Short Stories

I love reading.  Reading is what made me want to be a writer.  I used to read a lot, but since becoming a mama, I've had less and less time to sit down with a big juicy novel.  And even if I had the time, I don't have the focus for a particularly long thought arch.  Isn't that sad?  This is why I've recently started reading short stories again.  I love the short story form and there are so many good ones out there.  Are you looking for some short fiction too?  Here are my picks...



What is your favorite short story? 
I'm always looking for a new read!

The Proust Questionaire

From an early age, Proust kept a journal titled "Confessions. An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, Etc." The first questionnaire was penned in 1886 and he went back again and again to re-answer the questions as he aged. Its fascinating to see how his reflections shift as he grows older. The questionnaire became an interesting way to chart his coming of age. The Proust Questionnaire remains one of the most popular methods of interview used by media throughout the world.

There are many variations on the famous Proust Questionnaire - one of my favorites being the final question and answer session on "Inside the Actor's Studio". I always imagine what I would answer if James Lipton asked me "What is your favorite word?" My answer changes all the time, but currently its "frisée" - you know, that stuff in salads. When I asked Malte, my sweet cross dressing German friend, "What is your favorite word?" he said with out hesitation, "Sussussudio". Who doesn't love Phil Colins?  I recently got my hands on a copy of the original Proust Questionnaire and since James Lipton won't be knocking on my door any time soon, I thought I'd give it a whirl. Below is a photo of the original.

Your favorite virtue?

Your favorite qualities in a man?
Inner-calm, humor, intelligence, smooth skin, imagination and a pleasant odor.

Your favorite qualities in a woman?
Creativity, kindness, intelligence, nice eyebrows, humor and a wide open laugh.

Your favorite occupation?
Food critic.

Your chief characteristic?

Your idea of happiness?
Life with my husband and the perfect dirty martini.

Your idea of misery?
Incurable body odor and unrelenting humidity.

Your favorite color and flower?
Peacock blue and Sweet Peas.

If not yourself, who would you be?
Someone with amazing metabolism and a safe, unlimited source of income.

Where would you like to live?
Portland OR, Scotland, The Loire Valley or Tuscany.

Your favorite prose authors?
Lorrie Moore, Steinbeck, Henry Miller, Marquez and Virginia Woolf

Your favorite poets?
Shakespeare, Nikki Giovanni, Rumi and Neruda

Your favorite composers and painters?
Shostakovitch, Chopin, Picasso, Gauguin, Klimt, Goya, Sargent

Your favorite heroes in real life?
Bill Moyers, Jimmy Carter, MLK,

Your favorite heroines in real life?
Margaret Sanger and Mom

Your favorite heroes in fiction?
Robin Hood and Atticus Finch

Your favorite heroines in fiction?
Viola from "Twelfth Night"

Your favorite food and drink?
Sushi and Pepsi.

Your favorite names?
Matilda, Viola, Constance, Henry, Walker, Charlie

Your pet aversion?
Veiled sexism.

Your biggest flaw?
Over-eating and occasional theft (I used to steal chap sticks from the drug store when I was a kid.)

What characters in history do you most dislike?
Those that tortured, raped and committed war crimes against humanity.

The military deed that you most admire?

What is your present state of mind?
Alert and content.

For what fault have you the most toleration?

Your favorite motto?
Love is all you need or eat dessert first - I have a hard time deciding.

How would you like to die?

Summer Reading

I got inspired by the book wish list over at Decor8 and thought I'd pull together my own little summer reading list. Here are some books that I would be more than happy to dig into this summer. Happy 4th everybody! I hope you're all enjoying beautiful weather, BBQ and yummy frothy drinks!

Make your own Eden.

The sun is out and buds are showing up on every thawing branch. This will be our first spring in the new house and I'm thrilled to see what pops up and what needs tending. I LOVE gardening and have been without a green space to call my own for almost 6 years. One of my favorite Spring reads is We Made a Garden by Margery Fish. It is a first person story of a wife and her husband who reclaim a home in the English countryside and restore its historic garden. The narrative also covers the meaning of life and marriage. Its the most inspiring and beautiful book.

I don't have a potting shed, but I do have a little out door table that I'll outfit with potting soil, clay pots, gloves and trowels. While I'm digging out the dead remains of winter, I'll dream about flowers, tomatoes and all of the delightful green wonders to come. Let the gardening begin!

Feeling Bookish

I would like just one day in the clear this month to sit down and read something wonderful. And I don't just mean an article from Reader's Digest. I mean something with guts, brawn and history. East of Eden is calling my name. So is House of the Spirits.

Friday Five

UN: I want this book. It is by French illustrator and author Jean-Phillipe Delhomme.

DEUX: I am in love with these grassy green sheets from British company Deep Sheets.

TROIS: This sweet butterfly ring is fabulous and I want one in every color for me and all my girlfriends. You'll find them at 2Jane.

QUATRE: Amanda Soule From made this marvelous spring jacket for her child. I love sewing clothes for my son and this little ditty gets my creative juices going!

CINQ: Cluttered work spaces. I love going into a friend's home and seeing their sewing table in disarray or their desk top filled with little sticky notes and open journals with yesterday's morning coffee cup sitting out. Messy surfaces are a sign of a life in progress!