Tag Archives: writers

The Moment

Stolen from the Facebook profile of fellow "Moment" contributor Deborah Copaken Kogan (clicking on pic takes you to her website)

The second item on my Life List is: Publish a book. When I look back at it now, I realize I should have been more specific because I’ve sort of done that already. I have run the gamut of publishing jobs ranging from book publicist to book researcher, coordinating sub rights, and e-book producing (where I produced a NYT Bestseller, baby!) If I was to take #2 at face value, however, I’d have to classify it as a book on which I appear as the author complete with name on the cover and author photo on the back flap. So those publishing gigs are subsets of #2.


This book you see above puts me a step closer. In “The Moment,” you’ll find 125 beautiful moments that changed the lives of writers and artists both famous and obscure. My essay, “Fearless Flyer,” appears in here. It’s my first contribution to a publication that is bound and made of pulp, not pixels. Even more exciting, some of my favorite writers, storytellers, and friends also appear between these covers. I fell in love with Deborah Copaken Kogan’s words in college; I sometimes wonder if Rebecca Woolf (whose insanely gorgeous essay ends the book) and I weren’t separated at birth; Gregory Maguire always enchants me with his stories. Ever since Baratunde Thurston and Sara Barron did the Six-Word reading series I co-produced, I’ve been stuck on their every word. Jennifer Egan and Elizabeth Gilbert (two literary rock stars), also contributed pieces. When I heard Liz Gilbert was contributing a piece, I put Larry Smith, the book’s editor, in touch with my friend/Liz’s sister, the awesome YA writer Catherine Gilbert Murdock, who turned around an essay in no time flat. She’s that good.

“The Moment” also contains pieces from people who aren’t writers by trade, but who are incredible storytellers. Some of my favorite pieces in this book are written by people who are: unemployed, zoologists, still in school, a camp director, and a former trend-forecaster. Everyone has a Moment that changed their lives. What’s yours?

Life List: #85

85. Have a drink at the Algonquin Hotel‘s infamous Round Table Room

Earlier this month I attended a gathering of the Virtuous Circle at the Algonquin Hotel. It’s a private group for writers, editors, publicists, and book types. There is networking, but it’s also an opportunity to connect with others in your field, swap stories and books over lunch — and under the critical gaze of Dorothy Parker. This was clearly the perfect moment to cross #85 off of my Life List.

On the day of our lunch, I was having a particularly bad morning. I had turned in a story and was gearing up for my next deadline when I received word a friend’s husband had passed away. Right after that news, my editor called with changes he needed asap, of course. I went into autopilot, made the changes, resent the story, got dressed for the lunch and headed to the Algonquin in a fog and feeling a little emotional.

When I arrived at the roundtable room, I was seated next to author Kaylie Jones, whose book, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, I read at age 18 and discovered a fellow intern I was working with at the time was also reading it. We bonded over our love for the book and later, the movie. That intern became one of my best friends and later, my writing partner. I couldn’t have been seated next to a better person at that moment. Kaylie immediately makes you feel comfortable and part of the conversation. Next to Kaylie was the fantastic Erin McHugh, who helped put the event together with Bethanne Patrick. Erin’s blog (and soon-to-be-book), One Good Deed is inspiring. Both Kaylie and Erin felt like people I’ve known forever. Across from me was authori Jessica Kane, her book, The Report, is next up on my Kindle. On my other side, was Elyssa East, who wrote Dogtown — which I’m starting tonight. Editor Iris Blasi joined our table later on and contributed Put on a Happy Face to our terrific book swap pile. It was also great to meet others I follow on Twitter, including Jennifer Mendelsohn and Delia Cabe, who make my feed fun to read.

When I wrote my Life List, I knew each goal would be an adventure, but what I didn’t realize was how some of these moments would go so much deeper than a simple “have a drink at the roundtable room.” #85 turned a stressed out and melancholy day into a beautiful experience. My only wish is that more of my simple goals turn out to be as fulfilling and soul nourishing as this one.

Monday’s Watch, Listen, Read


This is one of my favorite movies, written by the fabulous Nora Ephron (more about her in today’s Read pick). This particular clip was chosen as a tribute to my middle/high school friend, who got married this past weekend. I will never forget the moment she told me, over brunch at French Roast, that she wanted to marry her (now) husband (and by the way, did I know what was taking him so damn long to ask her?) She said, “When I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, I wanted it to happen right away.” It was a a beautiful statement. It was also a very cinematic line. It immediately brought to mind “When Harry Met Sally.” If you haven’t already seen this movie (shameful!), you are missing out on a brilliant classic.

Congratulations to my friends, S&S. The rest of your life (together) starts now. xo





Sondheim music is something that is infused in the blood of nearly every American. One year, I worked on two books that heavily relied on Sondheim lyrics for either the book title or lyric reprints within the novel. I was surrounded by Sondheim. The man is a genius, and, as I learned the other evening when I saw him speak live, he’s also very charismatic, funny, charming, and sensitive (though anyone could guess that from his lyrics). This song also happens to be the title of his new book, a collection of lyrics with attendant comments, principles, heresies, grudges, and anecdotes.*


I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

If I could, I would read everything Nora Ephron has written, including her mental list of the best pies in New York, because it’s bound to be filled with witty observations and asides. I Remember Nothing is a smaller slice of Ephron pie. You’re not quite getting the full flavor of her flakey, buttery words and the same bursts of juicy opinions that she generously served up in I Feel Bad About My Neck. Nonetheless, I Remember Nothing is still satisfying to the palate. The only downside is it leaves you wanting more, but aren’t all delicious treats like that?*

*More on Nora and Steve later in the week. Please standby…