I made my friend, Jen, a hat for Christmas. Well, actually, I made her about 3 hats... but none of them actually worked out. UNTIL now (yes, I know , Christmas was a long time ago, but after so many failed attempts, I needed a break!) What's that? You want to see what it looks like? OK!


Fiction, but from a different POV

So, I decided to change up the POV on my fiction. Here's the first 3 pages. Please comment to let me know what you think about the switch. To see the original, scroll down and look for older posts. Thanks in advance!


I was shouting. At a priest. At my priest. I was pissed. Fifteen years old and there was a whole lot about the world that I was learning and fast. Things that fifteen year olds aren’t supposed to think about, never mind deal with. I needed to shout, wondered why my grams wasn’t shouting. I knew, from that moment on, there was no salvation for my soul – that I would go to Hell. But I didn’t care; I wasn’t worried about my soul, I was worried about my father’s. “What do you mean he isn’t going to have a Catholic burial? He was at church every Sunday; he was here last Sunday! You’ll do it, even if I have to write to the Pope myself!” The priest sat there, hands folded while I screamed at him, and looked straight at Grams, who then took my hand. I sat down and realized that I had been standing, yelling and pointing at the priest. I was going to Hell for sure. I didn’t want to stop yelling, Grams should have joined me, should have stood and left. How could she sit there and a man do this to her son? Excommunicate him when he was so faithful? Clearly he was sick, there was something wrong with him; he never leave me, never leave his little girl. They sat in silence.
The priest threw his hands up. “I can ask the deacon to perform the ceremony. He’s liberal.” He got up and left through the door behind his desk. And that was it. Grams looked at me, nodding her head slightly. I wasn’t sure if she was appreciative or admonishing. I was exhausted; longed to go home, sleep, wake up ten years from now or ten years ago. It would be better.
Two hours later, I woke up in my bedroom; my father let me decorate it any way I liked ten years ago. It was bubble gum pink and “icing blue,” known to the rest of the world as teal. Looking at the room, at the stuffed animals that I hadn’t played with in years but wasn’t ready to part with, I forgot about the events of the days before. He really was gone; that had become the worst part of sleeping, my whole life I was afraid of my dreams and now I was afraid of my reality. I shut my eyes again, didn’t want to face Grams’ well-meaning friends and her stoic face, which was a mystery to me. She seemed to have no reaction to her son’s death. I was only 15, but knew it must be awful for your son to die before you, that’s what it said O magazine; burying your child is the worst thing ever.
I looked in the mirror across from my bed, horrified by the face staring back. I grabbed my Teddy, retreated under my fluffy covers, tried to force the memory from my brain, and failed.

She awoke, startled by the noise. She heard it again, and stumbled from bed. It was definitely in the house. She waited a minute, listening. No more bangs, but shouting, pounding footsteps. She was afraid, knew what it was but refused to believe it. Where would he have gotten a gun anyway?
Slowly she slinked along the wall in the hallway, towards the stairs. The sound hadn’t come from upstairs; it was too muffled. Her face was frozen; she tried to move her mouth, to call out, just to prove that she could. She couldn’t. She managed to breathe, though, and did, without fully catching her breath. She gripped the railing stepping carefully on each stair. Voices grew louder. The cleaning woman, the cook we mumbling, shouting, something about an ambulance, police. She couldn’t understand them, even if they were only a few feet away. She was still at the base of the stairs when Grams rushed in, escorting the paramedics to the dining room. And eternity later, the stretcher, which had been rolled in empty, was rolled back out, occupied. They hadn’t even tried to bring him back. He was gone.

Three days later, at the foot of the freshly dug hole, covered with a cloth, I stared at the casket, on that special stretcher that is only used funerals, I wanted to wait until they lowered him into the ground. Grams finally grabbed my arm and pulled me away, she still hadn’t cried in front of anyone, and said nothing to me. I couldn’t hear anything, anyway. The sounds around me were muffled and still unintelligible. People spoke to me, I nodded, Grams led me around. I understood nothing.


