Category Archives: spirituality

Branding

Yesterday over lunch at the Grotto, where I’m subletting office space, another writer (also finishing up her novel) and I got on the topic of branding.  You know, the “author brand.”  I resisted the first time I heard the phrase, but have come to see its helpfulness.  You’ve heard of the elevator speech?  The one where you describe your concept or idea in a limited amount of time—from seven seconds to three minutes—to garner interest from that busy person with whom you’re sharing a metaphoric or actual elevator ride.  The author brand is part of the elevator speech repertory—those succinct, … Continue reading

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Excitement, please

It’s that time of year for making resolutions or—as some prefer—setting intentions. Don’t worry.  I’m not leading into a list of what I hope to achieve in 2013, at least not in terms of pages written, pieces published, books read, or pounds lost.  I am, however, going to write about what I want more of in 2013: Enthusiasm. I have a complicated relationship with the emotion, dating to an early humiliation on the schoolyard involving bunny ears.  Every since Halloween 1967, I’ve had to be careful, lest I show too much enthusiasm and wind up scarred by ridicule.  I’ll spare … Continue reading

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Rediscovering Rilke

this post is a slightly edited version of a post that appeared on August 20, 2012, on the Good Letters blog In college, I took a yearlong class on Western Civilization.  Certain images stand out: reading Oedipus Rex on the lawn outside the Life Sciences building and overhearing a student pronounce “Khomeini” with the same initial sound as “challah”—this would have been a month or so before the taking of American hostages; getting an A+ (my only in college) on a paper applying Civilization and Its Discontents to D. H. Lawrence’s story “The Prussian Officer”; hearing a T.A. refer to … Continue reading

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It’s Only A Dream

When I was in third grade, my class took a field trip to Kirby Cove, a small rocky beach just west of the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge.  To get there, we had to walk—or in my case, slide—down a steep dirt trail. I don’t remember it as a trail at all, but a horrifying sheer, wide fall of hill, brown-red and slippery with pebbles.  I was a klutzy girl, all arms and legs, with my center of gravity somewhere, as my younger and more agile brother once put it, above my forehead.  I was rather in shock … Continue reading

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Out of the Faith Closet

When I started blogging, a little more than a year ago, I did so as an exploration of social media as a tool to reach my readers, to “build my brand” as a writer.  I was curious about (and a little intimidated by) the opportunities and challenges of blogging.  I had never logged onto Facebook or Twitter, and all my Friends were people I’d met and talked to in person. I’d also always thought writing a regular column (aka blog) would be fun. So I signed up for Meghan Ward’s social-media class at the S.F. Writers’ Grotto.  If I could … Continue reading

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