Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rainy Day

As you know, I love a rainy day. Even when I've left my raincoat in NYC. ☔☔

And today I have to Skype this morning (can't say why) and then it's off to lunch and a movie with Annabelle, Cousin GJ, and my niece's little one. Perfect rainy day!

Yesterday I stared at the stale French bread from Saturday night's lamb dinner and had one thought: bread pudding (of course). Now I love the recipe in the Silver Palate. But Annabelle hates raisins. I considered leaving them out, but then all I'd have is bread and sugar and milk...luckily, I remembered the bread pudding I had years ago at Mother's in New Orleans. It didn't have raisins. It had fruit cocktail instead! Thanks to the Internet, I found the recipe in a flash and am making it today. 

And here's some rainy day good news: I found out yesterday that my essay on Laurie Colwin and tomato pie won a Best American Food Writing Award! It's here:
http://www.tinhouse.com/magazine/subscription-back-issues/memory-issue-59b.html

Monday, April 21, 2014

I made it

That's the best I can do. It's rare that Grace's anniversary falls on Easter weekend. But this year it did. And I got through it, somehow even managing to host a big dinner party Easter Eve (made 4 hour braised lamb a la Barefoot Contessa--try it!). 

But by yesterday afternoon, I hit a wall and burrowed under a blanket with two books--Dani Shapiro's STILL WRITING and Abigail Thomas' THINKING ABOUT MEMOIR--to re read. Then it was on to watch Philomena (loved!) and Mad Men and sleep. 

Today had to take a deep breath to plunge into the week. Still feeling the shadow of grief lingering. 

But there's a lot of great events coming up before I leave for Bermuda on May 9!

The details for my readings in Easton, MA (with some KNITTING YARNS contributors) and North Conway, NH are up on my website. 

And so are the details for this weekend's Newburyport Literary Festival, where I'll be in conversation with Andre Dubus lll on Friday night and reading at Jabberwocky on Saturday afternoon. 

And next weekend finds me doing all things Grub at Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace in Boston. These are ticketed events, but for the whole schedule please go to www.grubstreet.org 

But here are the details for the wonderful fundraising event in Newport on May 5:

Until then, I'm knitting and reading and visiting book clubs. A trip to NYC to hear my friend Laura Lippman in conversation with Gillian Gone Girl Flynn. Another to have dinner with my buddy Jane Hamilton, and to cheer Sam on in a musical at NYU. 

Looking forward to the pink sands and turquoise sea in Bermuda...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library Journal chooses AN ITALIAN WIFE as a fiction pick this month!

Holding the gorgeous Advanced Reading Copy in my hand. And heading home after 5 days in NYC, my spiritual home. Saw plays, met with students, met with editors, saw Sam, had dinner with old friends, shopped, and walked and walked and walked despite the rain and snow and hail and deep freeze. 

Eager to get home now, after missing my train. Ugh. Annabelle is so excited to turn 10 tomorrow, and reach double digits. 

And as most of you know, tomorrow is also 12 years since that horrible day that my Gracie died. It will be tough to get through it, while hosting family to celebrate Annabelle. This year it falls on Easter weekend. I'm hoping the distraction of coloring eggs and cooking and being with my marvelous extended family helps me through. 

Thanks to everyone who has already sent me such loving messages. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April

Woke up at 4 with that awful feeling in my gut. Grief. Every year around the anniversary of Grace's death, this week or even the month of April itself, brings fresh waves of grief. 

This year, I'm in NYC all week and have surrounded myself with family and friends and work--all of which have been helpful in keeping me busy and feeling positive. But today marked the anniversary of losing my dad, and I carried that around all day. No wonder grief snuck up on me while I slept. 

Most of you reading this know that this week is also joyful: both Sam and Annabelle's birthday. So glad to celebrate these amazing kids of mine, which began on Sunday and continues in various ways through the week. 

No doubt I will lie here until the sun comes up, letting this sadness fill me. Then the world will wake up (I already hear deliveries to the D'Agostino's across the street), I will drink my coffee and knit until it's time to step out into that world. For any of you feeling grief, fresh or familiar, we can do this today. I'm with you, and I feel all of your arms with me, holding each other up. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dirty Love

Happy to report that my iron levels are out of the severe anemia range! Not yet normal, but getting there. Today I watched a clip of Annabelle and me on Spanish TV, and could not believe how sick I look. The anemic pallor! Hopefully that has improved too. 

Had a great re entry from my two weeks in paradise, followed by Literary Orange in Irvine. A week spent putting finishing touches on both AN ITALIAN WIFE and final book in THE TREASURE CHEST series (book 10!). A lovely way to spend my days. 

Wednesday night I had the distinct pleasure of speaking to OLLI members (lifelong learners) at the Laurel Lane Country Club here in RI. Had the best conversations at my table and beyond. However, as someone geographically and navigationally challenged, I could not find my way out of the country club. Chose the wrong dark road and ended up ON the golf course. Insert red faced emoticon here. I admit I laughed the whole way home...

Tonight off to a fundraiser for the Providence Public Library. Tomorrow I will be at the Maynard MA Book Festival at 1:30. And Sunday off for most of the week in NYC. 

Meanwhile, reading DIRTY LOVE by the ever fabulous Andre Dubus lll. Read it if you haven't yet!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Countdown

In 24 hours I'll be at the Tampa airport, returning my rental car, scrounging for something edible, heading to Irvine, CA and Literary Orange. It will be sad to leave paradise. This girl can get used to palm trees, sand, and the gulf right outside my door. Not to mention jaw dropping sunsets. Grilled grouper. Tiki bars. And oh yeah. Unlimited writing time. 

But here's the truth. I miss home. Two weeks is a long time away. I just want to scoop up annabelle and not let go. Which is exactly what will happen when I walk in the door Sunday night around 8!

120 pages of a new novel. A good two weeks work. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Lots of new events!

Check my website at www.annhood.us to see if I'm coming to a bookstore or library near you!

I'll be in North Conway, NH; Easton, MA; Newburyport, MA; Glen Head, NY; and Newport, RI.

Hope to see you somewhere soon!