Barbara Jaffe author writer

Reflections on My Writing, Myself

Barbara Jaffe author writerFrom the time I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to write and I also knew I wanted to write my book. My favorite piece of furniture was my desk. When I got my ‘big girl’ room, my white lacquer 4-drawer desk was my pride and joy. Within the drawers were my diary (in which I wrote daily); my stationery (I loved to write letters); inspirational says (I used to write proverbs, trite but sweet); and a variety of pens and pencils (collected by my dad from dry cleaners and businesses). All this paraphernalia was the foundation and preparation for my future book. My teachers would tell my parents what a wonderful writer I was. I would dream of seeing my name on a hardbound book, always mesmerized by the rows and rows of books in the library. One day I, too, would have a call number under my name! I loved the way books felt, smelled, the way I could turn the pages from the corner with that slight ‘swish’ of a noise. I was on my way to authorhood; I could just feel it. Continue reading “Reflections on My Writing, Myself”

What I Do Well

I am really the last one to toot my own horn, so when I was told to write a list entitled: “Things I Do Well,” the activity certainly did not come easily or naturally. At the time, I was told to list only five things. Most of the time, as we grow, we focus on what we are doing wrong or the many mistakes we have made. Such an exercise helps to change this narrative and after writing the list every day, it is surprising how much easier it is to come up with items. I thought I would share a compilation of a few of my lists with you, my readers. While I do not write these lists daily any more, I write them when I am feeling particularly vulnerable and in need of some inner strength. These lists always help to center myself and is a great reminder about my strengths. Continue reading “What I Do Well”

My Brother

After his little brother Jeffrey died, Stephen became an only child again, which wasn’t in the blueprint of our family. Steve was in first grade when I was born, so there are about 6 ½ years between us. I don’t think he planned on having a sister either and I assume he would have liked another buddy to play with, but again, so many unplanned events brought us together as family. As most little sisters, I worshipped my big brother and tried to emulate him in every way. By the time I was old enough to have a sense of my self, he was mostly out the house. In fact, when I was 14, he brought home his wife-to-be, Marilyn, who was to become my sister-in-law and best friend. I remember feeling so upset that I would be losing my sibling to another girl, yet Stephen reminded me that he would always love me and that I would always be his sister. His words have stayed with me my entire life and I know he feels this way today. Continue reading “My Brother”


When did the transition happen from my gorgeous, stylish, incredibly ‘blingy’ shoes to the safe, comfortable, ‘almost’ grandmotherly types? So slowly did this change occur, over a period of years, that I never saw it coming. One day, I opened my closet and the beauties had disappeared. In their places were boxes of black, comfortable, safe walking shoes with various points of entry (slip ons, slide-intos, Velcro closings, and pull-ons)—all providing levels of maximum comfort and all quietly uninteresting, borderline boring. At one time, I was known as the Imelda Marcos of my family and friends (Philippine First Lady 1986-1991 who was supposedly known for having about 3,000 pairs of shoes). “Where is Barbara today?” someone would ask? Jokingly (but not really), and they would respond, “Oh, she must be shoe shopping.” Continue reading “Shoes”

New Year’s Resolutions in April

Perhaps it is strange to reflect on New Year’s Resolutions in April, but by now, if I had made them, they probably would have been broken. I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions because for me they became trite and repetitive and even generic. I have been through the same litany of resolutions that most humans have: lose 10 pounds; don’t yell at children (when they were younger); be kind (kinder) to my husband; be more patient with others; be a better mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc….They didn’t work because they didn’t really fit. So, if I were to have them, here are my New Year’s Resolutions for every year–ones that actually fit me: Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions in April”