Sunday, February 28, 2010

I "heart" Richard Peck

Which is why I'm so happy he's appearing at TKE (15th E. 15th S., SLC) TOMORROW NIGHT (Monday, March 1). If you've never had the pleasure of hearing him speak, you should come. He's always funny, insightful and v. urbane.

See you there!

Friday, February 26, 2010

How I can tell February has gone on 60 days too long

1. I have started to watch Judge Alex
2. I have started to watch Judge Judy
3. I have started to watch Judge Joe Brown
4. As a result I have started to sympathize with women who cut up their ex-boyfriends wardrobes into tiny vindictive bits
5. I also have started to watch curling competitions
6. And I care who wins

My funny friend Chris Decker is the one who said February has lasted 60 days. And she's right.

On the other hand, I just got word that Viking is buying a picture of mine called SOPHIE'S FISH. And so February hasn't been all dreariness . . .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hot cross buns

I buy them at Backers on South Temple. I don't always love everything Backers does even though it's a total Salt Lake institution. But their hot cross buns are tasty treats--really yeasty and current-y and all the things a hot cross bun should be.

So yes. I'll eat them until Easter because why should other religions have all the fun?

This and also that

First, thanks for the happy wishes. What nice friends you are!

Second, I've been reading. Just finished MR. DIXON DISAPPEARS by Ian Sansom. It was a mystery, natch. The sleuth is a Jewish vegetarian Englishman who drives a bookmobile in northern Ireland. Gimmicky yes. And the mystery itself was pretty lazy. But there was enough humor of the WAKING NED DEVINE sort to please me. Just picked up the first book of the DRESDEN FILES about a Chicago-based PI who's also a wizard because dude. Why not?

Third. Um. Yeah. I'm pretty sure there was a third thing I wanted to say. Once upon a time. Maybe it had something to do with the fact I ate 2 hot cross buns and also a raisin filled cookie yesterday.

But I doubt it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Please Take Note

That I am capitalizing again. Why? Because I can hit the "shift" key. Why? Because Surgeon Steve said NO MORE SPLINTS FOR YOU, YOUNG LADY! (Except that he should have said NO MORE SPLINTS FOR YOU, MIDDLE-AGED LADY!)

Anyway. I am free. Free at last! Free at last!

It's very true that my hand and wrist feel naked and limp. But the thumb works and the index finger points and all the tendons seem to be lining up like planets in 2012. Or whenever it is that the world is supposed to end. In which case it won't matter if my thumb works and my index finger points.

But whatever. I'm still happy. In fact I'm so happy I think I may eat a cupcake today.

Monday, February 22, 2010

what I did with my left hand on friday

i waved at the guy in the car next to me! and it was a big happy cheerful I-love-you-and-isn't-america-great kind of wave.

the reason for all this joyful waving? the guy in the other car was waving at me! and i thought what a lovely man! he's waving even though we don't know each other!

that's when i realized he wasn't technically waving at me. technically he was flipping me off.

obviously i did something to anger him. cut him off unawares, perhaps?

i can totally promise you this. my waving at him with a big dopey grin on my face probably made him even madder.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

readers write

so this week the desnews forwarded me a seven page letter from a reader who wants to help me to choose the right by not choosing caffeine. especially the kind of caffeine i accidentally took to church once in the form of a dr. pepper can. which was full.

i would write this reader to tell him/her thanks for his/her concern. but oops! he/she forgot to include his/her return address! and also sign his/her name!

it's always an interesting experience to be on the receiving end of an anonymous letter. i used to find them disturbing, sometimes even mildly threatening in their anonymity.

now? well. basically i just think she/he would have felt better about the endeavor if he/she had felt brave enough to sign the letter. owning up is better than owning up, i think.

it's hard, though!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

an olympic-related question for you, eh

does anybody else think the canadian national anthem (aka o canada) sounds like a broadway show tune?

Friday, February 19, 2010

her, i admire

today rick walton and i are going to visit our friend barbara (aka bea) williams, which makes me happy. bea is the original grand dame of utah children's writers. for years i've respected her generosity and talent, and now i find myself especially admiring her longevity in the field.

the longer you're around the world of books, the more sharply you realize how tough it is to have a writing life like bea's. even the hottest careers invariably slow down. people who couldn't miss suddenly can't place a manuscript. it's inevitable, natural. and yet bea kept working it for decades. i'm in utter awe of this.

really, i feel honored to know her.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

creativity and my left hand

so a friend asked if i've gotten more creative since using my left hand because it's a well known fact that lefties are more creative than the rest of us and i said yes! absolutely! the ideas have just come pouring out of me since i got this damn cast on my right hand and iN FACT i have filled up so so so many notebooks with thoughts and bits of dialogue and character sketches that it would make your head spin.

only problem is i CAN'T READ MY OWN WRITING. at all. and neither can anyone else.

this is a true post. i'm not making any of this up.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

before i forget

please keep posting about mexican foodage below. but before i forget i have to mention the books i've finished reading in the past few weeks because that's my goal this year. to read more. to read as much as i eat. yes. i know. the impossible dream.

KNOWN TO EVIL by walter mosley--second in a new series. new york noir. i liked quite a bit but don't feel compelled to read another

THE CRIMES OF PARIS by the hooblers--historical true crime. the hooblers, who are novelists, know how to give their history narrative arc. SO interesting. loved learning about the theft of the mona lisa and the underworld of belle epoch paris.

