shelf trophies: books I love, from me to you…

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Joan Didion’s The White Album + Slouching Toward Bethlehem: Everything from Didion’s writing process to water plants and Haight Ashbury, her essays are biting and will propel your own personal velocity | Junot Diaz’s This is How You Lose Her: on adultery, love, heartbreak and the spaces in between | Claire Watkin’s Battleborn: dark, mythic, glorious and severe short stories focusing on the Nevada landscape | Claire Messud’s The Hunters + The Woman Upstairs: a novella and a novel that speaks to brilliant women the verge | Taiye Selasi’s Ghana Must Go: a family wrestles with the death of its patriarch | V. Nabokov’s The Eye: what happens after an affair jolts you into the afterlife | Krys Lee’s Drifting House: unflinching and graceful stories centered on the Korean-American experience | Karen Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove: magical stories that test your imagination and suspend disbelief | Nick Flynn’s The Reenactments: a meditation on memoir, movie-making and memory | Alice Munro’s Dear Life: this is her final book and it needs no introduction | Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home: how a disturbed interloper interrupts a fragile house | Lauren Grodstein’s A Friend of the Family: a swift, enveloping novel centering on the bomb that is the next door neighbor | Sarah Manguso’s The Guardians: a graceful meditation on loss |

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a week in ‘grams + a call for your feedback!

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These posts always make me nerve-wracked, because I inevitably think that very few people care enough about a space to comment on it, unless they have something very serious to say. Lately, I’ve been thinking about this space and how hard I’ve worked to make it a haven. This space is ad + brand free because I love the austerity of it, I love the feel of coming home to a place that offers stories and a slice of beauty each day.

Yet, I’ve also realized that while food + storytelling are at the core of what I love and what gets me out of bed in the morning, there are so many other things I equally love, and I want to find a way to make all of these passions fit. Play on the playground, as it were.

I’ve been toying with the idea of advice videos {career, writing, so forth} or photo journeys, but I’m admittedly a bit stumped.

This is where YOU come in. I’d love to hear what you like about this space, and perhaps what you want to see (or not see) more of. I always think good feedback is helpful, and while my heart drives what’s on these pages, I have nothing to gain by understanding what pleases you too. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, tweet at me (@felsull), or send me an email (felsull -at- gmail -dot- com)!

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hide the matches {new story, second dramatic revision}

Sunset / Woman

If you’ve ever read anything I’ve ever written, you may have noticed that I’m obsessed with time — keeping it, losing it — for its the one thing for which we truly have no dominion. I could say that my fixation of time is directly correlated to my fear of death (so traumatic that thinking about my final moments can easily send me into a real panic attack). Lately, I’ve been meditating on my obsession from a different perspective: the clarity and space that only time has the ability to afford you. And after a considerable amount of thought, I came to this: I’m writing some of the best work I’ve written in my life, but it’s difficult in form and structure, slippery (you can’t catch it, nor do I want you to), odd in my use of language, and dark. It’s not for a wide audience, and while this sort of notion — the sell-ability of a piece of writing — was once so important to me, I’ve come to realize this.

I could give two fucks if this collection doesn’t find a traditional publisher. I could care less if no more than 1,000 people read it. I have no more fucks to give for dumbing down prose and making life easier for the reader. I’m creating what excites me, what I think will excite you, and if you love it, AMAZING. If you hate it and give up, it’s been nice knowing you.

Bravery. Feeling assured. Scary, monstrous things, but I’m all in.

I originally wrote this story and published it on Medium, but after a few reads I found that there was a lot missing. So here, dear readers, is my latest.

Photo credit.

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white bean salad + carrot salad with carrot ginger dressing + ripping the band-aids off

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When you begin to realize that there are divisions in your life that are not mathematical, is when things start to get dicey. It’s as if I’ve spent the past four years blissfully asleep, content in my ignorance, happy to let the world and all the beauty within it, slip, and then I woke from this night terror, confused and disoriented. The costs of ignorance are incalculable, I can’t even begin to do the maths on this one, and while I work on getting my personal house in order I’m growing concerned about the world around me, about the people in it and how they’re content to go through their day under anesthesia.

