Memories and Writing: The Act of Invention

My collection of childhood diaries
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

When I read Louise’s post about her childhood memories, I had to laugh. Like Louise, my childhood memories are hazy. Former classmates are forgotten. Events never seem to have happened. My parents and sister will say, “Do you remember…” and I say, “Nope, not at all!” On a recent trip with a group of girlfriends, they were reminiscing about a camping trip from hell. It was raining, a woman came…


The Least Sexy Superpower: Optimism

"This irrational optimism is infectious!"
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I don’t want to talk about superpowers. Clearly, if you talk about your superpower, it will–swoosh!–disappear. The first rule of superpowers is you don’t talk about superpowers. As my character Rose would say, “You want to bring on the evil eye? Puh puh puh!” But since that’s the agreed upon topic this week, then that’s what I’ll write about. Puh puh puh! Defining my superpower is difficult. I don’t have…


Interview with Karen Halvorsen Schreck + Giveaway of BROKEN GROUND

BROKEN GROUND by Karen Halvorsen Schreck
Saturday, May 7, 2016

I first encountered Karen Halvorsen Schreck through her debut novel SING FOR ME. I was swept into a world of jazz and love in Depression-era Chicago. The story is evocative and beautifully wrought, so I was excited when I heard she had another novel, BROKEN GROUND, coming out, and I asked her to join us here on the Deb Ball. Newly married to her childhood sweetheart, twenty-one-year-old Ruth Warren is…


Shocking Mom? My Mom? As If.

My mother's phallic art
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A while ago, I was running with a new friend. Running is a great way to get to know people, all those miles to fill with talk. In the course of our getting-to-know you conversation, she said, “My mom is an artist.” “Really?” I said. “Mine too!” Not only did we have something to bond about, but she would understand my particular neuroses. “So,” I asked, “are you in therapy…


Forget Raindrops on Roses; Pass the Rye!

Angel's Envy Rye
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What are my favorite things? Why, I’m so glad you asked! Because I have so many favorite things and I have SUCH strong feelings about them! Let me tell you about my favorite… Writing tool: Scrivener! The corkboard option is worth the price of admission alone. Such an easy way to organize my writing. Running shoe: Yes, I’m a geek and I love my Sauconys. They should pay me, I…


The Anti-Role Model: Can You Be Creative and Happy?

Dorothy Parker in backyard of residence at 412 West 47th Street, New York City
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

At one point in my young adulthood, I realized that all the writers I looked up to were either drunks, depressives, or both. As I’ve mentioned before, I live my life in a Midnight in Paris state of mind: I glamorize the past. Though I know that the 1920s saw an emancipation of sorts for women exerting their freedom, it was still a time of restrictions and rules and, of…


The Next Book: Diving In

Hebrew Orphans Asylum 1920s
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Talking about Next Book* feels funny to me. I have a difficult time talking about what I’m working on, because it’s constantly changing. If you had asked me early on in the writing of MODERN GIRLS, I would have told you that Dottie had gotten pregnant by her boyfriend Abe, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to marry him; the story took place in Newark, NJ; and her mother Rose…


Pub Day: MODERN GIRLS Goes Into the World

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I’ve started this post at least twelve times, but keep deleting it because I can’t seem to find the right words. Today is my pub day. That deserves capitals. Today is my Pub Day. PUB DAY, people! MODERN GIRLS is officially in the world. Unreal. People have been asking how I’ll be spending my Pub Day, and the honest answer is “quietly.” If the snow is melted (yes, snow; Boston…


Writing Conferences: The Lazy Approach

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

This week our topic is laziness. Oh, the odes I could write about laziness! Laziness is making my kids go get me a glass of water because I’m thirsty and they’re young and I’m not. Laziness is pretending not to see that the recycling has piled so high in the can that it’s spilling over the sides. Laziness is writing my Deb Ball posts at the last minute because getting…