As you are, you are

“Do not let your peace depend on the hearts of others; whatever they say about you, good or bad, you are not because of it another, for as you are, you are.” A friend recently posted the above Thomas a Kempis quote on Facebook. I thought immediately of this week’s Debutante Ball theme: reviews. To me reviews can take all different forms, not just straight-up book reviews. A verbal comment…

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A new pair of ’tax from Dr. K

I have crappy vision and have worn glasses since sixth grade. I was a seventh grader when I got my first pair of contact lenses, and I’ve depended on them since. I call them my ’tax. Three years ago when I moved to Collingswood, I was happy to discover I could walk to my new eye doctor’s office, just a few blocks away. Dr. K seems like a genuinely nice…

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Backstory in fiction and real life (or, Orange Juice Man)

My mom taught me an advanced form of people watching. We still practice it fairly often in public places⎯the diner, the airport, a street fair. Here’s how it’s done. Let’s say Mom and I are at the grocery store, strolling the aisle. I push the cart and hum along to the music while Mom checks the sodium content on a can of broth. Up ahead, we both notice a man…

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Foods Day

Tomorrow is April Fools Day and, coincidentally, a significant day for SIMPLY FROM SCRATCH. You see, SIMPLY FROM SCRATCH involves a baking contest. During copyediting, my wise editor suggested I include an original recipe as an epilogue. So I set about inventing a baked good that was not merely edible, but delicious. Those few poor souls who years ago sampled my ill-fated vegan corn muffins, or my chocolate cake the…

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Newsflash March 7

Deb Sarah is thrilled to announce that presales of The Opposite of Me broke’s top 100 list and’s top 30 list this week because of the incomparable #1NYT bestselling author Jennifer Weiner! Read about this unprecedented act of Jenerosity from a bestselling author to a debut novelist here. Deb Sarah is profiled on page 50 of DC Magazine’s March/April issue, and she was interviewed in Bethesda Magazine, which also printed…

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bitzik! Geeking out over word — and family — origins

Growing up I idolized my older sister. I suppose it’s natural, then, that I acquired Annie’s love of word games. These days, we play Banagrams for hours. And we always have a game of Facebook Scrabble going. Something else I acquired from my sister was her French-English dictionary, the one she got while she was in high school. It went with her to college, too. I still have this dictionary….

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Perfect Battle for You

One of my favorite thinkers, Thich Nhat Hanh, says that to break a bad habit, you should greet it like an old friend. So if you want to stop biting your nails, the trick is to recognize that impulse to stick your fingertips in your mouth. You say to that impulse, “Hello, habit energy!” You smile at it. And then, you continue on your way — hopefully without biting your…

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

News flash: February 21

REDBOOK Magazine picks The Opposite of Me by Deb Sarah as a”Bookmark” selection for its March issue! Writes REDBOOK: “As early as elementary school, it was crystal clear: Alex was the pretty twin, Lindsey was the smart one. And since then, they’ve shaped their lives around those labels. So what happens when the piece of your life that most strongly defines you is challenged? With her smart, soulful novel, author…

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Valentine from me to you

I used to be indifferent to Valentines Day until my yoga teacher, a very wise man named Naresh, changed my mind about it. Naresh loves Valentines Day because, he says, any excuse to celebrate love has to be a good one. I think that’s such a cool, arms-outstretched way of approaching life. So thank you, Naresh. And Happy Valentines Day, everyone! Here are some more takes on love from people…

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Aprons, Paul Newman, and oh yeah, book covers

The SIMPLY FROM SCRATCH cover is being created as I type this. I understand an apron might be featured; appropriate, as my widowed narrator takes to wearing her late husband’s old grilling apron around the house. An apron is a kind of uniform, perhaps as much a symbolic one as one born of necessity. What I mean is, I always get a new sense of mental focus when I pull…

Wednesday, February 3, 2010