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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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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There are plenty of ways to get from Washington, DC to Charlottesville, VA, but the best way is through the backroads.  Horse farms framed with white picket fences and blossoming magnolia trees along two-lane roads make the 95-mile drive into the angelic countryside of Central Virginia a relaxing prelude to a visit at Clifton Inn.


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When I take a mental health day, I don’t generally curl up on the sofa with a good book (although during the winter that’s about all I like to do) but rather I draw a 150 mile radius around Washington, DC where I live and head for a hideaway that looks appealing.  With my mind on overload from another iteration of health reform legislation and trying to decipher whether the public option will kill the deal, I headed to


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