After twenty years of engaging in two careers: writing for magazines/newspapers and designing/consulting for fine jewelry, it occurred to me that everything from the love beads my mother wore in the seventies to a diamond brooch passed down by my great grandmother and a faux tiara crafted for me by my niece have connected my past and my present. All of the precious keepsakes in my jewelry box reveal part of my history: not just material possessions but sparkling memories that link together the family, friends and romances that inspired me to write my first book and continue to be the real gems of my life. I hope that my “My Charmed Life” will appeal to all women who have fallen in love, felt loss, learned to start over again and have been transformed by the enchanting power of jewelry.

A BRIEF SYNOPSIS: As a young girl, I learned that not all engagements came with a ring. From the unconventional watch my father used to propose marriage to my mother to my own rocky romances–the too many rings I fell in love with and the too few men that could commit to a lasting bond, this the story of my life from age five to fifty, as told through the jewelry that I inherited, purchased for myself, and received (or didn’t receive) as gifts. Each chapter reveals a gem that brings forth an intimate memory– my mom’s post-divorce transformation from Jackie O pearls to donning love beads to my grandmother’s dime store fantasy gems and the sparkle of promising new relationships and the meltdowns of many breakups.

Then when my mother unexpectedly passed away, my life was forever changed. I not only lost my best friend, but also a big part of myself–the woman who taught me how to love, overcome obstacles and how to accessorize. In “My Charmed Life”, I connect my past and present by linking the jewelry in my life, conjuring up lost keepsakes and fiery moments—until I realize that the brightest gems are the ones you give yourself, and find freedom I never thought possible.

Photography by Bart Gorin