This is the Ventnor Fishing Pier. I grew up there. No, not on the pier. But my childhood was defined by that place. Summer after summer, my friends and I used to come off the beach to get something to drink and a candy bar there. I liked Almond Joy. In winter, we’d pull our sweatshirts tight (teenagers still don’t wear winter coats) and walked out over the churning gray water. The morning I left for college, I took a snapshot at this same spot and kept the photo above the desk in my dorm room, year after year. I was on the five-year plan. Anyway, this is my favorite place on earth in my hometown, Ventnor, NJ, where I continue my lifetime membership as a “V Girl.” I have pictures of this stretch of beach – taken over the course of 40 years – all over my house. Covered with snow, with shells, with beach blankets. This spot is where my husband proposed to me, before moving me from NJ to eastern PA, where I have a writing business and conduct classes to help people tell the stories of their lives. When I was an editor in NYC, I shepherded a personal column called “From the Heart,” and my coworkers started calling me “The Heartbeat Girl.” I wear that moniker proudly. For the past two years, since my crossing of the Delaware, I’ve been honored with four writing awards from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, for both my fiction and nonfiction. Please let me know what you like on my blog.