A Snapshot of Marriage

As some of you know, I’m married. As those of you who are married know, marriage is defined as “a relationship wherein you are yolked to a person until one or both of you dies, characterized by vacillating feelings of intense love, disgust, and loathing.”

Last night, I was making gravy. As those of you who make gravy know, gravy is defined as “an amalgamation of starch, fat, and liquid which, if you turn your back, will congeal or break and ruin your f*cking day.”

It’s not the easiest thing to accomplish. The fats must be right. The thickener must be right. It must simmer and reduce for the right amount of time. It’s not difficult per se, but it requires finesse.

Enter my husband.

CARTER: I’m gonna stir it, babe!

ME: It doesn’t need to be stirred.

CARTER: It’s fine. I’m gonna whisk it.

ME: Please don’t touch it. It’s reducing. It doesn’t need to be stirred.

CARTER: I’m gonna do it. Babe, you just don’t have the culinary instincts that I have.

ME: Dont. Touch it.

CARTER: Give it a little whisk, a little stir, babe. I’m gonna.

ME: I’m gonna crazy person murder you.

CARTER: Well that seems a bit harsh.

ME: Will you hand me a knife?

CARTER: What kind?

ME: A sharp one.

CARTER: Well, not now.

ME: Babe, I need a knife. I have to cut this broccoli.

CARTER: You just told me you were going to, and I quote, “crazy person murder” me and now you’re asking me to hand you a sharp knife.

ME: I can’t right now. You know that. You don’t have any money to dig.

CARTER: Ah, yes. Your plans to dig my gold. You know you’re the worst gold digger ever, babe. Right?

ME: It’s the long con, my love. I’m in it for the long con.


Disclosure: I would never harm this man. Well, I would eat the last piece of Havarti on purpose and I hope to live to be in my eighties just to spite him. But I would never, ever harm him and he knows this. I may be prone to theatrics and exaggeration. It’s my nature. Don’t you dare judge me.

As for the gold digging, contrary to what he says, I am not the worst gold digger in the world. After all, I get to sit around in my satin pajamas stained sweatpants while I eat bonbons do homework and start a home business and sip on champagne all morning lukewarm coffee all day. So, yea, I think I’m doing pretty well for myself.

Marriage. Lifetime Original Movies, you’re doing it wrong.

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My Little Opossum

I’m doing a bit of pet sitting for a friend’s two precious dogs. When taking them outside for the final go the other evening, all hell broke loose in the form of an opossum, which one dog cornered and the other killed.

Or so I thought.

Minor sidebar – neither dog was injured or bitten and while I was shaking and nearly hysterical, they were grooming themselves and looking utterly and smugly satisfied with their accomplishments.

We finally got the dogs inside and, armed with various plastic bags, brooms, and dustpans, Carter and I went out to assess the damages.

He shone his flashlight on the poor little creature which, as soon as I began to reach for it, opened its eyes.

“Better leave it, babe,” he said. “It might be playing dead.”

“Why would it be playing dead?!”

“Babe, it’s an opossum. That’s what they do.”

Did anyone else have a mother that accused them of “playing opossum” when they pretended to be asleep to avoid getting up for school? Of course you did. I did too.

Apparently, I never took my mother seriously when she said this and filed it away into the “Silly Mom Doesn’t Know What She’s Talking About” folder.

We decided to wait until morning. If the opossum was still there, we would dispose of it. If not, well, we would have saved me from death by opossum fight.

The next morning, imagine my horror to discover that the opossum had vanished. I mean, I’m glad the little guy made it. I’m also, however, glad that Carter actually listened to his mother with regard to opossums.

Because, let’s be awesome, if I had picked up that “dead” opossum, well, you know…


Although, Carter thinks it would have gone more like this…

He has far more confidence in me and my precision tackling skills than he should. We all know I’m far more useful as a receiver. (Har har har)

It’s a real shame because, if left to my own devices, I would have just done this…

What did we learn? Opossums do, in fact, “play opossum.” This has several implications, chief of which is that, no, your mother was not full of shit. At least not about everything. This means that, in all likelihood, she was right about other things, too, like your first boyfriend. Okay, who are we kidding – your first through eighth boyfriends.

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Code Milky Green

The Players:



The World


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And then I watched a video that reminded me of my obese dead hamster… but in a cute way.

Those of you who have been around here for a while will remember my dearly departed hamster, Fat Olivia.


I called Fat Olivia “Fat Olivia” so that those twig-bitch mice in my sister’s room couldn’t call her that behind her back.


