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The Accidental Writer: The Many Faces of our Characters

The Accidental Writer: The Many Faces of our Characters

Great characters, like interesting fun people, must be multifaceted.  It is important that protagonists have some positive traits—maybe they are smart or physically gifted, but those same heroes must also have faults.  Perhaps they are overconfident, too trusting, insanely stubborn or shy. The next part is critical—not only must they have faults, but those faults […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

I’ve been penning this wine column for over six years. I’ve written on topics relating to the finer points of winemaking, the broad expanse of new wines popping up all over the world and the lighter side of the antics of personalities in the wine industry. Every once in a while, I’ve even drawn parallels […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Talking About Death and Divorce With Kids

“It’s best to be honest with your kids, but first assess how much information they need to know.” Parents and adults are often reluctant to discuss certain topics with children. Death and divorce, for example, are challenging subjects. Do we tell children the truth, do we sugar coat it, or just flat out lie? Many […]

Home Guru: A Wild Story Illustrates What Do-It-Yourself Chores to Avoid

Home Guru: A Wild Story Illustrates What Do-It-Yourself Chores to Avoid

By Bill Primavera Some of you may be old enough to remember the men’s movement of the mid-1970s, which I tolerated for a short while. Men would gather to pursue personal growth and to relate better to others by sharing issues and discussing how we might best deal with them. Personally it didn’t do much […]

Show, Don't Tell

Show, Don’t Tell

The first rule of good character development is simple.  Use action to show important character traits.  Don’t use narrative to tell your readers that an important character has a temper. Show the character in a sudden rage.  If your character is brilliant, have them do brilliant things—solve the crossword puzzle in pen, know obscure facts. […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

As humans we tend to think of ourselves as interacting with our surroundings through our five senses. But do we rely on certain senses more than on others? Scientists have long known that humans can discern millions of different colors and half a million different sounds. To a much lesser extent, we perceive the world […]

Home Guru

Home Guru

By Bill Primavera Women who have fought to claim their right to have jobs traditionally reserved for men have always fascinated me, and I have championed their cause. When I was an operations officer at the Culinary Institute of America in the 1970s, I looked around and saw that only two of the 1,200 enrolled […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

At my periodic wine tasting events for consumers, I always emphasize that we each have individual, unique palates. Our individual palates influence our unique senses of taste and smell; our individual palates influence our appreciation of one wine over another; our individual palates segregate us into varying camps, such as red wine lovers or white […]

Interview with D. Robert Pease

Interview with D. Robert Pease

I hope to use this space to print interviews with published writers to bring other voices to the issues we are discussing. I’m very excited that my first interview is with D. Robert Pease. He writes science fiction and fantasy for kids, young adults, and book lovers of all ages. His very successful Noah Zarc […]

Home Guru: You May Not Believe This Personal Story, But I Swear It’s True

Home Guru: You May Not Believe This Personal Story, But I Swear It’s True

By Bill Primavera This column comes with an advance warning: You may not believe it, but it’s true. It involves a feng shui seminar the Home Guru Team sponsored last week for my fellow associates at William Raveis Real Estate to celebrate my birthday. I had recently met a fascinating feng shui practitioner named Deanna […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Got Grit?

Grit is the new buzzword in education thanks to the award-winning work done by psychologist and former 7th grade math teacher Angela Duckworth. Duckworth began studying grit — defined as persistence, determination, and resilience, or the quality of being able to sustain and work hard at passions – after an interesting trend emerged while teaching […]

Write Books People Read

Write Books People Read

Every story is composed of a few basic elements.  I like to think of them (in no particular order) as places, people, prose, plot, and pacing—the 5 Ps! Which one is most important? Which one makes an average story good or a good story great?  Why do so many people, young and old, love the […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: The Regulators Are Always Lurking in the Shadows

The world of wine distribution is a tangled, complex and many times confusing arena. With the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the federal government felt compelled to regulate the newly revitalized domestic wine and liquor industry after its 13-year hiatus, by controlling the wine distribution pipeline and presumably preventing organized crime from exercising its political […]

The Home Guru: Hello, Mr. Trump, Sorry I Waited So Long To Shake Your Hand

The Home Guru: Hello, Mr. Trump, Sorry I Waited So Long To Shake Your Hand

By Bill Primavera God has a great sense of humor. In the early 2000s when the Cappelli Organization came to Yorktown to reveal a plan for a large, luxury residential complex it wanted to build, I thought to myself I’d never want to live in a place like that. I thought it was just too […]

A Little Encouragement

A Little Encouragement

I can’t count how many people have told me that they have always wanted to write, but can’t seem to start.  The reasons vary from I wasn’t an English major in college, to I can’t spell, or I just don’t have the time.  Writing does take time (actually a good deal of time), but I […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

