Kids, Chaos, and Puppy Love

No joke.  I truly thought when my children left the nest I’d fly away, too.  If I didn’t make it as far as Italy or Ecuador, I’d migrate south to Seagrove or west to Big Sur.  I’d park my vintage camper (circa 1959) and chase seagulls, collect shells, and make a mermaid my muse.  I’d…

Native Son and Mom on a Mission

Andrew, Stephen, and John Teaching has brought amazing students into my life. And families. The Gentuso clan is one gang I’ll never forget. The three boys’ ACT scores were in triple digits while their wrestling pins racked up powerful points. I loved that they were avid readers, creative, interesting, and best of all, all heart….

All that Glows: Summer 2011

The 2010-11 school year is over, and I’ve moved back into my summer home. Vacating the classroom means taking up residency here, on this blog, where I can exhale. Having done my penance of papers, I can stop grading others and maybe even myself. Though it will take a miracle not to measure the next…

Farewell 2010…and a decade

While many may think I’m at a salsa party on NYE, I’m not. I wanted a last night by the tree, my son in the next room playing video games. He’ll graduate in 2012…too soon…and I haven’t had the chance over Christmas break to look back on the past year and thank God for all…

The Great Escape to Starbucks: Part 5

Playing Author- at -Starbucks would jumpstart my writing career! Not to mention it would prevent me from “going Edna.”  Unlike the mom in The Awakening, I wouldn’t walk into the sea (or worse, jump off the dam at Percy Priest Lake.) To be less dramatic… if I gave writing my best shot, I’d at least…

Imposter (Pt 4): I’ll Take One Muse Please

I’d found the key to my success.  For years I had read books there,  graded papers there, even people –watched, hoping to meet Mr. Right there. Many a weekend when my children were with their dad, I had treated myself for an hour or two at Starbucks, sinking into a deep purple velvet chair and…

Imposter (Pt 3): Pleading My Case

Since my first book was a call to a Classics Coup,  exhorting readers to put away their fluff fiction and pick up their Shakespeare, I appealed to Oprah as a fellow lover of great works.  Hailing her as the Most Powerful Woman in the World who loves to make wishes come true, I threw myself…

Imposter (Part 2): Great Expectations

A couple of times before I had tried living the dream. As it turned out, I was only living in a dream world. I decided Christmas 2003 I would claim my book deal. I was, after all, on a winning streak… one for one. In 1991 upon submitting my first-ever manuscript, a riveting piece called,…

Imposter

I wanted to write a New York Times best seller.

I wanted to talk about it on The Today Show. And once it was made into a movie, like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Nia Vardalos, I’d play the starring role. When James Lipton of The Actors Studio asked me to reveal my least favorite sound, I’d be ready to answer…