Monthly Archives: May 2012

Sick Day

Sickly characters hold a certain romanticized (sickly) appeal.  Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden.  Mary Ingalls (once she went blind) in the Little House books.  Jane Eyre’s pious childhood friend Helen Burns.  Beth in Little Women.  Joan Didion in her essay about migraine, “In Bed.” I thought of them all this morning, as I lay propped up with an ice pack on my forehead.  Husband slept solidly next to me, dawn light edged the curtains, and I had to throw up.  Yes, a migraine—though not nearly as severe as Didion’s.  Mine was banished with a pill, a trip down the … Continue reading

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A Utility Porch Of One’s Own

Like many writers I know, I’m lucky enough to have an office at home.  For years, I wrote at a desk in a corner of the living room in whatever apartment I had at the time. (I wanted to keep the bedroom free of clutter, at least in theory.) When I moved into the flat where we now live, I felt like I’d graduated to writer heaven. No more hiding pages when company came over by throwing a colorful Guatemalan blanket over the entire desk.  I could close the door! Since then, I haven’t needed to go elsewhere to write.  … Continue reading

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The Moral of Pierre

Most people think of Where the Wild Things Are, appropriately enough.  But this week, hearing on the radio that Maurice Sendak had died at the age of 83, I thought first of Pierre, the petulant child of the eponymous “cautionary tale in five chapters and a prologue.”  Pierre, at 48 pages, was my favorite book as a pre-schooler.  I’m told I carried it everywhere, evidence of which shows itself in the tiny book’s ripped jacket, signatures loose at their sewn bindings, a few spots of discoloration (spilled apple juice?). Pierre made up one of four slim books, each the height … Continue reading

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No Trees Felled, But a Terrific Evening

If you read this blog last week, you know that my story “The Art of Fiction” was read last Friday at Stories on Stage in Sacramento.  What a wonderful evening–and I’m not saying that just because my story was featured.  Of course that was a treat.  But what really made the evening special? Interesting, friendly people gathered in a room on a warm valley night to be read aloud to.  Valerie Fioravanti welcoming us all as if to her own living room.  Terrific performances by Pam Metzger and Benjamin Ismail.  Meeting Julia Halprin Jackson, soon to graduate from the UC … Continue reading

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