Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kids Writing Kids' Books

Tonight we brought in first drafts of our stories. We passed our pages to the person who happened to be sitting to our left.

That person took a pencil to our stories and did a "broad strokes" edit, using 12 points from John Dusfresne's The Lie that Tells a Truth.

We made squiggly lines and circled things and wrote copious notes for 2 1/2 hours. I can't begin to tell you how exciting it was. Callie--who happened to be sitting to my left--well, she pointed out things I never would have seen on my own. Thanks, Callie, for the thoughtful and surprising edit.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies

Almodovar? I still can't pronounce his name, but I love his movies. This one's not much like his last few, that's for sure. I'd been warned that I'm So Excited was "a silly piece of fluff"--but what a gorgeous, good-hearted silly piece of fluff.

The animation for the opening credits was amazingly wonderful.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

450 Sutter

In the lobby looking up (450 Sutter Street)

Everybody knows that 450 Sutter is the building downtown where all the docs in the world have offices. I had to get up early this morning and take Tom there for a certain procedure that you're supposed to have every five years once you turn 50.

When he checked in, the assistant asked who would be picking him up. Tom said my name and she wrote it down.

"What relation is she to you?"

"She’s my grandmother."

When the nurse opened the door and called Tom's name, he pointed to me and said, "That's her."

He then disappeared into the bowels of the operating room. I left 450 Sutter and walked around downtown for a couple of hours. I was staring at the huge screens in the lobby of the St. Francis Hotel when the nurse called and said Tom would be ready to go home in ten minutes. I raced back to the building. I jumped into the elevator and crossed by fingers that everything was all right.

When I burst into the waiting room he still hadn't come out, and they wouldn't even let me go back to see him. Sometimes he asks them not to let me go back to the recovery room because he's afraid I'll try to question him while he's still under the influence of the anesthesia––you know, things about his past. Apparently he had trouble finding his socks and that's what took him so long.

When he finally stumbled out and saw me he said, "Is Nixon still President?" I knew then that everything was all right, and it was. We celebrated at Crepes on Cole with the giant Florentine Crepe and house potatoes.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Found in the Sand

5:31 p.m.  (Not funny!)
5:53 p.m.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

work in progress

Monday, July 15, 2013

Leaping Lemurs! Lunch at the Zoo

msmasmushly, me, RR, Hannah, Gina, Kristin, and Jade
The Familiars. That's what RR is reading, and her friend Hannah is reading A Series of Unfortunate Events (the fifth book).

I got The Interestings in the mail today! I'll let you know how it is.

Oh. Animals. Let's see. I think the gorillas touched my heart the most. Seeing them in person like that makes me want to read The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate's book written from the point of view of a silverback gorilla living in a shopping mall.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Back to School

It's always kind of scary attending a class for the first time. Any class. No matter how old you are.

I always want to arrive late. Not really late, but I like to be the last person who's "on time." I donno. I like to have a seat in the back, on the edge of things.

The good thing about this particular chair is that it happens to be right by the snack table. I think I'm the only one who's had a cookie so far?

I'm excited. I feel kind of dumb. There are 14 of us. It's fun to look up and see everybody else looking down, writing. It reminds me of that feeling you got when you were in church and the congregation was in the middle of a prayer--when you would open your eyes and peek around, and see everyone else with their eyes closed, earnest.

It smells good in here. Maybe it's the ginger cookies. There's a big unopened jar of salted nuts. Will anyone dare crack the seal?

The class is called Writing Children's Picture Books: More than Just Child's Play and it's taught by Shirin Bridges.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Beautiful Hairstylist

Sounds like a movie, but luckily it's not. Lesley is a real person who cuts and colors hair. Her own hair is messy and her lipstick perfect. She wears tennis shoes. She doesn't feel the need to be entertaining. (No larger-than-life, kooky personality.) She cuts hair! She's fast! I don't leave exhausted.

Other bonuses:
1. Crepes on Cole right across the street.
2. Free parking in the neighborhood.
3. Her cuts last.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Back on the Beach

We've taken a break from walking on the beach while Tom's eye got better. The bright light out there was a little harsh on the old eyeball, and so for a few months we've been walking in the woods instead (along the Coastal Trail). But there was no sea glass to be found in the woods! Luckily, now it's summer. The fog has rolled in and the light is much softer. Look who we ran into our first time out:

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


"What are you doing back there?"

6:02 p.m.

Sunday, July 07, 2013


 top left clockwise: Katie,  Jeanne,  Alice,  Shannon. 
Shannon chose the place, Beretta––and brunch was terrific. Finally, after years and years of Round Robinhood, she and I got partnered-up. She's a shrewd reader and noticed that the word prosecco kept popping up in my writing.

Along with coffee to balance things out, we ordered the Mexico 70: tequila, lime, agave, and prosecco. A little bit of food, too.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

I Took the Pledge Not to Text and Drive

But I didn't take the pledge not to write with an ink pen and drive. Have you ever heard ALICE IN WONDERLAND by the Bill Evans Trio? It came on the radio while I was driving home along the Great Highway.

Out in the wilderness it hits us suddenly. We need pizza. Tom places the order. Vegetarian Supreme with anchovies for himself. Vegetarian Supreme with sausage for me.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Catching Up

Friday:   6:10 p.m.  from the Coastal Trail

Friday:  5:00 p.m.  

Thurs: TIAPOS. Photo stolen from Doug to illustrate my story: The Mystery of the Missing Missing Tooth.

Wednesday: Birthday Gumbo at Em & John's, the best next-door neighbors in the universe.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013