About me

I was born on the 5th night of Hanukah in 1979, two weeks after my estimated due date. I was scheduled to be born the next day in a C-section, but I decided to be born naturally and on the most special night of the holiday. There’s no specific reason why the 5th night is said to be the holiest and most special, but two of the reasons often given are that it’s the beginning of the majority of the lights and that the 5th night can never fall out on Shabbos. And perhaps even as a neonate, I knew I was going to grow up to become an advocate of natural childbirth and deeply interested in the history of birth.

I write 20th century historical fiction, and have some soft sci-fi on hiatus. My books also contain interstitial elements of women’s fiction, romance, and Bildungsroman. Once upon a time my main interest was 19th century historical fiction, but my passion switched to the 20th century sometime during junior high. There’s nothing so fulfilling and enjoyable as writing a long, complex, sweeping saga with many characters and storylines, bringing them all together, and building the storyline till the dramatic payout finally happens.

I blog about writing, classic books, classic films, and classic rock. I love silent and early sound film, have never read any of the Harry Potter or Twilight books and don’t intend to, and prefer vinyl over CDs. I honestly don’t know who most modern singers and actors are. My favorite actors include Rudolph Valentino, Lon Chaney, Sr., Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Ramón Novarro, John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Mary Pickford, Nita Naldi, and all the great silent and early sound clowns. Laurel and Hardy have been my favoritest comedians since July ’96. I prefer to discover a writer, band, or actor for myself. If it’s good enough, it’ll still be there for me to discover after its heyday.

Sometimes I blog about other issues that interest me, such as natural childbirth and handedness. I’m crunchy within reason (e.g., I support natural childbirth and attachment parenting, am one million percent pro-vaccination, and am staunchly against alt-med woo). From time to time I post essays I was able to save from my old Angelfire site. Most of my hobbies and interests are connected to my love of history (e.g., antique cars, vinyl records, old coins, silent film, old books).

In 2011, I finally came out of the closet about the true extent of my left-handedness, after years of identifying as ambidextrous, primarily writing right-handed, doing most other things left-handed, and being told I was being oppositional or lying when I tried to say I was ambidextrous or not right-handed. Handedness is a lot more complex than merely the predominant writing hand, contrary to popular belief. I’m glad I made the switch from right to left after so many years. I’ve always had a ton of lefties in my books, and was always very drawn to lefties, left-handed history, and the study of handedness. It’s like I knew, even before I knew.

If I had my way, I’d be typing on a vintage computer and using MacWriteII or ClarisWorks, or even AppleWorks. I hate Word and long for the perhaps technologically inferior but design-wise superior older word processing programs, where all the major stuff was laid out in front of you or in a few drop-down menus. You didn’t have to go searching all over the place to figure out how to do something basic, or have 10 different formatting bars. I type in Palatino, after having initially typed in Bookman when I realized I wasn’t bound to the default Helvetica. You couldn’t pay me enough money to get me to type in Courier, Arial, or Times New Roman!

21 thoughts on “About me

  1. My husband is a leftie, and when I was young I worked for a company that produced a command-driven word processor called XyWrite. You would have loved it.


  2. How interesting! I still have a ton of records from when I was a kid, and several of the same albums you show in your photos. I also have a son who is a leftie, so I will come back and check out your left-handed posts. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog, today!


    1. Thanks. It’s somewhat of a modern retelling of Margaret Sidney’s Phronsie Pepper, and main character Justine finally proves her adult worth to her family by driving her young nieces and her surrogate mother’s daughter to that concert and back in the snowstorm. It was such a brilliant stroke of luck that all these factors came together to make me think of that climax, like the timing of Justine’s pregnancy in the book’s timeline and the fact that there was a real snowstorm at that particular show, which was closer to their city than the Manhattan show.


    1. My so-called fiancé has been suggesting to me that I should write a book that’s entirely erotica, not just with erotic elements, and I’m considering taking his suggestion. I’d be using a different pen name for that.


  3. Hello,
    A quick introduction from my end-Iam Chinmaya from Bangalore,India. The reason for my mail is that I understand that the “sons of the desert” are having their next convention at Hollywood and would want to know if you are attending it. You may check this for more details- http://www.laurelandhardywood.com/ .
    Incase you or anyone whom you know are,please let me know as there are somethings that i want to discuss regarding the same.My id is-chimayaprakash@gmail.com Else,you may ignore this.

    Regards and best wishes,


  4. Hello there! Thanks so much for the follow on my blog. I agree with what you said about the old bands retiring. I love some of these bands and enjoyed listening to them back in the day and going to concerts. But that was then; as far as now, listening to their old stuff on the radio is fine. I no longer wish to go to their current concerts …it is just not the same. Some of these bands just don’t have it anymore and yes, when it reaches that point, it is time to retire. Great blog!


  5. Hi there…

    Just discovered your blog thanks to the Cherished blogfest being organised by Damyanti, and with which I’m helping as one fo the co-hosts. Really enjoyed your ‘About’ page here, lots of humour in it, and I must say you’ve got a very well presented blog here that’s easy on the eye…

    Looking forward to reading more of it after the blogfest,

    Best wishes, Paul…


  6. Very interesting profile…! I love (and sometimes write) alternate history – mostly in the Renaissance. There’s not enough quality historical fiction around, and I am always happy when I find writers who dedicate to that. Look forward to reading you.


  7. I love words, ideas and argument. Your writing is impressive in all three. Admittedly, your blogs regarding the burgeoning gender issue are preaching to the converted in my case but nonetheless I wish you a wider audience for such well thought out, common sense challenge.
    Young people need rescued, families like myself need support and good counsel. Your blogs are a lighthouse. Thank you.


  8. Hello Carrie Anne:

    My favourite fonts when I was younger were Avant Garde and Futura in 24 and 12 point respectively.

    I would also use Optima; Lucida Handwriting [this was from Creative Writer and McZee] and all the Lucida fonts. And Los Angeles – out of the Apple Mac “place” fonts – and Athens.

    When I was a student and emerging writer, I would use First Choice from the Software Publishing Company.

    I do like Bookman and Garamond. Geometric I would use for websites and Trebuchen.

    Lots of text editors and sharing/collaborative apps for me – I did use ClarisWorks – mostly for drawings and sometimes for databases and spreadsheets and picture books like What’s That Cat [July 1997] and The Magic Pot in July 1993.

    The Print Shop and the New Print Shop were very helpful for me – again I used a PC.

    I have loved all the iPad fonts and styles since I began to use one in December 2011.

    MS Word 2007/2011 really hit its nadir and I might have tried to do things like citations and academic work. I found Word 5 and 6 and even 7 [no, that was Word 95/98] helpful then there was a long jump to 2003. Graphics and web design I found myself unpicking like an errant tapestry.


  9. If you like World War 2 era music, maybe try a song by Ray Eberle. He sang for Glenn Miller’s band. Other Big Band music is fine, but to me Ray Eberle’s voice speaks to me. I’d try “The Nearness of You” or “At Last” or “My Ideal” as a start. My opinion is that you are an old soul and I appreciate seeing your work and interests here. Regarding your writing as someone who does not like Fiction because my learning differences seem to only understand Non Fiction, I enjoyed the story I found by you. I hopped to your page as I was looking up/trying to learn about the name Rifke and reading about Jewish people before World War 2. Thanks for writing and sharing old photos.


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