Erin McHugh

I'm a writer, bookseller, and former publishing industry executive hard at work on my first blog (and the book, which will be published by Abrams Books, that goes with it) called ONE GOOD DEED.

I'm on a quest to try and do a just little better, and to that end, will do One Good Deed every day for a year. A couple each week will be posted on my blog, www.onegooddeedbook.com. Won't you join me, leave your comments, and tell me your own stories?

I look forward to it!

My Unmonsterish Halloween - Day 96 of ONE GOOD DEED

  Geez, remember how far in advance you got Halloween costumes when you were little? How many times you tried it on (store bought or handmade) beforehand? And then, the biggest worry of all: Would your parents make you wear a sweater over it? So here was my promise to myself today: to comment on the costume of every kid I saw. I’d already had some practice about six weeks ago, when a little girl came into the store in a Supergirl costume, shiny red skirt and all....more

All I'm Asking Is: Don't Be a Pig -- Day 92 of ONE GOOD DEED

There’s piggy, and then there’s gross.Here’s piggy:Today I was at Starbucks and went to pick up my Pumpkin Spice Latte at the end of the counter. I put my hand down and ugh! sticky, tacky coffee spill. OK, that’s bound to happen over and over at a coffee shop. I try to clean it up as best I can (yes, people, I did spit on my hand to clean it, but not on the napkin I used to clean the counter)....more

Aunt Tessie and the Contest Entry Form - Day 89 of ONE GOOD DEED

 “I need you to do me a favor,” said Aunt Tessie. She held an envelope in her hand. A trip to the post office, I figured. Nothing to it. “Sure,” says me, with a soupcon of largesse. What a fool I was. She handed it over, and it was like being served with a subpoena.  Publishers Clearing House. “It says I’m a guaranteed winner,” Tessie beamed. We looked closer. “Actually,” I told her, “It says someone in this probably-about-six-million-people mailing is a winner.” “Well, it still could be me. Would you figure all this out and enter for me?”...more

The Baby Carriage - Day 85 of ONE GOOD DEED

 This morning, exiting the subway, one woman with a stroller was left behind. Everyone brushed passed her, not even pausing to hold open the door. So I stopped, kept it open so she could slip through, and offered to help her carry her daughter up the stairs in her stroller. A warning: Kids are much heavier than they look. Or used to be. Whatever. Up on the street, I poked the baby. “You,” I wheezed, “are much heavier than you look.” No response. Kids these days!   Share the burden. ...more

Light a candle - Day 84 of ONE GOOD DEED

It’s a symbol more than anything else. My religious beliefs are uncertain. Nevertheless, I find it familiar and comforting to be there. Today I went to church to light a candle....more

Feeding the troops - Day 81 of ONE GOOD DEED

 I felt guilty because I wasn’t walking. My friend Melissa came to town with a gaggle of women from work, all the way from Minnesota, to participate in the two day, 39-mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I had other obligations, work stuff, so I couldn’t have done the walk anyway (I told myself). But still I felt bad....more

My Theory on "Too Late to Ask" - Day 74 of the One Good Deed quest

 You know how you learn when you’re a kid that we only use 10% of our brain, but that scientists believe there’s huge potential for that other, unused 90%? I have long insisted that there’s a part of that dormant brain – and it gets bigger and bigger the older you get – which I like to call “Too Late to Ask.” You know the section of your noggin I mean. It’s stuff you knew, but now you’ve forgotten.  So you wind up asking yourself questions like:...more

Those who can, teach - Day 70 of One Good Deed

 Oh, this day really didn’t look like it was going to turn around....more

Coffee for the Doorman - One Good Deed Day 65

 Now I’m going to say I live in a doorman building, and right away you’re going to think that’s snooty. But it’s not Park Avenue over here, believe me. My building was constructed in the 1960s, and I have the same refrigerator in my rental apartment that they dragged in on the day they gave the first occupant their key. (Only last year did I get a new stove.)...more

Follow the leader during Breat Cancer Awareness Month - Day 65

 Some time ago, I interviewed world-famous breast cancer activist Dr. Susan Love for a book I was writing. At the time, I wrote, “She is adamant. She is kind. She is adamant. She is funny. But oh, she is adamant. What’s she is adamant about is eradicating breast cancer, and she is determined to do it in her lifetime.” And she believes research will help us find the answer....more