A Summer’s Roundup

No such thing as a permanent record.

Rare, hard, special.

Fiers d’être bleus.

How to spend your privilege.

Shoes. (Also.)

Motherhood in the age of fear.

Slow burn.


Impossible owls. (!)

A pie of great beauty.


“Remembering Summer”
by W. S. Merwin

Being too warm the old lady said to me
is better than being too cold I think now
in between is the best because you never
give it a thought but it goes by too fast
I remember the winter how cold it got
I could never get warm wherever I was
but I don’t remember the summer heat like that
only the long days the breathing of the trees
the evenings with the hens still talking in the lane
and the light getting longer in the valley
the sound of a bell from down there somewhere
I can sit here now still listening to it

From Garden Time. © Copper Canyon Press, 2016.


A New Year’s Roundup

Why children’s books should be a little sad.*

To-do list.

“…crackling with the kind of raw power that can change the course of a life…”


The art of monstrous men.

We need bodice-ripper sex ed.

Au jardin des oliviers.

Numbers 1-19.

In her eyes, I see the revolution.

Still I’ll rise.


*Of a theme, I guess…

“These autumn days will shorten and grow cold. The leaves will shake loose from the trees and fall. Christmas will come, then the snows of winter. You will live to enjoy the beauty of the frozen world, for you mean a great deal to Zuckerman and he will not harm you, ever. Winter will pass, the days will lengthen, the ice will melt in the pasture pond. The song sparrow will return and sing, the frogs will awake, the warm wind will blow again. All these sights and sounds and smells will be yours to enjoy, Wilbur — this lovely world, these precious days…”
—E. B. White


Weekly Roundup

On Saturday morning, I woke up with pains in my stomach. Before I knew them to be appendicitis, though, I drove with my husband to our local Ring’s End showroom. We walked inside and were greeted by the manager, who turned to Malcolm and asked, “What are you buying her?”

We were pressed for time, and I felt like shit. Malcolm answered, “A deck,” and I smiled.


When I was in the seventh grade, I was harassed every day for a period of months by a couple of boys in my class. They made weird, lewd comments; passed me weird, lewd notes; pushed their bodies against mine on the bus and pulled up my skirt. I was a new girl in a school I otherwise loved, and I kept quiet—thought: okay, this is how things are here. It took another student, a younger boy, speaking up to a teacher for anything to happen.* And then, of course, began the usual burden-of-proof process—finding the words to convey why I hadn’t spoken up for myself, and sooner; to describe every humiliating interaction. A child, pleading this awful, awkward case before male administrators four times my age.

This isn’t something that’s haunted me, exactly; or that I’ve even thought about, in a long time. But it has stayed with me after seventeen years, and has been on my mind this week.

It was my first—though certainly not last—experience with sexual harassment, and it was an experience from which, at twelve years old, I developed a changed conception of myself. Thought differently about my body; became less confident in my expression, more demure. The tragically common “extroverted girls, introverted women” tack.

Today, I can’t think of a woman I know who hasn’t been harassed in her life—many, in ways so much worse than I. And while I’m glad for the narrative shift that this Harvey Weinstein scandal has spurred, it’s shameful and heartbreaking that the narrative requires such seismic shifting.


And so there is harassment, and rape, but there are all the “lesser” violations, too. The ones that feel so small and unworthy of acknowledgement, but that are insidious and pervasive and lay the groundwork for everything else. The guy who drapes his arm across your seatback at the dinner party; the salesman who looks only at your husband and asks what he is buying for you. The myriad ways in which a woman become an object in a sentence or a circumstance, and the nothingness that’s rendered in response—so that the boy who’s there at the party or the store with his parents imbues the exchange and believes that that’s the world.

I hope that things will change. I hope the Harvey Weinsteins and the Roger Aileses and the Donald Trumps will become fewer and farther between; that their actions will become so unequivocally condemnable and are condemned—and so become less possible. But I don’t think they will, until change happens on these smaller stages first.

I’m sorry I didn’t say something last weekend. I wish I had, and I hope that next time—because of course there will be one—that I do.

(*You’ll never see this, I’m sure, but thanks. I remember you, and I think you’re great.)


Below are a few links from my week—to stories that made me take a breath and nod, yes; and to places I admire, led by and fighting for women and girls.

Dear men.

The conversation we should be having.

The story writes itself.

He harassed. Later, I responded.

Lupita Nyong’o, speaking out.

Believe women.

“Our sons can still learn to carry their own weight. Our daughter can learn to not carry others’.”

Circle of Women.

The Center for Family Justice.

Weekly Roundup

A few things, from across the webiverse …

The most important year.

Cambridgeport for the win.

Why we fell for clean eating.*

Beware the open-plan kitchen.

A Trump poetry contest.

