Two Songs

It started snowing Saturday morning, then snowed steadily until very early this morning (Tuesday). Add an additional two feet or so to the pictures I posted last week and you’ll get the idea. At some point, I started taking little videos of the scene on my street and sending them to my nieces in Florida…. Read more »

Peaceful Country Living

[Trigger warning for deadly weapons and also dog attacks.] [But aside from that, it’s a funny post! I swear!] So. As it says in my bio, “I grew up in the countryside of northeastern Pennsylvania in a village with cows and barns and beautiful views from the top of the hill and all that good… Read more »

Where are the superheroes for young girls?

The other day, my sister, codename: Cordelia, texted me to ask if I knew of any comic-style superhero storybooks for five-year-olds, starring girls. Here’s an excerpt of her text: “They [Cordelia’s twin daughters] love Batman, Spiderman, Thor, Superman, wonder woman. In addition to wonder woman, do you know of any age-appropriate girl/woman superhero series? Note… Read more »

“God have mercy on the [domestic longhair] who doubts what [s]he’s sure of”

I’ve been listening to one of the best Springsteen albums ever, Tunnel of Love. When we were kids, my sister (codename: Cordelia) and I came up with a theory, convincingly backed up by textual evidence, that the song “Brilliant Disguise” was about our cat Sugar, a beautiful and secretive creature one was likely to cross… Read more »

In Which Some of Us Are 27 Months Old

Kristin bumps her head and says Ow.Codename: Phoenix: Kristin, did you break your crown while you were fetching a pail of water? Codename: Joe is driving the car, at a reasonable pace. Codenames: Phoenix and Isis are in the back seat.Phoenix (screaming): GO FAST! GO FAST!Isis (screaming): SLOW DOWN! SLOW DOWN! I am reading Death… Read more »

“I don’t believe in an afterlife, but I still fully expect to see my brother again”

Last Christmas, at my parents’ house, my nieces (who were about 16 months old at the time) kept telling us that they wanted to be read to, but every time their mother, codename: Cordelia, began a new book, they would get distracted, wander around, then come back a few minutes later with another book, asking… Read more »

And Thereto I Give Thee My Troth

Text messages on the morning of the royal wedding: CORDELIA: What is a troth? ME: It’s a kind of trowl. (actual definition of “troth”) ****** So. In Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore, the handsome, maniacal stalker Count di Luna is determined to have the lovely, brainless Leonora, but much to his fury (which is a passion… Read more »

A Book Recommendation and a Bank Non-Recommendation

Writers out there: I strongly recommend the book Writing the Other: a Practical Approach, by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward. It’s the companion book to Shawl and Ward’s Writing the Other Workshop. From the workshop website (linked to above): “Are you afraid to write about characters whose racial heritage, sexual orientation, or religion differs from… Read more »