Something sentimental.

She arrived at the door with a big paper grocery sack, handed off the goods, and left promptly, knowing full well what life was like with a toddler and a new baby at home. In the grocery sack were three Ziploc bags: Wide noodles; sauce; chopped Romaine (freshly chopped from a real head of lettuce, … Continue reading Something sentimental.

Something recycled.

(Originally posted with the title, "The Moon Is Like China," on August 23, 2014. The version below is a revision and, therefore, quite a bit different from the original.) One day, at some point in our childhood, my sister and I were riding in the car, and my sister, staring out the window, said, apropos … Continue reading Something recycled.

Theme and variations.

Let's start in a silly place and take it from there: Remember that scene in the movie Forrest Gump where (when?) Bubba talks about shrimp? "Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. [There's] shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. … Continue reading Theme and variations.

Southern storyteller syndrome

Here's what I know about writing fiction: it's harder than you might think. Last summer when I hit a dry spell working on the memoir/essay/cookbook project I started, I decided maybe I'd take the hint offered by a writer friend and try my hand at fiction. What she'd actually said over lunch, journalist speaking to … Continue reading Southern storyteller syndrome

Riding through the crazies.

So here's something you might have noticed: the characters in those delicious coming-of-age stories, the one that are always all the rage? They're never a day past 25 (if that). The over-30-and-40-something people? They've already come of age. They're full-grown, and their angst-of-now stories are called mid-life crises. Our stories, I mean, not theirs. Mine, … Continue reading Riding through the crazies.

Field particles.

These are things I dislike: Pork rinds Rigid ideology The smell of fish sauce Waking up early Rachel Ray cookbooks Donna Tartt novels It isn't a comprehensive list, just a few current, top-of-mind thoughts. I include them here in case you're thinking of leaving, in case one of your New Year's resolutions is to declutter … Continue reading Field particles.