Sidewalk Film Festival was this past weekend in Birmingham. It’s always a treat. This year, the award for Movie We Can’t Stop Talking About goes to Dogtooth. It is, to quote the film Web site, “a hyper-stylized mixture of physical violence and verbal comedy.” I don’t think that quites does justice to its total brilliant…

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I’ve just noticed that the Hallmark Movie Channel is showing Murder, She Wrote reruns from 11 p.m. onward most nights. For months now, I’ve been sadly disappointed that the number of Murder, She Wrote reruns has dropped from about 10 per day on various channels to absolutely none. So this discovery soothes my soul. I love Murder,…

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I tried making summer rolls for the first time tonight–I love them, and once I looked at a recipe, it didn’t seem so hard. I’d say it was a success. There’s something really satisfying about soaking and arranging and rolling up the rice paper.  It’s as much like an art project as it is a meal, especially…

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I’ve gone to bed between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for the last four nights, exhausted, wanting to sleep, but not letting myself go to bed. It’s all because I decided to reread all the Harry Potters. I sort of underestimated their allure. I think that the first time around–for books 5, 6, and 7, at least–I…

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I’ve just found a letter someone wrote me that I should have responded to about a year and a half ago. It’s my first  letter from a reader for The Well and the Mine. It’s lovely and smart and very kind, and it nearly made me cry. It’s the kind of letter you have to answer.…

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I admit, partly I just really wanted to type “Franzenfreude.” If you haven’t heard: “Schadenfreude is taking pleasure in the pain in others. Franzenfreude is taking pain in the multiple and copious reviews being showered on Jonathan Franzen.” That’s according to author Jennifer Weiner, who, judging by that particularly perfect invented word, can really write.…

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If I had my choice of my ideal place to write, it’s not my office or a coffee shop or the dining room table (all of which are fine second choices). I want to be outside. In open air. Looking at blue sky and trees and feeling the breeze blow through porch, ideally with a hint…

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