What we do: a daily rituals list for preteens

I wrote this for my own family as we get ready to go back to school this fall, and thought I’d share. Might be helpful to one of you out there!

Smile! It’s going to be a great day.
Stretch when you wake up.
Think of a happy word for the day.
Take long, slow deep breaths.
Pull up your bed covers as you get out of bed.
Did you have any dreams you would like to share?
Eat breakfast together, sitting down.
Dressing rituals: deodorant, shoe powder, teeth.
Give everyone a hug before you go.
Look at the sky! Feel the ground beneath your feet.
Have a great day!
How was today?
Share a happy thought from the day.
Help each other to find solutions.
What homework do you have?
Empty your backpack entirely, put things where they go.
Rec time: relax, run, bike, read, build. Computer time on weekends.
Find your homework spot and line yourself up with what you need to do.
Find something fun within the homework or your approach to it.
Take trampoline or jumping jack breaks.
Collect tomorrow’s books and papers.
Any forms to be signed by a parent?
What are we having for dinner?
Be a sous-chef and make some fun choices with the food.
Get creative with food flavors and combinations.
Did you like the food?
What would you do differently next time?
Help to clean up: it’s faster and more time for fun together.
Make what you want for lunch tomorrow and put in fridge.
Toss any laundry in the machine. Bedsheets on weekends.
Play an after dinner game at the table:

a word or card game if we’re having a busy night.

Before Bed
Think about what you enjoyed today.
Think about how you want tomorrow to be!
Give everyone a hug before you sleep.
Take a glass of water with you.
Cleaning rituals: teeth, shower.
Set out tomorrow’s clothes.
Quiet your mind from the day’s chatter.
Take some long, slow deep breaths.
Think of 5 happy thoughts.
Have a great sleep!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. Feel free to share and modify to suit your family!


Transformational Destination Retreats!

I’m too excited to not-share.

I signed up for a 12 week online/phone coaching class in Transformational Destination Retreat planning. This course is led by Sheri Rosenthal who has studied and worked for many years with teacher don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.

Yes! I’ve taught one day workshops and led one day retreats in the past, with a focus on creating sacred space. This is my move to up the game into something more grand, more broad, more yummy. Yummy for me, yummy for you.

Stay tuned!



p.s. The photo above was taken at Storm King in New York State, where I led a one day retreat for a women’s group called Momentum.

Seven (Groups of)¬†Questions for JK Rowling


I’ve been on a binge of watching any and all interviews with author JK – Jo – Rowling on YouTube. Why? Hard to say.¬†Of all the writing projects I have in the works* it is the children’s story that engages my interest most at this time. Perhaps that’s why.¬†I watched these interviews with JK Rowling¬†and then I couldn’t stop – like eating popcorn. Or chocolate. A lovely milk chocolate, maybe the kind with crispy rice bits inside. Or dried raspberry. Yes, with dried raspberry.

It began on her birthday, celebrated in the media, and picked up on my me. I wrote to her on Twitter to wish her a happy birthday and to say a big thank you for keeping my kids distracted while I write. I ought also thank authors Rick Riordan and Dan Gutman while at it. I owe these authors a great deal of appreciation and if I ever meet them in person, I will thank them for the many hours of entertainment they’ve given my family.

Authors are amazing in their responsiveness. I like writing to and with authors, and find they often take the time to write back. Given her volume of mail and being the focus of world-wide attention, I would be unsurprised if JK Rowling were not to respond. I’m not dissuaded. I have my questions lined up and ready. As a writer, my questions are specific and targeted to my own interests, rather than for a general audience.

If I was given the chance to ask JK Rowling anything, this is what I would and will ask:

  1. I’ve heard your novels require very little editing. Is that true, and if so, what processes do you take in writing that lead to that? Would you say you self-edit? What does that look and feel like?
  2. What influence has being a teacher had on your work? What is your favorite anecdote from your teaching years?
  3. Are there some things that simply cannot be written – or that cannot be written well? That defy words or our own language? Would you try, and have you?
  4. Have you had any of your translated novels written back into English, to see the effect of translation? What do you think of the translation process? Are your translations true to your original work? Do authors have to let that go, much like with movie adaptations?
  5. To what degree do you daydream, and is it a daily preoccupation?What about night-dreams? Do you analyze dreams? Do you nap?
  6. Do you believe in archetypes? Collective consciousness, or unconscious connectedness? These elements seem to come through in your work. Where does that come from in your own work and process Рdo you map it out, or does it flow without preplanning?
  7. You articulate the rush of writing – the deliciousness of being 2/3 of the way through writing a novel, with a clear path ahead and a full day to write – as being the best feeling. Thank you for that. Do you think most writers or creatives feel that way? Are we wired to love that, to look for that feeling, or can it be learned?

Is the search for this feeling the essential passion that drives a writer, even more so than having a story to tell?

These are my questions. If you, readers, could ask JK Rowling any questions, what would you ask?



* That is to say,¬†I have¬†one novel being edited, one in research, and a children’s story loosely forming on a notepad. All touch on themes of environmentalism and how we live, how we interact with our surroundings, and what fires us up creatively. Although she does not present herself as an “environmental author,” I think JK Rowling is that. Atmospheric, to be sure.

A move! And a call for 1950s architectural inspirations…











My studio and home and family have moved – we’re in Chatham, NJ – a lovely and small town about 45 minutes west of New York City.

We’ll be renovating a 1950s Cape Cod home – not adding on, but taking away, and making it more what it once was, and more efficient¬†than ever before.¬†I’ll share¬†pictures as we go.

I’d love to learn more about your 1950s architectural and interior design inspirations – especially those that have merged well with contemporary renovations.

In the comments, here, post links to your favorite images.¬†Thanks! This’ll be fun. ūüôā