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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I never would have imagined simultaneously writing Covid-related stories for two different associations, but that’s what happened.
 
For Connect magazine, published by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, I explored how those institutions can continue their commitment to global conservation in the wake of the pandemic.
 
And for Museum magazine, published by the American Alliance of Museums, I wrote about how several institutions engaged their communities during the months in which they were closed.  One hint: the story about corresponding with cats was my favorite.
 

Other News from My Desk

One Covid-related silver lining has been having the time to devote to the essay collection I’ve been working on for way too long. I’m writing new pieces, polishing old ones, reading the work of other essayists, and doing the many supplementary things you have to do before you can even consider submitting a proposal to an agent. It’s a loooong, labor-intensive process that has challenged, frustrated and made me give up in the past. But now I’m loving it. I guess I had just had to wait ‘til the time was right. 
 

There’s a New Writer on the Block!

We have a new neighbor, Tori McGee, who’s written three sweet picture books!  They feature memorable characters and beautiful illustrations, so if you know any little ones who love to read, go here to find out more: https://www.toriashleymcgee.com.
 


From the Archives


For people who didn't know me when I was writing The Homefront humor column for Angie's List Magazine, here's one of my favorite pieces.

Click here to read Clearing Out The House Reveals Owner Secrets
 

Read My Friend, Marshall Craig

His blog post, Glenna, is a thoughtful piece about his volunteer work with Meals on Wheels, and the often hidden lives of his homebound clients.
 

A Small Good Deed

The Tampa Bay Times recently ran a story about Antonio Brown, a local barber who helps his young customers learn to read when they come in for a haircut. My immediate reaction?

“I have to give that guy some books!” I researched culturally diverse stories that would be appropriate for his target audience, ages 5-12 and ordered a bunch. When John and I visited the shop, the first thing we saw was a bookcase filled with kid-friendly reading material. We loved meeting Antonio and adding to his collection – and he was especially surprised that I actually found a book about a barber – Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut.
 
The world is a mess and the need for change feels overwhelming. I worry about all of it, but I’m finding that small deeds offer much needed comfort. How can you not love a barber who wants kids to read?  I was happy to help.
 
 

And speaking of books….

Business is booming at my little neighborhood library. Most interesting recent donation: a 1,271-page paperback edition of The Count of Monte Cristo. Even though my inner English major said, “You should read that,” I left it there for someone with more literary fortitude. I did, however, take Michelle Obama’s Becoming for my pile of personal reading.