The back-to-school rituals

I’ve been thinking about routines lately, especially as summer is winding down and I’m anticipating my daughters returning to high school. My oldest will be a senior! (little Emma will graduate soon!) The routines have changed a lot since they were little. Thankfully there are no more diapers but I often spend most of my…

How do we remember?

I’ve been thinking about memory a lot lately. Like, why do we remember some things and not others? I can recite how one of my customers took his coffee twenty years ago but fail to recall that we are out of dog food as I’m driving by the store. And why do the painful occasions…

A return to Topeka

I don’t remember who first noticed the nests – two of them, huge and a couple of stories above our heads. These were no nests that you sometimes see on the sidewalk fallen from the trees of my east Lawrence neighborhood; these reminded me of the ones I’ve seen from a distance on my paddle…

Self Care

Anthony Bourdain’s suicide took my breath away. Restaurant work consumed my life for almost twenty years and when I read Kitchen Confidential and The Nasty Bits, I was blown away. And then his television life – it all seemed almost unbelievable. Look, someone got out of the kitchen as a writer! And such a damn…

First-ever Guest Post by Molly Murphy

I’ve admired the paintings of Molly Murphy for a long time. I’ve bought small ones for gifts and splurged on a large one for my living room. But I’m not going to share her visual art today (although you should at least check out her website to see it), I want to share her words….

My Dad’s Ashes

Once I became a mom I realized that the reason why my own mom was the only one who could ever seem to find anything in my house growing up was that she was the only one who ever actually looked. So even though she wasn’t trying to find them, leave it to my mom…

How to Prepare for Your Book Reading

  Start a list. Write ‘choose pages to read’ at the top. Remind yourself they are to be read out loud, not in your head. Shave your legs. Glance at your list but decide you should choose your outfit instead. Create an online vote for which dress to wear. (White is in the lead!) Start…

Intro to Blogging

I loved a workshop I taught recently called So You Want to Blog. I wanted to share what I’ve learned about blogging since I started sharing here, originally as The Chef’s Wife. What a journey it’s been! I’ve published three books since I first tested the waters sharing my words with you all. Thank you for…

Thank you readers

I am preparing to teach a workshop on blogging at the Lawrence Arts Center. I love the freedom I have as an instructor there to develop ideas for classes. I wanted to lead this class because creating a blog was instrumental in helping me find my voice as a writer. And I have you, dear…

Write Letters With Me!

Do you have a couple of minutes to watch a video? I’d love to share why I’m writing a letter a day for the month of March. I share about how I received a stack of thank you letters from seventh grade students who I spoke to recently on memoir writing. The kids were awesome…