before & after

Our kitchen fell apart last fall.  At Thanksgiving, actually.  There was a leak under the floor that rotted out the whole thing from the underside up.  And as I watched the flooring guys pulling up our kitchen floor with their bare hands like it was a wet paper towel, something great hit me:  We’d hit […]

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popcorn art

Summer is really not my season.  Or I suppose I should say, Texas summer is not my season.  Or climate.  If we lived in Nova Scotia, I might well love summer best of all. But down here in Houston, it’s hot.  Summer is mostly about coping for me.  Going out in the steamy, hot, mosquito-ridden […]

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video: what are you grateful for?

I am lucky in a thousand ways this summer.  And one of them is that I get to help host a Secret Mission for the Dream Lab at Mondo Beyondo. Here’s what it is:  My friends at Mondo Beyondo want to inspire folks to create guerilla goodness in the world–acts of kindness or love that help […]

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how to make a comfort list

In Get Lucky, the main character makes a “comfort list” of things that are soothing.  Here it is: “Things that are comforting: Tea. Warm water on your skin. Thick socks. Humming. Laughter. Fireplaces. Having someone arrange your fruit in a smiley face. Having someone refuse to examine your imaginary tumors. Watching old movies with Mackie.” […]

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the barbecue capital of Texas

I kind of lean in a vegetarian direction.  But when you go to the Bar-B-Q capital of Texas, you just HAVE to be a carnivore. And last week, when my mom and I drove out to Lockhart, Texas, for a book event, we asked around for the best BBQ and got many different opinions.  Finally, […]

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the Lockhart Library

Last week, I drove out to Lockhart, Texas, with my mom for a book event.  The library in my new book, Get Lucky, is based on the historic library in Lockhart–the oldest library in Texas. It was so amazing to get to stand in the library that had sparked so many ideas in my head […]

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all my exes live in Marfa

Did I say “all”?  I actually meant “none.” But an old friend of one of my exes — who apparently bought his car — does. Here’s what I’m saying:  There is no way to describe how bizarre it is to drive into a tiny town that’s 3 hours into the desert from El Paso and […]

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spoiled goats, fresh cheese: Blue Heron Farm

Over winter break, we went out to the country to visit my childhood friend Christian and his wife Lisa at their farm.  They make  the yummiest goat cheese ever, and I’m completely enchanted by their life.  I’m totally amazed by Lisa, who is always so warm and sweet to us, and who writes a very lovely blog […]

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the beautiful salad my kids did not eat

Dear Jamie Oliver, I am enjoying your show. And while I may never truly recover from watching you make a chicken nugget by putting a carcass in a food processor, bones and all, and then squeezing the goo through a strainer–I do feel like sharing that moment with you somehow made me a better person. […]

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radio interview

I had such a fun time this morning talking with Christopher Gabriel on his radio program at WDAY in Fargo, North Dakota. Of course, I wasn’t in Fargo.  I was home, in my pajamas.  As all writers should be at all times. We had a great chat, and I found myself thinking, afterwards, about how […]

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