pancake day spring clean


We decided on Cracker Barrel at noon and I ordered the “Kid’s Pancakes” because it’s Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day. When you’re in the American South trying to follow an English tradition what this means, essentially, is instead of a nice crispy pastry you end up eating an entire kind-of-apple-pie, complete with whipped cream .

i’m asleep. that’s what i am.


“I’m asleep. That’s what I am. I’m always asleep.” My grandmother has dementia. I spend my weekends with her. On Sunday she had a pensive moment and when I asked her if she was ok she said “I’m asleep. That’s what I am. I’m always asleep.” She looked so sad and so done with caring,

and johnny cash on the radio.


.99 each at the Goodwill After sleeping vertically for most of the week, I managed to get all horizontal last night. And this morning. And this afternoon. I’ve kipped more in the past 24 hours than I have in the past 2 weeks. Now I’m all Greenwich Mean and groggy and trying to finish the

arabian nights


There used to be a massive Borders bookstore just outside of Manchester. The Euro and I would spend rainy Saturdays there drinking coffee and reading American Magazines. It’s sunnier here (72degrees on Friday!) and more difficult to justify a day indoors but we manage to do it now and then. A few weeks ago we

lars and the real girl


Lars and the Real Girl (2007) There are favorites, and then there are favorites. Books or movies we always come back to. For me, it’s Flannery O’Connor and Chekhov. It’s Beautiful Girls. And it’s Lars. There’s nothing I can say about Lars and the Real Girl that can do it proper credit. The screenplay, by

bunny and poodle


When we were young we used to write letters to one another from aboard Venetian gondolas and beneath Cambodian crypts. Flamboyant and fabulous. All the places we will be from. On Thursday, this arrived in the post. Hang in there, yeah?

sometimes a great notion


Today someone reminded me life is beautiful. Like Paul Newman, beautiful. For most people it can be difficult not to get caught up in their own personal stories. I think this goes doubly true for writers. Those of us who write fiction spend our lives willfully creating drama and conflict, driving people to the edge

fear and hp lovecraft


The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is Fear of the Unknown. – H.P. Lovecraft H.P. Lovecraft was the forefather of modern horror fiction. His guiding literary principle was what he termed “cosmic horror”, the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that

daughters of shiloh


Laura Jean Puckett was fourteen years old when Angus Mullins walked up to her and asked “Where’s your shoes?” She was playing a child’s game on a child’s bench outside her parent’s boarding house. And it was the first time she had ever met the short man in the newsboy cap who smelled like he’d

a little flesh. a little breath. aurelius.


I love the writings of Marcus Aurelius. Even my mother, not a fan of stoicism, calls him heavy. I own four copies of his meditations and can’t really justify buying another. But I’m tempted because The Puffin is doing beautiful things with paperbacks these days.

and in the end, despair


“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” – C.S. Lewis Yesterday was the first day I ever thought it. Something horrible. She knew. She

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