An Open Letter to Pigs (And Other Picky Eaters)

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photo by David Merrett

Dear Pigs,

By the way, may I call you that? Pigs? It’s meant with the utmost respect, and after all, it is your name. Believe me, pig. I’ve never used your name in vain when referring to perverts or sleazeballs. I don’t know who started that. Uncool. Nor have I ever said, “Go clean up, you filthy pig!” to either of my kids or my husband. Even that time when they were so foul I wouldn’t let them in the house without hosing off in the backyard first. I’ve read that elephants and rhinos are much dirtier than pigs, but the dirtiest of all, obviously, is the dung beetle. Just so you know, whenever possible I do correct people by saying, “Go clean up, you filthy dung beetle!”

Okay, that’s not why I’m writing you. I need to talk to you about the state of pigs. Read more on the Huffington Post:

Winter is a (Big Fat) Liar

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photo by Luigi Torreggiani

Winter drags its massive lumbering heels on its way to meet Spring. Its hair has grown long, its thick woolly layers are tattered and dirty. Spring should be close, should be here, but it’s impossible to see. Not with Winter’s defiant air—harsh and billowing, relentless—it bullies the sweet, green Spring away.

Winter fingers the baton tight in its grasp. Teasing. Torturing. It curls its grip narrower while its gate is weighed down with spite and beef stew. In the thick of Winter are roasts and chowders. Noodles and gratins soothe the deepest darkest cold. Desserts piled high with whipped cream, warm pies, chortle at Spring. Arrogant. Impudent. As though they’ll never meet. Layers of comfort expand under Winter’s heavy coats; then Winter’s promise goes cold. Threatening to turn its shoulder on Spring. Snuff it with one gruff callused hand. Groaning, moaning. Solace is taken in crackling fires and down blankets, cassoulets and buttered biscuits.

Then, out of the grey—without the slightest hint—while deep in slumber, a bird appears. On the sill of Spring. A song in its breast. Feathers flitting in a sliver of sun. Spring has arrived! In a wink. With every color. The brightest clearest sounds. Warm air. Wool lies in puddles on the floor. But Winter has left souvenirs. What to do with those now?

Rate Yourself As A Mom On A Scale of 1 To 10

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photo by Alio Viera

The other night at dinner, I sat at the kitchen table with my teenage daughter. Some nights, “family dinner” means just us two. I’ve been getting used to making dinners that are easy to scoop out and reheat in a flash. Teenagers are here one minute, gone the next. And I’m just referring to the dinner hour.

My daughter has always loved to ask the hypothetical questions. The “what-ifs” and the “what would you dos.” And as philosophical as they may be, she likes her hypotheticals quantifiable. She likes answers that are in percentages, or on her famous “scale of 1 to 10.”

Between forkfuls of asparagus risotto, she asked, “What if someone asked you to rate yourself as a mother? What would you say, on a scale of 1 to 10?” read more

 

Rankings, Reviews and Rewards, oh my

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What a week it’s been for THE MEMORY BOX. To my astonishment and squealing delight, it achieved the ranking of #1 on Amazon Kindle for American Literature! That lasted a few days which provided enough time for me to bask in the sunshine of this incredible honor. Also, at different times this week, it ranked #1 in Psychological Thrillers and Contemporary Women’s Fiction. This, of course, means that THE MEMORY BOX found lots of new readers this week and many have already left their thoughts on Amazon. If you are one of those people, thank you so very much for taking the time to do so. All of them are very important to me. A few from the last couple of days:

“Holy Moly.”

“This book made me paranoid to ever Google myself again.”

“My heart was pounding through the entire book.”

“An ending that will shock you.”

And my personal favorite:

“This book makes you wonder if the author is as crazy as the character in the story.” 

I think I will tackle that in a future blog post!

What more could an author ask for? I was pretty much hyperventilating the entire week. But it was yesterday’s browsing on Amazon which yielded one of the best thrills of the last seven days. On Amazon, there seems to be a ranking for just about everything, so maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s a list titled: Most Popular Authors in Literary Fiction. It was, however, not only surprising that I should find myself on that list, but extraordinary that I ranked #15 right under Harper Lee and Gillian Flynn! Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to screen shot it!

Hopefully this hangover will last a while. I know how fortunate it is to have had a week like this. It’s a wonderful affirmation of the rewards that a combination of hard work, diligence, and determination, bring. (And maybe, just a little bit of crazy . . . )