Tater Tots and My Ulcer

I don't want to examine the emotions underneath my stomach issues. I know that emotions are at least partly involved. I’ve been more deeply affected by the stress of waiting than I have been by anything else in a long, long time. Pregnancy was intense. And grief. But waiting for agents to respond to queries … Continue reading Tater Tots and My Ulcer

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A Woman’s Blood

This happened once before. I was in 8th grade, attending a high school play, admiring Billy Gregg’s performance as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. I wasn’t trying to get his attention. He was a senior, and I wasn’t even thinking about boyfriends, not for real. Billy was delivering the line, “There’s only one thing … Continue reading A Woman’s Blood

Book Review: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Snow.11 February 1910. Ye gods, thought the infant Ursula, in a preternatural burst of consciousness, as she was born for the ninety-ninth time. Again She startled herself into a lusty scream. Bravo! A divine voice spoke from somewhere unseen. Do you realize that this is the first birth you’ve survived all on your own? In … Continue reading Book Review: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

To Kill a Banned Book Reading

For Banned Books Week, in an inspiring tribute to literature, a local library hosted a 4-1/2 hour reading series, featuring local writers, artists, teachers, and others. A dear friend and fellow writer would be reading from Brave New World by Aldous Huxley that evening. I brought my 10-year-old son along. I’d been working late a … Continue reading To Kill a Banned Book Reading

I Heard Those Three Magic Words (No, Not Those Three)

Sometime in my forties, I began to appreciate the great prank that American fashion has been playing on middle-aged women in the form of fly-closure denim jeans. You stand in front of the full-length mirror hanging on your bathroom door, suck in your stomach, button your jeans, and admire your concave abdomen. (Hopefully you have … Continue reading I Heard Those Three Magic Words (No, Not Those Three)

Don’t Hate the Ice Bucket

I sing at funerals. It’s something I do as part of my church choir. Most recently, it was for a man who’d lived a long, contented life. An average guy. He enjoyed his retirement, told corny jokes, and irritated the hell out of his employees--he skimped on the air conditioning at his independent business and duct-taped the thermostat … Continue reading Don’t Hate the Ice Bucket

My Teen Got Me Daily Show Tickets! With Puppies.

Why does the world dump on teenaged boys? They don’t behave any worse than adults with hormonal abnormalities (that you have to live with, feed, and legally guard). And like other sentient humans, teenaged boys will occasionally surprise you with their spontaneous generosity. A few months ago, my 18-year-old had not only the incredible luck … Continue reading My Teen Got Me Daily Show Tickets! With Puppies.

World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Barrels Towards its End

The Last Policeman series by Ben H. Winters has garnered an Edgar Award (2012, The Last Policeman) and a Philip K. Dick Award (2013, Countdown City), delightful recognition in a literary world where awards often go to novels that are epic, meticulously crafted, relevant, or even stupefying, but not always fun. This month, the final … Continue reading World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Barrels Towards its End

The Beautiful Trap of Belzhar

Meg Wolitzer is revealing herself to be a terrifically nimble, as well as prolific author. Since 2011 she’s published The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, an acclaimed middle-grade novel, and The Uncoupling and The Interestings, both for adults, following a career that’s spanned over thirty years so far. Forthcoming in September 2014 is Belzhar, Wolitzer’s foray … Continue reading The Beautiful Trap of Belzhar

Have a Cup of the World

Friday, June 27, was a day of contemplation for World Cup players and fans. Here in the U.S., we nursed tattered emotions in the wake of Thursday’s game against Germany. We didn’t win, but we held “Die Mannschaft” to a single point on a sodden field in the rain, taking second place in the “Group of … Continue reading Have a Cup of the World