I started this post a few weeks ago, when it was Sunday and I had been home for 36 hours, drinking my first cup of coffee in about a month. I was still working on it the following Monday after a thunderstorm blew through overnight. My garden was dripping and my dog was snoring, the kind of start I like to a day. It’s a few weeks later now. I am listening to an audio book, finishing up this list, and enjoying a cup of Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw in one of my new Highland stoneware mugs. Still processing my trip and kind of resigned to the fact that it will be memoir/personal essay material and probably not something I’ll write a lot about here. Thinking about doing a series of posts that are nothing but photos.
Things I’m Enjoying:
- Road Tripping While Female: “When I was planning a 16-day, 5,000-mile motorcycle road trip across the country in the company of my friend Emily, the first ever what-the-hell trip for either of us, friends and family expressed deep concern. One male friend asked if we were “packing heat,” with the obvious implication that we were asking for trouble. The idea of two women on the road seemed to alarm just about everyone.”
- Roads & Kingdoms is one of my new favorite things. Travel and food, I love it.
- In Praise of the ‘Great British Baking Show’ — I don’t understand why the name was changed for American viewers on Netflix. We know what a bake off is over here. I love this show though. That ice cream cake moment…you know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen it.
- George R. R. Martin’s original plan for the A Song of Ice and Fire series, as shared by him with his publisher, Harper Collins, before the first book.
- You Should Care About My Life: “Of course there are limits to the power of the first-person pronoun, but sometimes I is not just trivial, it’s essential. When we dismiss confessional writing, we are really asking to be unburdened by another’s request for empathy. Not engaging with a writer’s autobiographical identity might make readers more comfortable, but it doesn’t make for more worthwhile critical discourse.”
- Bringing back forgotten women writers.
- Harper Books hosted a writing workshop with Simon Van Booy.
- Edited to add SCOTT WARS 😍
Last night on the way home from seeing Kristin Chenoweth in concert I picked up a venti Americano because I had plans of pulling an all-nighter and writing. When I got home I reminded myself that I am 31, not 21, and that I’d regret that decision for days after. So instead I put the Americano in the fridge and rolled into bed. Woke up to coffee this morning and that made me happy.
Things I’m Enjoying:
- Recorded an episode of Pickled Okra with Jolene. In this episode we talk traumatizing train travel, boudoir photos, and my recently uncovered Phantom of the Opera fan fiction from 1998. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.
- I was recently a guest on Misti’s The Garden Path Podcast. Listen! It was such fun talking about gardening and Oklahoma.
This podcast was a fun one to do and I’m willing to bet Elizabeth will be on the show again in the future. Elizabeth and I are second cousins but up until 2008 or 2009 we didn’t know each other existed. Maybe in some kind of out thereway, but our mother’s had been out of contact for almost 30 years. As fate would have it, we had similar interests and genealogy was one of them. Elizabeth stumbled across an ancient forum post of mine from 2002-2004 where I had posted about one of our mutual relatives, wanting to find more information about him. She replied to my post and an email was sent to me and from there we’ve been in contact ever since.
Gardening is another one of the many interests we share and I wanted to have her on to talk about her own garden in Norman, Oklahoma as well as to talk a little bit about gardening heritage. We also touch a bit on the landscape of Oklahoma and how the prairies and central plains states are often overlooked in regards to being a beautiful habitat to enjoy.
- This piece on Annie Dillard:
In person, the effect of all this is like meeting a mountaineer whose work lay behind her but whose stories of having done it still get passed around as legend. If Holy the Firmpointed to the peak Dillard was trying to climb, and her next book, Living by Fiction(Harper & Row, 1982), was a nod to the people who had gone before her and failed, then the ones that followed, Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters (Harper & Row, 1982) and The Writing Life (HarperCollins, 1989), told the story of actually doing it. The false starts, the caffeine yo-yos, the encounters in the Amazon or the Arctic—or at church—that kept pushing the horizon further out; the tapping at supporting rock walls and the bolts she’d drilled into them to see if they’d hold; the occasional plummets. All the hard work of staying awake, and the descent. One of the reasons Dillard is so beloved is that she tried just as hard to make the case that we could all do it, live this way, that all you need to do is work with a demented singularity of purpose.
As for her, what is she after, inhaling those hundred or more books a year since age five? That library in the sky of her mind she has built. What is she seeking? “It’s what I’m for,” Dillard says simply, putting out her cigarette. “Somebody has to read all these books.”
- Susan Calman goes on holiday. This one is hilarious and I have bookmarked the next one in which she visits the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
- Punctuation in novels — What the books look like without words.
- Braised bottom round roast with french onion gravy — This was delicious and also my first time making a beurre manié.
I’ve got to get some quality coffee in this house.
Things I’m Enjoying: