Quick Blog, October


Above: salmon (kokanee, to be specific), spawning, in a Sierra stream. Kokanee salmon turn a brilliant red when it comes time to spawn. I could have watched them for hours.

I read Nova’s debut YA novel, Dani Noir and felt myself bursting with pride. My friend. Wrote. An. Awesome YA Novel.

I read The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, and I have been aimless since, looking for a book with which to fall in love.

I just started reading Dan Chaon’s Await Your Reply, and am finding its structure very interesting: three separate stories–and will they ever collide?

I read Julie and Julia. I read it with great hope, but ended up skimming through the last half of the book. As a good friend of mine said to me, “it’s a book for people who don’t read.” In my words, I call it a “blog quilt” (for those of you who don’t know, the book is inspired by her novel, and reads like blog posts slapped together). I am starting to sound like Michiko Kakutani–I must stop.

(Oh, and I read a few book reviews in the nytimes. They convinced me to NEVER read book reviews, at least while I’m writing my novel).

The novel. I am refusing to write short stories until I finish a draft of this novel. I am bushwhacking my way through the gorgeous middle. Every once in awhile, I find myself surprised while writing–my character meeting someone new, a new, unplanned plot development. I love feeling surprised while writing my novel.

OMG. It’s Television Season Premiere time. Help me, Jeebus. The only thing I can do is NOT get hooked on new shows.

Memorable eats:
Persimmons. The other day, on my usual expedition for persimmons, the dude at our small neighborhood grocery store pointed at my bag of persimmons. (The store has been around since before the Great Depression, when the owner gave out store credit to everyone in the neighborhood because he realized that people couldn’t afford to pay for groceries–and it was, and still is, a beloved store–plus if you hang out enough, you can spot MIchael Chabon who lives in the hood). The bag was so full of persimmons, that when I picked it up, the plastic strained against the spherical fruit. He asked, “What are you going to do with all the persimmons?”

“Eat them!” I said, sounding very much like a six year old with a bag of candy.

“Oh!” he said, surprised that a thirtysomething woman would sound like a six year old with a bag of candy.

I am eating persimmons like a mad woman. The season ends soon, I have to get my entire year’s worth of persimmons in my belly NOW.

Ate Out:
Afternoon tea with an old family friend (and beforehand, gallery hopping, where I fell in love with a painting).

I ate spaghetti squash using a recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen for the first time. And I LIKED IT.


  • Keeping up my exercise regimen. I’m up to 2.0-3.0 miles running nonstop. It feels GOOD. But I get bored sometimes, while running. What do runners do to keep themselves entertained while running? Other than the iPod?
  • Set a new goal with Foodie McBody: we’re going to lose inches in our waist. Our goal is to get below a certain circumference…she has 1-2 inches to lose, I have 3.
  • To that end, I stopped eating chocolate. That in and of itself, has made me lose three pounds. I’m also trying to eat more protein (even though I am still the carb monster, and have no intention of low-carbing it).
  • More litmag rejections.
  • Planted the winter crops for my veggie garden. Brussel sprouts! Oh. And I started getting ripe tomatoes in October.
  • Fall is here–crisp air, breezes, crunchy leaves!
  • I’m having an amazing semester teaching college composition classes. It has been psychically rewarding and fun. Time consuming, but fulfilling.
  • Opened the door last night to let the dogs out, and heard a commotion in the sky. And then, I heard a honk. Honk. Honk. Geese! Flying south for the winter. Have a good time in Los Angeles, geese.
  • Celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. A prime rib dinner (I hate hunks of meat except for…prime rib!). And then a hike in an aspen grove in the Sierras.
  • My husband read my novel-thus-far and he LIKED IT. 🙂
  • Watched salmon spawning in a Sierra stream.
  • Smiled from ear to ear walking in golden aspen groves.


Filed under Life

9 responses to “Quick Blog, October

  1. mysticonnie

    re: The History of Love – I’ve been feeling the same way about reading novels since I read Middlesex. I read Lolita, Wind Up Bird Chronicle and Oscar Wao after it, and though I recognize them all as great books, they just pale in comparison. I almost wish I *hadn’t* read it, just so I could read it again with new eyes.

    A friend passed The History of Love on to me, so we shall see.

    • I am afraid to say that The History of Love, while a great read (it’s one of my top 10 favorite novels), will probably not top Middlesex. Though I’m surprised that Oscar Wao and Wind Up Bird Chronicle didn’t compete with Middlesex on your list! Those 3 books are neck and neck for me. But none can compete with my favorite, The Great Gatsby.

  2. I’ve seen Julie and Julia and liked the movie, but I am hesitant to read either of the books the movie is based on. I saw you had read the Julie and Julia book. Would you recommend it, or do you think from someone who has seen the movie, it would be disappointing?


    • Hi KCD
      I haven’t seen the movie yet…but Julie and Julia is meh. I think the blog must’ve been great, but the book is really, again, for those who never read. I think it might be disappointing for those who have seen the movie (the movie’s strong points, I hear, are the scenes that involve Meryl Streep/aka Julia, and the book really has very little Julia in it).

  3. anonwupfan

    Uh, yeah, spaghetti squash is awesome–the “Middlesex” of winter squashes? (OK, it’s kinda gimmicky, more like the “Everything Is Illuminated” of winter squashes.)

    I too have my preeecious pile of persimmons ripening in my dining room. I too will “Eat them!” Of course, Mrs. AWUPFan (and even Lil’ AWUPFan) might help me a little. Can you do the dried ones or are you a purist?

  4. Oh I saw that spaghetti squash and chard recipe and was intrigued — you made it? Of course she had me at the “gratin.” I’ll eat anything made with cheese! 🙂

    I dunno how this waistline reduction thing is gonna go. Mine does not seem to be budging. I’ll keep at it.

  5. PS. Just read those two paragraphs and laughed. Maybe it’s the CHEESE. Heh!

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