Monthly Archives: April 2008

Attention: Mother-Writers

The Literary Reflections department of Literary Mama is seeking personal essays about writing as a mother, reading as a mother, or developing a career as a professional mother-writer. If any of you have such an essay in your portfolio or an idea brewing along these lines, they welcome your participation. Here are the submissions guidelines.

Me? I’m sick of writing about parenthood. I want to write about things like the Burning Man gift economy.

Parents Magazine Podcast

Searching for Mary Poppins lives with this recent Parents magazine podcast interview with my wildly articulate and charming coeditor, Susan Davis.

If any of you are curious about the process of editing anthologies, click here to see an interview between Susan and me and then click on the names to the right for more editor interviews.

Wallpaper Murder Mystery

Karen Templer’s obsessive rant about Florence Broadhurst: Her Secret & Extraordinary Lives by Helen O’Neill made me laugh.

“…Broadhurst was a pattern designer famous for her wallpapers, and she was also mysteriously murdered. So the book is some sort of crazy cross between a wallpaper catalog and a murder mystery — and I’m quite certain I’ve never encountered a book that meets that description before. (Who knew that description could be so enticing?)”

Now I want this book, too.

Picnic Plates

We poked around Rhinebeck, New York today and saw these great Deruta ceramics-inspired melamine plates at Hammertown. I don’t need them, so I didn’t buy them…but I want them.

Spring, part four

This morning’s Berkshire Eagle headline reminded me that it’s time to take down the bird feeder. I haven’t yet encountered a black bear in the Berkshires, but last year neighbors on either side of our house saw one, so it must have crossed our yard. Last year there was also a moose sighting in the neighborhood.

If you encounter a bear …

  • Don’t run. Running will make the bear think you are prey, and that could cause the animal to chase you. Despite their lumbering appearance, black bears can run fast — far faster than humans — so don’t try to outrun one.

  • Make noise. Most black bears will retreat if you make noise or throw an object in their direction. If you find yourself face to face with a bear, have someone farther away create loud noises as a distraction, then back away from the bear slowly.
  • SOURCE: MassWildlife.

    Time Zones?

    If any of you are wondering how I manage to blog during work hours, the answer is that I don’t. My Google clock was set to Pacific Standard Time. I do believe it’s fixed now.

    Edit: Huh. I still seem to be on California time, even though I switched the Dashboard setting to Eastern Time. Anybody out there know how to fix the time stamp?

    Website Makeover

    Betsy’s dragon fruit photo inspired an impromptu, remarkably speedy and painless overhaul of my website. Tana waved her magic wand yesterday afternoon and poof: there it was. We’re still fiddling with fonts and the magenta text color, but I feel virtually refreshed.

    Interview with Betsy McNair

    This photo makes my heart beat fast. It’s from Betsy McNair’s recent My Mexico Tours e-newsletter. I met Betsy a decade or so ago when I was writing for Fodor’s and she was managing one of my favorite inns, La Casa de Espíritus Alegres in Guanajuato. Now in addition to leading wonderful culinary and cultural tours, she is the author of Mexicocina: The Spirit and Style of the Mexican Kitchen.

    Gina: What’s the name of that fruit?

    Betsy: Pitaya (sometimes spelled pitayha) — fruit of a night-blooming cactus native to Central and South American, where it was called fruta escamosa, scaly fruit. It is now cultivated in Vietnam, Thailand, etc., where it’s called dragon fruit. There are a few different types of the fruit, the most common one seems to be red-skinned, white on the inside, with black seeds. This one grows wild in Diana Kennedy’s garden in Zitacuaro, Michoacán.You’ll recognize the plant, I think, as there are many varieties (both fruiting and non-fruiting, but all with a great big flower) in gardens all all over Mexico. Long jagged-edged succulent-type leaves often hanging down over a wall.

    Gina: What does it taste like?

    Betsy: Wet and smooth, mostly, with crunch from the little seeds. Slightly sweet. Surprisingly bland in flavor given the outerspace color.

    Gina: How does one eat it?

    Betsy: DK just sliced it up as you see and we had it for a light refreshing dessert after one of our classes.

    Spring, part three

    This morning our woods are filled with baby maple leaves.

    Forsythia Haters

    Turns out there are lots of you out there who think forsythia is a vulgar invasive noxious weed. Who knew? I still think it’s pretty.

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