Second only to my love of writing comes reading a good book.    When my own pen stalls on the page, I know it’s time to pick up a good book and see what someone else has to say.  There’s always a good tip on style, voice or rhythm that inspires me to keep writing.   


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The late 1990s were a dark time for me.  My mother was in her third round of treatment for a rare form of cancer and her mother, who lived with her, had suffered a debilitating stroke. My job was secure, but an ambitious decision to go to law school at night required me to spend four nights a week in Baltimore.   


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 A woman suffers a heart attack every minute in the United States. Yet according to a 2009 American Heart Association survey only half of women indicated they would call 9-1-1 if they thought they were having a heart attack even though they were much more likely to call if a loved one had symptoms. 


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It’s a new year and several of my friends have asked me what they need to do to develop a journaling practice.  My first thought:  patience and empathy.  It takes a bold writer to keep a journal but it is the best writing you will ever do.  


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Writing a “thank you” note following the holidays can be as threatening as picking out the right gift.  Why?  Some of us, haven’t  composed two or three simple sentences in a creative, single-thought paragraph since 8th grade English composition.  Here are five pointers that cover the basics.


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