Category: Books

The Writing Life

January 14th, 2020 — 3:16pm

or, Things You Might Not Suspect About Me.

I can spend a lot of time debating between ‘invective’ and ‘expletive.’

A lot of time.

Happily, doing so is my actual job right now.

(Wait for the upcoming novel to discover which I chose, or if both ended up on the cutting room floor.)

Which to use?

4 comments » | Books, Life, Things You Might Not Suspect, Words


January 2nd, 2020 — 2:05pm

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.

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