Two things you should know about that story:

1. I’m fairly certain that the Fat Olivia blog post has the most comments of any post on this blog ever. Probably.

2. I still want to be a hydrangea bush when I die.


Read it. Please. You’re going to need the context to fully appreciate what I’m about to share next.

I know this isn’t new, but it’s new to me. I’m proudshamed to admit that I have watched it no less than 15 times in the last 12 hours.


Yea, you read that correctly. Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos.

It reminds me of this:

Too.F*cking.Cute. End of story.

Hope you all have a smashing sort of weekend and that you get all the rain and sub-90 degree weather you’ve been praying/ritually sacrificing your children’s stuffed animals for.


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Promo: “You, Your Book and A Mouthful of Stars: How to Pitch to an Agent,” a webinar by Carolyn Flynn

From Kate: I wanted to share with you an opportunity being offered by my friend and graduate school colleague, Carolyn Flynn. Take a gander and see if it interests you! If you have any questions, Carolyn is very friendly and has graciously listed her contact info at the end of the post.

Novelist, memoirist and longtime magazine editor Carolyn Flynn, a 2012 graduate of the Spalding MFA in Writing, is leading “You, Your Book and A Mouthful of Stars: How to Pitch to an Agent,” an eight-week live, online workshop about how to gain the confidence, clarity and skill of putting your work out into the world.

Sessions begin Sept. 17 and Sept. 18, with two times offered. Sign up for this webinar at http://www.carolynflynn.com/you-your-book-and-a-mouthful-of-stars-how-to-pitch-to-an-agent/

Discounts offered for early birds (Sept. 3), Spalding MFA in Writing students and alums and journalists.

Picky People: How a Magazine Editor Sees the Agent Pitch Game

I’m a novelist and memoirist, but by day I’m paid to be a picky person. I’m a gatekeeper. I’m the longtime editor of Sage magazine at the Albuquerque Journal, and people pitch to me all day.

Everyone thinks they have a great story.

Yeah, yeah.

Almost always the effort is impressive. Sometimes, the execution is, too. But I’m looking for the best of the best. I’m a curator.

Every day, I decide if we’re going to devote our resources to telling someone’s great story (our staff writers doing the work) or publish someone’s great story (a submission from a freelance writer).

It was this level of pickiness that I knew, and knew well, when it came time to seek professional representation for my novel, “Searching for Persephone.”

Only just one problem: Now I was on the other side of picky.

unnamedI’ve done a ton of research about the agent and publisher world, and I’ve thrown myself into two terrific pitch sessions in New York. I came out smarter and more effective, and that’s what I’m bringing to “You, Your Book and a Mouthful of Stars: How to Pitch to an Agent.”

I worked with professionals at the New York Writers Workshop to refine my pitch. I had breakthroughs. But I kept asking the questions, cultivating more sources and bringing in more collaboration until I felt like I had accomplished these three key things: a. my book was right, b. my pitch was right and c. I knew it.

 As a writer, you want to be equipped to convey this idea: My book is worth it. It is worth all that you will invest in me. Absolutely.

To this webinar, I’m bringing years of the experience of listening to what I don’t quite want, story ideas that are good but not rising to the level of “worth it.”

Out of my research and collaboration with authors, agents and editors, I’ve developed tools that will help writers understand what they need to do to get through the gate.

And even if you’re not ready yet because you’re book’s not done, this workshop will help you as you write your way through your book. You’ll get much clearer on the “worth it” part of your book – the wow factor, the hook, the can’t-put-it-down, got-to-sign-you-up-now feeling you want an agent to have. Or for that matter, a reader.

So, together we will get much clearer on the plot, pacing and significance of our books, all with the knowledge that we have built the infrastructure for that time when we do seek professional representation.

My aim is to help. The business of writing shouldn’t have to be mysterious or difficult. So, check it out, and see if you’d like to be part of this wonderful group, because there is one thing I do know for sure: Writing is worth it, and writing together and succeeding together are even more worth it.

You, Your Book and a Mouthful of Stars: How to Pitch to An Agent

Taught through the webinar format, this workshop will teach you how to write an agent query letter and practice a pitch.

One working group starts Sept. 17, the other Sept. 18. Two times are available.

Early bird discount if you sign up by Sept. 3. (Discounts also available for Spalding MFA in Writing students and alumni, as well as journalists.)

All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection, or join in on the call from your phone. When you register, you’ll receive instructions on how to login.

Sign up here.






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