DEATH OF A VALENTINE by beaton--why do i love this series so much? but i do! i think i like the cozy-with-malice thing going on. i also like hamish's record of what he eats (mostly sandwiches, coffee and tinned beans). i like his pets, too.

am currently reading SEDUCTION AND BETRAYAL by elizabeth hardwick for my book group. title is much more thrilling than actual book, which is a collection of essays about women writers. you know. brontes. virginia woolf. sylvia plath. the usual suspects. i'm interested because of being an old english major. but i can't really imagine anybody else caring very much.

in which we speak of mexican restaurants

of all the many, many, insanely many foods i love, i love the mexican food the most. it is my absolute go-to comfort food, and i would be very sad if i lived in a place like china where possibly they don't have mexican restaurants on every street corner.

i was discussing my love for the mexican food with physical therapist John who loves it, too. so i asked him his fave restaurant and he said the red iguana. and i said mine was rio grande.

and NOW i'm asking you. favorite mexican restaurant. favorite dish there. i don't care if you don't live in utah. i get around.

Monday, February 15, 2010


we spent the weekend in st. george where (among other things) we went to barnes and noble. i noticed a book on the sale table called CAN YOU HAVE TOO MUCH SEX and suddenly i started wondering who would pick up a book like that in public with everybody watching. like there are just some books YOU ARE NOT GOING TO THUMB THROUGH WHEN YOU'RE WITH YOUR HUSBAND AND SON. even if you sort of want to.

meanwhile we ate at in n' out. also the sun was shining and when i went on all my walks i heard birds and bullfrogs so yes virginia! spring is coming!

Friday, February 12, 2010

i (and my left hand) have officially gone around the bend

so a gentleman with one arm works at our smiths and the other day i seriously wanted to follow him up and down the produce aisles and swap STORIES because we have something IMPORTANT in common, i.e. one-handedness. and then i got a hold of myself and said ANN! YOUR ONE-HANDEDNESS IS NOTHING COMPARED TO WHAT THIS MAN HAS EXPERIENCED AND ENDURED AND OVERCOME IN HIS LIFETIME AND BESIDES HE DOESN'T HAVE AN ELBOW AND YOU DO SO QUIT IT!

Then I went and bought some frozen corn instead.

But still.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

why i (and also my left hand) love the brits

So this is an evaluation of a bic pen found on the UK's Amazon site. There are many many many insanely more reviews in the same vein. good times.

2.0 out of 5 stars
Left handers beware . . .
By Disappointed user (Taiwan) - See all my reviews

Worked fine with my right hand, but when I came to use my left hand my writing came out looking like the work of a complete imbecile. I can only assume Bic have created a right-handed only pen, and would caution left-handers to "try before you buy".

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

what i realized (with one hand) yesterday afternoon

sarah palin bugs me. that's not what i realized, though. i already knew that. whenever i see her on tv i always think dude the only reason america is still listening to you is that you're unbelievably GORGEOUS. it was the same way with princess diana, although i will confess to having owned every single book ever written about princess diana including THE ROYAL FAMILY POP-UP BOOK which i ill-advisedly sold at a yard sale. i miss that book so much--especially the corgis that jumped up and snapped treats out of prince andrew's hand whenever you pulled one of the paper tabs.

Whatever. back to sarah palin. here's what i realized. she and i have something in common. we both write crap on our hands. i write on my hand because i know i won't lose it the way i always lose scraps of paper. maybe it's the same for her. it would suck to lose that paper with all your notes about national fiscal policy on it. i hate it when i lose my national fiscal policy notes.

don't you?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

what i watched on tv (with one hand) last night

of course a devotee of celebrity gossip like unto myself would know who the kardashians are, even if that knowledge was extremely limited. mainly i knew that these sisters have long dark hair, that they all date professional athletes, and that their mother married bruce jenner even though he doesn't have a nose due to plastic surgery issues.

hey! i may not have a hand but i do still have a nose, she said proudly!

anyway, i finally watched an episode of their reality tv show out of pure laziness and wow. all i can say is that i feel much dumber this morning.

thanks for that, kardashian sisters!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

what i did (with one hand) today

1. ate wings--many, many, many insanely many wings

2. watched the super bowl--i was pulling for my boyfriend, peyton manning, but you can't be sad the saints won

3. also watched a little bit of the sound of music due to the fact that i was too tired to change the channel--watching SOM with my son gave me a chance to observe that he should be very happy i never made him wear lederhosen made out of drapes

4. he agreed

Friday, February 5, 2010

what i can't say

why sometimes we like a book and sometimes we don't. after my surgery, sweet friend betsy brought me the new donna leon. donna leon is hugely popular right now and she's a good writer to be sure. but somehow i can never quite get into her mysteries. and so while i appreciate betsy's generous gesture so much, i may put the leon aside.

what i can say, however . . .

my experience with the leon novel is a good thing actually. it serves to remind that readers aren't monolithic which means there's a place for many types of stories and styles and everything else.

long live donna leon!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Yes, Louise, you're right

i did write that last post to encourage myself to keep going. Especially now that I am one-handed. Speaking of which.

I spent two hours at PT yesterday. TWO HOURS. The guy at the table next to me nearly lost his hand because he got a staph infection after getting nicked by a screw. He didn't even bleed. But before long the guy's hand was a big fat puffy BALLOON and suddenly doctors were all dude! I think we might need to chop that thing off!

Only they didn't. You gotta HAND it to his doctors to find another option.

Yup. A good hand horror story like that makes los dos horas at La Casita de Physical Therapy totally worth it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

and now a word about hope

as i was driving around the other day--random thoughts always hit me when i'm driving around--i was thinking about how easy it is to become discouraged when you write. and also how this discouragement thing stops people from moving forward. i started thinking about all the people who have something to say but who've stopped trying to say it because of continued disappointments.

this thought made me sad.

so let's all promise ourselves to keep going, okay?