Category Archives: Journalism

Just a mom, stuck at home, watching the world and thinking…

When all of this is over, I wonder if the world will look back and see both the stumbles and the triumphs clearly. I wonder if, when we attempt to rewrite history with 20/20 hindsight, we wind up agonizing over missed opportunities … or celebrating the changes we made that improved everything going forward. 

I wonder if we’ll choose a path that lets this break us, estrange us, and split us apart. We may be tempted to boomerang back into our old ways and let 300,000+ lives be lost for nothing. We may want to stick our heads in the sand and let the carnage continue long after the virus is defeated. Or we may decide to see this as a turning point.

We can choose to learn from what we’ve experienced. We can choose to re-prioritize. We can choose to do what human beings do best and reinvent ourselves.

When all of this is over, we can turn reluctant adaptation into revolutionary innovation — innovation that, this time, doesn’t happen at the expense of our planet. Or our freedom. Or our ability to enjoy what’s truly important in life. This time, we can redefine the word “progress” to mean something that benefits us all — two-legged, four-legged, leafy and scaled alike.

There is a wonderful video going around by British poet “Probably Tom Foolery,” which looks back on the current pandemic and dubs it “The Great Realisation.” Obviously, this is oversimplified — glossing over all the death, the ruin, and the profound suffering caused by this virus. But it is prophetic and inspiring nonetheless.

No one is happy that Covid-19 is happening. But it is. It is clawing a defining line in the earth and daring us to cross back over. “The Great Realisation” spotlights an unprecedented opportunity to fix what was wrong before the world as we knew it shut down. 

As Clarence the angel said in the 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” it’s a rare gift to see how the world would look without us in it. Right now, we are being shown what our planet would be like without humanity — or at least without its unchecked air-polluting, garbage-dumping, oil-spilling, ocean-ravaging, wildlife-annihilating tendencies. It’s as if Mother Nature watched all of our toothless pontificating about climate change, grew tired of our worthless political bickering, could no longer stomach our blatant denial of reality … and decided enough was enough. No fair-minded person can deny how the atmosphere is improving, and wildlife is flourishing, and waterways are clearing while we’re in detention.

The question is do we listen? Or do we become that world-destroying species we’ve prophesied and demonized in so many science fiction sagas? Do we channel our inner cinematic villain and sweep everything we’ve seen under the rug?

Life after the pandemic will inevitably be different, no matter how we decide to move forward. We will adapt. We will survive. But when has that ever been humanity’s ultimate goal?

If hindsight is 20/20, then let 2020 be the year we defog our lenses, prepare for the future, and stop letting petty rivalries obscure what is right.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Journalism, Misc, Opinions

Starting your own pesticide-free, organic vegetable garden

Now that spring has officially sprung, all eyes are turning from the living room to the back yard. Daffodils are bursting through the soil. Tulips are waiting in the wings. And ambitious gardeners are browsing home improvement stores with green-eyed envy and thumbs to match. But beyond planting beautiful flowers, spring is the ideal time to start a backyard vegetable garden.

Why?

For starters, while that emerald green ball of broccoli at the supermarket may look packed full of vitamins, the truth is vegetables start losing nutrients the moment they are picked. Growing your own lets you control how long your produce waits for mealtime, how organic it is, how much damage it does to your wallet (especially when it comes to those pricey herbs and berries!), and even how good it tastes.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Home & Family, Journalism

InD’tale Magazine helps me explore the dirty side of fairy tales

The following article was published in the wonderful (and free!) InD’tale Magazine, “serving self and small published with a romantic flair.” To read more and sign up for a digital subscription (Did I mention it’s free?), visit www.indtale.com.

Screen shot 2014-04-07 at 7.34.23 PMWhen you think of “clean reads,” do you immediately picture a handsome knight rescuing a gorgeous damsel, placing her gracefully atop his snowy white steed, and trotting off to their standing-room-only wedding by the sea? Do you think of fairy tales in which good conquers all, true love never dies, and beauty (even if disguised at first) is the ultimate sign of virtue?

