Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance'

An Excerpt from “The Scent of a Daphne”

I’m pleased to share a sneak peek of my piece, “The Scent of a Daphne,” that appears in Rooted: The Best New Arboreal Nonfiction. It’s about my time in horticulture school, my husband’s cancer treatment, and the unexpected gift I received. “It was early September, my second semester of horticulture school, and class was about to begin. I stood outside the door on the narrow sidewalk … Continue reading An Excerpt from “The Scent of a Daphne”

Death at La Fenice

My Escape to Italy with Donna Leon

What author do you turn to for predictability? For a story that’s not too unlike one the author wrote previously? Perhaps, it’s a fantasy series set in a particular world (a la George R.R. Martin) or a mystery series featuring the same protagonist (a la Agatha Christie). It might even be a literary author whose books, while featuring fresh characters and storylines, offer the same, … Continue reading My Escape to Italy with Donna Leon

Mike Birbiglia Offers Life Lessons for Writers Too

Last Saturday, I saw a movie about comedy that inspired me as a writer. It was Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice, a sharply realistic yet sweet portrait of a New York improv group. Not-so-famous comedians who make people laugh by night but work by day to financially stay afloat. They are friends. They are smart and loving and sometimes selfish. They’ve performed in The Commune for years … Continue reading Mike Birbiglia Offers Life Lessons for Writers Too

Aleksy with UNO

People Don’t Understand: 2016 WAS the Good Year

Since November 13th, when John Oliver christened 2016 as a rotten year, so many in the press and on social media have been following suit, calling the year “the worst” and happy to kick it in the pants as it leaves our lives. I have little idea why this trend began. Yes, Trump was elected, which is horrifying, and we endured terror attacks, which are more … Continue reading People Don’t Understand: 2016 WAS the Good Year

Lab Girl

Lab Girl: My Favorite Christmas Gift to Give

We were in the car. “Plants are the only living beings in the world that can make their own food,” I said. My daughter sat in silence. Stared out the window. “But people grow their own food,” she said. Good answer. “Yeah, but literally, like with my body. I can’t hold out my hand, let rain hit it, and then turn the rain into hummus … Continue reading Lab Girl: My Favorite Christmas Gift to Give