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The Spirit of the Times

Everyday pleasures. My neon green transistor radio. The stack of '45s I played on my turntable—the Temptations, the Jackson 5. Monday nights watching Laugh-In. Bazooka Bubble Gum. Astro Pops. Fizzies. It's a 1960s childhood. I flattened my…
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Meet the Author: 100 Years in the Life of an American Girl • True Stories 1910 - 2010

Are you in the Bay Area on Saturday March 14, 1:30 - 3:30? If so, please drop by the Petaluma Copperfield's Bookstore, a Meet & Greet where I'll have a table near the entrance and I'll be saying hello and signing books. San Rafael Copperfield's…
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Writing "Just for Family"?

This topic has been on my mind for — well, almost twenty years. When I started teaching memoir back in 1996, twenty-two people circled a big table at the local junior college. Stories so ready to tell poured out of them. Some of those stories…
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Readying for Release

Recently, I finished preparing the over-fifty first-person tales of life through a century for "100 Years in the Life of An American Girl." There are five or six stories in each decade/chapter and each one of those chapters opens with a short…
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The “Stay-Treat”

I need a writing retreat. So I'm creating one.

What Would You Do?

Maybe it’s the nature of inspiration, but inspiration always comes when I’m not looking for it. Recently, it came in the form of a helicopter tour that was a dream come true for a dear friend who didn’t expect to see her 50th birthday. In…

Journaling: The Precious Pulse

Journaling was my first best friend growing up. I didn't know it with that first hardcover diary with lock and tiny key someone gave me for my 10th birthday, but it wasn't long before I found out just how good it was to write about what was…

The Deadline

I start writing at 11 pm. The deadline is midnight. Ever been there? It ain't pretty. But I like deadlines. They get me going. They keep me going when I could say I don't have time for this. Once I start something I have to finish it, especially…

Surprises at a Writer's Conference

I'm a California native who has always lived within an hour of the ocean, which means I don't know a lot about air-conditioning. But I learned about air-conditioning in Austin at the Stories from the Heart VI, the 6th National Women's Memoir…

Why I Write

When people ask what I write, I usually tell them about what I've published or plan to publish, I never tell them about my four decades of journaling, those thousands of pages I've penned. I don't tell them about the last six years, when I've …