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A Novel Experience

After several years of work, my novel is close to completion.  I am eager to see it published. Stay tuned.

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An excellent conference in New York City

In August I attended the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference 2016 in NYC. I’ve attended several writer’s conferences, but, in this case, I was very impressed with the overall and consistent quality of the presentations, the talks, and the sessions. It was a valuable and worthwhile experience that I would recommend to all writers.

Of course, being in the Big Apple had its fringe benefits. I took in some great theatre and consumed delicious food. I love the energy and excitement of New York.

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Writers Digest e-Book Awards Reviews THE TEN MINUTE COGNITIVE WORKOUT

Commentary to Peggy D. Snyder, Ph.D. (aka Peggy Dougherty) re:



“I found this book quite helpful, and I think many people will benefit. I like the way you connect this to a “workout” and keep the exercise short and focused. That makes it much more useful as it’s effective without an overwhelming investment of time and effort.

What I found most helpful was how your attitude that these conditions were normal (not “mental illness”) and could be aided by using our minds in this productive way. That went a long way to de-mystify the “problem” and make the solution more accessible. Your voice was always so comforting and comfortable! All of these aspects make your book more approachable and reassuringly useful.

Your whole approach is so engaging! I think from the title to each exercise, you’re making it easy and fun for the reader to use your techniques.”

“Judge, 3rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards.”

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” … they do things they don’t do on Broadway …”

I’ve tried for several years to get a production of a play in that great theatre town, Chicago. I’ve had productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Eureka!, Houston, Boca Raton, Grand Rapids, and in England and Toronto, as well as, of course San Diego. In August 2015 my play “The Bus Stops Here” will be performed in the 906 Theatre in Chicago. WOO HOO!

(next goal: PHILADELPHIA!)

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Baby Boomers, the generation that proudly tackles taboo subjects, are now confronting the grim reaper — over food and drink. They are using websites like deathoverdinner.org/ and deathcafe.com as guides.

                                                                                      AARP Bulletin, Dec 2013

JUDITH: Nancy called today. She invited us to a dinner party Saturday. I said yes. Okay with you?

TED: You bet! She’s a great cook. Who else will be there?

JUDITH: The usual suspects. She’s inviting the Winstons, and Ruth and Jim, and of course Beth and Frank.

TED: I’ve been meaning to call Jim. We need to set up a golf date.

JUDITH: I’m not sure if everyone will come. She called us first.

TED: Should we feel honored?

JUDITH: She said we’re the most open-minded.

TED: She means you.

JUDITH: It won’t be our typical get together. There’s an agenda.

TED:   Not a fundraiser!?

JUDITH: We’re going to talk about death.

TED: Whose?


TED: Huh?

JUDITH: We’re going to talk about dying and end of life issues. It’s the newest trend.

TED: Dying is the newest trend?

JUDITH: Nancy told me to go to Death over Dinner dot org. People get together over dinner and–

TED: Death over Dinner? You mean we’re gonna all fall face first into her Chicken Cacciatore? And aspirate marinara sauce?

JUDITH: This is serious, Ted. It’s an important topic.

TED: (laughs) Count me out.

JUDITH: Someday we’ll be doing exactly that.

TED: Not yet!

JUDITH: We need to talk about this, Ted.

TED: This?

JUDITH: Dying. Our demise.

TED: Not over dinner. Maybe … maybe … over a bottle of Chivas Regal.

JUDITH: Ted. We–

TED: Straight up. Neat. No chaser.

JUDITH: I’m going.

TED: Next it’ll be Cancer over Cocktails.

JUDITH: Ted. This isn’t —

TED: Or HIV Happy Hour.


TED: We could meet at a Mexican restaurant and all cash in our tortilla chips.

JUDITH: Not funny. None of us has HIV. But we’re all going to die.

TED: That’s a generalization.

JUDITH: Joke all you want. I’m going.

TED: Have fun!

JUDITH: Honey. We’re going to have to talk to the kids someday. You know. About what to do. This will help us.

TED: If you bring this up with Julia and Derek, they’ll run screaming from the room.

JUDITH: I’m sure it’s on their mind.

TED: Not on Derek’s. Guarantee it.

JUDITH: It’s important they plan for this.

TED: Plan for us to kick the bucket?

JUDITH: Not be caught unawares.

TED: Forget it. Call Nancy. Tell the Angel of Death I pass … oops! … decline.

JUDITH: At least think about it, Ted. Check out the website.

TED: What’s it called again? Choke on a Chicken Bone dot Arg?

JUDITH: Death over Dinner! … dot org.

TED: I’ve done a lot of things over dinner. But this takes the cake. (chuckles) We might not make it to the cake.

JUDITH: There’s another website. Death Café.

TED: Uh oh! Starbucks better watch its back.

JUDITH: Just take a look. What harm–

TED: No one’s gonna go. It’ll be you, Nancy, and Hank. Can’t believe Hank’s going along with this.

JUDITH: Hank’s a progressive thinker.

TED: Ain’t nothin progressive about dyin’.

JUDITH: Death is a part of life.

TED: A quiet, uneventful part.

JUDITH: I’m going.

TED: I understand, Sweetheart. You’re older than I am.

JUDITH: By two months!

TED: You’re more introspective. You’ve probably been dwelling–

JUDITH: I don’t dwell on death, Ted. I try not to think about it at all.

TED: There you go! It’s not a topic one–

JUDITH: I need to think about it. We need to think about it. In two years we both turn seventy.

TED: The new fifty.

JUDITH: I don’t want to wait till it’s too late.

TED: We’ve got sixteen more years on our clock. You probably have twenty.

JUDITH: Okay. Be an ostrich.

TED: I’d rather be a tortoise. They live longer.

JUDITH: You resemble one.

TED: Or a bowhead whale. They live to be two hundred.

JUDITH: You’re a male homo sapiens. Life expectancy seventy- six.

That’s eight years away, Ted.

TED: You expect to be a widow in eight years?

JUDITH: Honey, I want you to live a long, healthy life … well, usually.

TED: Death over Dinner. I don’t think I can stomach it.

JUDITH: Please.

TED: Let me think about it.

JUDITH: Thanks, dear. If you do decide to go …

TED: I won’t.

JUDITH: But if you do …

TED: Yeah … ?

JUDITH: You have to take it seriously. No clowning around.

TED: I can’t wear my Zombie costume?


TED: How about that black armband from Pop-Pop’s funeral?

Peggy Dougherty is an award winning playwright/author living in San Diego. She is currently writing her first novel. Her self-help book The Ten Minute Cognitive Workout was released in November, 2013 and won the 2013 San Diego Book Award.

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Just A Note …

… to catch you up with what’s happening in my Writing Life.

In April of 2013, my play “Om Sweet Om” was produced in a festival at Secret Theatre, Long Island City, New York.  And it was one of the finalists!  ( A bit of trivia:  Long Island City is in New York City in the borough of Queens.  It’s not on Long Island.)

Also in April,  “Things That Go Hump in the Night” was produced and broadcast by Spokane Radio Theatre in Spokane Washington.  This is my second production by Spokane Radio Theatre.

“Strange Bedfellows”  had a 10 day run at InspiraTo Theatre in Toronto in May and June of this year.  Wish I could have gone to that one!   Still on the calendar for November is another production on Spokane Radio Theatre.  This time it’s “Tight Genes”.

And, of course, I’m still slogging away on my novel.  Thanks for all of your support!


“We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.”

~W. Somerset Maugham