That Particular Kind of Joy You Feel

When you realize that two of the children you love are finally the age where they’ll start enjoying some of your favorite books. There has to be a German word for it.

Why Stories Matter

“Since large-scale human cooperation is based on myths , the way people cooperate can be altered by changing the myths—by telling different stories.” 

Yuval Noah Harari  

Shiny New Object

Who knew a fountain pen could be so sensitive ?  (Unfortunately it has a pretentious and awful name that I will not be shouting from the rooftops, but I’ll whisper it to you: Executive Vibe.)

Hat Weather is Finally Upon Us

Feeling a nip in the air. Thank you wonderful Otto hats. A warm head is a warm body. (The button is my addition.) 

Lately I’ve been drawing with colored pencils— but not really, because I do it on a tablet with procreate. The color selection is way better and I always have them with me. 

But alas yesterday my dog Monkey chewed up the pricey digital pencil. 

Liquid Sky

This strange ambiguous fall I’ve been starting every day with a swim. It is a little pool, only four feet deep and this being New York City it’s on a rooftop. I’m the only one at that early hour. I like to swim about a foot below and look up at the shimmering surface. I swim a few breast strokes, feel the concrete otherside side turn and push off again. It’s heated so a little steam rises. This morning I was playing with the sound of bubbles. The big ones and how they sound different to the little ones when they pop. I like the sense of being immersed in liquid and less weighty yet firmly contained in definite concrete shape.

The Sometimes-Insidious Force of Mind-Pictures

What is metaphor but a piece of fact, like a small suitcase, designed to transport an idea?

I am often struck by my mind’s ability to hold pictures. As I read I can feel my brain locking shut on the images. Movie titles that make a picture in my head are easier to recall than the others. Our current president has a gift for this. He told us the hacking of our election just might have been done by a four hundred pound person sitting on a bed . That picture and the very specificity of it it make it stick in our minds more compellingly than a bunch of faceless Russian digital hackers. Score one for the bad guys.

Yeah I Knew That

As I  read Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari  I find I want to underline every word. It makes what I am engaged in, re-jiggering an old myth, seem so worth doing.

“Since large-scale human cooperation is based on myths , the way people cooperate can be altered by changing the myths—by telling different stories.”

You know you have tapped into a vein of truth when it  all feels so obvious!


How I See Myself

How I See Myself

June 28th, 2014

Not for the first time I have been asked for a self portrait only to have it politely refused in favor of something more cheerfully normal. All of us are so many creatures, we wear so many hats.

selfie .

This dear blogosphere is myself in my mind’s eye.

Get Back to Work!

Get Back to Work!

March 1st, 2017

My readers normally write to me in pencil. Letters sit at the publishers for a good six months or more,  and by the time I get them the senders  are all  grown up and I imagine them reading War and Peace. They don’t care anymore if I have any pets or how I get my ideas or if I have any children and what their names are.  But not this time. In the midst of an especially stressful flurry of the flotsam and jetsum of life coming at me, with 1099s and backround checks and bla bla bla  I suddenly got a delightful thing: a nagging email from a fourth grader. I print it here, leaving out identifying details in its entirety. Thank you beloved reader ! ( I will respond as soon as I am able). You put a smile on my face! I needed your message today.  Enough with  fretting over your taxes, enough with dentist appointments and every other stupid detail of adult life that ties you up. Get back to work because  there are readers out there that want your books! Shut up and make another.

Here’s what she said and it makes me purr:

I am in love with your books but the only thing is that you only have two books in the series Thumbelina and Cinderella. They are great books. They make me love reading. Also, my friend Libby loves your books too. We would really love if you could take the time to read this letter. And please it would make us so happy if you will respond to this email and could make more amazing books.

If you do read this letter and think about what I’m saying and think to yourself and you decide to make more books here are some Ideas: Ariel, Tangled, Snow  White, Sleeping Beauty, or you could do made up fairy tales, childhood stories, or even scary stories.

I think little kids would love your books as well as I do. I think if you made some little kid picture books, they would love it, I bet.

If you have read this email or letter. Thank you so much for your time. Please get back to this email as soon as possible. Thank you again so much.

and thank you!