Monthly Archives: July 2010

Puppet Show*

Rat: Know where I can get something to eat?

Raccoon: Go see the Boggs family in Walkerton. They put out, like, six bowls of cat food on their deck every night. And bowls of cream for breakfast. It’s awesome.

Rat: Okay, let me wash my face.

Raccoon: Don’t worry, it’s come as you are.

*Performed in the children’s section at Twice Told Tales, a great bookstore in Gloucester, Virginia


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Today is my birthday. This morning I walked to the river and on the way found my birthday clover:

I found eight more on my walk, which I will most likely give away at some upcoming readings; I like to tuck them into the books that I sign. If you can’t make it to a reading but would like me to mail you a clover, the offer still stands!

It rained so much yesterday–two inches–that everything is suddenly very green again.


And the river was raging! I sat down and read for a while, and the noise sounded like I was at the ocean:

Speaking of reading, if you read Mattaponi Queen and are so inclined, I would be very grateful if you would post an Amazon review. Of course I want everyone to support their local bookstores, but Amazon is a place where people research books before they buy, so I think it’s helpful to have reader reviews posted there. Think of it as a birthday wish!


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Friday Links

I wrote about books and stories I love in the classroom (and on my bedside table) in The Book Lady’s Blog today. My picks include Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel, In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall, I Remember by Joe Brainard, and the stories of The Monti and The Moth.

This weekend is Can-a-Rama 2010. It’s really hot, so maybe I’ll make some freezer jam?

My friends at Roulette Vintage are hosting an old-fashioned cakewalk and contest this Sunday! I’m excited to go to a cakewalk, and lord knows I love a contest, but turning on the oven is not very appealing. I think I might try Martha Stewart’s no-bake cheesecake from the August issue (not very Southern, but still a cake! And no baking!). My mom commented today that someone should donate Martha Stewart Living to mental institutions because “it’s so orderly.”  We particularly love her calendar.

Doug Solter very helpfully put together advice, culled from a popular Twitter discussion this week, on how to impress booksellers.

Graywolf’s July newsletter offers a good deal on J. Robert Lennon books, Per Petterson tour dates, plus a preview of two new books in the Art of series.

You should read this piece from The Institute for Southern Studies, “The Real Story of Racism at the USDA.”


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Really Old Cat

How old would you say this cat is?

If you guessed 22 you’d be right. Walkerton resident Mischief has surpassed the human legal drinking age through a regimen of Deli Cat, minimal exercise, and drinking two full bowls of water every day.

I think she looks really good, for 22:

And she gets sweeter every day, which is not something you can say about all the rest of the Boggs cats.


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More Links

Here’s a lovely review of Mattaponi Queen in The Book Lady’s Book Blog. I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca (the Book Lady) in Richmond, a trip I will write about as soon as I fetch my camera back from Walkerton. 

You can download Elizabeth Alexander’s beautiful Amistad sequence on At Length. I vividly remember listening to her read “Praise Song for the Day,” standing way at the back of the Washington Monument–what a great day that was!

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Largehearted Boy List, Skloot Reading

Hello! My Internet connection is randomly cutting in and out and of course I have no idea how to fix it, so here are some quick  links for a Monday:

I’m very flattered that Mattaponi Queen made the Largehearted Boy Summer Reading list. Click here for my Largehearted Boy Book Notes.

Rebecca Skloot will sign and discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks at the Library of Virginia on August 25, from 6:00-7:00 PM. If you live near Richmond, this is a great opportunity to hear a fascinating story and meet a terrific author! I recently passed The Immortal Life on to my mother and recommended it to another friend, and they both loved it.

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Friday Links

Here’s a great new website documenting writers’ houses and celebrating the literary pilgrimage. The site allows you to explore by state, city, writer, or internationally. I like the limited-edition prints they’re offering of writers’ houses, too (Poe, Gorey, O’Connor, and Dickinson).

The Virginian-Pilot ran a very kind and thoughtful review of Mattaponi Queen.

And here’s another nice review, this time from Deal Safrit, owner of Salisbury’s Literary Bookpost, in the Salisbury Post. I’ll be at the Literary Bookpost tonight at 6:30! With preserves, of course.

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