10 Things All Writers Must Do

10 Things All Writers Must Do

Once I decided to write a book, I wanted help. My years as a journalist had taught me that any piece worth reading was the result of strong partnerships between writers and editors. So I launched a critique group. It was one of the best things I

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Big-City Reflections

Big-City Reflections

It’s been almost a decade since I became a mom. I picked Chicago as the birthplace of my first-born, Noah. It was my first gift to him. The city is packed with years of memories and firsts for me. Now he can say the same. Though we’ve

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All Things New: Katie’s Story

All Things New: Katie’s Story

About a year after my brother, Jim, ended his life, one of his friends asked me to speak to the mother of a young woman who had attempted suicide. Jim’s friend volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, which offers families housing at little or no

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A Full Life Well-Lived

A Full Life Well-Lived

My mom passed away from complications of breast cancer 29 years ago. My brother died five years ago, after a battle with severe depression. Last month my dad’s heart failed while he was out for a drive. Though he was revived and brought to the hospital, he

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Dads and Motherless Daughters

I’ve had my dad for 44 years. Because my mom’s been gone for 29 of those years, that length of time has been important to me in unique ways. He’s not perfect. But he’s been present and available for my entire life. He’s had to be Dad

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Suicide Isn’t Selfish

This morning I’m sipping tea from my wedding china: the sleek-and-elegant Noel Alabaster, designed by the late Kate Spade. News outlets were quick to tell us she ended her life. It’s easy, in the wake of suicide, to look for explanations and labels, to tie things up

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Six True Sentences

Ernest Hemingway wrote his so-called six true sentences while living in Paris in the 1920s, and  dubbed them Paris 1922. His first wife, Hadley, lost the originals, but he later recreated them. Hemingway was a journalist before he wrote fiction. If you look closely, you can see

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