Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Melting Hitchhikers

If you're traveling over the next few weeks (or even if you're not), keep warm and have a fabulous time.
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

As Thanksgiving Approaches

The following is one stanza from THE PUMPKIN, by John Whittier Greenleaf, written sometime during the mid-1800's.

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored;
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before;
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Bronx Tale

I just saw A BRONX TALE with Chaz Palminteri, his one-man show, which was made into the well known movie by the same name starring Robert Deniro. The actor lives the part—or parts of the wonderful characters in this play. Amazing and brave performance, taking me right to that neighborhood making the gangster and his crew, the kid, and all of Belmont Avenue fill the stage.

A few words from an interview with Mr. Palminteri about why he wrote A BRONX TALE:

My father said, 'What a waste of talent.' He always said to me, 'The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.' He wrote it on a little card and put it in my room. It was something I would see every day, I kept it there, and I think it's kind of what made me do what I did, to write this movie and do this.

Monday, October 15, 2007

J.K. Rowling Wants to Fall in Love

This excerpt from Reuters:

Rowling gave no clues as to her next project, but told an audience of 1,600 children that Harry Potter would be a hard act to follow.

"I want to fall in love with someone the way I fell in love with Harry. I never think about a particular genre. It is all about the story and the characters, but it has to be something I adore," she said.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Something about the Moon

There's something about the moon, isn't there, that inspires?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Letters From Iwo Jima

This film is beautiful and horrifying—the DVD extras are excellent, too, only adding to my respect for Clint Eastwood as a director. Real life superstar of a Japanese boy band, Kazunari Ninomiya endures every sad moment on Iwo Jima in such a way that you just have to watch.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

“More than any of us can bear.”

Giuliani's answer when asked how many had died on September 11, 2001.

From a high spot in New Jersey, I watched the skyline change before my eyes.
Buildings, people—no buildings, no one.
That vista is now an empty, screaming space—a void of blue sky.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle

Thank you for the words you wrote and shared.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Vacation Time

Try writing magazine articles when the folks you need to interview are all vacationing. I know how this will go—I won't reach anyone until an hour before deadline. After a psuedo-relaxed phone interview, I'll slam the keyboard, pounding out my thoughts, scatter research notes everywhere to reach the finish until I can finally hit the sexy SEND button. Here, Editor—take me, take my work. It's all yours.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Heat of the Summer

IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT was written by John Dudley Ball in 1965, and he also wrote the screenplay. Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier are forever remembered for their stellar performances in this drama. Mr. Tibbs is a character to make most writers envious, all hoping to create someone just as unique.

Heat sizzles from this film and everywhere today. It's summer.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Thomas Jefferson

On July 2nd, I'd like to think that Thomas Jefferson spent some time pouring over his draft of the Declaration of Independence a few hundred plus years ago and kept tweaking to get it right before the 4th.

I value deadlines. Then I'm forced to stop revising—otherwise, I'm not sure I'd ever write anything new.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Michael Moore is passionate about your health, and abhors the fact that insured people die everyday in this country due to insurance companies denying needed care. I was lucky enough to interview this fascinating filmmaker yesterday. See this film.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Memorial Day Poppies

We'll enjoy the day off, and hope for sun. We may find a good bargain, clean out the garage, or enjoy a cool one on the deck.
In light of the thousands fighting now in a questionable war, try to take some time this Memorial Day to remember those who have fought and died.

In 1915, inspired by the poem, “In Flanders Field”, Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too,
the Poppy red
That grows on fields
where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Writing Mom

Mom, mother, mommy, ma, mama, mam, mammy, mum, mamman, mamma, omma, oma, ammi, ummah...

These are only a few of the ways to write this word, but however written, its meaning is clear.


Monday, April 30, 2007

Until Next April

I've enjoyed reading a lot of great poetry during National Poetry Month. Here's one to bid farewell to April. This isn't my favorite cummings poem, but as a writer, the title had me hooked.

nobody loses all the time

i had an uncle named
Sol who was a born failure and
nearly everybody said he should have gone
into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could
sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself which
may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle

Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable
of all to use a highfalootin phrase
luxuries that is or to
wit farming and be
it needlessly

my Uncle Sol's farm
failed because the chickens
ate the vegetables so
my Uncle Sol had a
chicken farm till the
skunks ate the chickens when

my Uncle Sol
had a skunk farm but
the skunks caught cold and
died so
my Uncle Sol imitated the
skunks in a subtle manner

or by drowning himself in the watertank
but somebody who'd given my Unde Sol a Victor
Victrola and records while he lived presented to
him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a
scrumptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with
tall boys in black gloves and flowers and everything and

i remember we all cried like the Missouri
when my Uncle Sol's coffin lurched because
somebody pressed a button
(and down went
my Uncle

and started a worm farm)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hug your favorite librarian!

