Entries by jmphillippe

Living With a Mystery

In October of 2018, some friends of mine and I met up at a shelter on the Upper East Side in Manhattan to look at cats. The giant, brand new ASPCA shelter was closed down for reasons the website wasn’t sharing, so we were at another city shelter — along with everyone else, it seemed. I met up with my friend, let’s call her J, and her two teenage twin daughters. The girls immediately went to look at all the animals, and were already getting misty eyed about the ones that might not be going home with anyone.

Grief and the Holidays

For those who have lost loved ones, the holidays are always bittersweet. All the joy of the season is tinged with this deep sadness, a hard nostalgia that shows up in every ritual and tradition. There are also those who are physically far from their loved ones, and those who just feel isolated and alone, not able to connect to others during the season.

Getting into the Spirit

There are a few things that mark the Christmas season for me. The first, of course, is finally getting up the decorations. To make that easier, I invested in a decent fake tree a few years back, which means I don’t have to worry about how to get a tree home (after the year I […]

Thankful for The Christmas Spirit

Back in July, I wrote about my struggle to step out of my comfort zone and take a risk on a holiday-themed story. I really pushed myself to get this out on time, and am very grateful to all the folks who supported me while I did so. I have never had to work through resistance more […]

Nurturing Patience

Summer has never been my favorite time of year, as I am not someone that does well in the heat (and the summers keep getting hotter). But I am also working on several projects at once…and struggling. My progress has been slow, my motivating waning, and my desire to just get to what I’m trying […]

Stretching out of My Comfort Zone

It all starts with an idea. What if…? And then you have a choice — follow through with the idea, or don’t. Not following through is easy. You just have to avoid taking any action. But following through often means doing something new, stepping out of your comfort zone, taking some sort of risk.   […]

Going Home

Going Home This week, I am writing from home. In this particular case, home is the last home I lived in with my parents – a lovely house with a gorgeous pool in Santa Clarita, California. It has a special place in my heart — I even set  my first novel in this town. But […]

Advanced Generalist

I am a know-it-all. This is not a confession I make likely, because being called a know-it-all when I was growing up was not a positive experience. And yet, I couldn’t help myself. I liked knowing things. I still like knowing things. It goes deeper than needing something to feel superior about (I know something […]

Writers Need to Stretch

I’ve been hitting the keyboard hard lately, and even though I have adjusted  my set up with cushions and things like that, there is still no escaping the fact that extended time writing is hard on the body. Healthy body movement is one of the things I struggle with most. I have a tendency to […]

Regression to the Mean

Two days before Christmas, I had to put my beloved cat Oscar down. The holidays have been hard for me for a very long time. Grief is like a shadow that is always with you, but changes size and shape depending on what light is around. On the brightest moments of the brightest days, the […]