September Book Review

Welcome to the monthly book review! At the end of each month, I review the books I’ve read. Enjoy!

steve jobsThe Book: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

The Category: Biography

In Three Words: Giant Apple Ego.

Biggest Takeaway: As many have said, this may be the most brutally honest biography ever published while the subject was still alive. Tears, tantrums, cold silences and hot fury abounded in Jobs’ life and relationships. And yet, readers can’t help but feel admiration for this man’s vision and dedication to the intersection of technology and humanity.

modern romanceThe Book: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

The Category: Sociology/Humor (this book defies categorization, in a great way)

In Three Words: Dating Game Change.

Biggest Takeaway: This book wasn’t what I expected, and I LOVED that. It was funny, sure, but so much smarter than the average comedian’s tome. It was well-researched, well-documented and packed with information about the past, present and future of dating. From marrying your neighbor to the advent of internet dating to SnapChat, this book is a fascinating and sometimes humorous look at how we find love in the modern era. [Read more…]

September Influences: What I’m Into

I used to have a regular column called Current Influences, in which I wrote about the things I was reading, watching and listening to in my spare time. I decided to re-launch it with some fresh ideas. I won’t be including the books I’m reading, because I already do a monthly book review. I will talk about other experiences I might be having, or life hacks that are working for me, and I may share blogs or podcasts that are resonating with me.

I’m SUPER into….

This amazing exercise machine.


elliptical trainer

I’ve always had this dilemma: what to do with my morning time? I’m an early riser, and my time before the rest of the family gets up is the most fresh and productive of the day. So what do I do with that time? Do I write, or do I exercise?

I write, of course, because that’s my highest priority, and I do exercise other times throughout the week. But I still felt like I could do better. On most work days last year, the only exercise I got was walking the stroller up the hill to pick my son up from daycare. I worked out on the weekends and usually managed to take a walk or bike ride on one afternoon. But I wanted more.

Enter this amazing machine. It’s an under-desk elliptical. Now I can write and work out AT THE SAME TIME. It feels incredibly productive. [Read more…]

Writing Schedule: Summer Vs. Fall

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calendarForget New Year’s Day; like all teachers and parents, the beginning of September is the start of my new year, and summer into fall is my biggest transition. I’ve spent a lot of time on my writing career both while teaching full-time, and while being on leave or summer vacation. I often wonder if I’m more productive with or without the structure of the school day. Some of you may be wondering the same thing: Do I quit or downsize my job so I can focus full-time on writing? Or does my job provide a structure to hang my writing habits on? With only myself to be accountable to, do I do more, or less? [Read more…]

You Have To Love It, Part 2

After re-reading yesterday’s post, You Have To Love It, I realized that there’s another lesson to be learned. If you don’t truly love something and believe in it with all your heart, you can’t create it successfully. I just learned that lesson with another book I started writing. I had a great idea; I outlined the book from beginning to end; I wrote the first two chapters. And then I stopped, because I didn’t care enough. I didn’t really love the main character, and I was already bored because I wasn’t switching perspectives. I would have been wasting my time if I’d continued.

(Note to self: always write from multiple perspectives. That’s definitely my “thing,” even more than writing about historical events.)

I’m not saying you have to love something with a fervor of passion every single day, and I’m not claiming that my faith in Waist could move mountains. [Read more…]