The Sharpened Quill

Caitlin Kelly

Caitlin Kelly
Tarrytown, NY, USA
December 31
non-fiction author/speaker/consultant
Bio Author "Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail" (Portfolio, April 2011), deemed "an excellent memoir" by Entertainment Weekly. Out in paperback July 31, 2012. I also edit other writers' work -- everything from thrillers to business books. Email me for hourly rates; references available.

Caitlin Kelly's Links

MAY 12, 2011 10:10AM

Why Books Resemble Dandelion Seeds

Tiny, white fragile -- they float on the breeze, landing and sprouting in the least likely of places.

The great joy of writing and publishing a book, for me, is watching in wonder as it settles down worldwide -- libraries have so far bought Malled in Kamloops, (a… Read full post »

My second non-fiction book, "Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail" (Portfolio) was published April 14. Yay!

But as every author knows -- and every would-be author must learn -- I've been working on promoting it long before the manuscript was finished and accepted for publication, in
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My new memoir, which tells the story of retail work in America, is out today from Portfolio. It's been getting terrific reviews -- Entertainment Weekly calls it "an excellent memoir" and Herb Schaffner, a columnist for Bnet compares it to the best-seller "Nickeled and Dimed",
Read full post »

MARCH 23, 2011 9:17AM

Not Getting It

It's not clear to me -- is it to you? -- what Open Salon is meant to be, or to become.

Wary of attack, weary of viciousness and rages in post after post, comment after comment, I visit more rarely now. I've recently, from a safe and silent distance, watched the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 21, 2011 7:46AM

Broke, Pregnant, Out Of Work: A New Memoir Reviewed

Caitlin Shetterly, in her mid-30s, was a freelance writer and NPR contributor who decided -- just before the recession bit so hard -- it was a good time to realize a lifelong dream and move from her native Maine to California with her new husband, Dan, a freelance… Read full post »

MARCH 18, 2011 8:22AM

On Assignment: The Journalist's Life

Are there any sweeter words?

Not for me.

I've been writing for a living since I was 18 and almost every story gets me excited, still.

Last week, barely off the plane from Vancouver after three weeks away from home, I drove three hours each way deep into the… Read full post »

MARCH 14, 2011 10:12AM

Trying To Remember, Hoping To Forget

Saturday marked the 14th. annual USA Memory Championship, which pits high school students against one another to see whose brain retains the most. It's held in Manhattan and open to the public.

What? You forgot?

I recently finished a three-week trip and my camera kept reminding me… Read full post »

MARCH 7, 2011 11:26AM

How Our Stuff Defines Us

A few days ago, I sat in a room in a nursing home with my mother, sorting through boxes of her belongings, from books on theology to a black lace merry widow corset.

When you move into one room, for good, you're quickly forced to shed about 95%… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 28, 2011 7:21PM

Can You Hear Me? Probably Not

Why do most women -- certainly educated Western women with legal and unimpeded access to telephones, the Internet and media outlets -- still remain relatively so invisible and inaudible?

I don't mean the images or inanities of women like Paris Hilton or the Kardashians.

Nor do I mean the… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 22, 2011 1:46AM

No, We Don't Cry

This morning my Mom -- the glam divorcee who's lived alone in Lima, Bath, Roswell, NM, Gibsons, B.C., Toronto -- who's traveled alone from Nauru to Oaxaca -- moved into one room, in a nursing home.

The woman who covered the Chicago Eight trial as a radio reporter,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 17, 2011 11:53PM

Who Cares For The Caregiver?

I've been in Victoria, B.C. for only two days, after flying from New York, where I live. I'm here, the only child, with a shared power of attorney with a friend of my mother's, to put my mom -- one of the most ferociously private and independent women… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 13, 2011 8:48AM

It's V-Day! How He Won My Heart

And, so to Valentine's Day...

Having loved and lost and loved again -- now in the 11th year with my sweetie -- here's how he won my heart, and continues to.

I suspect many of these are on your wish list as well:

Be loyal. If someone disses me, especially… Read full post »

Sean Aiken, a young Canadian man and recent college graduate in 2007, didn't know what he wanted to do for a living -- so he worked 52 jobs in one year to find out.

The recent premiere of the documentary about him, shown in Vancouver, Canada, where he lives, sold out.
Read full post »

Are you utterly sick of snow and ice yet? There's more to come.

Coping skills, stat!

Nice piece on how to survive this insanely cold snowy winter, from The Globe and Mail:

Take a young person to whom you are not related to lunch. I did –

Read full post »
JANUARY 28, 2011 6:58AM

A One-Room Schoolhouse In Brooklyn

I first heard of Still Waters in A Storm while watching BBC, who interviewed its founder Stephen Haff about his unusual and innovative "one room schoolhouse" in a storefront in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Haff is a quiet, soft-spoken man whose life is dedicated to the admirable and challenging idea… Read full post »

JANUARY 22, 2011 8:18AM

Fifteen Reasons I Don't Read Most Blogs

I search every day for new blogs to read and subscribe to.  So far, I've found about a dozen on Wordpress where I maintain another blog, like this one, written by a South African woman in London, or this one, written by a young Scottish woman, or this,… Read full post »

Comments are now closed for this post.

Here it is, from New York Times columnist Dave Leonhardt today:

This jobless recovery, after all, is the third straight recovery since 1991 to begin with months and months of little job growth.

Why? One obvious possibility is the balance ofRead full post »

I've been watching, and enjoying, Downton Abbey on television the past few weeks, the story of an impossibly wealthy British family trying to protect their home and inheritance.

Why do we care?

Sure, the production values are high -- the home lovely, the clothing meticulously re-creating Edwardian… Read full post »

JANUARY 16, 2011 10:38AM

What Will We Leave Behind?

As Sri Lanka, Brazil and Australia battle devastating floods -- and residents are losing their precious photos, documents and other physical details of their lives, I've been thinking about what we keep, store, save -- and leave behind.

Here's a smart piece that addresses the issue, from The NewRead full post »

You know those moments when you're so happy, you think -- "OK, I can die right here?"

I had one of those last night watching fellow Canadian, and multiple Grammy winner Sarah McLachlan play at the Beacon, one of Manhattan's jewelbox theaters, on Boadway at 75th. The Beacon,  which opened in… Read full post »

Here's a great piece by a writer friend in Psychology Today:

Writing seems a perfect career for introverts, since it entails many hours alone in a quiet room. That's the fun part of the job. Easy, even. But once your book is published, the real work starts: GettingRead full post »

Great piece in today's New York Times, responding to the terrible shooting yesterday in Tucson:

Within minutes of the first reports Saturday that Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and a score of people with her had been shot in Tucson, pages

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JANUARY 7, 2011 12:02PM

Lost in Obligationland

Sometimes it feels like I'm the President-for-life of a really fractious banana republic. Every day some skirmish or fire-fight breaks out in the jungle and I have to spend my hours not, as is necessary, making money but stamping out fires and calling for fresh troops.

This is one of these… Read full post »

JANUARY 4, 2011 8:08AM

Doing Less, More Slowly

When I wait for my email, I get impatient if it doesn't appear within seconds. That's normal now.

So much of our lives, mediated or aided or improved by technology, moves at a dizzying pace.

Is this a good thing?

I'm not sure. There are things we logically want… Read full post »

"What I'm doing, Ms. Kelly, is living my life as honestly and without as much hypocrisy as I can. And I try to call to task the people who talk nonsense, rationalizations and lies, which is what this post is about.

Be assured, if I ever win a substantial
Read full post »