Last week I focused on four business models for producing wine across the globe. As I stated, many wine consumers believe that the process for making wine is similar for all wines. The supposition is that grapes are gently handpicked at the epitome of ripeness, carefully sorted for rotten grapes, leaves and insects and then […]

Home Guru

Home Guru

By Bill Primavera Buyers are liars and sellers are storytellers is the first adage I heard when I got into real estate. While I got the gist of what the second phrase meant, I couldn’t quite grasp what agents meant when they called buyers liars. Then I caught on when I would hear such things […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Why Spanking is Counterproductive

Many parents who spank their children are well intended. They believe that spanking will curb undesirable behaviors and increase desirable ones. Because their parents did it to them, they think it can’t be that bad. They turned out OK, didn’t they? The newest research, however, confirms what anti-spanking parents and professionals have long believed: spanking […]

The Accidental Writer: Why Write?

The Accidental Writer: Why Write?

Everyone has his or her own reasons for writing.  I’m pretty sure making a lot of money or becoming famous are long shots.  If that’s your motivation, you might want to try the lottery—it’s easier and the odds are about the same. Most writers I know find the process fun, thrilling, and creative.   It gets […]

Grapevine: Today's Winery May Not Fit Your Preconceived Notion

Grapevine: Today’s Winery May Not Fit Your Preconceived Notion

Wine is, in its most elemental form, an agricultural product. To make a decent wine you must be a decent farmer. This axiom has been generally true since the beginning of winemaking, nearly 6,000 years ago. Of course, as with many products, there are exceptions, which is the focus of this week’s column. In the […]

Dear World: We're Sorry & United Against Racism

Dear World: We’re Sorry & United Against Racism

By Ray Gallagher I’m a proud Putnam County guy, through and through. Born and raised in the Bronx until I was nine, my roots were pulled from the heaving cement of 226 Naples Terrace and transplanted in the summer of 1972 in the rural thicket of Putnam Valley, where more than a few donkeys (literally) […]

Home Guru

Home Guru

By Bill Primavera The Home Guru has been away for a couple of weeks. The announced reason was that I was enjoying some well-deserved vacation after five years of never missing a single deadline, but really, I just needed to stop. I just needed to pull the emergency cord on practically everything that goes with […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine

It must be my fascination with wine. When I see news of a scientific breakthrough or a new application for old technology, my mind goes into “I wonder if there’s a wine angle to this?” mode. On several occasions the insights I’ve gained over my wine-centric lifetime have come up with ancillary or alternative ways […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: The Price of Boredom

We all feel bored sometimes, and many experts and parents talk about the value of boredom. It’s true, children benefit from having to find ways to occupy their minds during unstructured time. In a world filled with constant stimulation and immediate gratification via smartphones, tablets, etc., it is important for children to also be self-starting […]

Circuit Training and Heart Health

Circuit Training and Heart Health

When someone mentions the words ‘heart health’ as related to exercise, most people assume that walking on the treadmill, elliptical, bike or step mill for twenty or forty minutes three to four times per week is the only way to help improve the condition of the heart.  Well what if I told you that improving […]

Home Guru

Home Guru

Do you remember the story of Chicken Little, the fable in which the central phrase is “The sky is falling?” Normally we apply the phrase to people who manage to incite an unreasonable fear in others. Recently, I was told about a prospective homebuyer who had the heck scared out of her by the way […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Pairing the 2013 Oscar-Nominated Movies With Wine

The 86th Academy Awards show airs this Sunday. This is my sixth year of presenting the Best Picture nominees and creating hypothetical pairings of wine with the top contenders. I’ve distilled my list to five of the nine nominees. “12 Years a Slave,” based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man […]

Nick Antonaccio

Grapevine: Planning the Meal For a White House State Dinner

Globalization has homogenized much of the American landscape. From “American” cars incorporating foreign parts, to “foreign” cars incorporating American-made parts and assembled in the United States, a blurred line has developed over the past 50 years between American made and American inspired. An iPhone is American inspired but substantially produced and assembled overseas. Another seeming […]

Home Guru: It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, No, it’s a Stink Bug!

Home Guru: It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, No, it’s a Stink Bug!

It’s late and I’m sitting in my easy chair, comfy cozy with my comforter pulled up from my toes to my chest, protecting me from a cold winter’s night. My half glasses resting on the bridge of my nose, making me look like old man Silas Marner, I’m squinting into my laptop, happy as a clam […]

Dr. Jaime Black

Parenting Pep Talk: Top Tips For Doctor Visits

Studies show that patients get about 15 minutes face-to-face with their physicians during office visits, and a recent study found that patients in hospitals may only get an alarming eight minutes.  Parents are patient advocates, and they need to come prepared to get the most out of limited time.  Here are some tips for optimizing […]