Category Archives: My Opinionated Self

The Amazing Jewish Book Fair Ride

 Don’t forget; Jewish people read an enormous amount,” my lovely (and Jewish) literary agent said before my book launch. “We really love books.”

I nodded. Yes, I knew that—at least I knew it inasmuch as I was Jewish and I read—as did my mother, my sister, and my daughters, but could I raise that sample to the status of landslide? Discerning what was true in my culture was fraught with difficulty. I grew up with a slight case of anomie, surrounded by a cultural belief that all-things-Jewish=equals families-pushing-one-towards-great-achievement, while, among other family oddities, my grandmother taught me to shoplift.

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Wearing Their Husband’s Sins

When Bernie Madoff’s crimes came to light, Ruth Madoff caught the rage right along side him. With no evidence, she was thrown on a virtual pyre—charged guilty by association and wedding ring.

The world expected Hillary Clinton to answer for Bill Clinton’s infidelities, both by denying the charges in the aftermath and then absorbing the blame as she ran for president. Donald Trump’s infidelity was somehow equated with Hillary Clinton’s husband’s infidelity.

Camille Cosby has been consistently berated, asked to answer for her husband’s crimes, as Beth Teitell wrote in the Boston Globe:

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Also posted in Book Postcards, The Widow of Wall Street | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Money, Me & THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET

Money. It’s our last taboo. People spill seamy details about their sex lives before talking about their finances, salary, or savings accounts. And yet, despite this curtain of silence, money is not only (supposedly) the root of all evil, it’s at the heart of relationship battles, shattered dreams, and midnight wakefulness.

Money (sadly) is often how men measure their worth and how women measure men. We forgive dreary people their dreadfulness a lot quicker when they possess fat checkbooks—particularly when their riches are combined with a successful career. Writers laugh louder at the jokes of acclaimed fellow authors. Relatives give a bit more latitude to rich aunties and uncles. All of us, whether with awareness or not, bow a bit in the face of a fat wallet.

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Also posted in Love & Marriage, The (Dis)Comfort of Money, The Widow of Wall Street | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Woman vs Man Preparing for Book Launch & Events



Woman: weeks (months?) getting ready for book launch.
Buy new dress.
Return dress.
Decide to wear edgy jagged-hem blouse.
Realize anyone using word ‘blouse’ is too old for edgy.

Pick  black dress from among 12 similar black dresses in closet.
Try 12 similar schmattas (aka shrugs, cardigans, wraps) to cover upper arms.

Spends hour trying on necklaces to enhance neckline.

Remembers Bobbi Brown admonition to women of a certain age: Color near face for brightening!!!

Buys scarf of every color.


Looks for best arrangement of said scarves to
a) Hide neck wattle
b) Brighten!! (see above)
c) Prevent scarf-induced hot flash.

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Also posted in Book Tour, Cultural Politics, My Life, promotion | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

How Jobs Taught Me What To Write

wordificator (2) Our writer’s code, written into our secret writer club rules, remind us that day jobs stand between us and a published novel. I understand. For years I thought if only and when and someday. And yes, working one, two, three jobs at a time took a big bite out of what would certainly have been my fast track to a Pulitzer. But slogging through, learning at, loving, and hating a number of jobs, that’s what formed and hold up my novels.

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Love me! Read me! Buy me! Writer’s Fear-Clenching Book Launch Thoughts

 

Book launch day shoots towards me like an asteroid.

Three weeks.

Not ready.

Almost-final drafts of essays surround me. Fear, sleeplessness, and worry consume me. I won’t get reviewed. I will get reviewed—but they will all hate me. I have nothing to wear to events. Okay, I do have stuff to wear, but nothing will fit, since I can’t stop eating.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter, since no one will come to my launch readings.

Okay. My husband will come. (That’s a law, right?)

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Likeability Laced With Betty Crocker Syndrome (In Real Life & Fiction)

 

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A few years ago, when speaking with a reporter about my then-just-released novel, Accidents of Marriage, she mentioned how surprised she was by her negative reactions to the main character—how the character ‘provoked’ her husband. The reporter sympathized with the husband’s anger. The next day, participating on a book panel, the moderator spoke of the husband in the book as a virtual out-of-control monster and his wife Maddy as a frightened woman battling emotional abuse.

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Shopping for Good: Gorgeous Gifts (for Men, Women & Kids!) that Help

 

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Tis the season for helping! As we give thanks, we donate to the causes that are closest to our hearts—for some it’s helping to fight cancer, for others rescuing animals, and for some it’s ensuring the arts flourish.

As the holidays barrel down, many of us plan to give donations in loved one’s names, but few of us can bear a holiday devoid of three-dimensional gifts . . . so, why not combine good and wrapping papers by buying a form and function gift such as the Remember Bracelet above (and the many below).

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One Morning in America Wearing a Safety Pin

 

safetypin-s

Today, for the first time since the election, I went out and about in places where my safety pin could be clearly seen. (Till now? More hunkered, than out.)

I’ll put this as plainly as I can—it made a difference. Three times in one morning, interacting with two women (sisters) I’ve known for fifteen years, and two strangers. Immigrants from three countries: Brazil, Vietnam, and Ireland.

1) The sisters and I spoke in my driveway. One speaks easily in English; the other is less comfortable. The former pointed to the safety pin on my sweater and said, “I just heard about that on the radio.” We all shook our heads.

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Also posted in Cultural Politics | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Ten Ways to Begin Protecting Our Country, Our Worlds & Human Rights

 


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Like so many, I woke up this morning, tearful, angry, and terrified for the freedom of all in our country and the attention we must pay to climate change. But even as I feel horrified, I refuse to feel hopeless or without agency.

We must look forward, ever more determined to do the right thing.

(My family tells me, sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a rolling of their eyes, that I have always been a ‘Plan B’ person).

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