The Driving Force

The almost-youngest members of the family just got their driver’s licenses. I am supposed to feel fear and trepidation about this – but I’ve driven people places so many times for so many reasons for so many years that I feel only relief and joy. Although we probably shouldn’t be, we are a car culture…

Read More

I’m Deleting You

I have a relative I was close to as a child and as a young woman. In recent years, her views on social issues and politics have hardened. When we talked, she’d go on and on about how the science teachers in her teenage daughter’s school were “pushing evolution” and how upset this made her.…

Read More

Imitate This …

When my oldest children were very young, I used to read to them, but when they got old enough to listen to stories more complex than little picture books, I only read to them from stories that I wanted to experience again, as an adult. One of them was National Velvet, the wonderful novel by…

Read More

Every, Every Time

I can’t write a book. I can’t even write a good English sentence. These are the messages I give myself every time I sit down to write a story – every time, through 24 books, dozens of stories, countless essays. The first thing I think is, I can’t do this task, it’s beyond me. I…

Read More

What We Mean When We Talk about “Gaslight-ing”

People of all ages (from my teenagers to seniors) throw around the term “gaslighting” all the time. It is used to mean a cruel attempt on the part of one person to confuse and control another, often by getting that person to think that he or she is going nuts. What few people know is…

Read More

Me Time for Slackers

My friends all have hobbies. My friends report weekly on how they ‘ve added daily yoga to their daily 5K … or finally finished making quilts out of all their children’s baby clothes … or started a serial garden of English perennials. My little sis makes her OWN YOGURT, which I thought of as akin…

Read More

Jackie’s Web: A Random Web of Sentences

I wish that I had written a series of books, one every year,  about a continuing character (maybe not a private detective …) I like predictability; I’m not easily bored; the character would be my old friend. That I chose to write dozens of books, all stand-alone stories, only occasionally mentioning a character I’d written…

Read More