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Squeeee! It’s here! It’s here! What an honor an privilege it’s been to hear about this book that the divine Ms. Suzi Banks Baum has been compiling over the last year! And what an honor to be included in the anthology!* It’s a bitchin’ compilation of women’s voices, put together to benefit two important organizations that provide vital services to women in Berkshire County, Massachusetts:  The Community Health Programs (CHP) and Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires (VIM Berkshires), which provide free and low-cost medical care and services to women in need. Right? Right!

And how stoked am I to be going to the release party tomorrow night?! On Friday the Berkshire Featival of Women Writers kicks off with Laundry Line Divine presents: Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others. Hosted by Suzi Banks Baum and featuring readings by Suzi, Alana Chernila, Nichole Dupont, Janet Reich Elsbach, Michelle Gillett, and Jenny Laird, and celebrating the book launch of An Anthology of Babes: 35 Women Give Motherhood a Voice. It’s at Dewey Hall, in Sheffield, MA from 7–9: 30 p.m.$5 suggested donation. Returning this year after a standing-room-only premiere at last year’s Festival, Out of the Mouths of Babes offers readings from six Berkshire women authors, ranging from a young single mother to a mother of adult children. Come to the event to be entertained, challenged, echoed, and encouraged. Favorite bedtime snacks will be served at intermission, and following the readings, the audience is invited to participate in a discussion of motherhood and creativity led by Suzi Banks Baum.

Please come out and play – it was packed to the gills last year when the event was at Simon’s Rock, and this year promises to be a Big Deal too. If you can’t make it out, and would like a copy of the book to hold in your hands, you can always order a copy at Hope to see you there!


Valentine’s Day is so weird.

Despite the fact that I love a handful of romantic type things,* I don’t actively pursue a lot of that noise.** For example, I respect LARP, but I don’t do LARP. I don’t wear makeup or get bananas about looking glamorous. I love dragons, but I don’t collect dragon-y stuff. Most of my gardening is of the perennially green or fruiting variety. I do not own a cloak. Basically this: I’m pretty practical. I’ve actually been told*** that I do not have a romantic bone in my body. While I disagree with that statement, I can probably say with some surety that I could count the romantic bones I do have in my body on the fingers of one hand. And so Valentine’s Day is weird to me – all that Hallmark-y pressure!

Dearest Will is totally ok with this (which is probably why we’ve managed to last together, natch). Every time I try to live up to the Valentine’s Day romantic stuff, we end up with a belly full of overcooked steak and a card that I agonized over in Target and still don’t feel right about. So instead, Dearest Will and I have begun to take the holiday as an excuse to do frivolous shopping.† Well, mark the date, sister: this year was the Best Shopping Trip Since the First Time We Visited IKEA.††

I read about Seed to Stem online a couple weeks ago, and nearly peed. And then I realized that it’s really close by, and I got stupid excited – plants, stones, taxidermy? Yes, yes, yes! But that really just doesn’t say enough about the place.

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Good morning from New England, we are officially snowed in. Our Man Cub is still sleeping, as the cleverest of clever teenagers do, and Will Dearest is standing at the window, staring with his mouth hanging open at the mess going on outside. I have plans to turn a biga into bread and some crafty business to work on. Also, I’m thinking about making poached fish and zucchini fritters for dinner*.

If anyone is hungry before that, they can totally break into the leftover soup from the other night.  Yes, soup! Delicious, delicious soup! Let me share it with you.

This soup is the brainchild of leftovers – but not quite enough leftovers to make a meal. And the love affair I’m newly beginning with chard.** It turned out surprisingly great for a pot of soup that had no recipe (It now has a recipe because about five minutes into dinner, Dearest Will implored me to write down what I had done so we can eat this again. And so you, dear reader, benefit – so much win!)

Something Like Italian Wedding Soup, Only Really Notserves 4-6

3 qt chicken stock
2c cooked brown rice
3-4 leaves of fresh basil
1# tiny chicken meatballs (see below)
juice of 2-3 lemons
4 stalks swiss chard, leaves ribboned and stalks diced
~1c leftover cooked chicken (cut small)

Tiny Meatballs
1# ground chicken
1 good handful basil leaves (~1/3c chopped)
sprinkle of kosher salt
pepper to taste

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Ok, so! Spent the morning stapled to the office chair, scanning collages and playing with my hair. No – really.

Here’s the scoop: I’ve been making collage art forever (4-eva!) now, which means that I’ve accumulated a lot of paper. A lot of pretty paper, even. Some of these have graced book covers, some have become postcards at some point, some have even won an award or two. But they’re currently sitting in a bin in my sun room, taking up space.

Taking. Up. Space.

As I read over blogs and journals   between making pretty things, I always think to myself, how good it must be to have one’s work out into the world. And then I think how nice it would be to have my work out in the world. And, you know what? The truth of the matter is that my stuff isn’t out in the world because I haven’t bought it a ticket. I haven’t even imagined an itinerary yet of where it might travel. Which is to say, I’m putting that business up on line, and out for sale.

It’s all up on my facebook, in the photos section. Everything is going super cheap, as to be accessible (between $15 and $20, including the shipping). If you pick one out that you love, you can send me a message either on fb or here in comments, we’ll set it up,* and I’ll ship to you in the next mail. It’ll be osm – my work will be out in the world, you’ll have something beautiful to hang on your wall, everyone will be happy!

So please feel free to share and get the word around – I would loff you forever if you did. It’s time I become a working artist, and it’s time these works see the light of day from the perspective of somewhere not in a bin.

Excited yet? I am – let’s do this \o/

*I love Paypal. PayPal makes things nearly instant – WooT!


February 2013