Poems in Toad the Journal

Hi friends,

I have a poem in the online journal Toad this week. My friend Mike Dockins and I are writing postcard poems to one another, and the journal published his first poem, my second (response to #1), and his third (response to #2). Oh it’s very confusing, but check it out!

Here’s a teaser:

The machine that is your heart
glows until the bulbs shatter
like broken fingernails
and scatter across the ocean…



The 2013 Literary Gift Guide

This post originally appeared over on popcorntheblog.

Sleigh bells ring…are you listening? I am. The temperatures have plummeted in California, leaving me in a mind of Christmas. I’m all geared up for eggnog, bourbon balls, and reading a good book by the fire. If you don’t celebrate Christmas—and you missed Hannukah—there’s always Solstice, Kwanzaa, and the new year. So what’s on the wishlist for your favorite writer, reader, and lover of all things literary this holiday season?

Read on, my friend.

photo-81. Her very own teapot. Or French press. My cousin gave me this delicious little stacking teapot for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I adore it. While I don’t have a writing study at home, if I did you can bet this little number would be ensconced on the desk. Because I have yet to meet a writer or reader who doesn’t like a little caffeine with her words. You can find a similar one at etsy.

2. That good book. My fave reads in 2013 included Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Junot Diaz’s This is How You Lose Her, Katie Williams’s Absent, Augusten Burrough’s Dry, Nancy Bachrach’s The Center of the Universe, and Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love. On my wishlist for 2014: our very own Tara Conklin’s The House Girl, as well as Full by Kimber Simpkins and Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld. For more ideas, check out my post “Twenty Novels I’m Grateful For,” The Barnes and Noble Best Books of 2013, and the Goodreads Best Books of 2013.

Image used with permission of full-spectrum apparel.

Image used with permission of full-spectrum apparel.

3. While you’re over at etsy trolling for stacking teapots, also check out the amazing “Freedom of Speech” T shirt. Love it!

4. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist. This idea comes from the great blog Yummy Books and its “Food & Literature Gift Guide,” which has some more wonderful ideas. My favorite of the Tequila Mockingbird recipes? “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita.”

5. While you’re at it, how about a bottle of booze? St. George Spirits in Alameda, California, makes some beautiful, if expensive, bottles.

6. A notebook, of course! Etsy is a great source for journals, as is your local bookstore, where I found these fun Decomposition Books.

photo-77. A book light. I never use these, but when I saw some on display at my local bookstore, I snapped a pic. Might be less cumbersome than a flashlight for late-night, clandestine reading. And you could take it camping!

8. Time. Offer to watch the kids for an afternoon, or buy her some time at a local co-working space.

9. Vintage bookends. I bought the brass horse heads for my sister-in-law from etsy a few years back, and have been coveting them for myself since.

IMG_050610. A donation in her name to a worthy literary organization like 826 Valencia, A Chance through Literacy, or her local library.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Also see:

2012 Literary Gift Guide

Food & Literature Gift Guide

Christmas Literary Gift Guide from So Many Books, So Little Time

Writerland Today

I’m not great at following any blogs–truth–because most days I’m running around like that proverbial chicken trying to squeeze everything in, but I do hop in and read several when I can make the time, and I’m always glad to do it. One I really love is Meghan Ward’s Writerland. She’s also a Bay Area writer, and the author of a memoir, and she’s got a great following and a great-looking blog (Meserve New Year’s resolution: update your look, babe!).

Her latest post on Writerland asks the question, “What is success?” and, well, it resonated with me. On many levels.

So you should read it. In case it resonates with you, too. Meghan’s asking for folks to make comments; go for it!