Showing posts from February, 2016

Awesome Things

Here are a few awesome things I've seen recently. Love the natural world? Love words? Go here and read "Antevernals in the Anthropocene" on The Last Word on Nothing blog , in which Michelle Nijhuis (among other things) suggests coining new terms for natural phenomena in our changing climate. In fact, the entire blog is awesome--varied and interesting. As they say on their "About" page, they provide "Science: clear, crafty, and delivered to your door." Assuming your door is a computer, I guess. Anyway, lots of great writers, lots of great content. Here's an awesome fund-raising idea : Four anthologies, each describing a different season, all to raise money for the (UK) Wildlife Trusts. They'll be released throughout the year and are edited by Melissa Harrison ( whose fiction I raved about earlier ) (and who also has a new book, Rain: Four Walks in English Weather on its way in early March). You can get the Spring anthology now. (Too

Solving Problems

Q: How is assembled-at-home furniture like a manuscript? Furniture Some ten years after putting together our "wardrobe" (a credenza from an office supply store), my husband looked at it and said, "Why don't those doors latch?" I've been wondering for years without caring enough to find out. My husband, however, took the doors off, took the hardware off them, got out a measuring tape, and started puzzling over what he found. At one point he called me into the bedroom and pointed at the insides of the doors. "Does this make sense to you? The pre-drilled holes show the latch goes here, like this, but how would that work? Why would the latch slide up, instead of sideways in front of this thing here? They must have drilled it wrong at the factory." I was working on something else at the time, so I shrugged and said, "Not sure. Are you going to re-drill it?" "I guess. That's the only thing that makes sense," he said.


No one could ruin a Saturday morning like my father, bless him. At breakfast, he'd deflate my hope of a long mindless day--endless channel-surfing (yes, walking back and forth from the couch to the black-and-white TV to see what Saturday morning drivel was on all four channels) and re-reading books I already knew by heart--simply by asking, "What USEful thing are you going to do today?" USEful to him meant cleaning out the garage. Picking up my clothes or otherwise cleaning my room. Clearing my homework and schoolbooks off the dining room chair where I tended to dump them (and finishing my homework, but that was a given, not really USEful). Helping my mother cook Sunday dinner, organizing the stuff on and in her desk, or matching plastic margarine tubs with lids. In other words, doing something to contribute to the family--something my parents wanted me to do, not necessarily something I wanted to do, and preferably what they told me to do. Since then, my definition

A Win/Win

Dear Esteemed Literary Journal: Thank you for considering my recent submission. As I said in my submission cover letter, I appreciate the time and effort required to read it--and to do all the other tasks involved in managing a literary journal these days. After reading the form rejection letter accompanying your rejection, I'm really grateful you chose not to publish my piece. I submitted it to you because your journal has a really good reputation. But I submitted against my better judgment. I really, REALLY shouldn't have. I was dubious after subscribing for a year, when I didn't particularly enjoy reading any of the issues. They weren't cohesive, unique, or even interesting. Only one short story made me sit up and say "Hmm." No "wow" at all. So I should have known better to start with:  My work and your journal just aren't a good fit.  But, as I said, your reputation...well, it's enticing. And you say you're open to new-to-you