Beans instead of beef.

Gotta respect our biotechs.

Listening (weeping) to this.

What really matters.


“This Moment”
by Eavan Boland

A neighborhood.
At dusk.

Things are getting ready
to happen
out of sight.

Stars and moths.
And rinds slanting around fruit.

But not yet.

One tree is black.
One window is yellow as butter.

A woman leans down to catch a child
who has run into her arms
this moment.

Stars rise.
Moths flutter.
Apples sweeten in the dark.

From In a Time of Violence. © Norton, 1994.


Love and light, readers,

*unapologetically v. pro-“squaffle”

Weekly Roundup

A few things, from across the webiverse …

The danger of an incurious president.

How to become a writer.


Good grief.


Eclipse primer.

Re-visited + re-loved.


Wearing this.

I feel a change in the weather.


Home again. We’ve left Maine, and I’m already pining for it. (Words to bookend, here.) The sun’s coming up just a little bit later than it had before our trip; and when I opened the door this morning, it felt like something just a little bit less than summer. Whispers of a turning.

It’s not that I don’t like fall; I do—it’s my favorite season, actually. It’s just that I’m so very far from ready for this one to be over. Blinders on, then, and as far as I’m aware, the calendar stops somewhere around September 4. (Though, admittedly, I did just order myself a winter parka. A deal’s a deal.) We’re leaving soon for another Portland, and until we do, I’ll be savoring summer at home—walking each morning to the beach, reading each evening on the porch (winelight, etc.), and looking at each new shoulder-freckle like it’s some kind of miracle. Which it really is.

Happy Friday, and happy summer. May it never end.

Gone Fishin’

… and in lieu of a link pack, a poem.


The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in the sun,
each day the last day.

A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute.

— Denise Levertov


Cliché for a reason. Here’s to {summers} {days} {minutes}, lived as if the last.

Happy Friday, readers.

Peaks Island, c. 2014

Weekly Roundup

A few things, from across the webiverse …

Obama + kids.

Everybody lies.

Dot journaling!

Best burns.

Binged on this and don’t regret it.

The mental load.

“In a world where reality has become stranger than fiction, actual books are no longer selling.”

Lives on the line.

What Texas tells us.

Counting down the days, hours, minutes.


Happy weekend, friends. I’ll be catching up on yard work and heading into the city to see my lovely Stephanie. Also devouring these (just pulled from the oven…) and starting on some Alice Munro, after finishing this book.

So many thanks for reading,

Weekly Roundup


Part one.

Part two.


“Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away…”

Double shift.

What really helps. (Also, “up the duff”?)

On libraries and forests.



I’m the worst. (An oldie but oh-so goodie.)



Favorite animal: Panda

Favorite cocktail: French 75

Favorite songwriter: Walked down the aisle to Dylan; walked back up to The Boss

Words that kill me: “Agency”; “practice”; “Does that make sense?”

Literary dinner date o’ dreams? I say, let’s make it a moveable feast:
– Breakfast with Walt Whitman;
– A mid-morning something with George Saunders;
– Lunch with Nora Ephron (Central Park Boathouse, definitely);
– Coffee with Lorrie Moore -&-
– Dinner with the expats on rue de Fleurus

(More questions answered, here.)

Have a lovely weekend, readers. I’ll be planning for trips*, stopping by these woods, and catching up with some of my very favorite people.

Happy days to you,

*Must-dos in Portland (both of ’em) and Seattle? Please share!

Weekly Roundup

A few things, from across the webiverse …

Dear Liu Xiaobo.

Summer reading.

We the commuters.

“They’re just words.” (But, oof.)

October 27th. (!)

How to be a writer on social.


On my mind + on my wall.

There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.

Saturn return.

C’est le quatorze juillet, after all.


Wishing you a lovely—and hopefully long—weekend. I’ll be hanging new blooms (because out with the old), eating my greens (more on that, soon), and spending as much time as I can by the Sound.

Finally, as I grow and grow in this space, I’d be so glad to hear from you. To chat about writing (mine, yours, DFW’s…) and ways we might work together, or just to say hello, drop me a line at the address here. As always, huge thanks for reading and supporting.


Weekly Roundup

A few things, from across the webiverse …

Democracy without politics.

“He seems to be saying quoi a lot.”

Girls are cool AF.

The Rorschach State.

Make Margaret Atwood fiction again.

The National’s back. (!)

Whither thou goest …

I can vouch for this.

Billions. (Because season two is decidedly en fuego.)

All of these, especially this one.

Moment of zen.


My week flew by, and I wrote less than I would have liked—but, I did a lot of reading, had a lot of feelings, and tinkered here and here. It’s July now, and I’m over-the-moon excited for a new month in this still-new space. Thanks so much for hanging with me.

Have a happy weekend,