II. On Becoming a Writer: House of Pain

  I once heard it said that professional comedians have often survived painful childhoods. I don’t know if that applies to writers of fiction but certainly it was true for me. Before I was born, my mother contracted severe rheumatoid arthritis. Until then she had been a vibrant young woman, attractive and athletic, popular among…

I. On Becoming a Writer

Before I was 24, I had dined in the U. S. Senate Dining Room at a table next to John Kennedy’s, shaken hands with former Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon and former Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller, watched Bobby Kennedy interrogate witnesses in a Senate hearing room, crossed paths with Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson on a Capitol walkway,…

My Paris

I first visited Paris on my honeymoon, a gift from my in-laws.  The first days of the trip, however, were anything but romantic. One of those in-laws had suffered a serious heart attack the night before the wedding, putting the honeymoon in doubt until his wife insisted we go. The next night, our wedding night, was spent…

Publishing a Book: The Ecstasy and Anguish

For writers, having a book published is a huge moment. Before that happens, we may spend years writing a book. I certainly have. The manuscript for A Stone for Bread was completed twenty years ago. Three New York agents turned it down. Then I turned it down, filing it away convinced it would never publish.   Several years…

Great Review on Goodreads for A STONE FOR BREAD

Getting a good review is always a heady moment for a writer. Usually these come from professional reviewers on the staffs of newspapers and other media, who are so important for getting the word out about our work. But getting a good review from a reader offers a different satisfaction, because we write for readers not critics.…