Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Paris!

Food Glorious Food!

Greetings from steamy Paris! It is very hard to complain when I'm in a lovely apartment in Montorgueil, eating great food, and seeing great friends. Still. It's hot. Hotter than hot. I'm sweaty and crabby and unable to run around as much as I'd like. Ok. Complaining done. And I just heard the rumble of thunder! Maybe relief is on its way. 

At the end of this post you will see pictures of the fabulous food I've been eating here. Onion soup. Escargots. Crepes flambĂ©. Croque Monsieur. Cheese and bread and jambon. How I love Paris! 

I had the great good luck to give a lecture and reading at NYU here. And to meet for consultations with 14 wonderful MFA students. And the great good luck to be in Paris as the same time as Melissa Coleman  (she's in Knitting Pearls!) and Helen Schulman. To see my former RISD student who lives here and always helps me find groovy apartments in the best hippest neighborhoods. And to have Annabelle and our most wonderful babysitter here with me. (Those two went off to visit friends in Grenoble, the lucky pair). 

Alone this afternoon, I went to five cooking supply stores. I bought fun accessories and tools and managed to shop and browse for three happy hours. 

Still ahead: haircuts. Knitting stores. Steak frites. Musee d'Orsay. Fabric shops. Pompidou. Then: onward to Ireland!

Now for those promised photos!





 


Friday, July 15, 2016

Goodbye Chautauqua, Bonjour Paris

Annabelle and I continue our nomadic summer today by packing up our latest digs, driving 8 hours back to RI, waking to do laundry, take care of business, visit Gogo, repack, and go to Logan for our flight to Paris. 

We had a great week at Chautauqua. We got to visit old friends, make new ones, learn to make an omelet and ride a bike to and fro alone (well, one of us did that). My workshop was absolutely terrific. Such thoughtful, warm, talented people!

Here's one of those omelets:


And here's some good news for The Book That Matters Most! Library Reads chose it as an August read! As always, grateful that what I write is reaching so many people. 


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cape Cod, Chautauqua

After a lovely week teaching at Castle Hill in Truro, Annabelle and I landed home for just enough time to have dinner in the backyard, do laundry, and repack. This morning we are heading to Chautauqua where she will take classes in Robotics and Code Breaking while I teach. So different than her afternoons in Truro making objects with shells and driftwood! Our days have such a lovely pattern. We both have work to do in the morning, usually over pancakes or eggs. No tv, and early to bed with books. As we drive, we listen to Book Three of The Penderwick's. And we've seen so many friends, so many glorious sunsets, and one drive in viewing of Finding Dory. 


Monday, July 4, 2016

Checking in

I'm writing this from Truro, which is on Cape Cod. Castle Hill is a wonderful arts organization here that I've had the privilege of teaching writing for the last three years. Best of all: I teach in the morning and Annabelle takes art classes in the afternoon. We've established all these traditions for our week here. We see my fabulous friend, the writer Anne LeClaire. My friend Pam. We go to the drive in. We play mini golf. We go to Provincetown. But most importantly, we just be. We read. We write. We laugh. We talk. Today I was reading a student manuscript and Annabelle said: want to color? (She had brought an adult coloring book and colored pencils). I said in thirty minutes. But as soon as I said it, I thought: I have this lovely child here, and too soon she will not be asking me to color, and I said: yes. Let's color. And oh! We did! 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

I love book clubs!

And I wrote about why in Parade this week!

http://parade.com/486461/annhood/ann-hood-why-we-love-book-clubs/

Friday, June 24, 2016

The shadows from the starlight are softer than a lullaby

Do you recognize that? If you're a John Denver fan like me then you know it's from Rocky Mountain High. Yup! I've been in Colorado all week, teaching at the lovely Aspen Words. My beginning fiction workshop has dazzled me every day with their bravery, talent, and general wonderfulness. And while I'm teaching and paneling, Annabelle has been tracking bears and building beaver dams at ACES camp. 

Today the first leg of our summer adventure ends as we head home. What a great start to summer! 

We are in the midst of big life changes, which I'll write about later when all the dust settles. For now, we are sadly packing up our Aspen condo and bidding goodbye to the mountains. I love how it rains puffs of cotton from the cottonwood trees here...

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The man in the street

Yesterday was one of the more stressful days in a long string of stressful days. At 3:00 I had to drive an hour to a book club in a little seaside town here, and I was kind of looking forward to the drive: no emails, no pressures, maybe just saw classical music or Alec Baldwin on podcast and me. 

I was on Route 1, the beach road, a two lane 55 mile an hour road with a grassy median and then two lanes heading the other direction, and I saw a man on the median. He looked nervous as he watched the traffic heading south--my car among it. I wondered why he didn't cross when there was a break. Then, my car fast approaching, he threw himself into my lane. I mean, he did a belly flop smack onto the road and stayed there. 

I both braked and swerved into the other lane, and the man began to roll and then crawl across the road, finally crawling into the nearby woods. Miraculously, I didn't hit him or even come close to hitting him. But I realized in the shock that followed that was he wanted. He didn't try to run across the busy road; he threw himself onto it. In front of me. 

I know I should make something of this, some realization about life and death or the human condition. I should take inspiration from it: I'm going through a lot right now but we all need to keep going, or some such. But I have had no epiphany. Just the image of that man, scared, jumping.