What Happens Next?

Memoir Workshop at the Public Library

Cover of The Fortune Teller's Kiss

Writing What We Didn't Know We Knew


June 22, 2015

Tags: cats, animals, dialogue, writing time, FOC

I can't stand when writers write about their pets. Truly. That said, I am going to write about one of mine: Elizabeth Grace, 2 years old, 19-pound Main Coon, affectionately called, Gracie.

There are many things that take me away from my writing, and most of them are bad excuses; such as, tidying up the (more…)

June 15, 2015

Tags: remembering, memoir, knowing

I taught a workshop this past weekend entitled: "Sharing our Stories: The ❤ and Soul of Memoir," and I learned (as usual) as much from my students as I hope my students learned from me. I love other people's stories: the pilot whose plane crashed, but who got his friends out in time; the woman (more…)

The Hemingway Way

February 10, 2015

Tags: Embellishments & Lies

"If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there's always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact." Ernest Hemingway, Preface to A Moveable Feast.

So Brian Williams has slipped from his rank as 23rd "most trusted American" in the country, and according to Breaking News has been suspended for six months without pay. This because he "misremembered" facts and embellished his role as a "passenger under fire" in a helicopter during the Iraq war. Articles are being published daily regarding memory vs truth, and how our recollections "lie" (more…)

What Is a Writer?

February 15, 2014

Tags: Definition, finishing

"A writer is someone who finishes."

I don't recall where I got this quote or who said it, but I know it's true. I'm working on Knife at the Crossroads for three years now, and that's just this revision. It's a tough process, because writing memoir, above all else, is a show-AND-tell (more…)


December 5, 2013

Tags: Tracking the narrator's thoughts, memoir

At a party some months back, a friend, also a teacher and writer, asked me how the new memoir was coming along. Anyone working on a project that seems as if it will outlive you, knows how I felt about answering that question. My friend saw my face turn from friendly to fearsome, and, (more…)


September 10, 2013

Tags: Weathering

Heat Alert!

Where I come from a heat alert means that the Miami Heat are playing tonight and who's lucky enough to have tickets? Or, don't get caught on the road to the arena around that time. Or, there's a jersey giveaway somewhere with LeBron's face on it--and people were trampled rushing to get (more…)


September 7, 2013

Tags: Boarding pets, cat sitters

Well, we just boarded the cats. Elizabeth Grace, "Gracie," and Cody, also called "Cody-boy," are in the KittyKat Hotel, aka the Vet's, for two weeks. The house is empty. Really empty.

Some people our age have gotten rid of their animals or they have died, or they just don't adopt anymore. I can understand (more…)

Roadtrip Kill

August 15, 2013

Tags: Sick in transit

Sadly, our Seattle-bound road trip this summer came to an end fairly early, on the border of Georgia and Tennessee, when the both of us got sick.

A strange virus hit me--and I mean HIT. Suddenly, in 98 degree weather, I had to look for a sweater in my suitcase. Chills, fever, no appetite--that was (more…)

One of Our Own: Tribute to Eydie Gorme

August 15, 2013

Tags: Singers, Sephardics, sisters

​Every time Eydie Gorme or Steve & Eydie were to appear on TV, a Sephardic relay went up in our Bronx community to rival Paul Revere’s. She was someone who was becoming famous—and we knew her!
​My mother was friendly with the Gormezanos, and I remember her dragging me over to Grant Avenue (more…)

The Need to Mother

August 10, 2013

The Need to Mother

People ask me, how could you take your cats on a cross country trip? I've gotten: it's cool, it's stupid, uh, okay okay, meaning, she's not normal so let's not pursue it. But nobody really knows the truth.

I have a need to mother.

Our first attempts at (more…)

American Lives: A Reader, edited by Tobias Wolff

New Mobility Magazine
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Growing up Turkish in the Bronx
Poetry about the value of family, poetry, the mystery of Peru, and more...

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