I love New Year’s Resolutions. At this point in life, I’m also leery of them. Chary, almost. Should I resolve once again? But–why not? At least they show what I’m thinking about and what I intend, in what realms I mean well.

This year, this rounded and mirrored, balanced–what is the word?!–symmeterical!–2020, among other things, I mean to blog more. But about what? Maybe a structure would help me keep to it?

What about “What I’m reading”? What I’m reading & baking & photographing. Something short and not in so many words as this, because words I edit and consider, & then it takes time I don’t have, time & writing energy that must be so carefully budgeted, or at least I believe that.



(Too much? But at least there’s always something to do, see, think about.)


There never seems to be enough of it. A conundrum I’ve pondered for years. Who hasn’t?


I get caught up in playing. Time disappears, I disappear, there’s only the movement of your fingers and the music. And you have to practice music, have to keep your calluses, your stretchy fingers, your muscle memory. Writing also requires that. Everything does. So…. (casts a longing glance upward to loft where guitar sits quiet in case)….

At any rate, for today, What I’m Reading.

*Hunter’s Moon, A Novel in Stories, by Philip Caputo.

*Life Without a Recipe, a Memoir, by Diana Abu-Jabar.

It dawns on me as I fiddle with this post, re-learning how to create a link, that maybe I’d better set a time limit when I write a blog. i.e., When the kitchen timer dings, I’m done, go, POST already, no matter how unfinished. I’m not sure I could adhere to that intention, but there’s promise in it. And what I would tell you as the minutes wind down–I like both of these books a lot.

Caputo’s metaphors make me grab my pen to copy them into my journal. Golden leaves tremble like candle flames, the sun chops a pine’s shadow into lengths. Also I admire his insight. “Adolescence is a condition no one recovers from completely.” Yes, I nod. And his characters are alive on the page: real, sympathetic, being honest with themselves and you, the reader, even if not always with others.

Abu-Jabar is balletic with language. I admire her creative way of using words, especially verbs.  I love her involvement with food, with family, with memory. As with Caputo, I like her thoughtfulness, insight, and honesty. Here’s a quote that made me grin: “Advice is offered like food from the hand- a loving, unwanted gift.”

The kitchen timer dings–so, okay, I’m posting.

Category: Books, Words 12 comments »

12 Responses to “Resolved”

  1. Linda Mathews

    Hi, Ellen. So glad to see a new blog post. It’s been fun to see photos of you roaming around the mitten. How about adding photos with brief commentary to your blog? I know you’re a wordsmith, but a blog doesn’t require the same degree of polish as a manuscript. Enjoy your winter!

  2. ellenair

    Hi, Linda! Happy New Year. Photos are a good idea; I’ve been pondering the same…. xo to you both, E

  3. Carol Rose

    Ellen, I’m so glad to see you are blogging again! And hey, the diagram “life raft” you drew for me last fall has indeed been that! And, when I’m totally stuck in the writing of “From There to Hear”… I swim to it… grab hold… climb onboard and devour the words and lines! Thank you! And I’ve also loved your photos and following your “Time Off the Diner” adventures!

  4. ellenair

    Thank you, Carol! And I’m so glad the diagram has helped. That’s music to my ears. To be useful, a vital ingredient in life.

  5. frank j hutton

    Hi, Ellen. I’ll join the others in saying it’s good to see you posting here again. Blogs can be mighty difficult to maintain, but become easier when the work is structured and you think ahead of the game. Images help, because those provide something to ruminate over and write toward — not only the visual content itself, but also the context of their gathering. Looking forward to see what you make of it.

  6. Mary Ellen Jones

    Hi Ellen-

    Thanks for the recommendations. Winter in NE Michigan is for reading and writing!

    Hope all is great with you!


  7. Deb Huyck

    More. More pictures. More stories. You are my favorite (human

  8. AnnMarie Rowland

    Hi Ellen,
    Your post inspires me to blog more regularly too. I mean to, but always feel too busy with other things. But if YOU can find time, so can I.
    Unrelated… I didn’t know you play guitar. Don’t put that aside. The joy of music is when you’re making it, you can’t think about anything else. That’s a gift, not a problem!
    Looking forward to seeing you sometime after the final thaw.

  9. Marcia

    Loved this blog. I honestly don’t have a lot of time to read lengthy blogs, so I appreciate short and sweet. I’ve just ordered the two books. I’m always looking forward to the next good read and know I trust your opinion on literature! Thinking the next blog could include how much you enjoyed going to the loft and getting that guitar out of its case! What will be the first song? :-)

  10. ellenair

    Shucks, Deb, How’m I s’posed to respond to that?! You’re sweet. Knock it off. :)

  11. Mike Delp

    This is a great little sanctuary, a peaceful
    eddy in the deluge of what has become of daily living. Thank you for inviting me in to gather more of your wondrous spirit.

  12. ellenair

    Mike, that is such a nice compliment, and even more so coming from you, a writer-poet-person. Thank you.

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