year or so, I find something interesting on Facebook. I just learned about tsundoku, a Japanese word that means buying and piling up more books than you can actually read. Imagine that! There’s a word for this wonderful habit.  If I don’t have enough books “in reserve,” I get antsy, so I guess you could I say I’m a proud practitioner of tsundoku.

Tsundoku: The practice of buying more books than you can read