Write What You Know

March 15th, 2017

Lynn Sloan at the Society of Midland Authors
The Cliff Dwellers

Writing the Next Chapter, a program in which Patricia Skalka, Joyce Zeiss, and I talk about making the transition to second careers as novelist was warmly received at the March meeting of the Society of Midland Authors. During the discussion that followed, a new writer asked about the limits of the old adage “write about what you know.” “Write about what you want to know,” I suggested.  Our curiosity, our urge to understand drives us as writers.

At the Society of Midland Authors

March 6th, 2017

Thank you, Allan Porter

December 9th, 2016

Some of my photos in Camera

Some of my photos in Camera

A few months ago a curator from the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, German contacted me seeking information about several of my photographs that were own by Allan Porter, the editor of the influential editor of Camera, a Swiss magazine devoted to photography. He has published by work three times during Camera’s heyday. In connection to the exhibit And Suddenly This Expansion (December 10, 2016—March 19, 2017) the museum will include a section representing Porter’s personal collection. Interestingly, the work of mine that he collected was not what he published.

At the Wilmette Public Library

November 4th, 2016


Writing the Next Chapter

Writing the Next Chapter

I don’t have a body, I am my body.

October 24th, 2016

Tom Hayden in the sixties

Tom Hayden in the sixties

Tom Hayden, political activist, one of the Chicago Seven, said this sometime in the seventies. Back then I thought this was so obviously true that it was trivial. Yet these words stayed with me and have taken on relevance as I’ve gotten older, echoing when I’ve been weak and injured and when I’ve been strong. Today October 24, 2016, Tom Hayden died. Wanting to know when and where he made this silly and profound observation, I Googled these words, and discovered that Christopher Hitchens is credited with this line, in his last book, Mortality, published in 2012. While Hitchens may have written those words, I’ll salute Tom Hayden for expressing this thought.

Interviewing Rick Hawley about his new novel

June 7th, 2016

Necessary Fiction interview

An Interview with Richard Hawley

Rick Hawley, old friend and author of many books, just published his latest novel, The Three Lives of Jonathan Force (Fomite 2016.) My interview with him appeared in Necessary Fiction. Rick is a terrific writer and a great conversationalist, which is evident in his lively answers to my questions. Interviewing someone I’ve known for decades revealed surprises, and confirmed something I knew: how very deeply he considers every aspect of his work.

Evanston Literary Festival

April 27th, 2016

Evanston Literary Festival

Evanston Literary Festival

On Friday May 13th, as a part of the second annual Evanston Literary Festival, I will participate on a panel titled “Writing the Next Chapter.” Patricia Skalka, and Joyce Burns Zeiss, and I—we all published first novels in the last year—will discuss how we successfully made the leap from one career to a second, as novelists.

Writing the Next Chapter will take place on May 13th, 4—5 pm, at Creative Coworking, 922 Davis Street, Evanston, IL


My story “Lost and Found” in Tahoma Literary Review 3.1

April 13th, 2016

Tahoma Literary Review 3.1

Tahoma Literary Review 3.1

“Lost and Found,” my story about a mother/daughter struggle that does not end with death—“Frannie wasn’t the mother I wanted, and I wasn’t the daughter she wanted.”—just came out in Tahoma Literary Review, a terrific west coast journal that publishes both print and online editions. I am tremendously proud.

The cool cover is the work of Sandy Newhouse.


Chicago Book Review’s Best Books of 2015

March 16th, 2016

Best Books of 2015 selected by Chicago Review of Books

Best Books of 2015
selected by Chicago Review of Books

Principles of Navigation was selected by Chicago Book Review as one of their Best Books of 2015. What an honor to have my novel included on this list with so many terrific writers, and along side so many books I’ve enjoyed reading.


One Year Later

February 20th, 2016

My novel on display at Women & Children First, Chicago, February 2015

My novel on display at Women & Children First, Chicago, February 2015

Whenever I saw the book in a window, among other novels that had just come out, I felt inside a mixture of pride and fear, a dart of pleasure that ended in anguish.

Reading this line in Elena Ferrante’s terrific novel Those who Leave and Those Who Stay took me back to last February when my novel, Principles of Navigation, came out. Since then I’ve had a great time connecting with readers, but that first experience of seeing my book on display, a moment sweet and terrifying, has not dimmed.