Thursday, January 21, 2016

Storytelling: What Makes a Lion a Lion?

Saturday I attended a performance of " The Lion" at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven. It was a written and performed by Benjamin Scheuer in which he told the story of his life by song. Mr. Scheuer's performance was stunning and he received two standing ovations! I will provide a link to the show at the end of this post.

Several things touched me about his presentation. He was so open and candid sharing extremely intimate details of his life. He sang with such passion.

It was storytelling at its best. It had a beginning, middle and end. As an audience member one could not help but ask yourself, "what next?" Because Mr. Scheuer was so passionate, and his story so engaging, the audience became invested in the outcome of the story.

The Lion is on stage through February 7th.

Link to the  Long Wharf Theater

All the best,

Author Website:
Follow me on Facebook at  Moth at the Window and/or Mary Lachman Design

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Friendship - Face to Face

Friends are so important. They can buoy you up, push you along, or redirect your path.

Although I have both male and female friends, they are different. It is said that women are friends face to face, while men are friends to one another side by side.

Maybe that is why women often make good friends throughout their lives, while men sometimes reminisce that their best friends were their buddies in high school.

Remember that hilarious movie, Nine to Five? In it three characters, from different backgrounds, played by Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton become friends united around a purpose. (If you don't remember the movie you might consider borrowing it from the library.)  Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin shared their thoughts on friendship in a recent TED Talk. You can follow a link to it at the end of this post.

We all need friends. Too often we let other obligations get in the way of making a phone call or visiting someone dear. At an advanced age my grandmother, Frances, and her friend, Nelle Johnson telephoned one another each day, just to make sure the other was still alive!

Frances in center
Photo from Moth at the Window by Mary F. Lachman
Copyright 2014 - All rights reserved

I'd like to share one of several poems my grandfather, Grover W. Clayton, wrote about friendship.
from Moth at the Window by Mary F. Lachman
Copyright 2014 - All rights reserved

In our digital life it is easy to forget that we still need face to face contact with friends. It refreshes us and energizes us in a way that Facebook does not.

Have good day.

All the best,

Follow me on Facebook at  Moth at the Window and/or Mary Lachman Design

Friday, January 8, 2016

3 Reasons to be Grateful for Old Friends

On Tuesday I stopped for lunch at a friend’s house.  Marion is someone I worked with for more than 10 years and someone who I occasionally socialized with outside work. After I left that company almost 3 years ago it became harder to see each other regularly, even though we shared many interests.

It wasn’t as if we didn’t make plans to see one another. We picked dates but something always got in the way and one of us cancelled out. Actually I was usually the one who opted out at the last minute.

I had many excuses but I looking back I know I needed to put some space between my old job and former colleagues.  I was weary from answering questions about my new position, the commute and my level of satisfaction. I wanted a break!

The funny thing is now that I have had some open space I am ready to re-engage with some of these work friends. In summer camp we used to sing this little song: 
Make new friends,
But keep the old
One is silver
But the other is gold.

I am grateful to have friends who have been with me throughout various stages of my life.

In a recent article “Friends at Work? Not So Much” (NY Times, Sept 14, 2015 - link to article provided at end of blog post) contributing op-ed writer Adam Grant quotes Jane E. Dutton, professor at the University of Michigan, who finds that a high-quality connection does not require a “deep or intimate relationship” but rather respect, trust and mutual engagement.

Three Reasons to BE GRATEFUL for your Old Friends:
  1. You have a shared history. They know your former self. Maybe you met in high school, but somehow, for some reason, 30 years later you can rekindle a conversation as though it was yesterday. These are true friends.
  2. You have common interests. Old friends are just that because you have a shared interest (or many) with them.  You can talk to them about your life, kids, victories and defeats and they don’t judge you. They encourage you to be yourself.
  3. You trust and respect them.   They will take you just the way you are. They don’t care if you have holes in your socks and you don’t care either when you are with them.

Why not reach out to a friend this weekend? 

All the best,

Author Website:
Follow me on Facebook at  Moth at the Window and/or Mary Lachman Design

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Reader's Question Answered

I was recently asked by a reader how the logistics of publishing Moth at the Window. What follows in this post are the nitty gritty details and some ideas for you if decide to pursue a project like this.

I signed on to self-publish with Xlibris when they ran a 50% off sale back in 2011 - THREE YEARS before I finished the project!  LOL.  I had a good experience working with them. If you decide to go that direction I can give you specific advice at each step. 

There are many companies for self-publishing your book. If you want to get your work in print quickly you can’t beat doing it yourself. Some have extra services like editing, etc for an extra charge. Some names you might know:
  • Xlibris
  • Amazon
  • I-Universe
  • Create Space (thru Amazon I think)
One disadvantage of self-publishing is the promotion is on you. You become the writer, marketer and promoter. You serve as your own agent and press release writer.

Smaller publishing houses will also expect you to do much of the footwork yourself. 

There are a few small publishers in the Hartford area (the reader who posed the question was from Connecticut) that you might search for online including ANTRIM HOUSE and GRAYSONBOOKS.COM 

Other larger publishing houses are KENYON REVIEW, HUDSON REVIEW, ANTIOCH REVIEW and TUPELO PRESS. Those are just a few. Often the larger places will indicate in the submission guidelines when they ‘read’ certain types of submissions. Follow the guidelines carefully or they might just throw your work out. 

Also, if you can, it is plus if you can get some reviews of your manuscript before submitting it (to use as blurbs for the back cover) or if you can get some of the poems published (even online in a literary journal format).  Those things could be a key to getting your work into a larger house that would do more promotion for you. 

Good luck with your project and I'll try to answer any other questions you might have. 

All the best-

Follow me on Facebook @ Moth at the Window
Author Website: