Archive for May, 2013

My short series of pregnancy cartoons, “Bye-Bye Brain,” is up at Sweet: A Literary Confection!  They’re under “Graphic Nonfiction,” a new thing for me.  And no, that doesn’t mean X-rated stuff.  Maybe R.  But it is nonfiction: all the quotes are things people actually said to me.

Here’s the first panel:

2 Bye-bye brain

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My reading has taken an interesting trend recently: cookbooks, more cookbooks and a book on the New Domesticity.

It started with An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler.

I asked for this book for Christmas but (with two-year-old twins, an increasingly demanding writing schedule and, you know, life) I just got around to reading it.  I made the very first recipe on page 17, for salsa verde (think Italy, not Mexico) and ate nearly all of it on slice after slice of sourdough toast.  (You can eat it on nearly anything — boiled vegetables, pasta, roasted chicken — but I had toast so I slathered it on and dug right in.)

The tone of this book can be lofty and precious at times, but if you don’t mind looking at food lovingly, profoundly and (at times) religiously, you’ll either eat this rhetoric up with a spoon or gently push it to the side of your plate and read greedily on for new ways of thinking about and preparing food.

The next book is Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar.

This book explores what Matchar has named “the New Domesticity” — a trend for highly educated, liberal women to spend considerable amounts of time and energy on (more…)

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One hundred and fifty years ago today, Stonewall Jackson, general in the Confederate army, died of pneumonia in a small cottage in central Virginia.  A week earlier he had his right arm amputated after being shot — by accident — by his own men.  I wrote a piece about looking for the arm’s grave, and you can read it at The Virginia Quarterly Review’s blog.

Stonewall Jackson

I’ve been thinking about Jackson all this week.  My piece was posted the day before the amputation and I read it (again) when it came out.  I imagined (more…)

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I’ve been off the grid for a while, first because I was on retreat in the North Carolina mountains and then because I was trying to retreat from the virus the twins picked up while I was away.  But I’d rather think about the green spring mountains than green stuffed noses.

desk in the mountains

I set up a little table by my window so I could write while looking out.  I had planned (more…)

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