Have you ever seen the film, Carnival of Souls? A woman who was meant to die in a car accident, doesn’t, and you watch as she roams, soulless, through Utah. She’s a fragile wisp of a thing, prone to hysterics, but at the same time she’s comfortably uncomfortable in her self-imposed isolation from love and faith. In a few scenes in the film, you see her running through a department store, park or a crowded thoroughfare, screaming. No one can hear her, and this terrifies her — the threat of being alone in her torment, the idea that she can’t be heard when she wants to. This silence forces her to face the specter that was there all along — her death, physical + spiritual.

This is a roundabout way of saying that at times I feel very much like this woman. When I’m surrounded by people whose greatest lament is not getting their preferred Soul Cycle class, when an awkward silence falls when I talk about the world and all the monstrous things in it (The AP scandal, brutal rapes in Rio and India), when people can’t fathom going beyond their own sympathetic brunch because being a friend means you have to be there for the long haul, not just for a clasped hand and a few nods and a brunch paid — when all of this, all of this happens, I feel as if I’m alone in my lament.

When I talk about my writing and my excitement for it, and for looking for a job that won’t compromise it, people stare at me blankly to a point where I always, inevitably, ask, Am I boring you? When I think about how I shouldn’t have created such a sharp divide between myself and my co-workers, and how I now don’t know how to be friends with them, even after we’ve left the place that threatened to undo us, many don’t understand.

Maybe I’m hypersensitive (it wouldn’t be a first) or overtly-critical, but I’m walking through life without medication, walking with all the band-aids ripped off, and I need to move toward people who are going to get it. Who are going to be there for the long haul. Those who know that in the end, our friendship was worth the stretch.

In the interim, I’m focusing on making my life (amidst all this complexity) as simple as possible. Naturally, every conversation in my life starts, ends, or involves food, and this would be no different. How simple is it to make a cold carrot salad and a hot white bean one when a friend sits across from you and says she’s scared of the world, too? Or when your best friend, the woman you’ve known for half your life, tells me on a phone line that she doesn’t care about petty politics, she just wishes people would climb out of their damn box. These conversations give me hope. Warm my heart.

INGREDIENTS: Recipes adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good
For the carrot salad + carrot ginger dressing: Of note, there is a different version in her cookbook, however, you’ll find that it’s merely a shift in serving size rather than an alteration of ingredients.
4 cups shredded carrots (this is for the salad)
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped (this is for the dressing)
1 large shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sweet white miso
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seed oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons water

For the white bean salad: Of note, I made some alterations to Paltrow’s original recipe, as I didn’t feel her version had enough thyme
1 14oz can of cannellini (or white kidney beans), drained and rinsed in cold water
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
2 tbsp of olive oil
Salt/cracked black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS
For the carrot salad + carrot ginger dressing: Pulse the carrot, shallot and ginger in a blender until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, add the miso, vinegar and sesame seed oil and whiz together. While the blender is going, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water. Toss spoonfulls of the dressing (how much you add is to your taste, really. I prefer salads that are lightly dressed as opposed to drenched) onto the carrots. I added a handful of black sesame seeds for color and additional crunch.

For the white bean salad: In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat on medium. Sauté the garlic for 2-3 minutes until the garlic slightly browns, and then add the shallots and thyme, and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the onions are slightly translucent. Add the beans and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Serve hot, seasoned with salt/pepper, or at room temperature — either way, the beans are delicious!

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be the body, not the bomb {new story}

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It’s been quiet in these parts because I’ve been writing, a lot. I’m starting to recognize that not all of my days are alike anymore, they’re no longer photocopies of one another, and the structure I once had has given way to meals at odd hours, conference calls, coffees (so many of them) and stretches of time spent writing. I have this gift of time, the one thing I can’t get back, ever, and wouldn’t it be a cruel thing to waste it worrying. Waste it without realizing that I’m writing (at least for me) the most exciting work in years.

For those of you following along, I’m writing a connected series of short stories all centered around the theme of hurt. Many of them have been collected here (amidst some of my non-fiction pieces), and I’m thrilled to explore topics that were previously verboten in my writing. I sometimes cringe at some of the coarseness of the language and characters, but for now I’m writing it all out. I’ll worry with editing, structure, and getting things right, later.

For now, enjoy this for your Friday. Cooking will commence this weekend!

