Three weeks into the New Year. For me this means the over-exuberant burst of resolve has subsided to a more realistic view of what I actually want and can accomplish without getting exhausted.

When my colleague, Gail Woodward’s (Dudley Court Press) newsletter arrived with her perspective for the New Year, it ignited a great spark of motivation. Well her’s arrived three weeks ago but it did motivate me to consider and take steps for my 2019 amazing experiences. (I’m nothing if not optimistic and enthusiastic.)


My literary year opens with more events to take my words off the page and bring them to the stage, telling stories at Odyssey, FST (Female Storytellers Tucson), Tucson Tellers of Tales, Writers Read, Tucson Festival of Books, and improv classes at Unscrewed Theater. Read on or Click here for details at ELM Events. 

First up- Feb. 2. It’s also my first collaboration with fellow storyteller from Tucson Tellers of Tales, Ron Lancaster. Ron finds humor in just about everything and since I’m on a one-person mission to connect with people in the most positive way I can, we came up with “Go Ahead and Laugh,” an hour of stories that will have you laughing, and nodding your head in recognition. Click here for details.

Writers Read enters its 6th year. Seasonal readings from original works draw folks to a local coffee shop aptly named BREWD. I’ll be  reading on Feb. 28, perhaps a love story. Click here to find it on ELM events.

Very excited to be at a larger venue on Sunday March 3 at the Tucson Festival of Books. I’ll be one of about 350 authors but you can find me on Sunday at the Wheatmark Inc. Booth (with my books) 9:30-10:45 AM,  and at Tellers of Tales (selling-and telling tales) at 2:00-3:00 PM. The festival is all weekend, a magnet for authors, book lovers, readers, storytellers and entertainers. From 50,000 visitors in its first year in 2009 to over 130,000 last year, it’s a pretty big deal here in Tucson.

Taking my show on the road- sort of- I’ll be one of an energetic group of students from Unscrewed Theater with our improv showcase on March 9 6:00-7:00 PM. At last, a venue where I don’t have to be calm and quiet. Tina Fey has said, “There are no mistakes, only opportunities.”  “Follow the funny” is another mantra from my new improv world. More details soon.


6 books in a pile Robin, Becoming, Before We Were Yours, Musicophilia, Canadian Rockies, Not My Father's SonA literary experience at home is to revel in reading. If you’re a reading addict, send me what’s on your reading table, why, and your opinions.

Santa and friends brought a stack of great books to read. Robin by David Itzkoff, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming, and Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours.

I already tore through Robin, gaining more understanding of the comic genius and having much of his tumultuous life laid out in black and white. It was a book that stayed with me; I planned each morning when I could take some time to read a few chapters. Afterwards it left me with a bit of an emotional hangover and the desire to watch Good Will Hunting, Dead Poet’s Society, and Good Morning Viet Nam again.

Comparing Robin Williams’ isolated childhood with that of Michelle Obama, whose childhood was surrounded by relatives, love and a healthy support, my “Nurture/ Nature” ideas got pretty stirred up. From a writer’s viewpoint, what is most intriguing about Becoming is the use of phrases and words that depict scenes and emotions very clearly along with tenets of what makes a healthy happy marriage, good parenting, and a devoted family.  I’m enjoying Becoming as much as Robin, but with very different emotional reactions.

And so the rest call to me too. Will Alan Cumming’s memoir show a different side of him than we were so entertainingly gifted with in “Legal Immigrant”? Will we get to the Canadian Rockies this year? I think so. Will Lisa Wingate’s book keep the promise of being both emotionally “wrenching” and “uplifting”? I hope so.


2019 is a renewal to a healthy lifestyle: yoga at a great studio, only a 7-minute drive from my house, no excuses about distance. Walking and hiking in the foothills and trails that are accessible to us here in Tucson just about every day of the year. I even signed up with my sister for the Senior Olympic Festival’s 5K walk on January 28.

And always a renewal for my husband and me to review our relationship and commit once again to the qualities and attractions that brought us together twenty-nine-years ago.

We recently went over our “Rules for Fighting Fair” created in the 1990’s. We softened “rules” to “suggestions.” We added a few, honestly agreed many of them had become a part of our everyday life, and renewed our commitment to some of them as very good suggestions to use with each other and people in general. Curious about the rules? They’re also in my book, Seedlings, Stories of Relationships.

With hopes and wishes for a successful, fun-filled, and Happy New Year,


Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. She also enjoys sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling, Tucson Tellers of Tales, and just about anywhere there’s a mic.