If so, you might be in for a rude awakening (though not nearly as rude as the first Sleeping Beauty’s, as you’ll soon find out). That’s because many of the wholesome, Disneyfied fairy tales we know and love are actually hiding much darker pasts—pasts filled with sex, violence, and terrifyingly inventive ways to kill people. Put it this way: if your kids read the original tales before bedtime, you’ll be calming their screams until morning!

I stumbled upon these grisly origins while doing research for Desperately Ever After, which takes our most beloved fairy tale characters and imagines what happened to them when the wedding bells stopped ringing. From Hans Christian Andersen to the Brothers Grimm, consider these the skeletons buried deep in the back of Walt Disney’s closet.

Fair warning: you may experience loss of innocence. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Desperately Ever After, Fairy Tale Spin-offs, Journalism

Two contests and a bunch of weddings

PHOTO BY LOWELL DARRAGH PRODUCTIONS

Once again, the competition was fierce for this week’s author giveaway–with Kerry Schafer’s fans REALLY stepping to the plate to win a copy of her first two BETWEEN books. Both she and I were thrilled and humbled by the response. And while we’d love to give copies to everyone, the winner (by random number generation) is … Alex Clapper!

Congratulations to Alex and I you all come back next week, when Mari Passananti stops by to chat about her road to publication. And, yes, to offer up a copy of both THE HAZARDS OF HUNTING WHILE HEARTBROKEN and THE K STREET AFFAIR.

On another note, I’m happy to announce that the long-awaited annual Westchester/Hudson Valley Weddings magazine is in stores now. If you’re thinking about getting hitched in the area … or just enjoy reading about rehabbed venues with tons of history (like former Civil War factories and silent picture studios), take a look at my feature on pages 76-85. Or, if you’d rather just read the Internet version asap, click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interviews, Journalism

Breaking into the dog magazine market

Screen shot 2013-08-09 at 2.22.07 PMMore than two years ago (that long?!), I wrote an article on my “other” blog about a poor little puppy named Angel who was born with two broken forearms. (Click here to see original post)

It was heart-wrenching, watching the videos of her swim across the floor, screaming in pain. Nothing could have made it worse – not even the fact that she was a half-sister to my own beloved dog Shadow. It was just horrible. Plain and simple.

But unlike other breeders, who might have whipped out the calculator and decided Angel just wasn’t worth saving, Janet Wilson at Blue Diamond Breeding decided to do something.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Journalism, Puppy Love

Tapping the fitness gurus

fitness goalsAs a writer, it’s tempting to shun the daylight, fall into a sedentary rut, and start measuring progress not by words on the page but by the indent on my rolly chair. This, believe it or not, is rarely a good idea.

To avoid this fate, I’ve made it a point to do some sort of exercise every day – whether it be an hour of P90x (lean, of course), a hike with my dog, or an episode of Friday Night Lights on the elliptical. It’s become as much a part of my daily routine as drinking coffee and brushing my teeth… but it still takes will power. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Journalism

It happens here, too

Westchester Mag - GatewaysBack in the fall, I visited the Jewish Child Care Association’s sprawling campus in Pleasantville, N.Y., to sit down with Janmarie Brown for a feature in Westchester Magazine.

Brown is director of Gateways, a residential program for girls who have experienced the horrors of domestic trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Some are as young as twelve years old, some have refused help only to come back again, and many have rewritten their lives thanks to Brown and her staff.

So many people think of trafficking as a foreign problem, something that doesn’t happen in their back yard. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Journalism

Spring Gardening & Kiwi Magazine

april-may-new-issue-post-imageCheck out the April/May issue of KIWI, a fantastic up-and-coming magazine that helps families cook, play, eat, grow, and live organically. The current issue offers recipes to please picky eaters, advice on reinventing your career after kids, and my article about bringing that spring garden to life.

Many thanks to my expert sources: Fern Marshall Bradley, author of Rodale’s Vegetable Garden Problem Solver; Barbara Pleasant, author of Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardensand Sarah Pounders, education specialist with the National Gardening Association.

Leave a comment

Filed under Journalism

It’s out!

This month’s Prick of the Spindle is out, and guess whose name is in the table of contents… Right next to the story called Swampfront Luxury

Give up?

Well, go find out! You can see it for free here or buy it for the Kindle here. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Journalism