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Category Archives: womens literature
January 2, 2012 by Mara Purl
What kicks off the new year celebrated so avidly around the globe is a gift given by the universe itself—a new orbit. In fact, my character Cornelius Smith and my friend Laurance Doyle —both of whom are astronomers—give this as their annual greeting. “Happy New Orbit!” Makes me smile every time.
Fresh starts . . . a clean slate . . . infinite possibilities. . . . The precious sense that all things are new again is valued throughout the world. Some of us want almost everything to change; some of us probably want a few things to change. And most of us desire a sense of progress so we create a theme or a list to help us establish the landmarks of transformation.… Read more
December 26, 2011 by Mara Purl
December 26th is Boxing Day with a wonderful tradition of its own. Observed in the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it started as a day following Christmas when aristocrats, tasked with the welfare of those who worked on their estates, delivered boxes of food and gifts. In South Africa, the occasion evolved into the renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994, and in Ireland it’s called St. Stephen’s Day. The European tradition of giving gifts and money to those in need dates back to the Middle Ages.… Read more
December 19, 2011 by Mara Purl
I’ve known for a long time that there’s a connection between women and jewelry. In fact, that’s probably a connection I made at about age three. Was that when I first admired Mommy’s shiny baubles? Hmm. I think by then, I was actually asking for baubles of my own.
One of the earliest pieces to grace my collection was my very first charm bracelet. How I loved its shiny silver trinkets with their magical moving parts! Each time my parents took me someplace special, a new charm was added, until from every single link dangled a treasured memento: the Rockettes kicked up their legs all in a row; five candles poked through a birthday cake with pink enamel icing; a split oval twisted to become a heart.… Read more
December 5, 2011 by Mara Purl
Over the course of this first December weekend, at an opulent gathering of friends, we went around the table answering the question, “what’s the significance of Christmas to you?” We all acknowledged the spiritual import of the holiday, and because this was an international gathering, there was acknowledgment from widely divergent religious paradigms.
But we came back around the table again to touch upon that which we could only identify as the “spirit” of this time of year. For some, this is a time to focus more intently upon family and close friends, to offer the gifts of time and food, to open our homes, be they large or small, to experience something cozy and comforting, something timeless needing to be captured at least to the extent of celebrating it.… Read more
November 28, 2011 by Mara Purl
I think as a child I probably loved Thanksgiving because of the future—it meant Christmas was coming soon! It was also a holiday I anticipated with great joy because it meant we’d go visit Grandma Dorothy. She married my step-grandfather late in life—but just in time for my sister and me to adore her. The house she shared with “Daddy Bob” was a classic New England cottage in Waterbury, Connecticut. Cape-Cod-Blue with white trim, it stood erect despite the steep street that seemed to slice under it.… Read more
November 21, 2011 by Mara Purl
Well, if Pie-In-The-Sky describes what can’t come true, perhaps “Mile High Tea” should be the new descriptor for what can. Why? Because anything Judith Briles touches actually does turn to gold. Judith was my hostess this past weekend for a gorgeous, elaborate and delightful tea at the lovely home where she and her husband, poet and editor John Maling, love to entertain.
So what do I mean by “gold”?… Read more
November 14, 2011 by Mara Purl
“Who done it?” Why do we get so caught up in solving mysteries? I have several readers—whose names I shall not divulge—who regularly e-mail me demanding to know who killed Chris, and whether she’s really dead, and when the crime will be solved! And I thought I was the only one who couldn’t sleep at night wondering about the characters of Milford-Haven!
My accomplished friend Margaret Coel has equally marvelous stories about the obsessive nature of readers and how involved they become with her characters. At our event last weekend, she recounted some of the “helpful suggestions” she receives regarding her two protagonists, and how their life-dilemmas might be solved.… Read more
November 7, 2011 by Mara Purl
Sometimes an evening with female colleagues is a rite of passage, a kind of test a woman can only pass by showing her authenticity. And sometimes a girlfriend-evening fulfills a basic need for time with those who share the same wiring.
Actually women have all kinds of ways of connecting. Sometimes the moments are brief—a quick lunch hour to catch up with a friend or get to know someone better. Other times it might be a special treat like afternoon tea—a chance to dress up and go someplace elegant, where the surroundings are inspiring enough to give us a fresh perspective.… Read more
November 1, 2011 by Mara Purl
Perhaps cracking the cover on an unknown book is something like opening the door to strange children on Halloween. “Trick or Treat” they cry. We consider it mostly an idle threat, because we know if we’ve opened the door at all, we’re going to deliver a treat, and therefore not expect to be tricked. And perhaps this is analogous to shelling out our twenty-five dollars for a hardcover book: we expect to receive a treat and we don’t expect to be tricked.
But what’s the point of fiction? Is it to trick the reader into thinking that the characters they’re reading about and the circumstances in which they find themselves are real?… Read more
October 24, 2011 by Mara Purl
A few years ago, when I was first searching for the right kind of special event for readers of my Women’s Fiction novels, I chose Afternoon Tea as the perfect thing. “Tea” seemed to signify both elegance and comfort, a chance to connect with others while taking a break from hectic schedules. And though men sometimes attend, the event itself has a feminine quality, with great attention to detail and style.
The first person I approached with this idea was my mother. A brilliant hostess, she grasped the concept instantly and offered her own home for a series of three events that I named Hospitali-Teas.… Read more