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I'm pleased to report that my piece, "Family Jeopardy" (which ran originally in The Rumpus's "Funny Women" series), was awarded honorable mention in the adult category of the Mark Twain House's 2015 Royal Nonesuch National Humor Writing Contest. To quote the man himself, "These splendid facts strain belief; but they are true."


The Cone Stands Alone

About a month ago, walking my dogs, I came upon this piece of a branch in the middle of the road. I liked the composition--the bend in the stick, the one missing cone, the way another cone stands apart from the rest, as if considering its own flight--so I brought it home and set it on an outdoor table. Initially, I saw the branch as an inert thing. So I was surprised to find the cones responding to the weather. After rain, they're shrunken and hard--dark brown pods. When the sun comes back, they unfurl again. I wonder how long this cycling will continue?



A friend from grad school, Susanna Baird (she's a writer too), just posted the loveliest-ever photo of Genie Wishes--her daughter's worn copy. From the peeling back cover to the fingerprinty front cover, it's all evidence that the book has been read, and for a writer, there's nothing better than that.

Thanks, Susanna and Annalise. If Genie Haddock Kunkle were a real person, I know she'd want to make Halloween costumes with you. 


Stairway to Melon*

 *Full credit for the post title goes to Baltimore musician Howard Markman, who found the caption that I could only sense was out there, hovering.

I hope everyone's having a lovely summer.



I spent most of the day with the camper-writers of GreenRow Books' WordPlay camp. If you're in or near Ellicott City, Maryland, check out this charming independent bookstore. The cookbook selection alone is something else.