• Books,  Television,  Writing

    And Now for Something Completely Different

    Season 5 of the TV series Outlander started last weekend. I’m crazy about the show and a long-time reader of the books on which it is based. My husband watches it with me — he likes the show and is good-natured about my outbursts during viewing (we have to pause it a lot and occasionally rewind). Most of my friends gave up on the show in season 3, but even when more of them were watching it, no one was interested in engaging with me in endless recaps, book comparisons, and general prattle. (Surprising, I know.) I have filled the gap with Outlander-related podcasts. Podcasts allow me to listen while…

  • Current Affairs,  Life,  Writing

    Sunday, November 13, 2016

    Some of our Halloween decorations are still up. That’s not unheard of for our family – we do like to make the holiday last – but it is a bit late in the year. I told my husband I was going to buy flag lapel pins for the zombies in our yard to celebrate Veterans Day. He took the zombies and the fake graveyard down, but the graveyard fence is still up, along with a few skeletons, a giant plastic Jack O’ Lantern, and tiny ghosts in our apple tree. We were watching television earlier this week and a Christmas-themed commercial came on. My husband said, “You know what I…

  • Life,  Writing

    Do you remember?

    Katherine is a teenager in Texas who has been my Twitter friend for almost three years. She is in the final stretch of her Senior year and wrote a fantastic “day in the life” blog post today that you should read if you, like me, are not a teenager. Especially if you (like me) peeled out from the driveway of your own teen years as quickly as possible. There is a writers’ maxim that writing about the specific makes one’s story universal. I’m 20 years older than Katherine; when I graduated high school in 1991 a different (much shorter) war was ending (and if I had to see one more…

  • Work,  Writing

    Some questions answer themselves

    Last night I was complaining to my husband that my latest Women of HR post only had one comment while the post before it had 15. “. . .Of course,” I continued, “the post before it was about authenticity in social media — being read by a bunch of people who participate in social media –and my post is about systems theory, using a dental practice as an example.” He looked at me. “Uh-huh.” In case you’d like to read it anyway (and I hope you do), here’s the link: The Tale of Discount Dental At work we offer two dental plans. The first one is the plan you hear…

  • Work,  Writing

    Writing for my work self

    I am proud to be among the contributing writers for the Women of HR blog. It’s a wonderful site run by some smart, funny women I first met two or three years ago on Twitter. (There are a ton of fabulous HR professionals on Twitter.) They’ve run two of my pieces so far and I expect another one to go up in about three weeks. It’s been a change for me to write about Human Resources, because I usually write to escape Human Resources as a self-definition. I’ve heard that in Jane Austen’s time it was considered terribly rude to ask what one did for a living and that’s one…

  • Writing

    Not done.

    My two-year-old doesn’t talk much. One of the few words he says (besides “this,” he’ll “this” you till the cows come home) is “done.” “Are you done?” I’ll ask after dinner. He’ll smile from his high chair and with a firm, single nod, say, “Done.” I could have used some of that decisiveness with my novel. I’ve spent the past nine months telling myself and others that it was almost done. Nearly done. So close to complete. Any day now, really. Every time I went back to it there would be one small thing to fix. A detail I’d left out, a rough spot to smooth. What color were that…

  • Books,  Writing

    Book Talks With My Boss

    Today during a conversation with my boss about books we enjoyed, she told me about her experience re-reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. She first read it in the 1970s when she was in her mid-twenties, and at that time she thought it was all about gender roles, gender identity and the box it puts us in from the moment of our birth. She recently read it again, in her late fifties, and had a different experience. While she loved the book both times, the second time she realized it was clearly a book about diplomacy; about the politics involved as the citizens of Winter…

  • Writing

    Balance

    Balance is a difficult thing. For me that is literally as well as figuratively true; I’ve always been a klutz. But I’m talking about life balance: time, priorities, attention. Beyond the bare minimum of caring for myself I can only focus on one thing at a time. Too often, the rest falls apart. I can diet or exercise, not both. Take care of my children or clean the house. As my kids get older it becomes easier to multi-task while still caring for them, but let’s be honest — that’s because they need me less. It’s not that I’ve developed a new skill. (Surprisingly, I can walk – even drive…