me + crepes = happy ending

I saw him even now going the way of all flesh, that is to say towards the kitchen. -- John Webster

Crepes for dinner after all. Crepes with strawberries, crepes with ham, crepes with chocolate and powdered sugar... how can something so simple be so blissful?

And even though I'm all too aware of this, I still have to say:

Crepes for me will always mean Paris in the rain, on Palm Sunday, listening to the other tourists outside of Notre Dame, staring wide-eyed at my friends Sarah and Maria, because Nutella has never been so good. Huddling by some kind of warm air vent, eating our chocolate crepes.

Or, after a long day's walk, the street crepe that took both hands to hold, and still dripped hot fillings down my arm. The ham + cheese + egg crepe eaten in the fading light by the Eiffel Tower, the crepe's savory steam warding off the chill in the air...

Last night's recipe: it's not the same thing as Paris, of course, but still makes a darn good crepe:


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Stir until smooth. Pour about 3 tablespoons batter into a hot 6-inch skillet, and tilt to cover skillet with batter. Bake 1 to 2 minutes until crepe browns on the bottom. Flip and bake one more minute. Eat hot with strawberries, or chocolate, or ham and cheese, or just plain... I lost count of how many this made, but the recipe says it was 16 6-inch crepes. We ate them too fast to keep track.

This is perfect, perfect for spring. I always forget how much I love cooking--why is that? I get wrapped up in the book world, but every time I dive into cooking something, I just get happy. These crepes were eaten with grins...


mudroom entry

If you're crazy, there's two things you can do to make yourself feel better. One is to get yourself cured. The other is to make everyone you have to deal with crazy. -- Alan Dean Foster

I'm on four hours of sleep (not for any great or interesting reason), and have put in enough work on my novel to make my brain dance just this side of coherent.

So instead of trying to make sense and write something engaging, I'm just going to set everything down...

My next phase of rewriting is going well, well, well! The character I reinvented is back to play, and I loved chatting with him all afternoon. I've written 19,800 words since last Monday. Not bad. I'm hoping to have this next section worked over by April 18 (celebration plans are in the works), and I think I'm on target.

My little sister is pregnant with my very first niece or nephew! We hung out for a while yesterday, and I was hoping to feel a baby-kick, but I guess it's only kicking hard enough for her to feel. So exciting, though!

Otherwise, I am rereading one of my favorite Shannon Hale books, working my most challenging piece of knitting so far (cables! lace! and lots of counting!), and snapping photos of our magnolia tree before it gets stomped on by another frost.

Poor little bookpie. I have such wide, wonderful and interesting plans for you, I do, I do! I want to read more and tell you all about it; I want to make more pies (a lot--perhaps something springy, with lemons, with berries) and write about those; I want to chat about writing; I want, I want, I want . . . to remember that balance is a dance, to make crepes for dinner, to read in the hallway like a kid (past my bedtime? with a flashlight? in a tent?), to fall asleep in our newly green yard. Sigh. Happy spring.


a word on comments.

Blogs! I love how they let us have conversations with people we don't know (yet).

I love and treasure your comments, but please be aware of this un-fun housekeepingy thing that I have to say:

I reserve the right to delete any comments that might be considered offensive, off topic, self-promoting, or are otherwise imitating spam.

Instead, please shower me with book recommendations, news about knitting or design, great recipes, writerly commiseration, or basically anything else. I want to get to know you. I want to hear from you.

That's what makes this all more cool than me, talking to myself, alone in a room.

So please do talk back. Unless you're a spammer, in which case, please don't.


the (in)constant blogger

Resume your course, o my story, for this aging monk is lingering too long over marginalia. -- Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Dear baby blog of mine,

Did you think I'd abandoned you? I picture you, this past week, reading all those online articles about the blogging burnout rates, statistics for how quickly we frail people realize: I don't really want to write something every day.

Did you suspect me? Did you think I wouldn't come back?

Don't worry. I've already proven myself as a long-term blogger. No, my failings this past week were Failings of the Bookish variety. I stepped up my drafting schedule, and have logged over 5000 words in my next rewriting project, and they're giving me plenty of challenges and demands of their own...

Oh, but you're zoning out already, aren't you? Or seething with jealousy, and so you feign indifference...

Stop seething. It's okay, I promise. Maybe I started Bookpie too soon, or maybe I didn't.

But do you really think that after all that time snapping the perfect bookish picture and the loveliest lattice top I could find... after all that, would I really leave you? Absolutely not.

