“A Most Savage Plague”: A Brief Encounter with Literary Envy

In Book Two of Metamorphoses, the Roman poet Ovid takes his readers to a cave, “filthy with black gore,” where the demigod Envy lives in a sunless valley. Envy herself has teeth “foul with mould” and venom dripping from her tongue. “She gnaws and is gnawed,” Ovid says, “herself her own punishment.” Centuries later the Dutch […]

Writ Large

For a couple years, my Baube was the best large print books library patron in Western Washington. Books took flight from locations all across King County and converged at Bellevue’s Lake Hills branch for retrieval by my father. Baube is Yiddish for grandmother, and Yiddish, as for other Jewish people of a certain age, is […]

Good News: Paulette Jiles’s Latest Novel, News of the World

This is my favorite photo of myself. It was Christmas. I was two years old, clutching my teddy bear and wearing my cowgirl outfit. You can’t tell, but the boots were red, and I wore them everywhere. Later, I acquired a coonskin cap, just like Davy—Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. Back then I […]

Fried Neck Bones and Some Home Fries: Delectable History through Southern Regional Food

About this time, the editor, who is spending a total of three weeks in Morocco, is probably sick and tired of Moroccan food and is yearning, yes, licking her lips over the prospect of returning home to the South and eating a great big bowl of grits. Seems like a good time to revisit this […]

Writing Retreat at Mouse House

About this time, the editor (STILL on vacation in Morocco) is probably approaching the Sahara on camelback and wondering why, oh, why, did she think this trip was a good idea? After all, the temps are over 100 during the day. Perhaps a literary field trip to the frozen north of Indiana will help. And here it […]

Paris, Shakespeare, and Lily

For the next several weeks, the editor will be gallivanting all over Morocco. Rather than give you, our Dear Readers, time off, she decided to climb into the WayBack Machine and pull out some favorite posts from long ago. Not Reruns, not Leftovers, but tasty treats to savor again. This time it’s Susan’s nostalgic 2013 […]

Kissing the Right Frog

Tables line the walls of a huge hotel meeting room. Fifty literary agents sit in alphabetical order behind the tables. Outside the door, there are two hundred of us lined up, awaiting entry into the hallowed chamber. We have paid for this opportunity. We have traveled from distant states and countries. We have written and […]