On Love Lost and Found—Counting My Blessings

I am trying to practice the art of gratitude. For obvious reasons, what with Thanksgiving around the corner, and also because I’ve been so devastated by the examples of hate that I keep hearing about from friends and reading about in the news. I am trying to practice gratitude for selfish reasons, to light a […]

Some of the People, Some of the Time

I have a feeling President Lincoln wasn’t actually talking about family vacations when he famously quoted the poet John Lydgate to say, ““You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the […]

Have Babies, Will Travel

I recently made the brilliant/idiotic decision to take my almost-four-year-old and my just-two-months-old with me on the book tour for The Ladies of Managua. As another author (but one who probably wasn’t changing diapers in between chapters) once wrote, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. So much so that […]

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

A word of advice: be careful what you say around me. Be very careful. Otherwise, you might just end up as the inspiration for my next novel. But don’t worry. When I write about you—and I will!—I promise to be kind. In fact, I will follow the advice I gave in this guest post for […]

Magic Cake, Magic Cake, Bake Me a Man

  There aren’t many problems that can’t be solved in a Greek yia-yia’s kitchen. (It would be great if the Greek government could let the ladies in our village, Lia, tackle the current economic crisis. But I digress…) During the year in which I lived in Lia, my neighbor ladies made it a village project […]

Breaking Out of the Toddler Ghettos

I had such fun reliving my trips with Amalía for PureWander, a great web magazine that focuses on family travel. It’s a topic dear to my heart as right now I’m typing with seven week old Nicolas on my lap, having brought him to New Orleans and Miami on book tour for The Ladies of […]

Have Ritual, Will Travel

Well, it’s the End Times. Which explains why I’m having so many revelations lately. Maybe that’s a little dramatic. I’m fairly confident it’s not the end of the world. But it is the end of our time in Miami. See, on Monday we move back to New York, after three years in Miami Beach. And […]

A Life Less Ordinary

Yesterday morning, while 64-year-old Diana Nyad was swimming from Cuba to Florida without the protection of a shark cage, succeeding, on her fifth attempt, in becoming the first person to do so, my  52-year-old cousin Spyro Economou had a massive heart attack at his home and died in the ambulance on the way to the […]

Casita, Sweet Casita

When Amalía gets tired, she turns to me or her father and says “go to casita.” She knows the word “home,” but it’s not exactly what she intends to say. Casita means “little house,” but it doesn’t refer to size in this case (although it’s true, Amalía has never spent more than a few nights […]

Lockdown in Lia: Larger than Life Days in Our Tiny Village

After a whirlwind three weeks of weddings (my cousin’s on the Peloponnesian coast), ruins (the Byzantine city of Butrint in what is now Albania), and beaches (too numerous to mention), I thought we’d end our annual trip to Greece with a few relaxing days in Lia, the quiet village where my father was born, which […]