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the woman on the hotel bed + the struggle in being faithful to one’s vision

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I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the stories we tell and how we need to tell them. After taking in Sarah Polley’s documentary aptly titled, Stories We Tell, Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, and re-reading Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem, I’ve been thinking about the convergence of art and life. How the rhythm in which an artist (and by artist I mean anyone who creates something new, challenging, ugly and beautiful) lives and sees the world, and how that movement juts up against the velocity of the world around them. The two are rarely, if ever, in synch, and often times the artist is left lost and confused. The artist wants to keep pace, but it’s a tricky thing when your work is seeing the world as it is, in its moment, breathing it in, altering it somehow, re-defining it, and then drawing the curtains, opening the barn doors to proudly share the harvest. By the time you’ve invited them in to see the world through your eyes, they’re on to something else. They’re playing with this shiny object over here, they’re fixated with this new glossy thing over there.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about balance. Someone presented me with a real, viable pragmatic opportunity. This offer would allow me to breathe a sigh of relief that the bills would be paid and the lights would remain, steadfastly, on, but as I thought about it I realized that taking this offer would put me back where I started nearly four years ago. I would relegate my art to the basement, it would be a grotesque thing, a changeling left to fend for itself in the dark, and the cycle would go on.

It’s a frightening thing to feel something within you grow. After years of having your heart be a desert to find that there is earth, there is a harvest waiting to be cultivated, that there are words ready for the bloom. So I knew in my heart that if I had to choose between writing this very difficult short story (a follow-up to this story) and working toward this very pragmatic opportunity, I will always choose the former. And so I did. And so the great fear of the unknown, of the financially unstable, continues. How to find a way to balance the art and the work. How to make room for all the children in the crib, as it were.

So this story is a little interesting. I’m deliberate with the tense, tone, and POV shifts. I’m also learning that I’m writing something that is not really about adultery or a family unraveling, but about hurt. Hurt that is intentional and non-intentional, physical and mental — how we are affected and in the line of fire, and how we get scorched on the sidelines. I kept that in mind as I was writing this. That hurt for these set of characters is not ephemeral, it’s a constant, and only the form of it mutates and changes shape. So here it is…

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notes in the margins: the interior of a short story

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about how much one gives. How one can reveal themselves, in measured degrees, in the words they write, the photos the post and the things they choose to share. While much of my writing is personal in this space, I’m extraordinarily guarded. The stories are demonstrably vague, friends are blurred in the pictures — I need it to be this way because part of my world needs to be preserved, protected, and wholly mine. And yet… I struggle with this even amidst the tacit rules I’ve set for myself (e.g. don’t talk about relationships, don’t give the innards of your professional life, don’t get too deep into politics, etc, etc). I tend to be loud online about the things that matter, but I give you a peripheral view rather than painting a whole picture.

But there’s something real in those innards. Of a body turned inside out, exposed. There is some real truth in that worth sharing. There’s truth in the struggle, the unknown and the uncertain. And after attending a panel last night, where I had the privilege of listening to extraordinary food bloggers, editors and businesswomen, did I think of a notion of notes in margins.

On the panel, Faith of The Ktchn offered how much more fascinating it would be for writers to review recipes instead of simply adapting them. Amanda Hesser talked about the thousands of recipes she’d received from readers of The New York Times, and how her readers had made the paper’s recipes their own. Scribbling notes in the margins, as such. I thought about that on my way home, and I was thinking about how interesting it might be to share some of that with you. To bring you the process I go through to write a story — what I read and how I plot out the stories, create images and characters. To bring you the innards of making that pretty salad come to life (the shopping, the cutting, the decoding of the recipe). I’m thinking that all that interior might be worthwhile to share with you.

I’m wondering if you feel the same? Whether it’s the stories I create or the meals I cook, I’d like to show you the interior.

Lately, I’ve been working on a series of stories about two families affected by an affair. On the surface, the rub is adultery, mental illness, but after thinking about these characters I realized I’m writing about hurt — intentional, unintentional, mental and physical, and the domino effect of a hurt, namely, the people who get hurt on the way to the end, those on the periphery, etc. And suddenly the stakes got higher and the stories became interesting in a way they hadn’t been before. I spend hours, literally HOURS, on unpacking images, and in order for me to write five pages I have to immerse myself in art, literature, music to get me there. So as I truck along, I thought it might be helpful to have you take a look at what’s going on in my head.

