Of Breaths, Challenges and Handing Over the Reins…

“…[M]others and daughters can have a close bond, but should never take it to the level of being best friends…” say Susan Morris Shaffer and Linda Perlman Gordon, co-authors of Too Close for Comfort: Questioning the Intimacy of Today’s New Mother-Daughter Relationship.

“A best friend is different than a mother-daughter relationship,” says Shaffer in her interview

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Of Memoir, Climax, and “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”…

Writing teacher and mentor, Clive Matson, always said that if a writer found her or himself wanting and/or needing to explain her or his story that the reader might gain the author’s intended message, the author needed to revise their story further.

Completing a manuscript requires more than simply writing the story, editing and revising it for clarity regarding grammar and typos, or even for development of plot.

Within each story or novel lives the narrative of that story, and how it came into being.

The author’s understanding and exploration of this process informs

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Of Alice Miller, Amy Chua, and Parenting as a Way of Growth and Transformation…

A beneficiary of the Civil Rights Era, I entered integration in third grade carrying with me the missive delivered to many middle-class African-American children around the country: “Integration [of schools] offers an opportunity to work even harder. You may sit next to white students, but you will need to prove yourself. You will need to work hard and be better at all that you do.”

While my mother and father loathed slothfulness and laziness, this missive added pressure to an already weighty responsibility.

The result has been that I, like many African-Americans of my age and social class are and continue to be over achievers.

The concept of always giving your

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Of Love, Dreams and Waking Up…

“Love is one long sweet dream and marriage is the alarm clock.” BLOOM OF LOVE on Twitter

When reading this on Twitter I immediately thought of how living so closely with someone, waking up to them next to you when your breath does not carry the aroma you would like to hit your nose, never mind that of another, their seeing you sick and the reverse, and their witnessing your various responses to life’s trials can and does reveal your inner core, the essence of your personality.

Yes, love by itself and unfettered by the commitment of marriage, “…for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health…and unto death…”

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Of Intimacy, Revelation and Redemption…

In my recent interview with Tabitha Vinson of Praise and Worship ICU (PWICU), we discussed human intimacy, an aspect that, for Tabitha, played heavily in my recent novel, The House.

That night, it struck me that as with The House, and all good works of fiction, intimacy plays an important role in not simply the emotional narrative of a story.

Intimacy heavily contributes to the establishment of the opening of a work of fiction.

Through presenting the protagonist in a series of intimate relationships, readers get to know the personality of the central character, flaws and all.

From this we gain entrance into their yearnings.

And yearnings always relate to desires and wants, ultimately inner conflicts that get ignited once the protagonist enters the quest to achieve her or his goal.

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Change, Challenge and Seasons of Growth…

I’ve been gone most of the summer, first to Brussels, then to Maui where vacation each year. 



As the opening of the new school year approaches I am amazed at how it seems that just yesterday I was bidding a enjoyable and safe travels to fellow parents and their daughters and sons who attend the same school as my children.

Now nearly 2 and half months later I have received the first in a line of requests from the service that provides lunches at the school our youngest child attends the choices of entrées our child desires.

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Of Pacing, Tension and the All-Important Artistry of Holding the Reader’s Attention…a

Author, Ken Follett, writes, “There is a rule which says that the story should turn about every four to six pages. A story turn is anything that changes the basic dramatic situation. It can change it in a little way or change it in a big way. …You can’t go longer than about six pages without a story turn, otherwise the reader will get bored. … Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, follows the same rule. In Dickens it’s the same; something happens about every four to six pages.”

The author of at least 20 novels, many of which are thrillers that have achieved international success, this list includes Follett’s well-received historical works, The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, the latter of which made the New York Times Best Seller List.

Adapted for film, The Pillars of the Earth debuted July 23, 2010 on Starz as a mini-series.

When it comes to pacing, Follett’s admonishments are well taken. But what is he really talking about?

Pacing. Read the rest of this entry…

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