Books · The Writing Life

Living Your Personal Legend

They were looking only for gold,” his companion answered. “They were seeking the treasure of their Personal Legend, without wanting actually to live out the Personal Legend. Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist While reading The Alchemist, I felt my quest to be a published author was akin to Santiago’s quest for the buried treasure. He believed… Continue reading Living Your Personal Legend


Best Book I’ve Read This Year

The Bookends column in Sunday's New York Times Book Review asked sixteen authors what was the best book, new or old, he or she read this year. Only two of the books listed stood out to me. The first one was Outline by Rachel Cusk.  It's about a woman writer who goes to Athens in the summer… Continue reading Best Book I’ve Read This Year

Books · The Writing Life

Reading is Fundmental

Sometimes the hardest thing about writing is getting started. First, you fight the internal battle to sit your bum in the chair. Once you actually sit, you have to figure out what to write. Then there’s the issue of having an idea in your head only to forget it the moment you open a document… Continue reading Reading is Fundmental

Books · Quotes

A Life Lesson from Edith Wharton

  I finally finished House of Mirth from my summer reading list. I wanted to abandon it several times, but it felt like cheating to not to read any of the classics off the list. I tried to read Lady Chatterly’s Lover several years ago on the beach in Aruba. Needless to say that was… Continue reading A Life Lesson from Edith Wharton


Support Your Local Independent Bookstore

After creating my summer reading list, I headed over to Barnes and Noble to purchase a few books. And much to my dismay, they didn’t have any of the books I listed. I asked a bookseller to check the computer to see if they had How to be Alone by Jonathan Franzen. Supposedly they had… Continue reading Support Your Local Independent Bookstore


Summer Reading List

Call me weird, but I get excited when my daughter brings home her summer reading list. I can't wait to see which books the teachers selected. And I feel a certain vindication when one of my favorites makes the cut. I'm always tempted to read one of the books on the list as a way… Continue reading Summer Reading List


Ten Women Writers Who Most Influenced My Work

Helensadornementsblog just started a series called, Ten Influential Women Who Have Influenced My Life and Inspired Me. The blog features a post about how each of the women on the list has played a part in how Helen makes daily decisions and lives her life. It reminded me of all women writers who have guided… Continue reading Ten Women Writers Who Most Influenced My Work

Books · Home

The Quiet Desperation of Suburban Living

I was tempted to jump on the holiday bandwagon and make this blog about Christmas, but I just finished Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and had to write about it. I probably would not have read the novel if a friend from my writing group hadn’t recommended. She thought it might be useful to my writing,… Continue reading The Quiet Desperation of Suburban Living

Books · Quotes

Reading and Ruminating – Krik?Krak!

Lately, I've had a lot of free time on my hands so I decided to volunteer at a local shelter for women. I thought it might be helpful if I taught a writing class, but the program didn't really lend itself to that type of thing.  I went to the volunteer orientation nonetheless. There were… Continue reading Reading and Ruminating – Krik?Krak!


Hemingway Lesson Part II – Replenish your creative well

I love the scene from The Shining when Shelley Duvall goes into Jack Nicolson’s office and finds a stack of paper with “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” typed repeatedly for hundreds of pages. When I first saw it, back the 80’s, it really creeped me out. But now whenever I… Continue reading Hemingway Lesson Part II – Replenish your creative well