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Mario Sorrenti’s Draw Blood for Proof for the art and the name. I plan on ripping off this title (or a derivative of it) for a story. It’s raw, visceral, and I like it. | Nick Flynn’s The Re-enactments in understanding fluid novel structures | Goethe’s Faust in using poetry and imagery to ferret out our basest selves — helping me with Jonah, one of my characters | Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs in helping me shape the exterior and interior selves and write rage on the page. Read her great interview here on how she manages this balancing act. | Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem on how to make the small extraordinary and the meaning of white space and repetition | Peter Buchanan-Smith’s singular vision for keeping focus | Radiohead’s Pyramid Song, on repeat. I tend to write to music. Silence freaks me out and too much noise freaks me out, and a song allows me to go under, get deep. And I love this haunting song because it’s the antithesis of what I’m working on. Or so I think. Or, perhaps, it simply allows me to slip deeper into the dark, allows my mind to go places where I’m frightened for it to go to create the characters and words I need to create. | The Shining. I’ve been watching this film since I was five, but the use of mirrors and inversions and repetitions and time manipulation is allowing me to see this movie in a way I hadn’t been, and now it’s even more frightening. My story doesn’t seem time as something that is chronological, rather, it’s a nuisance that must be tended to like a garden. | Photos of the actor, Kyle Gallner, as I think of Jonah as him. It helps to get a picture in your head of the character and he is Jonah. | Interview’s Winona Ryder interview for some reason made me think about her hair, and hair is an odd component to my stories. {don’t ask} | and on it goes…

shuffling the deck + visiting the places you thought you’d never go {new story}

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To be honest, I don’t even know what this is but I’m playing the hand. A few weeks ago, I started thinking about a family flashing no vacancy signs all over the place. I was fixated on how a single act of familial betrayal could undo so many. In my mind I was seeing a wildfire, a forest of trees smoked out, and a land scorched and barren. But then I started to pick at the scabs, think of the events that happened before the burning and after the remains, and found a whole layer of darkness underneath. For days I left the page cold, and started to think about this family (and by way of the story, a whole other family), my own impenetrability, and how I can show people skinned to bone without too much clutter.

It occurs to me that clutter is distracting, slowing me down.

So this half-formed thing has emerged. For now, it’s a series of stops and starts {a word stuttered?}, with a desperate need for some detail. A need for me to color in and around the lines.

For a time, I had the brother be a meat-packer, a drug-addict, and then something happened where it was interesting for me to make him dangerous, ill. Again, I don’t know where this is going, but I like something about this shape.

Status: Deck reshuffled.

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diversion tactics, averted. this is what I’m afraid of

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Believe me when I say I had this whole morning planned. Ignore the jet lag, read the Internet so the rest of the world doesn’t have to, book fitness classes, schedule meetings, send emails {and send some more emails} — basically, a map with an itinerary, and then I read this post, which put my heart on pause. It’s rare that a stranger’s words would knock me off course, disrupt, break through this sometimes impenetrable wall I work so assiduously to build and maintain. I’m a difficult woman, I know this, and sometimes the kind of difficulty I’ve cultivated has a way of shielding me from what’s raw and honest.

I spent three weeks and a lot of money from a fixed income to go through darkness, and I barely made a dent. I got as far as a window, peered in, and then got on a plane and made my way back to this. A home still flashing no vacancy. Closed for renovations. This is reconstruction. There are ordinances. Papers that only live to be lifted by air and circulated from one desk to another, and another, and on it goes.

James Salter offers this: In the end, it [life] finally all seems to have been a dream. Only the things written down have any gravity to them. The other things are ready to disappear. I write because I’m not able to articulate the world, the whole of it, the way I see it, the way I wish it could be seen, when I speak. I need to observe, digest, and give you something which is different than what you see before you. If that sky is blue, I need you to understand why it’s so goddamn black: how I see it that way. how the sky came to be. I write not to lose anything. To catch people in the frame, and keep them there as I remember them. That altered love that broke me in one place can’t been loose change falling out of pockets. That tearful applause can’t be reduced to bills shredded and recycled in plastic bags.

BUT I HAD A POST PLANNED! CUE THE PRETTY FLOWERS, THE PARADE OF PEONIES AND TULIPS FRAYED AT THE EDGES! But I thought I’d be brave, really brave, and commit to paper (?) the things that terrify me. Here goes at attempt:

1. My writing will never be as good as I want it to be. It’ll be pretty, certainty, there will be an arresting phrase here and there, but I’ll never have the skill to write the kind of books that I truly want to write, the ones that consume you, choke you, disturb you, turn the whole of your body inside out.

