Death and Writing

Posted on March 1, 2011. Filed under: Commentaries, writing | Tags: , , , , |

My father is dying.

So, what does that have to do with writing, you might be wondering.  Well, everything.  Everything in my life has to do with writing.   I mean, something small, like a moment in a coffee shop, could yield an entire story.  But something big, like my dad having cancer, can affect how much I write, if I write, and what I write about – perhaps for a very long time.

Lately, taking care of and visiting with my dad has been a big part of my life.  I need to be here with him.  I need to take care of him and to have this time.  Does that mean that physically I am left with very little time to write?  Yes.  Does that mean that emotionally and mentally I am drained?  Yes.  Does being mentally drained affect whether or not I feel like writing?  Yes.

Not that I am making excuses, but it is hard to care about doing work I get paid to do right now, let alone care about the work of building a career that may or may not ever come to fruition.  I want to spend some of this time working on my novel and working on stories and being creative, but I rarely do anything that doesn’t absolutely have to be done these days.

Additionally, what I write about is and will be different due to my experiences.  My mom died of cancer in 2003.  Since then, I have written some stories about being a cancer victim, and some stories about being a family member of someone with cancer.  I have experienced the long term illness and death of a loved one.  I was left with detailed memories of that, but also a somewhat darker view of the world because of it.


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I’ve Been Blogged

Posted on August 12, 2010. Filed under: Commentaries, writing | Tags: , , , , |

Last week a WAMU listener wrote me to ask if she could post my latest commentary on her blog.  It’s fun to find out that not only are people hearing my commentaries, some of them actually like what they hear!

You can read my commentary and her blog here.

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On Air Today

Posted on July 30, 2010. Filed under: Commentaries | Tags: , , , , , , |

My next Metro Connection commentary airs today.  Looks like I am back in that prime – best for last – time slot again, around 1:50PM.

A little preview here, the commentary is about “real” food, vs. what most of us eat.  My favorite part of researching this, which didn’t make it into the commentary, was when I found a statement, (I think on the USDA website – but don’t quote me there), saying that if frozen pizza companies use the term “real cheese” on their packaging, they have to have at least 2% actual cheese in their cheese product to make that claim.  I love it.  You can say it’s real if it’s 2% actual product.  And the cheese lobby had to fight for that!

As usual, you can find my commentary on the web at:

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Life’s Little Traffic Jam on WAMU

Posted on July 9, 2010. Filed under: Commentaries | Tags: , , , , , |

My commentary has been officially “archived.”  It’s not a bad thing.  Every show on WAMU gets archived and that way it will live on long after I am gone – cause the internet is permanent!

If you didn’t get to hear me live on 88.5FM in DC, click the link to listen to  my commentary Life’s Little Traffic Jams.

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Airing Friday the 2nd

Posted on June 29, 2010. Filed under: Commentaries | Tags: , , , , , |

Is it July already?  Man, how time flies when it’s in the nineties!

I just recorded my latest commentary at the WAMU studio this past Monday.

Here is a photo of me and David Furst.  He’s trying to do the Colbert thing, but isn’t quite there yet.  Not to mention, the station didn’t have the budget for someone to take our photo.

My commentary – which I like to call “Damn This Traffic Jam” after one of James Taylor’s more poetic songs – will air this Friday, July 2nd, on Metro Connection.  Metro Connection runs from 1PM – 2PM on WAMU 88.5FM and online at

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Juggling Act

Posted on June 25, 2010. Filed under: Commentaries, storytelling | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I was just part of a panel discussion last night and one of the women there really summed up my life.  Jo Golden, of Chaos to Clarity, spoke about a fictional character named Jane.  Jane was a French teacher, landscaper and fine artist.  Jane wanted a website to grow her businesses but everyone kept telling her she needed to have three separate identities.  In the end, Chaos to Clarity helped Jane define her story so that all the seemingly disparate elements of her life came together into the story of a highly educated, artistic landscaper and hands on artist.

This week, I have definitely felt very disparate.  I have been finishing up editing a wedding for my company Jessica Pi Productions, as well as discussing with a bride’s family being the videographer for a wedding NEXT MONTH.  I had to prepare for, promote, and be part of a 2 hour panel discussion on Content Strategy for the Web, in which I, wearing my Capture Video, Inc. hat, explained video’s place in the world of online marketing and SEO.  That was last night.  Today I am preparing for and promoting my upcoming performance, Fan Freaking Tastic – THIS SATURDAY! at Chief Ike’s.  I am performing a story, but it is for a comedy crowd, so I had to punch up the humor.  I am also trying to bring all the promotional items and details together for the upcoming Nature House storytelling event in July – to raise money for the Nature House, as the chair of the marketing committee and a storyteller.  And, on top of all of that, I have had to schedule in my next studio time at WAMU to record my next commentary which, as fate would have it, is all about trying to make time – and failing.

I can’t say I don’t love most of what I do and all the different hats that I wear.  I just sometimes wish I had learned to juggle.

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WAMU Commentary – Getting Dirty

Posted on May 10, 2010. Filed under: Commentaries, writing | Tags: , , , , , , |

What do I have in common with Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs?  Listen to my commentary, “Getting Dirty,” to find out.

Metro Connection

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WAMU Commentary – Civility = Fear

Posted on March 31, 2010. Filed under: Commentaries | Tags: , , , |

My latest commentary aired last week on WAMU and was inspired by my experience renting out my townhouse.  Believe or not, it has very little to do with the real estate market.

Listen to the commentary here!

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Commentary on Health – September 2009 – Meets In Defense of Food

Posted on March 24, 2010. Filed under: Books, Commentaries | Tags: , , , , |

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book reads like Fast Food Nation meets The Schwarzbein Principle. In other words, it has a lot of great information about the way we, as Americans, should be eating, but in a very easy to digest (hehe) format. I read the whole book in two days and felt like the research put into how “nutrition research” is done was very interesting and I agree with his points on taking food as a sum of it’s part rather than breaking them down into one element or another. He quoted a lot from the Schwarzbein Principle, whether he knew it or not, especially with the idea of shopping around the supermarket. I was also happy to see that he agreed with the hypothesis I put forth in my WAMU commentary September 2009… and had the research to back it up! View all my reviews >>

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New WAMU Commentary

Posted on March 15, 2010. Filed under: Commentaries, writing | Tags: , |

I just recorded my next commentary at the WAMU studio.  I really enjoy going down there, hanging out with David Furst, and recording the commentary.  He often has little notes for me along the way, which I would begrudgingly say are usually helpful.

I was inspired, as usual, when I got back from recording so I just submitted my story, “A Long Time,” to Cream City, an online magazine.  At this rate, with multiple submissions a month, I am going to actually run out of short stories fairly quickly and may need to start writing some more.  Oy vey!

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