How did I come to write about 19th-century Arctic exploration? It started with a song, as I explain in my essay “The Idea of North.” One thing led to another, and I was off on a tangent of research & reading, trying to make sense of such a diverse body of findings.
Surely, some might think, she’s not going to be able to fit Virginia Woolf into this one! But my work has a strong literary component, and Woolf belongs by virtue of my quest starting while I was staying in her home village and by a not-surprising-when-you-think-about-it connection in A Room of One’s Own.
The result was this piece, just published in The Baltimore Review, but my fascination with the subject continues, and I continue to read about polar ice and cold and the people who pursue it from the safety of sunny San Diego. Read “The Idea of North” here.
I doubt that many people, while taking in a panorama of brilliant coral flamingos, would focus on two homely gray squawking creatures sharing their enclosure, but that’s how I discovered the Crested Screamers.
When The Drowning Gull, a charming new addition to the world of lit journals, announced that its second issue would feature “encounters with nature,” I had a feeling I’d found a home for the story of my encounter, “The Cycle of Life.” Click here and scroll down to my piece.
And in case you wonder what the little darlings look like:
I don’t know what made me decide to write about defrosting my freezer–I’ll credit Nora Ephron, who said “Everything is copy.” It’s a throwback to the past & worth capturing for posterity–I don’t know anyone else who does it. And there is something zen-like and spacy about the experience, making it timely with the current craze of “mindfulness,” whatever the hell that is. Finally, ’tis the season for chipping away in a winter wonderland.
The resulting piece, “In Praise of Simple Living (just add ice cream),” has just been published in the provocatively-named journal of creative nonfiction, Embodied Effigies. Click here–I’m on pages 27-28 as the e-book turns (19-20 of the actual magazine).
My daughter’s fondness for lobster didn’t come from me, but it’s in the family. I readily recall my mother relishing every morsel as she dabbed at the butter dripping down her chin. I wrote about their shared passion as a quirky, perhaps unique recessive trait, like red hair and twins, in “Lobster Tales,” which was published this summer in Oasis Journal 2016. The almost-500-page annual is available in print from Amazon, but you can read my contribution here.
I should post a photo here of myself blushing, my eyes cast down demurely. So many of us go through life believing it’s bad form to toot our own horns, but hey, if we don’t, who will? I had two honors this month and learned about them on consecutive days, putting me on a cloud of cushioned cashmere. I want everyone to know & share my joy, so humility be damned.
First–and this one’s been my dream and goal since I started writing–my essay “My Quarrel with Grieving” was named one of the Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction in the Best American Essays of 2015. Permafrost, the journal in which it was published, has posted an announcement on their website. And here’s a link to the essay.
Then I was notified by The Tishman Review that they had nominated my essay “Solo in Seattle” for the Best of the Net Anthology. Here’s the good news from the horse’s mouth, and a link to the essay .
Now picture me taking a bow….
After having an essay published last year in Spry Literary Journal, I was invited to contribute to Spry’s ABC series. Writing for Beginners and Fiction Writing would be followed by the ABCs of Creative Nonfiction, and I could write on the letter of my choice.
I quickly claimed the letter “M” with its myriad manifestations–memoir, memory, motivation, and metaphor, to name just a few. And what about mentors and muses? I’d written a chapter, “A Muse of One’s Own,” for the 2014 book Writing after Retirement (yes, of course I spotlight Virginia Woolf!)–so I adapted it for this project.
My link is to the entire list–I’m reading through them, & you may want to do the same. My favorite so far is “A is for Accoutrements” by Spry’s editor, Erin Ollila. But before you get distracted, click here and scroll down to “M is for Mentors and Muses and Models, Oh My!”
What a brilliant concept, tailor-made for me–an exhibition that displays creative writing works about eating with original photographs to accompany each piece. Drawing from among my many food-related personal essays, I chose “Love at First Bite”–an homage to sushi nested in a recap of my love life, originally published in City Works Journal in 2012– as my submission, and it was one of thirteen works chosen, three of them prose and the rest poetry.
The installation is on exhibit at The Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky through the end of the year, though I’m not likely to find myself in Kentucky to see it. Happily it’s online, and you can see the whole exhibition here. Scroll down to find my piece and have a look at some of the other scrumptious works too. Unfortunately only thumbnail-size reprints of the photographs are shown on the site; the originals are gorgeous. Mine–I have a print–is a glistening jewel-like piece of salmon roe nigiri surrounded by delicate lace.