Tuesday, July 9, 2002

There you are, and even if you are the slowest of scribes and the worst of touch typists, a trail of words is getting laid down, and you want to keep going; and then you reread it. Perhaps you don't dare to be satisfield, but at the same time you like what you've written. You find yourself taking pleasure - a reader's pleasure - in what's there on the page.

--Susan Sontag

Of course the writer cannot always burn with a hard gemlike flame or a white heat, but it should be possible to be a chubby hot-water bottle, rendering maximum attentiveness in the most enterprising sentences.

--Paul West

Monday, July 8, 2002

Check out your C.Y.B.O.R.G. name.

Mine is:

B - Biomechanical

A - Artificial

R - Replicant

B - Built for

A - Accurate

R - Repair and

A - Assassination

A very silly website but fun.

Sunday, July 7, 2002

Today's WDQ:

Cut a good story anywhere, and it will bleed.

--Anton Chekhov

Saturday, July 6, 2002

Sometimes the solution is so simple that it's laughable. My "push" theory worked. (See below.)

Today's WDQ:

A novel can educate to some extent. But first, a novel has to

entertain – that's the contract with the reader; you give me ten

hours and I'll give you a reason to turn every page.

--Barbara Kingsolver

Friday, July 5, 2002

Blogger is proving to be every bit as moody as all other wired/electronic items in my life. July 5th's entry still isn't showing up on line. We'll see if this July 6th note pushes it along.

Today's WDQ:

It is not that you have to be happy - that would be asking too much - but if it gets too painful that sense of wonderment, or joy, dies, and with it the generosity so necessary to create.

--Edna O'Brien

Thursday, July 4, 2002

I was importing old bookmarks into the new Earthlink (and wondering why I thought a link to Soupy Sales was worth saving) when I struck gold. Robert Herrick (1591-1674 ) is one of my favorite poets. Some scholars say that his poems were actually song lyrics of the day and that may very well be true but they read, at least to my 21st century eyes, like the purest poetry. I'll admit to a fondness for most 17th century poets but Herrick's work speaks to me in a way I can't explain. Herrick wrote many poems for and about Julia and it was this poem, A Ring Presented to Julia, which was presented to me on my wedding day by a very dear friend, Kathy Callahan, who somehow always managed to find the words that would mean the most to me.

And that the poem is presented next to Van Eyck's "Marriage of Arnolfini" -- well, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Happy Independence Day!

(Happy Fourth of July to those of you who aren't part of the non-contiguous 50.)

My Grandpa Larry was 100 when he died in 1997. He was easily one of the most patriotic human beings I have ever known -- the real kind of patriotism, too. Oh, he was a flag-waver (no doubt about that!) but he also put his money where his mouth was by fighting in three wars (World Wars I and II and Korea) and serving for 20 years as a mounted policeman with the NYPD. He grew up poor and alone on the Kansas plains at the turn of the last century and somehow found himself living what has to be one of the most fascinating lives I've ever encountered. He sailed across those plains in a prairie schooner, shook hands with Teddy Roosevelt, and was featured on the front page of the New York Daily News on the day Lindbergh received his ticker tape parade. He was half Chippewa, half Scots-Irish, and to quote him, "100% American," and I only wish I had been smart enough to capture all of his stories before he died. (I also wish my family hadn't been so damned secretive but that's a whole other issue.)

He was also an amateur artist who dabbled in watercolors, oils, sculpting, and managed to turn the practical business of sailor's knots into works of art I treasure. He created this banner for the Bicentennial in 1976. (He was 79 at that time -- a man in his prime!) This photo doesn't do it justice. I must remember to take a new one and post it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2002

The new stove arrived on Monday and -- well, why beat around the bush? I'm in love. You have no idea how terrific it feels to have a stove that obeys orders. A stove that doesn't turn itself on (not that there's anything wrong with that) at will. A stove that doesn't decide to retire one out of four burners on a rotating guess-which-one basis. A stove that doesn't take forty minutes to reach 350 degrees.

She's a sleek and shiny almond beauty. There's nothing modern about her or dainty. She's as wide as she needs to be and twice as strong. No fancy gadgets. No frilly ornaments. Just four big fat burners, a stove large enough to hold a buffalo (if you were mean enough to want to roast one), and a ten-year guarantee.

Here's the first offering from the New Stove, our favorite meal: Broccoli with Sun-Dried Tomatoes: quickly stir-fry broccoli florets in olive oil, toss in as much chopped (or thinly sliced) fresh garlic as your palate demands, saute until very light golden brown. Toss in julienned sun-dried tomatoes. Add a cup or more chicken broth, a half-cup of white wine (chablis or chardonnay preferred), lots of dried or fresh basil, a healthy sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil then quickly lower the flame to a simmer. While you're doing this, you'll also be cooking up a few handfuls of tri-color rotini or (second best) tri-color shells to the al dente stage. Drain then toss noodles in with broccoli, tomatoes, and garlic. Don't overcook the broccoli! It should be crisp-tender and still a vibrant jade green.

And today's WDQ:

The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.

--Johnson (1709-1784)


Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Today's WDQ:

An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.

--Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand


Monday, July 1, 2002

Today's WDQ:

The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into new land.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Home | Letter From Barbara | Sneak Peek | What's Cooking | Love Letters
Blog | Scrapbook | Free Stuff | Contest
Bio | Book List | The Secret | Just For Fun | Free Reads
Newsletter | Writers Daily Quote | He Said She Said | Sitemap
Hosted by