After decades as a facilitator and consultant on mentoring programs for adults, I at last took a semi-sabbatical in 2001, following my astronomer partner to Amsterdam. Within a few weeks, I became haunted by the stories of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, the Holocaust and resistance.
How did this happen to someone who is neither Dutch nor Jewish? That story is here. On many long visits, I have been doing research, reading, writing, and speaking about the dilemmas people faced in Amsterdam in 1940-45 – as well as savoring and exploring the beauties of the city.
To make my writing worthy of my subject, I applied to the Vermont College MFA program, resulting in a manuscript of poems, many about Amsterdam. They are published in such journals as Atlanta Review, Diner, and Upstreet. After twelve years of research, I am completing my novel, An Address in Amsterdam. It explores the dilemmas of living in Holland during the Nazi Occupation through the life of a young Jewish woman. Rachel tries to ignore the Nazis, but finally joins the resistance as a courier after her lover must go into hiding. An excerpt of the novel will be published in JewishFiction.net in Spring 2015. I also enjoy giving talks for the Vermont Humanities Council, titled “Anne Frank’s Neighbors: What Did They Do?” to help participants explore how they might have acted in response to the Nazi occupation, and what they can do in our own place and time.
In addition to my work as a writer, my longtime profession is organizational consulting. After years of national and international work (since 1982), my focus now is helping Vermont nonprofits decide what they want to do, why and how. My professional website for my business, Changing Work, is here.