Oh, better yet, walk into your local library and get a card if you don't already have one. Then browse to your heart's content, finally choosing one perfect book or a perfectly obscene pile of books you can't wait to enjoy. Watch your librarian's face while your books are scanned. They know you through what you read. Bright, wonderful librarians!

It's National Library Week!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Happy Birthday, Wanda June

....Wanda June is one of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut pieces—a play, though his books such as Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle are better known. Read some Vonnegut today, in honor of his passing. Obscure works, essays, plays and his amazing books are all highlighted on this site:

Friday, April 06, 2007

Easter Laughs

I mean no disrespect to those that celebrate Easter, but you have to laugh at an oldie, but goodie, THE DUMB BUNNIES EASTER, by Sue Denim with illios by the fabulous Dav Pilkey. How can you not enjoy seeing bunnies in underwear spray painting fried Easter eggs? Oh, and the Easter Bunny arrives in a minivan pulled by eight flying pilgrims. Pure silliness and you just know that Ms. Denim and Mr. Pilkey had a great time creating this book.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A few famous thoughts about Ireland and the Irish:

Ireland is rich in literature that understands a soul's yearnings, and dancing that understands a happy heart.
Margaret Jackson

This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.
Sigmund Freud (about the Irish)

In Ireland the inevitable never happens and the unexpected constantly occurs.
Sir John Pentland Mahaffy

I'm troubled, I'm dissatisfied. I'm Irish.
Marianne Moore "Spenser's Ireland"

Sunday, March 11, 2007

NY Times-Nicholas D. Kristof

Mr. Kristof mesmerizes readers with insightful columns and today was no different. Powerful words demand attention, as well as a picture of a starving Ethiopian girl named Hidaya, whose image won't leave my mind. Kristof is sponsoring a contest in which a journalism student and middle school or high school teacher will win a chance to travel the world with him, blog for the NY Times and reach readers here—where most of us have plenty to eat.

Rules will be posted at www.nytimes.com/winatrip and www.myspace.com/kristofontheground

Monday, February 26, 2007

Curtis Sittenfeld

When I began reading PREP by Curtis Sittenfeld, the main character really put me off and I almost closed the book. Glad I didn't. Strange, compelling book. It's one I've owned for awhile and finally read. At the end of my paperback version is a Q&A between Sittenfeld and Katie Bacon from The Atlantic Monthly. I hope you'll appreciate this quote from Sittenfeld as much as I do: "I don't think you can learn to write a book except by writing a book. And then of course it's going to be imperfect."

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Check out the following site for a plethora (oh, it's fun to write that word) of reference site links on almost every topic imaginable.


Saturday, February 03, 2007


Babel is difficult to watch, but the film should be a must see for writers. Communication, and lack of it, is the theme of this excellent screenplay by Guillermo Arriaga. It focuses on how we connect with others using sounds, words and actions, which can change our own lives and create a ripple that might effect the entire world. A powerful message.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tennis anyone?

Numbered 81st in the world, Serena Williams used her power, skill, and mostly, determination, to best the number 1 player at the Australian Open this weekend. Williams' commitment to her game is inspiring—I think that same drive is necessary in facing the publishing world. Game, Match, WIN!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ready to submit?

If you're ready to submit your manuscript to an agent, take a look at this link:


Laughs courtesy of Miss Snark!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Jen Singer at mommasaid.net

Stop by and have a laugh at Jen Singer's site. Her video momma-logues are hilarious plus there's lots of other informative and funny features. Jen has written for all the top parenting and women's magazines and her book, 14 HOURS 'TIL BEDTIME, will keep you laughing.
Happy 4th Birthday, mommasaid.net!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Spelling and Martin Luther King

My kids may know more about Dr. King than I do, thanks to books, school assemblies and studying that part of history, which we didn't when I was in elementary school. Today, we read several picture books on Dr. King and "boycott" was on my daughter's spelling test last week. Proud to say she got it right, but more proud that she understands what it means in connection with Martin Luther King.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Book thoughts

I heard an editor speak last night and mention what she looks for in a book: When you get to the last page, you want to read it all over again. Hmmm, hope I'm writing one of those.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Sharing words with you

I've got a short essay published at CommonTies.com.
You can read it at: http://www.commonties.com/blog/2007/01/05/wishing-myself-back/

Scroll through the Formento Words in Print link to see more of my magazine work posted.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Alright is All Wrong

Working on one of my manuscripts, I had a variety of opinions from my critique group on a character's response of 'alright.'
Seems my alright is all wrong. All right, enough, enough.

Check out the following link for more common spelling errors.