The days are getting longer and the weather is warming up—summer is definitely on the way. The warmer weather usually gives way to a more relaxed atmosphere, more free time, and less work. Apart from yard work and enjoying the beautiful weather, one of my favorite summer activities is reading, and there are a few books this year I’m excited to get my hands on…and a few I have already devoured.
For you thriller lovers, there’s a hot new book that was just published a couple months ago and is highly popular among reading circles. Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train is a runaway hit and, because of its success, is rumored to already have movie rights…so get on board this one so we can indulge our book-turned-movie fetish! I loved The Girl on the Train, which took me all of two days to read…it was one of those books I just couldn’t put down. I’m familiar with commuting—as we all are—and Hawkins’ novel is one that we can all relate to.
Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See recently won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, marking this as my next to-read book. I’m always a fan of stories that are centered on WWII, and the refreshing thing about Doerr’s novel is that it is an original, inventive story—nothing we have seen before.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to put my own Pinnacle Lust on your reading list for this summer. Sloan’s and Sharon’s love story will make your summer nights sizzle and will burn up your days. This summer’s heat will only serve to intensify the realism of the world in which Sloan and Sharon live.
The best part of summer reading is choosing a cool, comfortable spot—my favorite is out back in my hammock, under the shade trees—and wasting away hours, involved and totally immersed in the world of the book I’m reading. This is the best type of reading, in my opinion, and the best way to spend my long summer evenings.
What are some books you’re looking forward to this summer? Have you read any books already you’d recommend?
Two weeks ago, I was on my way to visit beautiful Israel, where my book, Pinnacle Lust, takes place. As I looked across the city’s rooftops from the airplane window, the sight took my breath away—the place where my character, Sharon Lapidot, fell in love and had an illicit affair with Dr. Sloan.
Romanticizing Tel-Aviv and Sharon and Sloan’s love affair was easy—however, the writing process wasn’t always that straightforward and simple. As I reflected on the joys of being a published author, I was also reminded of the struggles of getting to that point.
The writing of Pinnacle Lust was not without its roadblocks. Needing to assemble my scenes in the proper order was time-consuming and often slowed my writing to a halt. Remembering the layout of the streets of Tel-Aviv was another hurdle, one that I often overcame with the help of Google Maps. And the last one—and often the one that most authors can agree on as the worst: writer’s block.
I suffered my fair share of writer’s block when writing my debut novel. I knew where I wanted the overall plot to go, but when it came to figuring out a way to get there, there were times when my brain froze and my typing followed suit. So how did I get around it? I have two go-to methods that work every time.
If I’m sitting at my keyboard at a complete standstill, I sign off for the day. No sense sitting unproductively. Instead, I take the time I would have spent writing to take a long walk and mull things over. Often I find that the simplest things like getting blood flowing can open creative doors I didn’t know I had!
Sometimes, the opposite is true. One of my favorite tactics is to relax in my recliner, close my eyes, and visualize where I’m at in the story, replay the most recent scenes, and let my subconscious make the connections between where my characters are now and where they need to be.
I’ve found that I most often experience writer’s block when I’m caught up on small details. Is what I’m writing clear? Will my readers understand and enjoy my book? The bottom line? Who cares—you (or your editor) can deal with that at another time. Once I throw those concerns out the window and simply write, the ideas and words flow into my brain and onto the page.
Mother’s Day is upon us this Sunday, and with it comes the reminder to appreciate our mothers for the love and support they’ve provided us throughout the years.
This Mother’s Day, as I’ve just returned to the United States from a two week trip with my 83-year-old mother, I slap my own hand. During my visit in Israel, work didn’t stop—I was bombarded with business, writing, and research that needed to be done. I’ve realized that work is something that can always wait… spending quality time with my mother can’t.
The time I spend and memories I create with my mother are irreplaceable. When we look back on our lives we realize that the things that matter are relationships with our loved ones.
Motherhood extends far beyond the sleepless nights of taking care of infants, supporting toddlers when they take their first steps, and believing in children throughout their academic years. My mother is involved in every aspect of my life. She supports my dreams and goals. She is there for me in my excitement and disappointment, my happiness and pain, and my success and failures—my mother is with me all the time, even from a distance. Do I recognize this enough? Or do I need to be reminded?
The message of respect, appreciation, and recognition for our mothers that comes with Mother’s Day should be our every day attitude—a concept that shouldn’t be executed only once a year, on Mother’s Day.
At times, I wonder if Mother’s Day lost its value by turning into another commercial holiday—cards, flowers, gifts and a phone call. I trust that appreciating and spending time with our mothers should be an unconditional and regular part of our lives—not just a once-a-year occurrence. This Sunday, I challenge you with my own resolution. Let’s remember the message of respect, appreciation, love, giving, and recognition inherent in Mother’s Day and on an ongoing basis. Let’s spend more time and share more with our mothers. Mothers do not last forever—I hate for us to realize what we missed when it’s too late. Don’t let the physical distance come between you—keep your mother with you every moment of your life. Our mothers are an important and central part of our lives.
Let your mother know how much you love and appreciate her--not only on Mother’s day but every day!
Happy Mother’s Day.