Join me Monday 6 April, 5pm ET, for another author checkin

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Your warmth sustained me in our last checkin. I want to return the favor. I’ll start with a comforting reading from the greatest nonfiction book I’ve ever read, Hegarty on Creativity, by John Hegarty. Then warmth, support, and answers for any of your questions about books, writing, and life. Mark your calendar for 5pm ET … Continued

Kids at home? Here are a few tips from a successful homeschooling family.

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My wife and I homeschooled our two children. One has now graduated Tufts University, magna cum laude, and the other is studying computer science at the University of Massachusetts. They’ve grown into smart, moral, and caring people. Here’s a little of what we learned from schooling them that may help you survive the next few … Continued

Viral generosity

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I’m usually a hardass. But I find myself feeling a lot more generous right now. Yesterday, I went shopping at Whole Foods. It was the day after Trump’s address, after the WHO had declared a pandemic, after the stock crash, the emergency declarations, the NBA shut down. The local schools and library were announcing that … Continued

The trouble with skills coaching

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I write, ghostwrite, edit, and advise writers. I also coach them. Coaching is the hardest, and the thing I have the most trouble with. The challenge is the mindset. I have a project and problem-solving mindset. This is why I like writing and editing projects. The to-dos look like this: How can I help my … Continued

Bizarre art and architecture in Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

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Deep in Philadelphia’s South Street neighborhood is a structure — or piece of art, I’m not sure — that absolutely should not exist. It makes no sense. It boggles the mind. And it inspires. But what is one to do with the inspiration? How the magic gardens came to be In 1968, the city of … Continued

What kind of people should your children love?

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Over the holidays I’ve gotten to spend time with the sweethearts of my two adult children. They are lovely people. The question of how you treat your children’s chosen lovers reveals a lot about yourself and your own prejudices. What is in your rational mind is not always the same as what your habits reveal. … Continued

Sad Christmas connections

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Once, about 33 years ago, I spent Christmas in the dumps. I’d been married in the midst of a blizzard. Four years later, I’d bought her rabbit-fur earmuffs for Christmas. But the marriage was failing and we didn’t make it that far. Instead, we had a big fight, and that was the end. I had … Continued