Can you bear with me? This whole writing life is one big juggle game, and I'm still dodging the siren songs of the library. But I'll always come back to you. Always.


i am a binge reader

He had just received a box of new books from his London bookseller, and had preferred the prospect of a quiet Sunday at home with his spoils. -- Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

I've never gotten over the fact of libraries: there are places where you can wave a little card and walk out with dozens of books to read. It amazes me--I really should be a poster child for the library system. I could think up cheesy slogans about library cards and the riches of reading...

It's me at my most nerdy, I know. But I can't seem to help it.

As a kid, I'd come out of the library with a stack, and then sit in our hallway reading one after another. I'd go to our school library and check out an enormous book of plays, quite beyond what I was reading in fourth grade. It didn't matter--I loved reading the cast lists over and over.

You'd think I'd outgrow it a bit, or at least keep the passion under control, but no such luck.

Yesterday I walked to our library to turn in a stack of books I had absolutely no time to read. (Whenever my writing is flourishing, I have no patience for any other stories or narrators other than my own; if I get lost in a book, I want it to be mine.)

It's a three-quarter mile walk to the library--not much, but long enough for my bag of books to cut off the circulation in my arm. Perfect insurance against checking anything else out, which I would have to haul back with me.

But I couldn't help lingering. I can't even argue that our library has a wonderful atmosphere--it doesn't. It's more like a newish YMCA than a proper library. I don't think there's any wood in the whole building. No wood in a library! All metal and plastic. Not a very cozy place at all, really.

It's not the building; it's the books that draw me. Even when they shouldn't.

So I pretended not to look through the YA section, and I pretended not to notice new titles and tug the hardbacks off the shelves. I made a stack of books that I was not, under any circumstances, to check out. And then waltzed out with an even bigger stash than I had turned in.

Then came home, refusing to look at myself in the mirror and wonder what kind of girl does this? Surely there's some kind of mental instability...

Instead, I sat in my doorway and read one opening page after another. Read half of a novel from bed, and hope to polish it off tonight... Justifying it by saying that my plotting work is going really well, my own narrator's voice is very strong in my mind, and so new novels won't hurt, new stories won't suffocate my own... I'm just seeing how other writers do it. Right? Right??



Hobbits really are amazing creatures. ... After a hundred years they can still surprise you. -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Oh, one of the many, many reasons to love the writing life. The constancy of surprise, the frequency of discovery... even when I don't think something new is around the corner, it just, just might be.

I dragged my writing into the living room yesterday, looking for a change, for a patch of sun to sit in. I needed to work on a character, fine-tuning his voice and personality before driving him into the next section of plot. I've worked with him a lot, and I know him pretty well, but there were just a few things we needed to chat about, some lines to refine.

But suddenly, he blinked up at me with new eyes. His voice rang out with more determination, more attitude. Sitting next to me in that patch of sun, he was fiestier, funnier, and grittier than the person I thought he was, the person he's been for two years.

Two years! I could hardly believe it. I thought I knew him so well, all his little tics, his reactions... But he used to give up so easily, he was too easily wounded, he sat in corners with his disappointments. He stared at his hands.

Not anymore.

Now he's talking so fast that I can't catch up, now he's making my heroine crazy, now he's taking as much of the plot into his hands as he can. Grinning at me all the while. This is who I am, he says.

Oh. Oh, I like him so much better now.

He's opened another door into this story, another section that takes on new life, new energy, that calls me back again. And so I'm the one grinning foolishly now, so happy with these crazy super-charged characters who tug me along behind them...


the kid and me

Books, the children of the brain. -- Jonathan Swift

So I have this two-year-old child: my two-year-old novel. We've been through so much together, this kid and me. It has grown a lot in the last two years, and I've shrunk and become wiser at the same time.

If this continues on, my book-kid will grow to be a monstrous saga. And I will be the size of a walnut, the canniest woman in the world.

We are rewriting each other now, for the fourth time. The novel has so much to say now, and I'm scrambling to keep up. Scribbling down its words at night, thinking about them while I wash dishes, pestering it while it pesters me.

One of these days, we'll be done, but until then ...


i am standing here, waving at you.

My greatest trouble is getting the curtain up and down. -- T.S. Eliot

First day. First post.

I've just finished a slice of caramel-apple-pecan pie, I'm downing coffee by the second, I just finished reading a mystery, and I'm about to work on my novel. An average, extraordinary day, so why not kick off this blog? Besides. I'm drinking from a mug that says "Begin."

So, hello new blog. Hello to you.