Keep a writing schedule (yeah, right)

Keep a writing schedule (yeah, right)

I am the queen of datebooks, calendars, and organizers. You need a list? Call me. I even carry a small reporter’s notebook in my purse. When inspiration strikes, I scribble it down. I have multiple day planners and various systems to boost my productivity, make me a...
The Lede: Making readers want to stay

The Lede: Making readers want to stay

Writing a good lede is like meeting an angry drunk in a dark parking lot. You have to hit him over the head right away to get his attention. At least, that’s what an editor told me early in my career. While the comparison is a bit violent for my taste, it is...
Setting: Chasing Irish Rainbows

Setting: Chasing Irish Rainbows

In my mid-30s, mourning the unexpected death of a sister and wanting a change, I traveled to Ireland for the first time. I visited the farm in County Mayo that had been in my family since the 1600s. It was a lesson in the power of setting. I had always taken my Irish...
Three questions to ask yourself before writing opinion

Three questions to ask yourself before writing opinion

At the beginning of the pandemic, in March of last year, I received any number of calls from people who wanted my help in writing commentaries for publication. I shouldn’t have been surprised. We were at the beginning of a global cataclysmic event, one that was about...