Maybe it’s because I’m a writer so people are prone to tell me this but it seems everyone wants to write a book.  Mostly they want to write their life story.  Maybe not all of it, but there are always a few memorable events — being high-jacked over Africa, surviving a childhood illness, catching the garage on fire — they want others to know about before too much time passes.


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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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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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