Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category


Emerging Beauty: Find beauty in your world. It’s there. Post 14: what to do now?

April 1, 2020
silhouette photo of jumping person during twilight hour

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on

Happy April 1! Too bad the pandemic’s not a dark and terrible April Fool’s joke.

Today’s the last post of my “quarantine” series, Emerging Beauty. We’ve survived 14 days- kudos! That said, the pandemic is far from over, so what do we do now?

Here’s a top 10 list:

  1. Stay well! Stay home until all is clear… which could be awhile
  2. Keep communicating; use the phone, zoom, facetime or any other form of technology to help you connect with others
  3. Get outside and appreciate life; it’s all around us
  4. Embrace where you are, forgive yourself for the moments you aren’t okay
  5. Set a schedule (even if it’s only one event a day). It’s not about the number of activities; it’s about embracing a strategy for growth
  6. Try something new. I’ve posted lots of links to all sorts of happenings—try one
  7. Take a bath followed by a nap
  8. Read a book. Do a puzzle. Cook something new. Listen to different music. Dance.
  9. You might not be part of the medical community, but you can volunteer in other ways: cook someone a meal, send an inspirational note, if able- contribute money (I have attached links here), reach out and talk to someone lonely, help local shelters and food banks, reach beyond our borders- it’s a global pandemic, and we’re all in this together. Five Links to organizations in need (if none of these seem a good fit for you, find another- there’s a lot of need and as little as $10 helps):
      1. This organization helps undocumented workers who work hard. I volunteer for them and can fully vouch for their dedication to the community.  –
      1. Another great local (via national) organization started by my MOM!

3. Given the quarantine, we can expect domestic violence and violence                 against women and children to increase. – “Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 9 minutes, that victim is a child.”

4. This one gives food to the elderly who are shut inside their homes.           

      1. We need the CDC!!! “The CDC Foundation is an independent nonprofit and the sole entity created by Congress to mobilize philanthropic and private-sector resources to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s critical health protection work.


  1. Last, but not least: GET POLITICAL! We must flip the leadership in this country. The time is now. Act Blue is one of my favorite links, because it reaches campaigns that need it the most.

I promise not to go away, but instead of posting every day for 14 days, I’ll post once every 14 days.

Stay well. Find emerging beauty.




Emerging Beauty: Find beauty in your world. Post 13: books!

March 31, 2020
brass colored chandelier

Photo by Emre Can on

Read a book! As a writer, I read a lot—it’s my work and my practice. I’ve tried to recommend books published in the last couple of years, although there a few exceptions. If you have kids or teens, I’ve made a list for them, too. Enjoy!

Adult Fiction

The Nickel Boys: Colson Whitehead

A Gentleman in Moscow: Amor Towles

Circe: Madeline Miller

American Dirt:Jeanine Cummins

A Woman is No Man: Etaf Rum

The Friend: Sigrid Nunez

The Great Alone: Kristin Hannah

There, There: Tommy Orange

Writers and Lovers: Lily King

Water Dancer: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Bear Town: Fredrik Backman

Homegoing: Yaa Gyasi

Olive, Again: Elizabeth Strout

Lilac Girls: Martha Hall Kelly

The Great Believers: Rebecca Makkai

The Refugees(short stories): Viet Thanh Nguyen

Sabrina & Corina(short stories): Kali Fajardo-Anstine

State of Wonder: Ann Patchett (I liked it better than The Dutch House)

Top of my to-read Fiction list:

The Island of Sea Women: Lisa See


Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor; Layla Saad

The Five Invitations; Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully: Frank


The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present: David


The Immoral Majority: Ben Howe

The Choice: Embrace the Possible: Edith Eger (part memoir of the holocaust)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness: Michelle Alexande

Top of my NF to-read list: American Wolf: Nate Blakeslee 


The Distance Between Us:Reyna Grande

The Summer Isles: Philip Marsden

-Waiting for Snow in Havana: Carolos Eire

The Faraway Nearby: Rebecca Solnit

The Fire Next Time: James Baldwin (Non Fiction)

-Educated: Tara Westover

-The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees: Meredith May

Young Adult (I’m not a fantasy reader but there are great YA fantasy, sci-fi and dystopian books out there)

            The Poet X: Elizabeth Acevedo

            Shout: Laurie Halse Anderson

The Language of Cherries: Jen Marie Hawkins

We Were Here: Matt de la Pena

A Room Away From the Wolves: Nova Ren Suma

Boy Erased: A Memoir: Garrard Conley

We Are Okay: Nina LaCour

Dear Martin:Nic Stone

All the Bright Places: Jennifer Niven

The Serpent King: Jeff Zentner

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone: Rachel Lynn Solomon

I’ll Give You the Sun: Jandy Nelson

Story of a Girl: Sara Zarr

Two Boys Kissing: David Levithan

books by Ellen Hopkins (poetry format)

Top of my YA to-read list:

Skythe: Neal Shusterman

Upper middle grade (11-13)

The Bridge Home: Padma Venkatraman

            Refugee: Alan Gratz

The War That Saved My Life: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

To Night owl from Dogfish: Holly Goldberg Sloan

Eventown: Corey Ann Haydu

The Only Black Girls in Town: Brandy Colbert

The Benefits of Being and Octopus: Ann Braden

Merci Suarez Changes Gears: Meg Medina  

            Ghost: Jason Reynolds

Millicent Min, Girl Genius:Lisa Yee

The Someday Birds: Sally J. Pla

Listen, Slowly; Thanhha Lai

The Good Hawk; Joseph Elliott

George: Alex Gino

Top of my NF to-read list: A Wish in the Dark: Christina Soontornvat and Genesis Begins Again: Alicia D. Williams

Younger middle grade (8-10)

The Runaways: Ulf Stark

Breaking Stalin’s Nose: Eugene Yelchin

Everlasting Nora:Marie Miranda Cruz

Bob: Wendy Mass

The One and Only Ivan: Katherine Applegate

Clementine Series: Sara Pennypacker

Books by Sarah Aronson and Kate DiCamillo

Picture books– there are so many to love!

As soon as I publish this list, I’ll think of 10 more to add, so feel free to contact me any time for ideas.

Stay well. Find emerging beauty.