Interview with Lisa Barr, Author of The Unbreakables PLUS BOOK GIVEAWAY

Saturday, September 14, 2019

  Lisa Barr is the author of The Unbreakables (HarperCollins) a delicious, sharp novel about a Chicago woman who jets off to France after her “perfect” marriage collapses, putting the broken pieces of herself back together while rediscovering her own joie de vivre—a lust for life, art, and passion. Artful, feminist, and emotionally gripping, The Unbreakables is a remarkable tribute to a woman’s strength in the face of heartbreak and adversity.        What’s one book that made…

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Irrational Yelling: The Inspiration for Kathleen’s Debut Novel

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

When I began writing MINOR DRAMAS & OTHER CATASTROPHES, I was in my fifteenth year of classroom teaching, a job I love. In fact, I never deviated in my desire to become a teacher since first having an inkling at age eleven. I idolized my teachers and coaches, desperately wanted to please them, and delighted in the quirks they brought to their work. I couldn’t wait to join their professional…

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Writing Through Distractions of the Small Child Variety

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My emergence as a writer and a mother occurred nearly simultaneously—I was suddenly flooded with stories when I was pregnant with my second child, and my oldest was two years old. Writing for me has always involved coping with distractions of the small child variety.  Yet, I earned two college degrees and wrote over one thousand pages while mothering two small creatures over nearly a decade, and I like to…

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Writing Books and Chasing Dreams—But First, Survive the Diaper Years

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I sat in my very first writer’s workshop the week after I left my soon-to-be-ex-husband.  I was going to chase my dreams, damn it, along with raising two boys in diapers and finding a job and a place to live.  The presenter said something along the lines of, “you can’t write a memoir before you are forty,” or maybe it was, “no one wants to publish a memoir by someone…

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Senior Year Sick Notes

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

As part of our week on “character spin-offs,” I’m sharing an epistolary piece on parenting a high school senior. (Been there, done that. Two times.) Enjoy!   9/9 Dear Ms. Tissler, I hope you had a terrific summer! Just wanted to let you know that Nick is missing school for the next 3 days. We’re heading to the west coast for college visits! Too far away, but I’ll let him look….

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Gratification Now! A Self-Care Guide

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Whenever I think about caring for oneself, I always remember the well-known, highly effective parenting technique that I utilized with my own kids, called Gratification Now. It works really well. And teaches wonderful, life-long lessons. The idea is that whenever you’re feeling depleted, low, sad, tired, hungry, or have a need of any kind, just give yourself what you need, whatever that may be, and do it without delay! Gratification…

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Wondering What Your Kid Is Saying To That Nice Interviewer?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

And there you are, sitting in the waiting area, while your 9-year-old son Steven is off interviewing with the head of admissions from Milton Middle School. You’re trying to wait patiently, but you can’t help wondering, “What will he talk about if I’m not there to prod him along? Will he stick to good topics? Will he ask interesting questions?” Meanwhile, in the admissions office down the hall, the interviewer and Steven have taken their seats. (Brace yourself… Your kid…

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Advice for Writers Who Are Also Parents: “Everything is copy.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

So you may have noticed that my post this morning was late. Here’s why: life. More specifically? Kids. My whole life as a “real,” soon-to-be published author, I’ve also been a real, extremely sleep-deprived parent. It’s been really intense – lots of skin of our teeth moments and exhaustion. But you know what? I’ve realized that I wouldn’t have it any other way. My kids (and husband!) are what motivate…

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Deb Susan and the Serrano of Doom

In my family’s language , “funny stories” translates to “let’s embarrass the children.” And so, with no further ado: When my son was small, I often took him to visit my father on weekends. Dad lived 20 minutes from us, with a big backyard where my son could run and play. Dad also loved Jack-in-the-Box cheeseburgers, so I usually picked up lunch on the way. One midsummer afternoon when my…

Thursday, November 29, 2012
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4 Things That Help Deb Sarah Feel Balanced (Even When She’s Not)

Oh, balance, where art thou? Somewhere in the last four years (note the milestone here–four years ago was when my first son arrived!), I’ve lost hold of her. And in her place? Her evil sis, chaos, has entered. But, this doesn’t mean I haven’t fought–hard–to get my grasp back on balance. Sometimes I manage, other times I don’t. But any hard-working, super-busy mom–or any hardworking super-busy person–knows that balance isn’t…

Thursday, December 9, 2010
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