April 26, 2010

Remembering my Aunt Lil

April 26, 2010

This has been a sad week for me. My Aunt Lil, my father’s younger sister, died yesterday afternoon. She had a good long life—she was 93. But still she fought until the bitter end, when her body finally gave out.

She was the last of my blood relatives in my parents’ generation, so an important part of my connection to the past has been lost.

April 23, 2010

Doing Nothing

April 23 2010

They say staring at walls is a “fine art,” and maybe it is. Most days, when someone asks me what I’ve been up to, I reply, “nothing.” Or “not much.” Or “what have I been up to? Can’t quite remember. Getting old, I guess.”

April 18, 2010

Watching TV at My House

April 18, 2010

When I was a child, television was full of families that seemed to get along so well. I'd watch shows like Father Knows Best or Ozzie and Harriet or Leave It to Beaver or Donna Reed. What happened during the space of a half an hour was a relevation to me.

Thinking About the Past

April 18, 2010

When I wrote Glass Hearts, I revisited World War I Hungary and imagined my mother's family through the eyes of my aunt. I really loved escaping to that world, and wallowing around in the chapters, I felt alive during that distant time. I did tons of research (pre-Google) and read stacks of books in order to transport myself there. It was a magical experience.

April 16, 2010

Should I Revisit GLASS HEARTS

April 13, 2010

Glass Hearts was the first novel I ever wrote. It grew out of my close friendship with my late aunt, Sarah Grossman. Several years before she died in 2000, she had a very serious heart operation. We were both afraid she wouldn't survive. Luckily, she did, and those extra years were quite a gift to both of us. I recorded her recollections of her early childhood in Hungary and found out exactly how my mother's family came to the US right after World War I, something I had never known before.

Why I Wish BLIND LOVE Was 700 Pages Long--Or Do I

April 12, 2010

If Blind Love were 700 instead of 350 pages long, I'd still be working on it instead of sitting here, worrying about whether anyone else will think the book is worth reading. When I'm writing, I'm just writing, enjoying the way my characters talk and transcribing what they say and do. I sometimes feel like writing amounts to going upstairs to my study to play with my imaginary friends, which is a pretty accurate description. (About half the time, it's more struggle than play.)

Why Part of Me Misses BLIND LOVE

April 8, 2010

I've been thinking a lot these last couple of days about muscle memory--you repeat a certain activity often enough, and your muscles memorize how to do it without you (meaning your brain) having to worry at all. That's how I found the "zone" while playing tennis and racquetball or practicing yoga.

How I Finished BLIND LOVE

April 6, 2010

Today's a red-letter day for me because, guess what, I just finished working on a novel. It's called Blind Love, and I started about two years ago. Back then, I set myself a goal: I was going to write the darned thing in one year. I reorganized my time so that I was a-five-day-a-week woman, and I MADE myself sit down at the computer every Monday through Friday. By February of 2009, in spite of my life continually getting in the way (my beloved cat died and I acquired a new kitten, my elderly aunt got sick, we went on a couple of vactions, I stopped writing for a while to teach a class--you get the idea), I had something resembling an entire book. Of course, certain parts were missing, like the transition to the very end and the connections between between many of the events therein. Still, I handed the "last" chapters to my writers' group (we're called Writers of the Lost Art or WOLA) and was met with a series of howls. The concensus was that I had four chapters to go.