MUSIC, LAKES & BLUE CORDUROY , published by Thunder Bay Press, 2021, traces my artistic and emotional development as a young violinist attending what is now called the Interlochen Center for the Arts. This is a book for anyone who would like to know what it feels like to play in a symphony; to survive bouts of performance anxiety and a ruthlessly competitive "challenge" system for orchestra chairs; to develop lifelong friendships and a love of Michigan lakes; and to fall under the spell of a magical place that continues to affect one's life story long after one has moved on.
MAKING PEACE WITH THE THINGS IN YOUR LIFE, published by St. Martin's Press in 2002, grew out of my experiences as a social worker and professional organizer. The idea was to not simply tell people how to get organized but to help them understand why they struggled with clutter and disorganization. My book was later put on the recommended reading list by the National Association of Professional Organizers.
I wrote this book for those folks who say, “I don’t care why I have clutter problems—just tell me what to do.” It’s a book of 100 tips, some of which are concrete suggestions like “make a home for instructions and warrantees” or “get a great letter opener,” while others are abstract ideas simply put, as in “that was then, this is now” or “divide and subdivide.” The idea is that the more of these tips the reader applies, the better organized he or she is likely to become, one thing at a time.
I wrote this book partly to keep myself sane after lack of affordable health insurance forced me to scale down my practice and get an office “day job." I found the transition to sitting in front of a computer all day in a room with no windows difficult. In looking around me, I also saw quite a few depressed-looking, overweight office workers. This led to my doing some hard thinking about the mental health challenges of office work—as evidenced by the popularity of the TV series, The Office—and what we could all do to stay healthier and feel better about coming to work in the morning.