Foodie Meme

I saw this at Lyndsey-Jane's site, My Knitting and Me and had to join. Basic rules are bold what you’ve eaten and strikethrough those you wouldn’t eat on a bet.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp

9. Borscht (beetroot makes me heave)

10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari - Love love love this!
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio Ice Cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese - that's a NO, but I don't know how to strike through
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - um, no, I don't think I'd ever intentionally eat that
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters - deathly allergic to shellfish
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - how I found out I'm allergic to clams

33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - sounds pretty nice
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips ew
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst - sounds yummy!
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake yum, yum, yum, yum, yum
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill - I don't think I'd eat this.
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict MY FAVORITE
83. Pocky (or something similar).
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef - It's illegal to have Kobe beef in America
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab I SO wish I wasn't suddenly allergic!!
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake



When youcan't write, work

Tom E. Kennedy, my mentor, quoted that title many times while we met at my residency at FDU. Of course, I've already forgotten who'd originally said it (Whitman?) Please feel free to leave the answer in a comment and I'll fix this...
But, wow, I always hated revising and I'm so happy to have someone as talented as Tom line edit my work, this time it's incredibly grueling. Good, and I'm sure my prose is benefiting to a GREAT degree. I just hope I get to the end of the revisions and get a little kick of inspiration!
So far, I've added about 3 pages... I hope they're good pages, but we'll see what happens when I move on and resubmit in a few weeks. Wish me luck and lots of interesting verbs!


Returns and beginnings

I'm back from my first residency at graduate school & there is a lot to do! Not only do I have to get ready for the Fall semester with the classes I'm teaching, but I also have to write a lot of fiction (including revisions) and do two annotations of novels (and read some others that I'm not annotating).
It's crazy!
I'm ready, though, and I'm really excited to get things going. Of course, I'll have to start cleaning and cooking again, too. I have to say, as meager as the accommodations were and as awful as the food was at some times, I really enjoyed not being responsible for the cooking and cleaning!

More writing coming soon! I'm also putting the finishing touches on a hat for my friend Jen; it has a few more inches to be finished and then I'll be knitting some little ears for it!!! Photos coming soon.


Creative Non Fiction, Untitled

I don’t know why I checked my voicemail during work; I was diligent, my phone stayed off and in my bag. But that day I was desperate to check it. I excused myself from from copyediting copyright pages (my only job as an intern) and ran down the hall to the bathroom. Still silenced, I pressed the number 1 on my phone and held it down until it dialed my voicemailbox.
“You have one new message. Press 1 to hear your new messages.”
I drew a breath and it echoed in the large office bathroom. A foot shuffled in one of the stalls.
“Hello, Katherine, this is X with Random House. It was really nice to meet you and we’d love to welcome you aboard. Please call me back to discuss the particulars.”
I pressed 9 to save the message, as my voicemailbox narrator suggested. I checked the time: 4:35. Twenty five minutes. I would twenty five wonderful, intimidating minutes, but it was mine. Editorial Assistant at Random House. The hallway beamed from my glowing smile as I passed Brie’s desk on the way back to my corner. Sure, she got to intern with Arthur, and edit pages of Harry Potter (a book she had never heard of), while I was stuck copyediting copyright pages, but I was offered a job at Random House. I would be a hip writer. I would work in Manhattan. I would work late some nights, sure, but I would to bars and restaurants with agents, editors and authors. I had arrived.
At 4:58 I was on the elevator. I didn’t even look at the book bin, filled with new printing of children’s book, free to any one who happened to pass it. As soon my feet hit the street, I turned a hard left, avoiding the sunglass sellers, and walked into Kate’s Paperie. It was the perfect place to make this phone call, quiet and filled with inspiring papers. I dialed the number I had written in my notebook more than a week ago.
“This is X.”
“Hi, it’s Katherine Lupo; you called.”
“Yes, so happy you called….”
I listened eagerly for the details of my glamorous job but instead I heard a lot of words that didn’t make sense and some that stuck out like a knife, hot from being in the dishwasher; twenty six thousand, 12 hours a day, weekends. The lights seemed to get brighter in the paper shop, which suddenly smelled of that glue that kept old books from falling apart.
“Wow, thanks,” I said from a voice I could not recognize, “I’ll let you know in a couple of days.” I had been prepared to say “yes, of course, see you Monday!” but something like reason and disappointment snuck up on me. I couldn’t say yes to that. I had to think about that. Math. I had to do math. Numbers came into my head – bus pass - $200/month. Rent - $400/month. Numbers numbers numbers. The ½ hour bus ride to New Jersey was a torture device of numbers dripping into my head cruelly, slowly, killing the self I had just met a few hours before.
I would have to choose. I didn’t have to do the math. I knew. Publishing or writing. The door to the apartment was open; my roommate was still alive, but hadn’t moved from the floor of his bedroom.
Everything was wrong. I couldn’t… I wanted to be a writer. I was a writer and the apartment, halfway between the city and home made the decision for me. There was no decision. I’m moving home, I told him, still lying on the floor.