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Lois Smith Brady was born in Philadelphia and educated at the Putney School, a farm boarding school in Vermont. She later earned her B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Stanford. After an early job as an editorial assistant at Esquire magazine, she began writing the "VOWS" column for the New York Times "Style" Section, which is a weekly report on a newly married couple emphasizing their love story rather than the details of their wedding. An author of two books, Brady, her husband, and their two young sons live in an old farmhouse in Bridgehampton, Long Island, from which she e-mails her column every week to the Times. She enjoys doing yoga in her spare time, which she describes as "wonderful for writing)it strengthens your back and your imagination at the same time." Her advice to students using The Prose Reader is "to start writing, writing, writing. It doesn't matter what you write at first. Write a letter to your mother, to your old boyfriend, anything to get going. Develop the habit of writing every day, day after day. Write on Christmas day, write on every holiday. If you're traveling, write in a journal. You'll write terrible stuff, perhaps, but you'll also create some real gems along the way, and that's only the beginning. Just one beautiful sentence can start your career."
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