I talk to people

The Right Kind of Pride

It used to drive my wife and children nuts. My propensity for talking to people. Yet I’ve done it so long and learned so much by talking with people that I refuse to stop.

Just last week I talked with a guy that sat down across from me in an airport. His vest had an interesting logo on it. I struck up a conversation and learned that he represented an organization that protects wild lands out west. I’m scheduled to interview the Executive Director to do an article and pitch it to a magazine.

So I talk to people for networking reasons. But I also talk to people just because it makes life more interesting. I talk to people in elevators. I talk to people that are nothing like me on the surface. I talk to people of different races and genders.

I especially talk to people who are out…

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60 Feet Square

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Originally posted on Writer's Cramp:
It is cool and a little damp which is odd being that this is a desert. Our windy season is mostly over but the temperature has dropped and we have had a few rainy…

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Rugelach

From the Keyboard

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There was more than a touch of mystery in my grandmother’s rugelach.

When I was very young, I never sought to unravel it.

My brother and I would await her arrival, plant our feet as firmly as we could to be ready for her hugs—such was the force of her love, then beg her to make rugelach for us.  The process, which always took a couple of days, culminated with rich crescent-shaped miracles emerging from the oven, glazed and golden, filling the house with the scents of sugar and cinnamon. We could barely wait for them to cool, and would snatch them off of the plate as soon as we were allowed, each bite a revelation of sweet and spice, fruit and nut.

As I got old enough to wonder how she managed it, I would go into the kitchen to observe, learn.

At her task, she was all business…

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London Night Sounds

Scribe Doll's Musings

The rumbling of the occasional car, speeding past our house.  A murky grey sound.

Snippets of human voices.  A woman’s giggle.  A crimson sound.

The arrhythmic clicking of stiletto heels on the pavement.  A copper sound.

The roar of the night bus.  A faint white sound.

The rustling of leaves, disturbed by the wind.  A golden sound.

The yelp of a fox.  A scarlet sound.

The shriek of a motorbike.  A black sound, like tar.

The rhythmic clang of the train, not too far.  A brass sound.

The high-pitched whirr of the light bulb in the angle-poise lamp on my desk.  A tinny sound.

Sweet recorder sonatas by Telemann, wafting out of my CD player.  A dark honey sound.

The tick-tock of the second hand of the alarm clock by my bed.  Black and white sounds.

The click of the front door; one of my flatmates coming home after a…

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Seam

From the Laundry Room

We went to Strand Bookstore while we were in New York. I’d never been, first time.

Largest independent bookstore in the country, I think that’s what their sign says. It doesn’t matter because whatever their small print, it was a super awesome bookstore. Huge, multiple levels, and filled with that smell of paper and book dust that I love so much.

They had shelves, but lots of tables too. I enjoy books on tables. Tables say, “Come over here and pick me up,” more than shelves do. There were new releases, classics, books I’d never heard of, funny books, foreign ones, it was a party and I could have stayed there all day.

I’ve been to cool bookstores before. Had a love affair with the brick and mortar for a very long time, and I’m not sure one is better than the other. Some stores are small, some only carry…

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You Heard it Here First

Eva Lesko Natiello

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photo by Marko Javorac

Here’s today’s quiz:

Which of the following is true? “You can read THE MEMORY BOX (a psychological thriller about a woman who Googles herself and discovers the shocking details of a past she doesn’t remember) while . . .”

a) Riding a bike

b) Driving the soccer carpool to practice

c) Skydiving

d) Cooking risotto

e) Training for a marathon

f) Walking a schnoodle

g) Sailing a catamaran

h) Going through labor

i)  Practicing your foul shot

j) Operating heavy machinery

k) Blindfolded

l) Cross country skiing

m) Knitting a sweater dress

n)  Washing the car

o) Picking apples

p) Painting your toenails

q) Changing a diaper

r) Digging a ditch

s) Canning tomatoes

t) Scrapbooking

u) Getting a facial

v) Planting petunias

w) Flossing

x) Staining your deck

y) Straightening your hair

z) All of the above

Did you choose Z, All of the above? Well then, smarty…

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Speak no ill

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Peppers

From the Keyboard

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I was asked to write something about my mother.

Considering the critical role mothers play in Shadows and Ghosts—Edna, Judith, one Jewish, the other Gentile, it’s odd that I haven’t done it before. But these are my thoughts, random, strung a bit haphazardly….

In many ways she was like both Edna and Judith; in others, she was like neither.

A tiny woman, fragile, loose-limbed, and notoriously accident-prone, she could find the single dip in a sidewalk over which a thousand people had stepped without falling. By the end of her life, I’d lost count of all the bones she’d broken, the number of emergency rooms we’d visited.

She had a sharp mind and wicked wit, a striking contradiction to the soft delicacy of her beauty—pink skin, high cheekbones, finely sculpted nose, copper-hued hair, and wide, intense, dark eyes. Despite her constitution, she was steel-willed, determined, tenacious, and thoroughly unconventional…

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Music and Prose: Just Passing Through….

From the Keyboard

painting by Georges Seurat painting by Georges Seurat

Lately,  I’ve been noticing details, small things—pinprick brushstrokes, over-and-undertones in color. Look closely, focus on one confined area, and you can see them.  Observe from a distance and they blend, form a single image, or hue. In cooking, spices behave the same way. If you hold a spoonful of a complex dish on your tongue and concentrate, savor it, you will recognize the underlying essences. On their own, each spice has a distinct flavor, but in the act of combining with other spices and ingredients, they become traces of themselves, they transform. And, they transform the whole.

Small things. In prose and music, too.

Consider this passage, the little words in service to the idea:

How, in a houseful of shadows, should he know his own Shadow? How, in a houseful of noises, distinguish the summons he felt to be at hand?  (From “The Beckoning…

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The Mockingbird will Always Sing

A View From the Hill

Harper Lee’s passing this week was sad, but not unexpected. She had been in failing health for some time. After reading all of the interviews, speculations and critiques of Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, I believe Lee was ready to release that novel. She no longer worried that she could not top her own perfection.

But Harper Lee’s death gave me pause for another reason. As a life long reader, and a fledgling writer, I’ve reflected on the books that have influenced me most- To Kill a Mockingbird seems like a safe and obvious choice, but it has tremendous power fifty plus years later. That is story telling at its finest.

I was introduced to the story in high school when Mrs. Susan Peters walked  the Modern Novel class through the story of Miss Jean Louise “Scout” Finch and her story of life in the Deep South. I had recently…

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