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Posts Tagged ‘Debra H. Goldstein’

Fans-Whether in Sports or Writing, It’s All the Same

September 28, 2015 7 comments

pile o booksFANS – WHETHER IN SPORTS OR WRITING, IT’S ALL THE SAME by Debra H. Goldstein

When I moved to Alabama, a colleague asked if I knew who was number one in football. Not being a sports enthusiast, but reading all parts of the newspaper religiously, I replied that the polls said my alma mater, the University of Michigan, was ranked number one.

“No,” I was told. “Alabama is number one.”

I scratched my head and wondered about him. Apparently, he didn’t keep up with the news and his taste in clothing – a crimson blazer and a houndstooth vest – left something to be desired. At least, it wasn’t as loud a combination as the burnt orange blazer and navy blue tie another guy in the office seemed to sport every Friday.

It didn’t take long for me to understand the fervent loyalty Alabama and Auburn fans have for their teams. They live, breathe, and probably would sell their first born child for if it would insure a victory. They revere their coaches as Gods – at least as long as their teams are winning. Some people think their devotion to their schools is crazy.

There was a time I was a member of that latter group, but not anymore. Since becoming a writer, I understand the value of fans. They are the people who validate my efforts and those of my fellow writers. They encourage and give us purpose. When a person says “I liked your book” or “Your book really made a difference in my life,” it means the world to us.
That’s why, having fans and being a fan is a reciprocal relationship. Readers trust us to give them the best book possible. They want us to transport them away from their everyday lives, even if only for a few minutes. Hopefully, we not only do that, but we treat our fans with respect and admiration.

Without our readers behind us, much like a team playing a championship game, we are nothing. So, it is a two way street. We must be our fans biggest fans.

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Friends by Debra H. Goldstein

February 2, 2015 13 comments

Debra HeadshotFriends by Debra H. Goldstein

Friends? Girl Scouts and Brownies sing of making new friends but keeping the old. The TV show Friends highlighted friendship. Even the premise of the movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, annually reminds us that “…no man is a failure who has friends.” Friends are lifelines, support systems, memory and laughter sharers, business door openers, and most importantly, folks who accept me for who I am. I wouldn’t trade you for anything.

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Debra H. Goldstein’s debut novel Maze in Blue received a 2012 IPPY Award and was reissued by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery in May 2014. Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Player Murder Mystery will be released by Five Star Publications/Cengage in 2016. Debra also is an award winning short story and non-fiction writer. When it comes to her friends, enough said.

Debra Does Cooking by Debra H. Goldstein

August 4, 2014 23 comments

Debra Does Cooking by Debra H. Goldstein

Remember when I decided to try my hand at pottery? (Stop laughing L.M.) Well, I’ve decided to impress Joel with my culinary talents. There is some danger in this decision because I’ve spent thirty years training him to expect a certain level from my homemaking skills.

For example, I was working on a new recipe a few weeks ago when a button popped off his pants. Disgusted at having to change his pants, he said something about needing to take the slacks to the tailor. I was focused on my dish and without thinking volunteered, “Would you like me to sew it back on?”

He stared at me and asked, “Do you know how to do that?”

“On second thought,” I replied, “take it to the tailor.” I then went back to figuring out how to rescue the recipe I had accidently put 2 tablespoons rather than ¼ teaspoon of pepper into when Joel distracted me during my crucial measuring moment. At dinner, there was no further mention of his pants and we agreed my dish looked good, but it definitely had a bit of heat.

My new interest in the kitchen has resulted in me taking stock of my kitchen equipment. Although I could boast some still in their box utensils and two unopened spices from the “Can She Recognize This” kitchen shower my friends had for me, I never received the pots, pans, and gadgets new brides receive today. The high points of that shower were when I recognized a garlic press and when I pulled out some beautiful paper plates and matching napkins and someone quipped, “Oh, look! She got her good china.” The low point of the shower was opening a mixer with dough hooks rather than the food processor I really wanted.