2. I’ll never let someone in. All the way, in.

3. At some point, I’ll die, and I can’t control this. Sometimes I get real panic attacks over this. It’s gotten better over the years, but still.

4. I’ll never be able to drink again and not have it mean something. For years, it’s been easier to tell people I’m an alcoholic (technically, I’m not one) than to explain the concept of binge-drinking. Years ago, when I closed on a decade of therapy, my then-therapist (aided by my doctor), told me that there may be a day I could drink again, but they’d have to observe if that glass of wine had a three-piece luggage set attached. I’d have to observed like a little mouse. I’d have to deal with friends who would think, FUCK! Is she going to be the person she once was? I’d have to explain it all over again to people who nod, who don’t really understand, who reduce it all to, she relapsed. Then again, part of me wants to say, fuck you, and carry on.

5. My mother, randomly appearing, somewhere. I’ve actually re-enacted this in my head (confronting worst fears and all that), but it never is what you expect it to be. Never.

6. Never look at pictures of myself five years ago and think, you were so much thinner then. Logically, I get it all (it’s about being strong, punching people when you’re 90, etc, etc, etc), and I’m shades past the woman who thought a body was a thing that needed to shrink. But this body is my house, I’ve paid the mortgage, invested in the maintenance, so it’s sometimes hard not to look at pictures and think…

And why is it that we always compliment people when they’ve lost weight, as if it’s their badge of honor? Everyone envied my size 2 frame and tiny waist, but I had a coke problem and subsisted on Lean Cuisine and Starbucks. Where’s the honor in that?

7. I know leaving my job was probably one of the best (and healthiest) decisions I’ve made in my life. But I sometimes legitimately think, what If I end up homeless?

8. I’ll always be somewhat impenetrable.

9. Losing my father. To say that I don’t handle loss well is an understatement. Randomly I’ll burst into tears in PUBLIC PLACES thinking about the moment he’ll pass. Thinking about losing him is more devastating than my own death.

10. There is no god. That it’s all a sham. That we return to darkness, to ether, to air. That all this faith has been for nothing. This quiet devotion will be the ultimate joke played on me.

11. I’ll never see my own greatness. Before I resigned, a mentor said, Do you know how amazing you are? To which I responded, Are you kidding me with this nonsense? I writhed in my seat, attempted to switch topics, but my mentor was relentless. Your biggest obstacle is you, and it will always be you, if you don’t see your own greatness. Naturally, I burst into fucking tears.

12. The past, the weight it has, and its ability to ghost.

13. People will never get me beyond the surface and the pictures. They’ll never make an effort to understand the subtext, the layers. They’ll never actually read between the photographs and lines into the white and then the black and then to the truth.

I’m sure there’s more, but this is what I was thinking about during three weeks of pretty photographs and eclairs.

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remember when I set your hair on fire? {complete rough draft}

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Remember that strange story I started yesterday? Well, I finished a draft of it this morning. I guess this is what happens when you sit in front of an ocean during a storm, unsupervised. This is what happens when you allow your mind to settle in one place. I still don’t know if the story is just right (my gut tells me that I’m missing parts or lines), but I’m trying to walk that fine between giving enough and not giving it all. I don’t want you to have figured Kate out — that doesn’t interest me. It doesn’t interest me to give you backstory and scenes that sew up the story so completely, too acutely. I don’t want to give you the annotated map with voice-over directions — I want you to find your own way in.

But that balance, it’s tricky. I even felt the scene with Minnie (her name was inspired by the character in Rosemary’s Baby) pulled at me, and I had to rest and start the story again when I awoke this morning from a nightmare, and that nightmare was the idea of going back to New York.

One of my favorite lines is one in which Kate’s mother wants her heart to be a tidal. Don’t know if the line works yet, but I like where it’s going. As you can probably tell, I’m having a hard time with Kate and the father, which you’ll notice I keep calling “the husband.”

I like the bit about the barnacles, as that’s something I’m actually doing every morning. I find these creatures grotesque and fascinating, and the image of half of someone’s face covered in them excites me in ways I can’t explain. You see, I love the things that frighten most people, and I’m frightened by the things most people love (e.g. mushrooms, mittens, clowns, etc).

