Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Unbaked Pies

  This essay first appeared in the 12/27/96 issue of East Bay Express.  Eighteen years later, on the 5th day of Christmas,  it feels as much a seasonal post as anything new I might write.      A week before Thanksgiving, and I’m making a list. Canned pumpkin. Evaporated milk. Nutmeg, allspice, and – after double-checking the cupboard – cinnamon: spices I won’t use again until next year. I flip through The Joy of Cooking to a page stained with flour and butter, and after reviewing Basic Pie Crust, lift the sack of flour next to the Special K to … Continue reading

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Back In the (Blog) Saddle

I know.  I’ve posted this before.  And no one likes an excuse.  Tedious, really, and ultimately who cares?  So I’ll just say:  I’m back.  Thanks to Meghan Ward (of Writerland), I’m sitting down this Friday morning to post here.  “Are you still blogging?” she asked me yesterday at lunch at the Writers’ Grotto. “Every time I go to your blog, it’s the same post.”  (She said this in the nicest of ways, really.) It is, indeed.  Imagine having a friend repeatedly drop by for a visit and never being there!  That’s a little how I felt.  Plus, I realized that Meghan’s … Continue reading

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Stealing

As you can tell if you regularly read this blog — and if you do, you have my undying gratitude! — I’ve been remiss in my posting.  Vacation; a week of teaching; deadlines…and well, here we are in August. I’m gearing up for my first Grotto class this weekend, What We Talk About When We Talk About Stealing.  The name, of course, is stolen from Raymond Carver’s classic, and I’ve had such fun re-reading it (again) alongside Nathan Englander’s masterful “WWTAWWTA Anne Frank.”  And revisiting gothic retellings of Red Riding Hood and Bluebeard in Joyce Carol Oates’ and Angela Carter’s … Continue reading

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Two short, midweek notes

#1:  The new issue of Arroyo Literary Review (spring 2013) is out, containing my story “The Ruins” and other fine work. #2:  Website problems all fixed now.  Thanks for standing by.

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Get A Job

I’ve worked as a stained-glass artist, a translator, a marine biologist, and an archeologist. Or, rather, my characters have.  One of the most direct ways into inhabiting character and discovering details that lift a story beyond “mere” narrative has always been, for me, what that character does with her day.  How she makes a living, and what kind of a living it is. Growing up, I felt little parental pressure about what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Oh, my dad used to tease me about becoming a dentist, so I could support him and my mother in … Continue reading

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