About a year and a half ago I went on a book-signing tour. Knowing I’d be in airports, I bought myself a smartphone, which I quickly nicknamed “not-so,” short for not-so-smart-phone. One of the reasons I bought the phone was a device called the Square, which you are supposed to be able to at…
The event that Americans commonly call “the first Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and was attended by about 53 Pilgrims and 90 American Indians, though sources vary on these numbers.
Once in a while everything comes together perfectly. Not only is a dream realized but the facts exceed the expectation in ways one could never anticipate. That’s what happened to me the afternoon of Nov. 10 at the Oro Valley Library.
There’s a part in “Auntie Mame” — a book that was turned into a Broadway musical and a film — where the main character says, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.”
Two years ago I began facilitating a writers’ workshop at the Oro Valley Library. The first meeting brought two students.
This is the time of year I think about Albuquerque. More than 20 years have passed since the first time I attended the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.
Did you ever have a week — or two — when things just went wrong? Not seriously wrong but you knew you were off-track.
A friend told me he hoped to go on a safari before he died.
The trouble started with Toots. Ready for bed, I let the dogs out for their last opportunity of the day. After 10 minutes, Charlie bounded back, but Toots was nowhere to be seen. After I called for her, she left her hiding place behind some cactus to come into the house, but she was chewing …
A couple of weeks ago I asked my tech guru, Corey, to come to my home because I thought my computer had a virus. I also wanted to move a few of my much-played games to where I could access them more easily.
Sidney Howard is credited with saying “One-half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.” For years I’ve told people “You usually have to give up something to get something.”
My brother and I are a year apart. Mom bathed us together until we were about 5 or 6, making it obvious that girls and boys had different anatomy.
Sometimes it takes extra effort to make a wonderful memory.
Years ago when things went wrong it was easy to blame someone. My boss didn't appreciate me; my mom couldn't possibly understand me; my friends acted mean because they were jealous. On and on and on.
Watching the abundant rain one hot, sultry afternoon, I ran outdoors, stood still and let the water pour down on me. What joy! Dripping wet, I returned to the house where the air conditioning was on. I quickly toweled my hair and face, changed clothes and felt deliciously comfortable.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
Observing how the mind works is fascinating. After my experience this spring with a mother quail abandoning her babies, I kept thinking of those adorable baby chicks and how brave they were, even though they must have been really scared. Then I realized this could be a wonderful tale for children.
Being an American means a lot to me. When I sing "The Star-Spangled Banner," my voice cracks with emotion. Each year I watch the Memorial Day commemoration on PBS and get teary-eyed.
About this time of year people start complaining about the heat. I am no exception. While at the dentist's office I complained and the technician said, "Would you rather be in a blizzard?"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was the founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. Here is one of his quotes:
We've all heard the adages: "Never give up." "Keep trying until you succeed." "Practice makes perfect."
Last spring a quail laid 18 eggs in a plant on my enclosed patio. After they hatched, seeing those miniscule creatures scurrying around my patio brought tears to my eyes.
Editor's note: Columnist Alexis Powers teaches a writing workshop at the Oro Valley Library. One of the workshop participants, Gail Bornfield, wrote this essay.
One of my favorite quotes is, "At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you," from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
The other day I went for a pedicure and manicure. My manicurist looked taller than usual as she walked toward me. I looked at her feet - she was wearing a pair of platform stiletto-heeled shoes.
Pushing a cart through the grocery store recently, I spotted a large Mother's Day card display. Sadly, I realized this will be my first Mother's Day without my mom. Memories of past Mother's Days flooded my mind.
If you're thinking of taking time off to reflect on life and yourself, you might consider visiting the Desert Ashram.
A friend of mine has this saying posted on her refrigerator: "In every connection we are either positive or negative. The choice is yours."
Now that I've experienced snakes, scorpions and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, I consider myself an old-time resident of Tucson.
My odometer notched up another year in February. Now that I'm in my vintage years, I am calmer and don't feel the need to win every quarrel. What changed?
My forays into writing have led me to all sorts of characters - literary and otherwise. I met one of the most fascinating men I know at one of my book signings. His name is Stanley Gordon. From that day on I called him "Uncle Stanley" because his last name is the same as my protagonist, Leah…
It never occurred to me that I would ever utter the words "I can't wait until the weather gets warmer."
A friend sent me an email with this message: "Heal the past, live the present, dream the future." This concept spoke to me.
A few weeks ago, my younger daughter, Madi, phoned.
My middle name should be "tech-challenged," so when my computer started giving me grief, flashing messages such as "You are obsolete," I panicked.
I recently read the quote "Well-behaved women seldom make history." My immediate reaction was to think of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, followed by the women who were arrested for their efforts in getting the vote for women. Hard to believe how badly they were treated. After su…
Last week I wrote about some unsightly mirrored closets in my guest room that I was trying to cover without going to the expense of replacing them.
The other night my friend Kevin called to tell me he's flying in for a visit. He has boundless energy and a brilliant sense of humor, and is one of my favorite people. When I heard that he was coming, I decided to redecorate the guest room.
Since my mom passed away a few weeks ago, I've had time to think about how much she influenced me. Rarely did we have conversations that did not reflect our mother-daughter relationship. She was the problem solver, the one who would make things better. Or, on the other hand, the didactic par…
A note from the writer: Last week's column was a tribute to my mom who passed away unexpectedly. This is the column that was scheduled to appear.
You know it's inevitable, but another part of you believes you'll never see that mournful day.
To prepare for my big Christmas celebration, I drove to the hair salon to have the world's greatest hair stylist, Mandy, add some color and trim my hair.
Two weeks ago I told myself, "Never shop on a Saturday afternoon, ever again!" So where did I find myself a few Saturdays later? Standing in an endless line to pay for a gift for yours truly.
My sister's father-in-law passed away a few weeks ago. Bob Belle was a great guy. Even though we didn't see much of each other over the years, we shared a special connection, based on a mutual dry sense of humor.
Hearing that Windows 8 arrived made me laugh because I'm still using Windows XP on my computer. The last computer I bought I paid extra to have XP installed. New technology drives me crazy.
One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. Each year I look forward to turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and my favorite - mashed potatoes. In past Thanksgivings, I've indulged to the point of wanting to get into my pajamas to take a nap (difficult to do when you are not in your own home).
Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to reflect on life's gifts. This year my gratitude is focused on the writers' workshop I conduct at the Oro Valley Public Library every other Wednesday morning.
Even though I live in Tucson, the land of dull but ideal weather, Hurricane Sandy affected my life. Many relatives and friends suffered greatly. I will never again complain about the heat or endless blue skies.
The other day my friend asked me if I wanted to go to lunch and then shop at Costco. Almost any time someone offers to take me somewhere, if it doesn't involve driving on a six-lane highway, I'll put on my Sunday best.