Events: Hampton Falls, Marblehead, and Salem

The Lace Reader paperback cover Tonight, Tuesday Oct. 27th,  I’ll be appearing at the Hampton Falls Library in Hampton Falls, NH at 7 PM.

On Wednesday, October 28th, I am teaching a writing class at Abbott Public Library in Marblehead, MA at 7 PM.

Also tomorrow, I will be on air live for an hour on Amazing Women radio show on the VoiceAmerica / WorldTalk network. 5PM est. For details, click here.

And on Halloween night, Gary and I will be costume judges at The Witches Ball at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA.. I hear there are still a few ticket left to the event, so if you’re interested, click here.

Please join me for any and all events.


Happy Easter and Happy Birthday to me!

I love it when Easter and my birthday fall on the same day! Early this morning, I received some beautiful roses in a tea cup from my niece, Whitney (very Eva, I must say), and an Easter basket (with a special wind up chick) from my brother, Mark . We had a lovely family brunch at the Lyceum in Salem. For dessert, as is my family's tradition, I bit the head off of a small chocolate bunny and surreptitiously slipped the headless carcass back into someone else's Easter basket.

Also, my article on Salem was published today in the Sunday London  Times travel section. You can read it by clicking here. 

And the ads for The Lace Reader have gone up around London as well.

UK ad for "The Lace Reader"

Ads for "The Lace Reader" are on display in the London Underground.

 I have taken an oath not to do any writing today even though the deadline for turning in my new book is looming.  It’s a difficult promise to keep, addictions and work ethic being what they are. This little post doesn’t count as writing and to help me avoid any real work today,  Gary and I are going to take a ride up the coast. Fun times! Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.  Details on my recent  trip to Mobile, Alabama next. 

Creativity and a Sense of Place

  Creativity and a Sense of Place workshop


As part of the Literally Salem Festival, I led a workshop for writers on Saturday exploring the ways in which a sense of place and creativity intersect. We looked at several aspects of this pairing: where you write, where you live, places you know, and places that live in your imagination. It was great to have so many people participate and share their experiences of writing and location.

For one exercise, I gave out a handout designed to spark the creative process. You can get a copy by clicking here Worksheet handout PDF.

Walking Past the Future

My husband and I walk to the polls this morning to cast our votes. It is a beautiful day in Salem, Indian summer, maybe, though I'm not sure whether or not we've yet had a killing frost since I've been away on book tour for so many weeks. The Halloween crowds have all left and gone back to their normal and, hopefully, less scary lives. We can once again hear the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot as we stroll the wavy brick sidewalks past the centuries old Federal style mansions. There is something so old fashioned, so connected to history about walking to the polls to vote. At the same time, in this age of energy consumption reevaluation, there is something new and green about it as well. No fossil fuel is consumed, just some of the calories we had for breakfast. Change is in the air.

Massachusetts Book Signings Today and Tomorrow

Tonight and tomorrow night are my last scheduled public book signings in Massachusetts for 2008. We had a wonderful event at the Borders in Peabody last night. It was a large crowd and almost everyone had read the book so it quickly turned into a lively book club meeting where we could discuss everything about "The Lace Reader. If you'd like to join the conversation, please stop by one of the events listed below.

Happy Halloween!

10/29 SALEM, MA/Cornerstone Books/Halloween Event 7pm

10/30 GLOUCESTER, MA/Bookstore of Gloucester/Speaking & Signing 7pm

Hope versus Fear in USA Today

There are at least three books coming out about Salem this year. The Lace Reader is not about witches, though it is difficult to write anything about contemporary Salem and not include something about the witches who didn't exist at all back in the days of the witch trials but thrive here in great numbers now.

I was recently asked to comment on this for USA Today. Click here to read it.

They asked me why writers would choose to create stories about Salem now. At first I wasn't sure. Unlike the other writers, I live in Salem, so for me it was a natural setting. But it was more than that. In one respect, The Lace Reader  is a cautionary tale. We live now in fearful times. And just as in the Salem of the 1600's, we have to be careful not to let our fears make us recklessly assign blame and create enemies.

But there is another more optimistic side to the story, and that is the quote they chose to use from my interview for the USA Today story.

I talked about the Harry Potter series, and how those books give children, who are relatively powerless, a feeling that they can change the world. I think this ability to connect with our inner strengths is a very important part of my story as well. Magic and everyday miracles are a very hopeful part of our collective consciousness and thus appear frequently in the stories we tell.

I can't speak for the other authors, but, ultimately, my book about Salem is optimistic. More than anything else, The Lace Reader is about healing our deepest wounds, recovering our strength, and moving on. I can't think of anything more hopeful than that.