Dear Reader: Christmas Pageant Brings Joy After All

      Note: This is a "throw-back" column to my years as humor columnist ("Sanity Check") for the Dayton Daily News. I wrote it 20 years ago (!!!) but it is still, I believe, relevant today. I read this on my weekly "Tea with Jess," which I host every...

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Happy Independent Bookstore Day!

  Of course every day can be Independent Bookstore Day, but hurrah for independent bookstores having a special celebration day! Independent bookstore owners and workers deserve a big thank you for all they do to connect authors and readers. You can learn more...

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Dear Reader: Fireworks for Christmas

    Recently on my "Tea with Jess" Facebook Live video (I do these every Monday at 3 p.m. EST),I chatted about fireworks and grace. You can watch the video on Facebook. As part of my chat, I read a favorite Sanity Check column (originally published in the...

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Dear Reader: Gratitude for Gifts

  I have a dear friend, Katrina Kittle, who is an amazing gardener. (She is also an incredible novelist. Find out about her books on her website. And a supremely inspiring teacher of creative writing. Find out about her classes here.) Now, Katrina has no idea I'm...

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Dear Reader: Community Matters

    A few weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, I was about to hop into the shower. It was still warm enough that I had our bedroom window cracked. My ears perked up at the sound of... was that, music? The marching band? We live near the high school from which...

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