In our house, by Friday most weeks, it's "clean out the refrigerator" night. All week, I accumulate leftovers from scratch dinners, remainders of take-out food, sometimes a thing or two my mother-in-law sends over, and then on COTR night, I lay it all out on the kitchen counter, hand everyone a plate to fill as they like and point in the direction of the microwave.
I'm always a little elated at this easy meal and also a bit disappointed – in myself. All week, as the leftover bits pile up, I make earnest but vague plans to turn them into a hearty stew, a substantial soup, a stir-fry, a crock pot dinner (even though I don't own a slow cooker). In the end, I rarely achieve this noble goal, and yet nothing much goes to waste, the troops get fed and the fridge is ready again for the next load of leftovers.
Which is my long-winded way of saying, I'm doing a bit of that here today. The past three weeks have been a haze of travel, worry and then trying to catch up. Meanwhile, I've been accumulating interesting tidbits in my "to be blogged about" folder, planning to make somewhat intelligent connections among and between them, hoping in a sense to create a couple of hearty meals for my readers. Alas, it feels like Friday night and the shelves are bursting and if I don't do a general clear-out, I may just get a little overwhelmed and dump it all in the disposal instead.
So, here's my bloggy version of COTR night. If you are a little bit hungry, fill your plate with whatever interests you.
►The Village Voice asked 16 writers to name their favorite obscure book.
►The subhead of this Guardian article says it all: "Magazines are peppered with 'real life' case studies - though more often than not, the subject is pleasing to the eye. Why are editors obsessed with unreality?"
►Ever shake your head when seemingly normal people are clueless about the most rudimentary stuff they should have learned in grade school? Though the aim of this magazine's newest webby tool is slightly different, I can see this idea working in myriad ways: Scroll over the word Montana, say, and a balloon would pop up with: "It's one of the 50 states, dummy."
►Some good news about book sales from Publisher's Weekly. And some grim news, if you are a book reviewer for PW.
►Check out the Web Habits of Highly Effective (writers and literary type) People. Do any of your most-liked sites overlap?
►As for my own web habits, this is one of my favorite new places. I'm not morbid or anything and was never an obit writer myself, but writing that looks back at a life – or looks at mortality or grief -- and not only in the usual way, intrigues me. Which explains why I can't seem to stop writing about my father's death.
►And, I love this free daily email, which brings me something interesting or funny or unusual in a quick and easily digestible format to break up my day. 'Cause I really do need more ways to procrastinate online.
►Erika Dreifus has a must-read interview about writers' residencies over at her blog, as well as a follow-up post that points you to a major resource when researching residencies and colonies – a site I've used, and I'm happy to say, helped me land a two-week spot at the Vermont Studio Center next winter.
Let me know how your dish turns out.
- Two-Week CNF Workshops: You Choose the Week(s) and Topic(s)
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- The Writers Circle, Fall 2016. I'm teaching Where Do I Begin? (Montclair); Multi-Genre Workshop (Summit)
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- My Writing / Selected Publications