• art,  books,  publishing

    Time for a Cover Reveal!

    I’m so excited to finally be able to share the cover for my second novel, THE CURIOSITIES–a story of artists, secrets, inspiration, and how to reinvent your life with purpose and flair, coming in February 2019 from William Morrow/HarperCollins, with the same publisher and editor I worked with for my first novel, VINTAGE.  My publisher, agent, and I considered many different concepts, and even a title change, before deciding on this cover, and I’m just thrilled with how the final version turned out. The setting for the novel is an artists’ colony run out of a lakeside mansion formerly owned by Betsy Barrett, a secondary character from my first novel,…

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  • art,  creativity,  design,  fashion,  local,  madison,  style,  wisconsin

    Read(y) to Wear Benefit Fashion Show

    Most of the time, being a writer is decidedly NOT glamorous. I shudder to think how many hours I’ve spent sitting in front of my laptop, shoulders hunched over the keyboard, with coffee stains on my leggings. But every now and then, the author life opens the door to a “pinch me I’m dreaming” type of opportunity. The Read(y) to Wear fashion benefit was one of such opportunities. On April 29, 2017, I got to “model” a paper dress made by fellow writer Holly Tierney-Bedord, and walk the runway with several lovely literary and design-minded people from Madison and surrounding areas. Proceeds from ticket sales went to Madison Reading Project, a…

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  • art,  edible madison,  farmers market,  farms,  food,  local

    Art in Unexpected Places

    For my first article for Edible Madison magazine in fall 2010 (which was, in fact, my first published piece of food writing), I visited Fountain Prairie Inn and Farms. I had a lovely time meeting and interviewing John and Dorothy Priske about their herd of Highland Cattle, which they raise for grass-fed beef on their sustainable farm.  You can imagine my surprise and delight, then, when I went to drop off a package at the post office in downtown Madison and saw an art installation featuring pictures of the long, curly horns of the Priskes’ cattle, in very Georgia O’Keefe-like style. I love finding art in unexpected places, especially when it…

  • art,  design,  fiction,  film,  storytelling

    Moonrise Kingdom: A Study in Styling and Storytelling

    Over the weekend, I went to see the new Wes Anderson movie, Moonrise Kingdom. It was delightful in every way–a study in styling and storytelling. First, there’s the story itself. There’s nothing unusual about the plot, and I mean that as a compliment. The story is a straightforward one, of friendship and family. Of community and outsiders. Of innocence and coming-of-age. But, in its very simplicity, the story is extraordinary because of the way it is told. Wes Anderson is a master of setting. Moonrise Kingdom takes place in the summer of 1965 on a fictional island called New Penzance. And, from the opening to the closing credits, every detail…

  • art,  coffee,  poetry,  writing

    Is there a place for poetry?

    April, what T.S. Eliot called “the cruelest month,” is National Poetry Month. And, in our modern world of clamor and clutter, I have to wonder: is there a place for poetry? I’d like to think the answer is yes. I have dozens of poetry books on my shelves that have not been opened in years. But it does not matter. I can go about my days, and the verses still sit there, poised inside those pages, ready to spring goosebumps to my skin if I only take time to remember, and read. Today, April 26, is “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” first created by the City of New York in 2002…

  • art,  booze,  decor,  design,  modern,  style,  vintage

    Are You Ready for the Madness?

    I’m not talking about basketball. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Mad Men. My thirty-first birthday fell on the premiere night of the fourth season, and I somehow convinced my husband and friends to come dressed in costume. The start of the fifth season on Sunday doesn’t fall on my birthday, but that’s okay. I’m not sure I could wait any longer, anyhow. It’s already been a year and a half! In the meantime, I’ve been feeding my addiction for all things mod on Etsy and Pinterest. A peek at some of my favorite Mad Men-inspired items: Each row, left to right (all images from Etsy): 60s rocks glasses…

  • art,  food,  handmade,  recipes,  writing

    A spicy recipe for the solstice

    The winter solstice is upon us, but before we can look forward to incremental surges of sunshine, we first need to get through the darkest day of the year. If you need a recipe for comfort food to ease the way, chef Dani Lind has a recipe for sweet potato and black bean chili in the winter issue of Edible Madison magazine that might help. The recipe goes along with an article I wrote on how local potters are organizing grassroots events to fight hunger by donating their artwork.  The sweet potato chili recipe was served at one of such events. Besides being delicious, the recipe is healthy, too. Perhaps I’ll whip up a…

  • art,  blogging,  books,  holiday,  seasonal,  writing

    Blogs to Books

    Yep, I’m that person. The person who buys books for everyone on her holiday list. What to get Dad who returns nearly everything I buy him? Books. What to get my nephew whose Japanamation jargon resembles a foreign language? Books. And what to get my niece who, like me when I was a kid, aspires to be a writer? Why, blank books, of course. One of my favorite blogs, Style Maniac, recently teamed up with independent bookseller Books & Books of Westhampton Beach, NY, to launch a month-long celebration of the art of giving and receiving books. The Blogs to Books challenge invited readers to choose one book and one recipient…

  • art,  design

    CSA: Community Supported Art?

    I’ve finally started to work my way through my pile of Food & Wine magazines from the last several months. While I was pregnant, F&W just made me angry because (1) I couldn’t drink the cocktails and Cabernets on its pages and (2) it made me crave elaborate meals that I didn’t have the energy to create. Now that I’m spending a lot of time glued to a chair while breastfeeding, I’ve been catching up. A short article about CSA shares in the September issue of Food & Wine caught my eye. The article discussed an art subscription program based out of Minneapolis. The program is modeled after the Community…

  • art,  fashion,  style,  vintage,  writing

    Pucci: Antidepressant in Fabric Form

    At the same time I’ve been nurturing a baby boy, soon to be born in July, I’ve also been nurturing another baby: the manuscript of my novel, GENTLY USED. It’s a multi-generational tale about a vintage clothing store and the stories behind the clothes on the racks and the women who work and shop there.  Doing research for the book was almost as much fun as writing it. Over the last year, I amassed a lot of pictures and information, uncovering more vintage fodder than I could ever include in a single novel. And, of course, I stumbled upon some new obsessions. What I didn’t have room for in the…