I’ve made up for being deprived during the last three weeks. I now own a new wok (I did have one once but I used it for something other than cooking and it was never the same), an on-the stove smoker (the salmon came out good, but the house reeked of burnt ash for two days), and my first crockpot (I made Joel come home for my first one pot dinner at four because I miscalculated the 7-8 hours the stuff was bubbling). Over the years, I’ve always enjoyed purchasing cookbooks (some of my favorites include Peg Bracken’s I Hate to Cook Cookbook; Come For Cocktails, Stay for Supper; and especially You Should Write a Cookbook for its spinach pie recipe that features thawed frozen spinach soufflés), so it was a no brainer to buy five new ones to match my new kitchen items. I’m sure I’ll use four of them often, but the one I accidentally downloaded won’t get much use as I read somewhere it wasn’t wise to put an ipad near gas generated flames.

For years, I joked that I only cooked when we had snowstorms. Joel hasn’t said he wishes I would return to that practice, but he has started calling me every afternoon to ask “Would you like to go out for dinner, tonight?”

Maybe I should take that quilting class that was on my post-retirement bucket list.

Revision – A Personal Story by Debra H. Goldstein

January 6, 2014 11 comments

dhg-photo.jpgRevision –A Personal Story by Debra H. Goldstein

When I stepped down from the bench, I fully intended to treat writing as a business. I was going to schedule a specific time of day for writing and not stop until I had completed a mandatory word count. Once I wrote first drafts of stories and perhaps another book, I would begin the process of revision – making a change or set of changes to improve my work.

It didn’t happen. I traveled, threw a wedding, played with grandchildren (not from the child who got married), went to lunch, accepted more civic responsibilities, occasionally was a Mah jongg substitute, and watched almost every re-run episode of NCIS, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory. There was always a distraction or thing to prevent me from giving my full attention to writing.

Things that had to be written like my obligated blog postings got done, but the muse for creative writing eluded me. I actually began to doubt my stated goal of being a full time writer. My doubts scared me.

I weighed whether I should return to the practice of law, accept appointment as a senior judge or turn off the TV and give myself a good kick in the rump. With New Year’s coming, I decided to make a resolution about my writing, but doubts crept in again. After all, how many times in the past had I made resolutions like “I’m going to lose weight,” “I’m going to exercise more,” or “I’m going to be nicer and kinder to other people?”
So, no resolutions or future promises. Just an attempt at revision.

Revision is defined as “a change or set of changes that improves something. Something, such as a piece of writing or song, that has been corrected or changed.” Considering my recent state of activities, it isn’t going to require too much revision of my attitude and writing schedule to result in numerous pieces of writings that will need to be corrected or changed.

Many retirees claim they needed a break before finally settling into a productive schedule. I swore, especially being so much younger than normal retirement age, I would not be part of that group. Yet, despite my best intentions, I was. It is only in the last few weeks that the wind has changing. Now, I’m excited to imagine the work product my revised efforts will bring.

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Debra H. Goldstein’s short story, “A Political Cornucopia” was the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable featured November 2013 story.  Her debut novel, A Maze in Blue, received a 2012 IPPY award and will be reissued by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery in May 2014.

Using Words – A Not So Subtle Message by Debra H. Goldstein

December 23, 2013 17 comments
Debra H. Goldstein

Author Debra H. Goldstein

Using Words – A Not So Subtle Message by Debra H. Goldstein

Communicating through words is what sets us apart from other species. Certainly gorillas, puppy dogs, and other animals communicate between themselves or with humans through looks, movements, and sounds, but the use of words to convey meaning distinguishes us.

Words can be spoken, signed, or written. They can be in English, French, or even Pig Latin. The key is that we use words to define and make others understand our thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

Sometimes though, we are silent. We may have a thought, but we don’t express it. How many times have we read about people who wish they said “I love you” before the opportunity passed them by? Ever wonder if a kind word or an offer of help would have made a difference in a life?

I can’t answer these philosophical questions, but I can suggest that during this holiday season you take a moment to use words. Write a card or e-mail, pull someone aside for a chat, make a call or send a text. Use words to show you care. That’s what I’m doing now:

Happy Holidays!  May 2014 be a year of health, happiness and prosperity for you and yours!!

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Debra H. Goldstein’s short story, “A Political Cornucopia” was the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable featured November 2013 story.  Her debut novel, A Maze in Blue, received a 2012 IPPY award and will be reissued by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery in May 2014.

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