Happy New Year, everyone. So many things are coming soon with my book that I’m excited to share, but I’m sworn to secrecy until the official announcement in a few weeks in Florida I am so excited for. I need a flowy white gown, and a tiara, formal Oscar-worthy attire, and his and her Bollywood garb which I have no idea how to do—any help is appreciated. Sorry for being so cryptic but it will be a big weekend with a big announcement, and I’m honored and “wicked excited,” I’m saying out loud in my thickest Boston accent.

I hope you all had the best holiday. I’ll be honest; this year is a tough one for me. I don’t often struggle to share personal things, but with some, you feel like if you let it out to the world, it’s really happening. My mother has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer—there, I said it. It’s real, and it’s hit us hard as you can imagine. She’s lived a wonderful life (her words), and still has some more to live if the moon and stars align, and she fights, but ultimately, this is up to her. There is beauty in fighting, and it’s also there in acceptance. It’s so hard not having control and feeling helpless when someone you love is suffering. It’s agony every minute. I take pride, and comfort and feel blessed to be my mother’s daughter. In a family full of melancholy people, she is and has always been the light. Throughout her life, even in her darkest times, she has always been able to see the world through a child’s lens. Everything to her is magic, and for a glass a bit half empty realist like me, she’s always helped me to shine.

The holidays can be so hard for many and while it’s important to be present with loved ones, maybe it’s just as important to reflect on the past year, and, as my mother would encourage, feel the magic of it all. Let’s remember there are many alone either physically, in their own thoughts, or both. I was listening to a podcast from a guru in India who discussed grieving. He spoke of how important it is not to distract yourself from it but how in many cultures, they take time, (3 days) in his culture, to unplug and be still, feel the feelings and sit with yourself. I hate New Year’s resolutions, but this year, besides my resolution to finish my second novel (by spring fingers crossed), I want to work on this—taking time to be still, pause and reflect. How can we even know how we feel when we are distracted all day with technology, work, kids, life, etc.? It’s easy to lose ourselves

I’ve been giving many talks at different media outlets and events regarding my book over the past few months, and I speak often of having grown up in a blue-collar family where creativity wasn’t entirely nurtured. Then, I recently remembered a poem my mother wrote she said when she was in seventh grade. She recited it to me many years ago, and I loved it so much that I could still remember almost every word. I asked her about it the other day, and in her weakened voice she recited it again, easily, and it made me feel just as it did when I first heard it when I was young—the magic of winter and the magic of her, my best friend and inspiration.

First Snow


As I woke up this morning, I saw a beautiful sight.

The street was a carpet of diamonds

—the window a pane of ice.

I looked across the street,

And what did I see

—a roof of dancing fairies,

And a cotton field of trees.