Friday, May 7, 2010

On Psychic Comforts

If you’ve been following the Wicked Writers this week, you know some of us have a lot of weighty issues on our minds. Loss and uncertainty can do that to you. And weariness. I've been struggling with my own lately. Too much to do, too many people to please, not enough time or stillness to stop and breathe. So today, here are few of the little things I’ve been making time to enjoy.

Herbs. I have a fabulous Persian recipe that, while rather involved, requires chopping heaps of fresh herbs—parsley, cilantro, spring onions, garlic chives, fenugreek—to create the best aromatherapy ever. The combination of these ingredients serves a dual purpose: After making all right in the world with its uplifting, refreshing scent, it goes into a stew that’s the ultimate comfort food. Mmmm.

Cartoons. I spend the day writing and editing, and occasionally, after the girls are back from school, we watch a cartoon together. My eight-year-old prefers Word Girl, in which a young girl, secretly a superhero, solves crimes through her brilliant vocabulary, powering up with the expression “Word up!” My five-year-old prefers Martha Speaks, about a dog that eats alphabet soup, the letters of which go to her brain instead of her tummy. The result is a talking dog with, go figure, a strong vocabulary and the ability to solve crimes. Another result: my girls may breeze through those SATs in another decade and/or save the world from evil villains. And how cool is it that my kids love both mysteries and wordplay?

Kids. Me, walking in on the girls during what looks to be very serious play: “Whatcha doing?” Them (in front of toy laptops with no batteries): “Looking ourselves up on the Internet to read about  all the ways we make the world a better place.” Sigh.

Sweet discoveries. My first Louise Penny novel, Teavana’s Arcadian Apple Tea (“with a touch of ambrosial papaya”), unused gift cards for spa treatments.

Free time. I’m working on this one. Writers have to recharge and sometimes the best way is to not think about writing. Maybe tomorrow.


  1. Ahh... My sister under the skin. We both need to recharge. Can I go to the spa with you? Just let me know when you book it and I'm there.

  2. Inspirational post! You are so right about needing to recharge. I find other creative projects like making a complicated piece of jewelry really helps to get the creative juices flowing. You've made me want to pull out the beads this weekend.

  3. Ghormeh Sabzi is the ultimate comfort food, as any Iranian will tell you, but you are the only person I know who takes as much comfort in the preparation as the eating of it. :)