Early bookselling: Ticknor & Fields to Gills

Bookstores place second on my list of most favorite human-made spaces, bested only by libraries. Libraries unquestionably rank at the top by exuding an overwhelming welcome, and forgiveness for choices I may make: I can explore and expand my interests and it's okay if I don't always make it to the last page. I sometimes … Continue reading Early bookselling: Ticknor & Fields to Gills

Diaries, notes and letters: leave ‘em laughing

I just finished reading the memoir Educated by Tara Westover. I found it both hard to put down and upsetting: yet, more than anything it fed into my own brain ramblings about family stories, and how differently each of us retain memories during our lifetime. A third-grader at Chloe Clark Elementary asked me a profound … Continue reading Diaries, notes and letters: leave ‘em laughing

Using what we know to imagine what might have been

This post was first published by Women Writers, Women Books at http://booksbywomen.org Weaving technical expertise into creative writing Had you asked me five years ago if I would ever write a memoir, I might have answered “maybe.” If the query had been about writing a novel? Never! My brain, schooled and journeyed through decades of … Continue reading Using what we know to imagine what might have been

Four feet of greatness

For Chloe Clarke – George Gill Montgomery’s grandmother; my great-great-great grandmother; Emily’s great-great-great-great grandmother – music provided a simple but serious pleasure on her arduous journey aboard the Lausanne. At twenty-one years old, Chloe left her hometown of East Windsor, Connecticut to join the Jason Lee missionary expedition of 1839; sailing around the horn of … Continue reading Four feet of greatness

Hair and formaldehyde, power and health

Life occasionally delivers moments when my newer author life intersects with my thirty-year industrial hygiene profession. I didn’t expect Brazilian Blowout to be captured within the pages of The Female Persuasion, as I leisurely read this 2018 novel by Meg Wolitzer while on vacation. This chemical hair straightener briefly shocked me away from my traditional … Continue reading Hair and formaldehyde, power and health