March 27, 2015

Perfect Quote

"Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing."
   - thoughts of the Mole from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

March 22, 2015

Sunday Quote

Go beyond what's comfortable.
- Stanley Tucci's college acting coach

March 4, 2015

The Night Ghost chapbook

My chapbook will be out in early summer (it is about to snow yet again making the words "early summer" so beautiful) with Finishing Line Press.  I am thrilled to say the least - and this postcard just arrived announcing that it is available for advance orders. 
The cover photo works well with the title, yes? While it may have a mysterious air about it, it was taken a year or so ago out the window of my little library on a winter day about as gray as this one.
You can order now (very supportive of me and thank you if you do!) at the Finishing Line Press site at:
Just click on "preorder forthcoming titles" or "bookstore" and look for the title or under my name.

February 22, 2015

Sunday Quote

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
- Vincent van Gogh 

February 10, 2015

So know this - if you love your library, use your library.  Support libraries in your words and deeds.  If you are fortunate enough to be able to buy your own books, and you have your own computer with which to conduct research, and you're not in search of a story hour for your children, then don't forget about the members of your community who are like you but perhaps lack your resources - the ones who love to read, who long to learn, who need a place to go and sit and think.  Make sure that in your good fortune you remember to support their quest for a better life.  That's what a library promises us, after all: a better life.  And that's what libraries have delivered.

- Ann Patchett, in the afterward of the most terrific book, The Public Library by Robert Dawson

I could go on about Ann Patchett all day (if you haven't read her, do so, as in run out immediately and grab a book of hers.  By my bedside table is her collection This is the story of a Happy Marriage which I like to dip into.  Next to Nancy Willard and Mary Oliver and Anne Lamott offerings, but that is for another day.

The book containing her great afterward is extolling the many virtues of libraries (music to my librarian's ears and writer's heart) is a very well done and enjoyable book tracking the many across country treks Robert Dawson and also his son made to all different public libraries, exploring, taking photographs, talking to people, a real taking the pulse of the country book as well as a love poem to libraries.  Libraries are more than housing books but the heart of the community - I would not want to live in a town without a library because what would that say about the members of the community?  At any rate, while you are running out and getting anything Ann Patchett, make sure you get Dawson's book as well. 

You have a library card, right? (They are free!).

February 8, 2015

Sunday Quote

Melancholy were the sounds on a winter's night.
- Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room

January 27, 2015

Just like Laura Ingalls

Note the dog picture thrown in as he looked so cute after being dried off after snow and has little to do with taffy.
On a family list to try - maple taffy like they made in the Little House on the Prairie. Snow required -thanks to the not as bad as predicted snowstorm, we have that (it's freezing out there!). Various websites said boil maple syrup until a candy thermometer says nuclear hot or whatever. We don't have one of those but neither did Laura. We tried their "forms. Ball in cold water" alternate, never seemed to get there but seemed to double in size. We decided it was taffy ready when we got tired of waiting. You then pour the super hot maple syrup into a cake tin that has packed down fresh does harden but the snow started to melt so fast that we grabbed a strainer and poured out the maple watery stuff. What is left is too sweet for
More than a taste unless you are the fellow historian cook teen with a sore throat. Bummed no vanilla ice cream in
The house (would have been a perfect combo) but the son
Had a good idea to throw in some walnuts as it hardened into a sticky lake of hard taffy. Note -many sticky spoons, pot, cake tin. We
Think the leftover will be great added to oatmeal -especially with walnuts. Thanks, Laura, and we didn't even have to look out for bears.
Although typing all this out on a phone is, indeed, a bear.

January 26, 2015

Stay safe and warm!

The snow already falling here, blizzard on its way. Stay cozy and safe, everyone!

January 25, 2015

Happy Burns Night!

The birthday of my wonderful mother who is missed every day - and she married a Scot - perfect. Hope you are all having a great Burns night.  Cheers! (Toasting with my orange herbal tea).

January 1, 2015

Welcome the New Year 2015

To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.

-  Jean-Paul Sartre

The New Year rolls in, the fresh calendars are put out, the list of resolutions grows and grows for me as I like a long one full of hopes and goals.  Still we are in winter, approaching the heart of it, end of January and early February's brutal cold just around the bend.  I like this time, turn on the heater, pull on a sweater, interior, inner, darker, deeper.  This is when the roots grow for whatever you are planting, this is the time to make sure they are sturdy, that they go deep and true.  Don't rush.  Find the long quiet and temper your restless spirit to it.  This is when you understand whether you have hope or not, do you trust the eventual bloom?  Cultivate this heart in this cold season.  Slow slow slow.  Make tea, put seed in the planter for the birds, rest, let your rushing mind calm.  Take a long nap.  It's okay to hibernate, it's winter after all.

December 24, 2014

A short story released

Very pleased to share that my short story, The Falls, is now available in the latest offering from the literary journal, Crab Creek Review.  You can click here if you are interested in ordering it - it is a Seattle-based journal so if you are in that neck of the woods, you can purchase it at bookstores, etc. but if you are an east coaster like me or elsewhere, follow the link.
Also very happy to note that Crab Creek Review has nominated the story for the Pushcart Prize.  Thrilling to consider that possibility, always an honor to be nominated. 

December 21, 2014

Storybook Christmas Sunday Quote

Bits from this lovely book about too many holiday house guests but they find room for them all and - of course!-- a festive time is had by all. 
It helps to browse the children's Christmas books when the short tempered real world with impatient drivers, testy shoppers, and exhausted fretful children with their exhausted fretful parents start to wear one down and stomp out all the Christmas spirit. I'll try to remember to look for another good one tomorrow.

December 18, 2014

Christmas time in New York

Caught the wonderful Broadway show, Cabaret, on Sunday with the remarkable Alan Cumming and the current Sally - Emma Stone.  Both terrific, the cast amazing.  Quite different from the movie version, closer to the book The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood.  Adored the actress Linda Emond and her soaring voice as the landlady and her love interest played with such pathos by Danny Burstein.  Did the crowded Fifth Avenue stroll afterwards (the tree, the tree) and then onto Bryant Park where I love to stop in the summer for an iced drink after visiting Patience and Fortitude, the Library Lions.  Now it's a Christmas wonderland with a surprisingly large ice rink, a lovely tree, and many little wooden "houses" filled with gifts and food goodies and the like.  Ample room to sit and rest and watch the skaters here as well - and just a short stroll to Grand Central Station.  A good time was had by all. 

December 7, 2014

Sunday Quote

You may be whatever you resolve to be.  Determine to be something in the world and you will be something.  "I cannot," never accomplished anything, "I will try," has wrought wonders.

- J. Hawes

November 30, 2014

Sunday Quote

It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'Try to be a little kinder'.

- Aldous Huxley