Entries by jbadmin

Mother’s Day is Complicated

I’m the first to recognize Mother’s Day as complicated. Invented in 1908 by Ann Jarvis to celebrate her own mother, a Sunday School teacher and caregiver of soldiers during the Civil War, Mother’s Day was co-opted by greeting card companies by 1920 and today represents a multibillion-dollar enterprise. Despite her own campaigning for the holiday, […]

This Earth Day, Celebrate our Ultimate Mother

This essay was originally published on Medium.com. I set out to write a blog for Mother’s Day; all my novels, including my new one, you see, have strong maternal themes. But as I type, I’m thinking too much about Earth Day, and feeling love for our communal mother, Pacha Mama, Mother Earth, sustainer of us […]

Vladimir by Julia May Jonas

Vladimir by Julia May Jonas I enjoyed the protagonist’s perspective so much. In Vladimir, a fifty-eight year old female English professor married to the former head of the department in a small college in upstate New York. Her husband has been relieved of his duties after 8 former students write letters accusing him of sexual […]

I Came All This Way to Meet You by Jami Attenberg

I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home by Jami Attenberg This an especially good read for a writer. It is an inspiring story of perseverance from an author I admire. The opportunity to glimpse into her life and professional ups and downs was a treat. I have participated in Jami’s #1000wordsofsummer […]

Small Bites of Fear Each Day

This essay was originally posted on Medium.com. I have started wondering why I like to ski so much. Yes, it is the beauty of the mountains, the fresh air, the social component, but it’s also because I regularly push myself. Every time I drop in somewhere steep or carve early morning turns maybe a little […]

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen Crossroads, the first book in the Key to All Mythologies trilogy, is everything I love about Franzen – a big, American, family story. The author commands the luxury of time going deep into the psyches of each member of the Hildebrandt family, all terribly flawed, all trying to do good. The […]

Weather by Jenny Offill

Weather by Jenny Offill This was a fast read both in length but also because of the writing style. Narrated in the first person, Weather by Jenny Offill is a beautiful portrayal of the modern mind at work, flitting to and from between the personal, professional, familial, and then of course the global situation around […]

Digitally Connected: Are We Keeping Track or Trapped?

This essay was originally published on Medium.com.  The first time I did a long drive by myself, I was nineteen. It was 1985 and I drove from Dallas, TX back to college in Northampton, MA with a detour through Detroit (long story), a hot minute in Canada and some time in upstate New York. A cooler […]

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King Such a great story collection. The range of characters and situations was striking and highlights King’s gift of insight and observance. It seams like many novelists are publishing story collections recently and so I actually wasn’t anticipating this collection to be as great as it was. My favorite […]

Wishing You Less in 2022: What’s Your New Years Priority?

As we move toward another new year, I’m considering what’s a priority. On a recent Saturday afternoon, my husband and I were walking in Boston’s Back Bay and shared a stunned expression. We had a free afternoon in front of us. No plans or commitments – I hadn’t felt like that for about twenty-five years. […]