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Bad Attention

When you’re a kid, and later, if and when you’re a parent, you sometimes hear the term “bad attention.” As in, “We know you like attention, Lochinvar, but setting Mary Lou’s braids on fire will only get you bad attention.” Bad attention: the sort of attention that goes down in your permanent record, that possibly keeps you out of a job or the college of your choice, the sort of attention that maybe comes with media attention and perhaps a lengthy jail sentence. There are those, I know, who believe that… Read more Bad Attention

The World is Full of Small Weird Miracles

There was a day, a few years ago, when I was walking Emily, the household dog, across the overpass that spans the highway near our house.  We were on the far side, starting down the ramp to the sidewalk, when I observed a middle-aged woman on the street below us.  She was walking her dogs, two affable looking German shepherds. When one of them stopped to do what a dog stops to do, the woman picked up the leavings in a plastic bag, as one does.  And then she did… Read more The World is Full of Small Weird Miracles

How Story Saves Our Lives*

Once Upon a Time, I worked with a man who did not believe in fiction. He admitted its existence, he just didn’t get it. In every other particular, Justin was a lovely man: charming and funny, sharp as a tack, and very successful. He was visually handicapped but a huge consumer of the written word. But what he liked to read were how-to books, essays, commentaries on real estate law, history–things factual. “Fiction is a lie,” he said. “Why do you want to read things about people who don’t exist?”… Read more How Story Saves Our Lives*

Cats and Boyfriends

I have been derelict, for which I apologize.  And I really ought to write a post for SarahTolerance.com first, but I’m mulling something over there, after several posts about Regency sewing (!) and here I can talk about less, um, historical things.  Like cats.  And old boyfriends. I no longer have cats because we’re all allergic to them.  While it was just me, and I was acclimated to my late cat Alexis, this didn’t matter.  Then I got married and had a kid and, sixteen months into the kid’s life,… Read more Cats and Boyfriends

Obscenity

I missed last week’s post (I really am trying to post weekly) because I was in Massachusetts for my father’s memorial party.  Yes, I said party.  My father was a big believer in parties, and he left very specific instructions about this one: the Dixieland band that was to play us down to the river where his ashes were to be scattered (by plane) and then triumphantly back again afterward, a real New Orleans funeral; the specific locale; and no “memorial service” or religious overtones whatsoever.  Oh, and the party… Read more Obscenity

I wrote my first book because I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read. Really, it’s as simple as that.  And as complex as that, too.  I had just graduated… Read more