I just began What if This Were Enough. Barely into the essays, but so far I love Heather Havrilesky! She’s smart and funny (two of my favorite qualities, add kind and you’ve got the trifecta!). Consider this from her essay, “Lost Treasures,”
“When I go on walks these days, I listen to podcasts and answer texts and make phone calls. I listen to Kendrick Lamar, who is grateful but also pissed off. That’s my territory: gratitude and anger, anger and gratitude. It’s an impatient place to live. I don’t silently scan the sidewalk for interesting twigs or leaves or bottle caps. I pick up my dog’s shit and wonder what bad news I’m missing.”
She goes on, discussing texts and Mother’s Day hullabaloo, “I read texts that say things like ‘Happy Mother’s Day to a bunch of amazing moms!’ I would not personally classify my mothering as amazing. But I still spend at least a block texting back, ‘Have a great day,’ with multiple heart emojis. It’s odd to send heart emojis when your heart feels not particularly warm, when your distracted brain is too preoccupied with the news and allergies and dog shit to focus on love and motherhood and being amazing.” Oh Man! I really wish I was on that walk with her. Well, I guess I sort of am.
I mentioned a few weeks back that I had a story accepted by One Story. Well, it’s out! I am so in love with my characters in “Children are Magic.” I feel so damn proud of them! It’s like watching my kid’s recital or attending their art opening. You can read an excerpt and an interview here, and if you like, do buy a copy. It’s only $2.50, less than a latte (isn’t that the ultimate measure of value!) Or if you feel like supporting a great journal, subscribe. Do it! You’ll get a new story in your mailbox every month.
We were in Hawaii a couple weeks ago (for your hit of schadenfreude: windy, rainy, loud Airbnb, no turtles, my husband’s knee blew up, and we got on each other’s nerves. You’re welcome!). Okay, we were in Hawaii, eating at a little farm to barn café, where I came across this book on the table, 642 Tiny Things to Write About, put together by the cool kids who populate the Writer’s Grotto in San Francisco. It measures roughly 4″x5″ which is a very pleasing size. Here’s some sample prompts:
- It’s January and you’ve given away the puppy your son got for Christmas.
- What do you tell everyone?
- What’s the strangest thing that happens next?
- What’s the funniest thing that happens next?
- Describe the brutal gang initiation rites for:
- A new mother’s group
- A book club
- A cooking club
- A glee club
If you’re like me, and sometimes need a jumpstart at your desk, or, if like me you’re so damn serious you need permission to play, check out this little gem. It’s cheap, tiny, and has tons of ideas. If you’re resistant to prompts, I say push through the resisitence. Give it a go! What do you have to lose?
At my house we’ve been obsessing about single use plastic containers and bags. It’s our goal to eliminate them from our kitchen/life. But then I read this Atlantic article, “Recycling Isn’t the Answer, to Save the Planet, Eat Plants.” The article doesn’t holler about going vegan, it hollers about a low-carbon diet, which means we may want to consider meat as a topping for our sandwiches, not the, umm… meat of the sandwich. Think veggie heavy. Think smaller cheese portions, think flavor bombs. Even Rachel Ray is in on it. Here’s a video of one of my favorite vegie sandwiches from Food 52. (Isn’t the intense “mom’s-on-a-bank-robbing-spree” music hilarious?) And, here’s a couple staple cookbooks I’ve had for twenty years, Almost Vegetarian, and Almost Vegetarian Entertaining.
Finally, this sando is a must. If you sneak in one slice of bacon, crumbled over the top, no one will know. Wrap it up in some wax paper, grab a blanket and head out to the nearest park.