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Showing posts from September, 2013

What's on my...

...september......Agenda: Septemberfest (in which I annually face my fear of heights and climb the rock wall), Country Fair (snapping photos of the gingerbread boys participating in the blueberry pie eating contest, the sack race, and the tractor pull), end of our CSA (good-bye my weekly five pounds of tomatoes), picking and canning peaches, and the third annual Quirk and Quill writers' retreat

...Nightstand: An odd assortment. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain; Doll Bones; The True-Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp; The Suitors of Yvonne; Very Good, Jeeves; I Am the Cheese

...Stovetop: Apple sauce and apple butter. Quarts and quarts of it.

...Catalog of Fears: Dying chickens, spiders, saying the wrong thing, missed flights

...Desk: Novel #3, CATHEDRAL. Revisions, revisions, revisions.

...Mind: Memory loss, brain connectivity, creativity, winterizing the chicken coop

I look forward to September with all the energy a mother with boys at home for the summer can muster. That is, I race …


When the hiccups strike, there is one tried and true remedy that you use: your husband. You go to him and he wraps his arms around you and you feel calmness washing over you. Your blood pressure drops. Your breathing deepens. You relax, and the hiccups go away.

Tonight the youngest gingerbread boy sat by your side as you read to him. He hiccuped. You suggested he get some water.

"But I can't reach the glasses. Can you do that thing? That hug thing?"

So you open your arms and he settles in, chest to chest. You can feel him relaxing as you hold him. The hiccups disappear. But you stay that way, enjoying the feel of his bean-pole body against you for a short time.

Love is the best defense against hiccups.

Travel Tuesday: Heybeliada, Turkey

Travel Tuesday: Athens

Athens, Greece

The Great and Powerful Oz

In a rare departure from insomnia, you slept last night, and you dreamt that you woke up. It was later than you would have liked. You went to a grassy hillside to wash your hair, shampoo and conditioner at the ready. You kneeled down, flipped your hair over your head, then carefully poured a pitcher of water over it. When it was all wet, you reached for the shampoo, but it was gone. Water dripping into your eyes, you peeked under your curtain of hair to look again, but there was no shampoo, and there was no conditioner.

You called your sister's name, shouting it with irritation. "What did you do with my shampoo?"

She clicked her tongue. "Nothing!" Then she flounced away to finish getting ready for school.

In the meantime, water was dripping down your back, and it was 8:15 now. You didn't have time to wash your hair anymore, but what could you do? Your hair was all wet.

"Mom!!! Where's my shampoo?" Your mom came, and with rightful indignation, …

Travel Tuesday: Oxford

Oxford, England


Finding yourself without a computer makes you strangely giddy, untethered, though any normal person would feel frantic at the potential of losing three novels, countless other writings, and years of photos. Instead, you danced in the kitchen this morning. You canned tomatoes. You renewed your acquaintance with your drawing pencils. You made muffins.

You feel seventeen again.

Perhaps because when you were seventeen, people didn't have computers. Well, some people did, but there was no email, no internet, no Facebook, no time wasters. You couldn't read someone's blog from Tennessee, because there were no blogs. No vlogs, no podcasts, no technobabble.

In fact, there was not much babble of any kind in your life yet, either. You hadn't started writing fiction.

Now, without a computer, you cannot work. You are on an enforced vacation.

The computer shop said they might have the computer for as long as six days. The bad news is that it might be kaput. The good news is that at …

Laughing at the Rota Fortunae

Yesterday, you and the Gingerbreads hopped in the car and drove south. You had plans of traipsing through a museum and introducing the gingerbread boys to the famous Russian Faberge eggs.

Which you did.

It was lovely, and the eggs were magical.

And then it was time to leave, which is when the fun began.

Rain, rain, and more rain. Heavy rain. There was a strange sound coming from the rear passenger tire, like something was caught in the treads. The Gingerbread Man checked it, but saw nothing. Ten minutes later, you'd got yourself a certified flat tire. The Gingerbread Man pulled off the highway, and as every good father should, made the gingerbread boys participate in the act of changing the tire.

Except the tire won't be changed. Car jacked up, lug nuts off, donut at the ready...but the tire won't budge. The Gingerbread Man hammered at it with the wrench. He tugged. He lowered the jack. He hand-tightened the lug nuts and drove on the flat, hoping the weight of the car woul…

Travel Tuesday: Hagia Sophia

detail Hagia Sophia,