In-Progress Review: Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s “Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life”

I’m probably a third of the way into Amy Krouse Rosenthal‘s Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. I don’t know what, exactly, I expected – the title has “encyclopedia” right there in it, and at the beginning, for crying out loud – but the first few pages bummed me out. It is LITERALLY an encyclopedia of […]

From Laura Wexler’s “An Interview with Patricia Hampl”

This quote appears in The AWP Chronicle (now The Writer’s Chronicle), March/April 1998 issue. On autobiography vs. memoir: “A memoir .. takes on the narrative and formal demands of a novel: How to draw the reader forward? How to establish theme through incident and portraiture? What holds it all together, and what keeps it all […]

Week One, or: This Is Not a Creative Title

What a week! (Okay, and plus a half or so.) Wouldn’t you know, the gentleman and I adopted cats. We’re a regular Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song. Anyhow, look at these girls, like either of us could’ve resisted: My goodness, but they are playful. All. The. Time. Liddy’s almost a year and a half […]

Write the difficult

Ten years ago, I had an old boyfriend. Old then as in significantly(?) older than me, and old now as in we aren’t and haven’t been together for something like eight or nine years. Nearly a decade. At this point we’ve been broken up and apart for longer than we were together, and yet here […]

From here to there

Moving is simultaneously the worst and best thing ever. Yesterday the boyfriend and I vacated our tiny studio in Shadyside and transferred our belongings into a spacious two bedroom/two bathroom apartment in a high-rise in Highland Park. Writing it out like that makes it sound so simple and concise, and yet nothing about yesterday could be described […]