Kids, Art, My Heart by Amy McNamara

art pencil

A writer asks: Is it possible to give oneself over to creative endeavors when your most vital creation, your children, requires equal love and attention? I always wanted kids. I remember learning around age 5 or 6 that it was the girls, not the boys, who got to have the babies, and thinking with glee, Suckers! Boys paraded their strengths and immeasurable freedoms around the playground... Read More

Refrigerator Photo Gallery


Over the years, in addition to displaying my daughters’ art work and photos of them, all secured with magnets from our travels, our refrigerator had served as a giant photo album. I have 15 nieces and nephews, and each year I changed their photos, whether they were school photos or the photos that came with Christmas cards. I also added my friend’s daughters who are... Read More

‘Welcome to the Playground’ by John Bemelmans Marciano

kids on playground in winter

How an NYC author’s view of the jungle gym scene changed after he became a father   Playground. Just say the word to a New York City parent and it conjures all kinds of thoughts, concerns, and emotions. Danger. Conflict. Boredom. And occasionally even fun. Back in my 20s, I would see a playground in the city and think: “What a waste of real estate.” In the 1990s, New... Read More

Artful Jack O’Lanterns Like You’ve Never Seen

Some of the creations on display at Rise of of the Jack O'Lanterns at Old Westbury Gardens this month.

Some of the creations on display at Rise of of the Jack O’Lanterns at Old Westbury Gardens this month. Sunday night I took a walk in Old Westbury Gardens and saw the Corpse Bride, Scooby Doo, the Adams Family, Frankenstein, and some classic art work too, like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and M.C. Escher’s “The Scream.” And they were all carved or painted on pumpkins. While... Read More

Sew Zoey Character Inspires Middle School Readers to Dream


The idea for the Sew Zoey middle grade series came out of a light bulb moment that, in a way, I’d been researching for years. Everything from learning to sew as a young girl, to pouring over fashion magazines at camp, to watching clothing design reality shows, to admiring my fashion-forward sister’s wardrobe inspired me to create this series. Read More  Read More

Modern Fairy Tales by NY Times Best Selling Author Soman


I started writing “The School for Good and Evil” about six months before the fairy tale craze started happening in Hollywood and in publishing – and I remember asking myself the same questions everyone is asking now. Why do fairy tales matter so much? Why do we respond so deeply to them in every age? Perhaps the answer is that collected together, they feel like a Survival... Read More

Mom and Daughter Team Up for Operation Backpack

Mother-Daughter team Rachel and Madeline made it a yearly tradition to volunteer with Operation Backpack NYC.

My daughter Madeline and I love to share concerts and culture, great food and the great outdoors. But for one week a year, we work alongside each other, lugging, lifting, hauling, counting, and packing items that will eventually fill thousands of new backpacks for children living in homeless shelters across NYC.  Of all the time we share, which is all too short, now that she’s... Read More

Apparently, I’m Not Polite Enough

What was my mom thinking?

I consider myself to have excellent manners. I’m still unclear about on which side of the plate to place the forks. But my etiquette skills were so well ingrained in me as a child that it is still hard for me to call my parents’ friends by their first names. What was my mom thinking? But if you ask my daughters, I am woefully lacking in my technological etiquette, and it’s... Read More