Books, love, Writing

Amy Ferris


This woman. Amy Ferris: author of “Dancing at the Shame Prom,” “Marrying George Clooney,” “Shades of Blue,” etc. Wonderfully brave, life-changing books by a writer extraordinaire, a brilliant and fiercely kind writing teacher. And a crackup. Amy Ferris is a woman who lifts up other women and shines her bright, bright light on them. How lucky was I to take a writing workshop with her, where she asked if I had copies of my book with me. “No,” I said. “Get them,” she insisted. “Ask your husband to bring them over. Do it!” And so I did and he did and she made sure everyone at the workshop knew this was my book. How lucky am I learn about the generosity of this woman, Amy Ferris, and to have her shine her bright, bright light on my novel? Damn lucky. And I’m going to keep paying that forward. Thank you, wonderful and amazing Amy. Oh, how I love you.

Books, events, family

Westport Library, Nanuet Library, & Childhood Friends

It’s been an amazing ‘old home week’ on the east coast. In Westport, I’m staying at the beautiful home of my childhood friend, Lucy, which whom I share so much history and who spearheaded the event at The Westport Library. And who should happen to walk into the Library as I was talking? My best friend from P.S. 87, Cynthia, who lives nearby. Here we are at age 7, in my kitchen and last night, in Lucy’s living room, after a great time together.



Continue reading “Westport Library, Nanuet Library, & Childhood Friends”

Books, events

Hollye Dexter’s Barnes and Noble Event

hollye1Over this past weekend I went to the most amazing book launch at Barnes and Noble – The Grove – of Hollye Dexter’s phenomenal book, FIRE SEASON.

It is a must-read, searing account of the roller coaster ride that began for Hollye and Troy Dexter on the night they jumped out of a second story window when their house was engulfed in flames. Her story – from ruin to redemption – ends with hope.

On Saturday, Hollye read a riveting and heartfelt passage, held up a charred childhood diary dug out of the rubble, presented an expert from the Red Cross who told us how to keep safe in emergencies and was joined by husband Troy Dexter on guitar and singers Gloria Loring and Stephen Bishop. What a family. What a community. What a book launch. Magic!!!

hollye6 hollye5 hollye4 hollye3 hollye2

Books, Grief, Interview, Writing

Linda Schreyer Interviews Mark Liebenow

Linda Schreyer and Mark Liebenow
Linda Schreyer and Mark Liebenow

Linda Schreyer continues her Writers’ Talk at Studio West podcast series with an insightful interview with naturalist and grief writer Mark Liebenow.

Mark Liebenow is a grief author and naturalist.

“His essays on grief have been published in grief journals like Modern Loss, The Manifest Station, and Open to Hope, as well as in literary journals like River Teeth, Chautauqua, Saint Katherine Review, Antler, and Under the Sun. He is a member of the Refuge in Grief community and coordinates its Grief Café. He writes about grief on his website, and is finishing up work on his grief memoir.

Liebenow is the author of four books, the most recent being Mountains of Light: Seasons of Reflection in Yosemite, published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2012. His essays, poems, and literary criticism have been published in journals like The Colorado Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Spoon River Poetry Review, Disquieting Muses Quarterly, Clackamas Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Rain Taxi Review. ”

His grief blog is, his Twitter @MarkLiebenow2, and his website is Please visit his website for more information.

And of course, enjoy the podcast!


Fire Season by Hollye Dexter

Ganesh, remover of obstacles stands guard on Hollye Dexter’s deep and searing “Burn Season.” Picked the book up and couldn’t put it down. What a writer. What a journey from ruin to redemption. Congratulations, Hollye! See you at the launch – Barnes and Noble – The Grove – April 25.

Hollye Dexter
Fire Season by Hollye Dexter


Books, Classes, Writing


When I was all of 22 I decided I wanted to teach. But I only wanted to teach in a school like Summerhill, which I’d read about and loved. I learned of such a school nearby, in Rockland County, where I lived at the time. I walked in, met the four teachers who’d started it a year earlier, began to volunteer the following week and ended up teaching there for the next 7 years. Those 4 teachers are in this photo, taken at a reunion 5 years ago. Our students are still in touch with us. We all, teachers, students, parents changed each other’s lives. Jim, you were/are the heart of the school. Can’t wait to be together in May.


Book Club, Books, Writing

Book Club Event for Tears and Tequila

Big, huge thank you and love to Diane Golden for hosting a scintillating TEARS AND TEQUILA brunch/book club in her home high above the Pacific Ocean. Jo-Ann Lautman, Marion Rosenberg and I were wined, dined and delighted to talk with these brilliant women – a psychologist, a psychiatrist and two lawyers. Phew. I was nervous beforehand. But we left, warmed and engaged by their welcoming hearts and insightful comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is the best part of writing a book!!!


Books, Writing

A Message to a Writer

Oh how I love this! A great image and message for a writer (like me) with a recently published book. I’m sure this applies to many others of us, too, writers or not. Let’s tell ourselves to keep up the good work, all of us. The size of our audience doesn’t matter. Look at the rapt expression on that kitty’s face….