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In the first grade, I threw my first dinner party. It went downhill from there.
I'll admit it: I was a precocious tyke. In the first grade, I somehow learned the word “canapé.” It sounded exotic, so it had to be delicious!Somehow, I convinced two or three other little girls that our palates were sophisticated enough to spen...
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Life is precious. See a friend today.
Living in earthquake country—in my case, San Francisco — you learn that almost every day has some seismic activity. Most of the time, you don't feel it at all.However, on some days, you'll feel the earth hop or shimmie for a second. The big...
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My closest Little Free Library makes me smile. How about yours?
I don't remember when I saw my first “Little Free Library.” But I do remember where, and that it stopped me in my tracks. In San Francisco, it's on the block of California Street between Steiner and Pierce, fronting a beautiful Vi...
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Life's a Beach. And if your lucky, you'll swim fine.
I know this first hand. You see, I almost drowned. Three times, really. The first time I was just seven. I was taking swim lessons at the local pool. My mother was wrangling my toddler brother and hadn't realized the les...
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I learned to read by walking behind my mother's lawnmower.
I kid you not. Now, here's the funny part. As a five-year-old, it would not have occurred to me that Mom couldn't hear me. Still, it was important to Mom to follow my teacher's instructions and I read aloud while she listened, so, if n...
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The Classic Love Stories I Love
I was describing a current work in progress to a friend — stand alone, historical fiction, spanning 50 years — and as I was doing so, I realized I was writing a love story. It’s not that I haven’t written love stories before. All of my books are stor...
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I'll admit it: I'm a Potterhead.
I was one of the bazillion parents who bought the Harry Potter movies, and then—every year or two, during the premieres—took my children to the movies based on the best-selling record-breaking book series by J.K. Rowling.Now that both my children and...
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Operation Mincemeat: From Book to Film
It’s a war story, and it’s a love story.It’s about spies and lies, the living and the dead brought back to life, if only to pose as someone else.All in the name of God and Country.Operation Mincemeat, the nonfiction book by British historian Ben MacI...
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Of Mash and Men
Is it true that John Steinbeck wrote to Marilyn Monroe?Read this mash note from the literary lion to the box office bombshell. If you were Marilyn Monroe, by the mid-1950s mash notes probably arrived daily by the truckful. When she died, her estate...
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Your First Instinct Is Always the Best One
Seems that it's like that for just about everything, doesn't it? Invariably, someone will ask me “Which of your books should I read first?" I start by asking them if they like mystery and humor—and if they say yes to both—especially humor, I suggest...
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Donna Stone is the Housewife Assassin
How I Plot My Housewife Assassin Novels
I've been wearing glasses since the second grade, so you'd think I'd be less vain about them. Had I done so while being interviewed by Facebook Group Bookish Road Trip's Meredith Stoddard about my writing process, I probably would have noticed that o...
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