Playing at Faulkner’s House

Several days ago, we went to Oxford, Miss., with “we” being me, baby, husband, and students involved in husband’s Faulkner class. We were nervous about the trip both for baby reasons (loud, chatty baby who is still pretending to be a barbarian even though Halloween is long over) and weather reasons (ice and snow.) The…

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Rice Krispie Skyscrapers and Foundation Troubles

Every year around this time, we build some sort of edible construction. In the past, we’ve done a gingerbread Loch Ness (gummy fish, gingerbread monster, fruit roll-up water) and a gingerbread castle (gummy bear defenders, Twizzler drawbridge). This year we tried rice krispie treat skyscrapers. It SEEMED like a good building material. It was problematic.…

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A Pleasant View of My Wall

Just sitting here in my office thinking how much I like the view to my left. It’s not exactly what I imagine Faulker or Hemingway had, but it’s a fine, fine view. You’ll see: A parrot pinata (a gift from my friend Tina when Come in and Cover Me came out), a painting of Dolly…

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Adorable Cannibalism in Goodnight Moon

(The title of this post has got me thinking about an old B-movie called Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. It starred Bill Maher as an adventurer in some remote jungle, and mainly I remember he ran into a tribe of submissive men who threw potholders at passers-by. They were called the Donahues. I’d…

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Top Ten (Or, er, Six) Books to Re-read

For years now, my husband has been telling me–everytime I close a book and start babbling about how brilliant it was and how much I loved it–that I should start over from the beginning, re-read it, and see how it’s put together. And it’s not that I’ve disagreed with that, but there are so many…

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Fond Memories of Letitia Baldrige (Or, Why Cary Grant Was A Crappy Date)

Last week, Letitia Baldrige–social secretary/chief of staff to Jackie Kennedy, writer, etiquette guru–died at 86. When someone’s known for writing about etiquette, you form certain preconceived notions. I know I did before I met Mrs. Baldrige in 2000. I was working for a trade magazine specializing in the meetings industry, and my boss liked the idea…

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Post-Halloween

Well, last weekend we had our annual Halloween Costume Party, and this year’s theme was Excess. As usual, we had some excellent partygoers with clever ideas, and, also as usual, I forgot my camera about five minutes into the party. But here’s a smattering of the costumes: I was an NBA player with, naturally, an…

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The Beauty of the Internet

I’ve spent much of this week wondering how authors wrote anything without the Internet. The amount of time to answer a single question has surely exponentially shrunk. Back when I was writing Come in and Cover Me, I had a moment of thinking, “Hmm, so Scott is standing at Ren’s bed? What were those white…

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So Much Culture I Can’t Stand It

Two things pop into my head as I sit down to write this: First, I have sworn to myself that I’ll start a book journal. In the past I’ve tried to write a short review (just for myself) of each book I’ve read so that I’ll remember what I liked or didn’t like about it.…

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Book Showcase in Hoover

First, a quick bit of self-promotion. There’s a book fair at the Hoover Library this Saturday, July 28th, with a bunch of great authors, including  local writer Keith Thomson, who writes super cool spy thrillers. I envy Keith. It’d be nice to have such a great answer ready when someone says, “So what kind of…

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