Physical Books v. E-books: A Few Completely Subjective Thoughts


In 2000, I went on vacation alone for the first time. The prospect of a week on Captiva Island, reading and swimming and reading again, was delicious. Of course, the dilemma was what to read: mysteries, literature, general fiction, essays, or something else. Who knew what I’d feel like reading on a given day? So I did what any reasonable person would do: I loaded up my suitcase with books and tucked some clothes in around them. At the Fort Myers airport, as I tried to lift my suitcase into a rental car, I found myself wishing there was an alternative to hauling a library around.

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How to Live in a Hotel



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Remember Eloise, the little girl who lived at The Plaza in New York? Granted, Eloise was a six-year-old who lived in the penthouse at a luxury hotel, not a temporarily-displaced writer with five cats who is trying to juggle a day job, regular day-to-day minutiae, and all the calls and texts and emails and errands that accompany crisis management. Still, I can’t help thinking that her experience is ever so slightly different from mine. Continue reading



The thing I miss most in a hotel: fresh air.

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Life, Interrupted

Carol card

Two weeks and four days since the fire. Another four to six weeks until I move home (a fact I learned on Friday, when I thought I was on the cusp of returning).

When you’re not in your own home, your own workplace, your own world, one of the first things you discover is that everything takes five times as long to accomplish. At home, rituals and shortcuts and routines that can be executed without thought. Away from home, there are all sorts of steps: Continue reading

Off the Wagon (a/k/a Tales from the Fire)

falling off the wagon

As the old saying goes, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

Two weeks ago, I posted with great satisfaction about my 100-day challenge and how I’d established all sorts of routines to make it work. At that time, I felt confident I could see this through.

Yesterday, I fell off the wagon, so to speak. Continue reading

One Hundred Days of Writing


I first heard about the 100-day project on September 1, when violinist Hilary Hahn posted that she had practiced the violin for 100 days straight.

Apparently, there are all sorts of 100-day projects and challenges for everything from developing your creative side to reaching personal goals. The true purpose of many of these challenges seems to be building good habits (such as “Floss every day for 100 straight days.”).

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Jennie Baldrin Burgh

September 14, 1987-May 26, 2009

She was special.