Comfort Food: Remembering My Grandmother

2007-DEC-30
Grandma Helen with my nephew Ben and my daughters Ruby and Ella in 2007.

Leaning forward in the backseat of the taxi, nose pressed against the window, my breath fogging it up with each exhale. No car seats, no seatbelts, the bare-bones car rattling along FDR Drive, the East River black and glassy on the left, the enormous red and white Coca-Cola sign forever winking just across the water. The mid-morning sky is wintry gray, solid and low – nothing like the sun-kissed blue of my now home thousands of miles away in the southern hemisphere. Apartment buildings rise high one after the other. Green and white streets signs whip by: E. Houston, Delancey, Grand.

It’s 1975 and we are back in the States on Home Leave, the official company term for the six weeks we take at the end of each year to travel the world and visit family back in the U.S. Home. Leave. We are both coming and going, leaving and arriving, traveling between our temporary and forever homes, each anchored at one end of the world. Continue reading “Comfort Food: Remembering My Grandmother”

Perspectives on Motherhood on WordPress Discover

doodlemum1
Sketch by Doodlemum

I’m absolutely thrilled to be featured on WordPress Discover today as part of the Perspectives on Motherhood roundup! Talk about an awesome Mother’s Day gift. Continue reading “Perspectives on Motherhood on WordPress Discover”

The Best of Flingo 2015

IMG_4354Even though we’re a week into 2015, I decided to go back through Flingo and check out which posts you, the readers, found most engaging. Inspired by one of my favorite writers, Alexandra Rosas of Good Day Regular People, I nostalgically combed through my monthly stats. On the whole, the most popular posts were also my favorite ones to write and share. Reading through them again, I noticed a few themes and a subtle but important shift.

About half of the most viewed posts were those I wrote for Finish the Sentence Friday (FTSF). Hosted by Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee, FTSF is a weekly link up of posts inspired by an open-ended writing prompt. If you’re looking for a supportive community of kick-ass writers, definitely try out FTSF. Continue reading “The Best of Flingo 2015”

Letting Go, Creating Space and Wondering What’s For Dinner

Breakfast for dinner?

The clock creeps up on 5 p.m. The sky hangs gray and wintry outside the window. I’m sitting at my mirrored desk in the small alcove of my bedroom. When my older daughter needed her own room two years ago, I ceded my office to her, although it was never really an office. Work went on there, yes, but not officey work. More like creative and contemplative work, wondering work, the work of collecting and sifting and building; quiet work, whirling-words-in-my-head work and then when I needed and wanted, the fraught and delicious work of writing.

Now everything that is mine and meaningful from that room sits atop this desk, in the single drawer, pinned to the large cushioned board hanging on the wall. I am tap, tap, tapping on the keyboard, desperate to use my words, see them appear on the screen, before I have to go downstairs to make dinner. My three girls are endlessly hungry from 4 p.m. on. I have learned to serve dinner early, but that means a few minutes less for me, words flying. Continue reading “Letting Go, Creating Space and Wondering What’s For Dinner”

Writing My Way Through the End of the Year

The end of any given year is busy, no question. There are loose ends to be tied, emotional overwhelm and physical exhaustion — Shopping! Parties! Cooking! There is family to visit or host and gifts to be given and received. There are copious amounts of comfort food, sweets and warm-your-stomach drinks. There is merry, happy and joyous to embrace and also, for me, the possibility of falling under Melancholy’s gentle, blue spell.

When life gets chaotic for me, I tend to move my writing to the back-burner. I take on more tangible, simpler tasks that “need” to be done, like wrapping presents, making beds (oh, how I love a made bed), plumping pillows and replenishing the soap dispensers. This sort of detachment is usually how I deal with the last few weeks of the year, willing January 1 to come as quickly as possible. Last year, though, I did not abandon myself or my words. As difficult and tangly and not-pretty as it was, I dove into writing as much as possible. I started by signing up for Kat McNally’s Reverb December Daily Prompt. Continue reading “Writing My Way Through the End of the Year”

Making Magic: Thoughts on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Big Magic

Lately I have found myself in the kitchen. This is not traditionally the room in my house I prefer to hang out in for any longer than I have to, yet there I am, baking a plum tart or tomato-basil quiche and just this week homemade brownies from a friend’s family recipe.

It’s not just baking that’s going on in the kitchen, though. I’m rearranging the serving dishes and the wooden spoons, casting out the overused ones. I’m sorting through years of the kids’ artwork that’s piled up in the three baskets above the shared desk. I am clearing and cleaning, sudsing and rinsing, wiping down and sweeping up. These are not tasks that generally rate high on my pleasure scale. Until recently, I’ve always felt compelled to put my house in order before I could tackle any other activity, including writing. Often, I never got around to the writing. Continue reading “Making Magic: Thoughts on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Big Magic”