Friday, May 27, 2016

Recent Publications

Hey, Internets! I've had a few new publications. Wanna read them? (You do. Yes, you do.)

My essay CHERRY RED DRESS was just published in The Gold Man Review, Issue 2015.
Available on Amazon or at Barnes and

My essay LAWN CHAIRS was just released in Thin Air Magazine which you can get HERE.

And! And! My essay NO HEROIC MEASURES was just shortlisted as a finalist in The Iowa Review nonfiction contest, judged my Eula Biss. Cross your fingers!

Happy Reading,

Monday, October 7, 2013


The cover of HOLLOW CITY, the sequel to MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN was revealed today and it is beautiful!

Check it out here on Entertainment Weekly.

Congratulations Ransom Riggs!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


 Since Saturday, I’ve been devouring Alice Mattison’s IN CASE WE’RE SEPARATED (William Morrow 2005). The last collected story I finished is THE BAD JEW, one of those reach down your throat, grab your gut and punch it kind of epiphany stories. It felt amazing, that punch to the gut. Here is a passage:

I kissed him on the lips. Across the street, the house door was still open. I wanted to see someone come and close it. Waiting, in my mind I found a rough map of Greater Boston, with house doors open here and there Beyond Boston, all through New England, some people opened a door for Elijah. It was an intrinsically good act, I decided, to open a door, now and then, to Elijah. “Everywhere are Jewish people,” my grandmother used to say. In New York and New Jersey – my mind moved down the coast, omitting and then restoring Long Island- more open doors. If Elijah or anyone else cared to enter, that was temporarily possible. Eric, who stood behind me, flung an arm over my shoulder and across my body, so his elbow collided with my breast and his hand grasped my arm. “Come on,” he said, turning me around. We lingered a moment longer, while the door still stood open to the cold spring air, then climbed the stairs to the noisy dining room, where illicit cake had been served. Eric and I sat down to eat cake and praise God some more – God who could move the ocean aside, but mostly didn’t. (122-3)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

One Band You Should Be Listening To Right Now: THE RAGGED JUBILEE

Band: The Ragged Jubilee

Album: American Moan

Best Song: Miss Me While I’m Gone

My husband and I worked Coachella this year in the Vestage Village. One of our customers that weekend, Chandler Haynes, sat down in our chair and told us about his band and how excited he was to play Coachella. Several excruciatingly hot hours later I heard this awesome band on the Vestage main stage and there was Chandler, freshly groomed and all. The band I heard is The Ragged Jubilee, and to the best of my knowledge, they remain unsigned.

Part folk part rock and roll with deep gritty bluesy vocals, each melody distinguishes itself from the rest while never quite leaving the sound of the album. Blood on the Highway and Miss Me While I’m Gone are heartbreaking, yet terribly exciting, songs about love and loss without being tedious and typical. Christopher Harrell’s cover artwork of American Moan matches the vocals on the album, subtle and light but still somehow magnificently haunting. 


Band: The Ragged Jubilee
Album: American Moan
Best Song: Miss Me While I’m Gone
Ethan Burns –Guitar, Harmonica, Lead Vocals
Chandler Haynes – Bass Guitar, Sitar, Vocals
Philip Wahl – Banjo, Organ, Vocals
Austin I’Anson – Electric Guitar, Vocals
Aaron Shane Wick – Drums, Percussion
D.M. Grivjack – Keyboards, Vocals
Backing Vocals- Zara Zaitz, Anicia Barefoot, Kelly Henning, Eva Napier
Pedal Steel- Skinny Larry

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline

ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline tells the story of Nieve/Dorothy/Vivian, an orphan train rider in 1929. After losing her father and brothers in a tenement fire, her mother to a mental institution, and her baby sister to adopted parents Nieve is on her own. After riding the "Orphan Train" from New York to Minnesota her first foster placement is with The Byrnes Family, who have no intention of having  a daughter. Instead, 7 year old Nieve, now called Dorothy, is used as an indentured servant; she sleeps on a cot in the hallway and sews in the workroom all day. The Byrnes become an unfortunate family for Dorothy, "Maybe because the alternative is so bleak, I've grown to like the sewing room" (106). But then, the stock market crashes and Dorothy is handed over to the Grotes where she is expected to perform as the mother and wife of the house, in more ways than one. She flees in the middle of the night, dead of winter, "leaving everything I possess in the world behind me- my brown suitcase, the three dresses I made at the Byrnes', the fingerless gloves and change of underwear and the navy sweater, my schoolbooks and pencil, the composition books Miss Larsen gave me to write in. The sewing packet Fanny made for me, at least, is in the inner pocket of my coat. I leave four children I could not help and did not love. I leave a place of degradation and squalor, the likes of which I will never experience again. And I leave any last shred of my childhood on the rough planks of that living room floor" (152). After the Grotes come Miss Larsen and Mrs. Murphy, theneventually the Nielson's.

Parallel to Nieve's story is that of Molly's. Herself an orphan, she has many similarities to Nieve. A 17 year old Indian and a 91 year old Irish widow; both have dead fathers and institutionalized mothers and both hold on to necklaces tying them to the remnants of a culture now far removed from them.

Author Christina Baker Kline tells that "In the process (of accepting her past) Vivian learns about the regenerative power of reclaiming - and telling- her own life story". The story is emotionally moving, and both narratives tie together seamlessly. The back of the book has a study guide, an interview with the author, and picture from the actual train riders themselves.

You can get ORPHAN TRAIN here and here. And you should.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Elephant Will Now Say a Few Words

It’s enough to make me sympathize with Roman Jakobson’s reservation about hiring Nabokov to lecture at Harvard: would you invite an elephant to teach Zoology, he asked.

This post by Askold Melnyczuk summarizes the pain of writing a summary. Please note; summaries are difficult! Its like having to sum your favorite child in one word. You know, just like on those "Information Sheets" at back to school night; "Anything you want us to know about your child?" Yes! Yes!  EVERYTHING!!!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

National Book Awards - Fiction

The National Book Foundation released the longlist for Fiction today!

How many of these have you read?