This photo was taken today. I was a bit of a voyeur listening to a girl plead with her mother to let her go in the water. The mother refused to acquiesce, and the girl threw her doll to the ground and picked it back up again.

So here’s the very rough draft of the story. Curious to hear your thoughts. Ping me in the comments or shoot me an email.

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walk into the sun

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I wonder what it’s like to fly so high/Or to breathe under the sea/I wonder if someday I’ll be good with goodbyes/But I’ll be okay if you come along with me/Such a long, long way to go/Where I’m going I don’t know/I’m just following the road/For a walk in the sun — Dirty Vegas’ “Walk Into the Sun”

With a few days left of me being in this country, a few moments before I hop on three planes and travel three countries, I think it’s time to ferret out the light. Yesterday, I left spin class with a sweet friend, and as we we made our way through Union Square, a market where the sun drapes its blanket, he said, Isn’t it amazing that we get to work out during the day? Laughing, I said, let’s hold on to this moment for as long as we possibly can. Before the hours we have to step out of the sun, walk into an office, sit behind a desk, and click the day away. Let’s be a time fakir and steal these hours away before we have to be adults again.

So for once in my life I’m not going to stress out about the hours that lie ahead, rather, I’m going to focus on being present. On falling in love with the days where I’ve privileged to walk right into the sun.

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tofu fajitas, whole wheat tortillas, pursuing a new book project + the business of leaving

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Lately all I can think about is writing a new book and what that means in age of distraction, abbreviation and constant connection. It’s been a long time since I’ve written long form, since I’ve thought about crafting a narrative, developing characters, finding the in of people. Someone once told me that writing is much like an exorcism — you obsess over the things for which you’re most passionate, and writing allows you to write them out, to give your obsession new shape, color and form. Years ago, when I was playing around with being a “line” writer {think Gary Lutz or my friend + prolific author, Kira Henehan, those who are obsessed with the architect of a sentence versus the development of a story}, someone in my Columbia workshop told me that the family story has been done. Naturally, this statement was followed by an exaggerated sigh, to which I responded in laughter. Every story has been told, but it’s the telling and the voice that make it new. I still believe this. Even now, years later, after so many people have asked if I plan to return to the terrain of my previous book.

To which I’ve responded with a very firm, no. I wrote that obsession out, practically underwent a blood-letting, and now I’ve quietly placed a clean sheet over it, kissed its cheek and allowed the waves to carry it out to the ocean.

However, what I have been obsessed with is what I like to call the business of leaving. Years ago, I wrote a story collection, which turned out to be my thesis for the Columbia MFA program, about a series of characters affected by leaving. I don’t do well with loss, abandonment, leaving, and even though I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been, leaving gnaws. When my best friend of seven years got married and excised all contact it took me a full year to barely recover. When a great love laid my heart out to pasture I was devastated. And when my father called me last week and told me his dearest friend of twenty-five years died of leukemia it took everything in me not to race home and cry alongside him.

The interesting part in all of this is that food always plays a part in every story. From ruined restaurants to beloved recipes, food has always been the center, or the character, in my life. Love, loss and what I ate will be the heart of my new project. It won’t be the sort of thing where I tell as story and dump a recipe at the end, as that’s not how I think. I’m not linear {can’t you tell?} in how I tell a story, so food has to be woven throughout, it must be integral. So this has me exploring new forms. New ways of telling a story in a new age.

Let’s see what unfolds…

INGREDIENTS: Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 red onion
1 bunch cilantro (2 tbsp, rough chop)
1 ripe avocado
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 package superfirm tofu (you can opt to use chicken, beef, shrimp or other protein alternatives)
1/4 cup sour cream
4 whole wheat tortillas
2 1/4 tsp fajita dry mix

DIRECTIONS
Prepare all your veggie by slicing all veggies {peppers, onion, avocado} into big chunks or strips. Squeeze some lime juice all over the avocado to prevent it from oxidizing {turning brown}.

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet with the heat set to high. Drain the water from the tofu and cut into strips. Transfer the strips to the pipping hot pan and cook until browned on both sides (4-7 minutes/side). While the tofu is cooking, add the peppers and onions along with the fajita seasoning and stir until well-cooked and combined. You want your veggies softened, but still crunchy and the tofu, browned.

In a separate pan, heat the tortillas on both sides until warmed and set aside.

Distribute the mixture to all your tortillas and add the avocado + sour cream + spritz with lime and serve!

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