Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Space To Write

I might have mentioned my office became a nursery.

I might not have mentioned I have a new space to write.

The tiniest desk I could find.

Can you imagine me? Running through Ikea aisles with a baby stroller, determined to find the one and only desk to fit in the one and only available (25 inch) space in our apartment?

But I found it.

And so I sat, late into a raucous Friday night, with the unassembled pieces, a bag full of screws, and the wordless directions from Scandinavian furniture whizzes, and felt very serious.

I would put together this desk.

I would sit at it in the moonlight.

I would become someone.

I got a lamp. A striped seat cover. I stacked the old notepads. And now it's mine.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Currently -- Summer


These days we are watching Louie. I love the brilliance of this show. It's surprising, strange, thoughtful, self-aware, offensive, funny, poignant ... I recently heard Emily Nussbaum, the television critic for The New Yorker, say it is a show we don't yet know how to watch. 

I would agree that this is the best way I've heard it described. I don't yet know how to experience it. But I'm watching with great interest. And I'm still amazed and reeling, all this time later, from Parker Posey's haunting performance of last season. 


I just started Ian McEwan's Atonement.  

I recently finished an ARC for a book I hope to write more about in a bigger way, After Birth by Elisa Albert. It is a fictional story about the social exile that many women experience in motherhood. It really resonated with me. 


It's rained a lot this week so I've been in the house with Little O, listening to music. After years working in the toy industry, I don't do a lot of baby music here. A Lena Horne record I found on the street. Ella Fitzgerald on Spotify. And O.A.R. from Tyler's iTunes library.


Baby food for Little O. Ice cream for me. Stories, when I can. 


Like maybe I'm on the brink of something new.


A trip to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts to hike and explore and visit with many family and friends. 

I'm also dreaming of a new space in my home to write. When my office turned into a room for baby boy, I found myself a bit displaced, moving from the bed to the couch and working around Tyler's television and sleep schedule. I realized, early this week, that there is just one unused nook in our tiny apartment, tucked in the corner of our bedroom. I have found the smallest desk possible to fit in it. I can't wait to pick it up this Friday.


Ice cream. Fireworks. Summer walks with friends. Little O's smile and the sound of his laughter. He thinks the broom is very funny, even if I don't find sweeping very amusing. After thinking about various manuscripts over the years and the moment of knowing  you must walk away from them...I began singing Kenny Roger's 'The Gambler' out loud (you've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run) and Little O now thinks that is the most hilarious thing he has ever heard.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Street Finds - The Books of This Summer

There are many reasons I love Brooklyn. One of them is the mysterious exchange that happens on the sidewalks and stoops of our homes. I haven't seen this anywhere else. Even after six years just over the river in Manhattan. But, here in Brooklyn, we love to leave books and records outside for anyone to take.

I have built a beautiful, if worn, library from these finds. And I have left many, many of my own books at the foot of the tree directly in front of our building. They disappear like forgotten secrets. I feel better knowing they are in another's eager hands.

I always want to read what's new, what's now but, this summer, the streets have been talking. They've been saying, Melissa, you've missed the best. I'm almost embarrassed to admit I haven't yet read a single work of the great Gabriel Garcia Marquez or McEwan's most well-known, Atonement. Tyler's been nagging at me to read his beloved Simon Winchester. And others have shouted of Saunders and Patchett. I've managed to miss them all.

But, no more. These are the books that have found me this summer. I can't believe my good fortune. They've been waiting. It's time.