Category: Writing

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Big Green Men

The worst thing you can do– if you are me– is read the New York Times’s review of the Oscars afterward. The funny thing is, why do they watch? Why do these stupid, joyless journalists watch, if they don’t have any idea what entertainment is for? I wonder if Alessandra Stanley has any idea how…

Under "The Tent"

Authors really shouldn’t be celebrities or figureheads. Not really. Instead, they should be heroes. Margaret Atwood just fills a chair, like any other person. She is right there in front of me. She is little. She is older than the image sketched on the side of a Barnes & Noble handbag. But she is epic.…

Evening song

It’s gone, isn’t it? When did it leave us Or when did we leave it? Did it go When the blue light came down? Or the night I said no When you said yes? Did it leave When I said yes to him And you to her? Did it go when I left Or when…

Hobby

“I have an idea!” I think. And so it starts. I begin something new. Learning guitar Is the latest, That dust collector in the corner. Yoga practice, once a week, once a month, Or sometimes only in my mind. For about two days one February On the steps of the Nelson Art Gallery It was…

Sunny Intervals

London is blooming this morning. It rained last night, the drops crackling on the plastic sheeting that covers the bricks outside our front window. We fell asleep to the lullaby of water rushing down the black iron downspouts. But this morning, London is dripping with sunshine. It won’t last. In England, this day will be…

Dry Milk

Frances laughs at me. “You love being poor!” as I reminisce again about my childhood. Now, though, I am not poor. I open the cupboard now and look at that little plastic tub of semi-skimmed dry milk. It’s cheerful, with it’s red cap and coffee and bread imagery. “Ideal for use in breadmakers, cooking, tea,…

Counting Backward from 1000

It’s black and dull in the room, but my mind shoots through with lights, flashes of bodies, voices shouting, tipping and wheeling around. I roll over and feel the body, warm and snoozing, next to me. I huff and sigh, my eyes following the crack on the ceiling. I could read. I could get up,…

What YES! gave me…

I did NOT want to go on this ski trip. Go skiing in the Alps? In Italy? No thanks! Some of you may think: That is BONKERS. Some of you may think that is just plain out of character. (Elizabeth LOVES to travel!) Some of you are cursing me for not appreciating the luck I…

Spiral-bound Woman

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. — Joan Didion I’m sitting at my oak table, one I use as a desk. I am glancing up, now and then, at the bookcase next to the…

Ghosts in Grey

I woke from a hard dream this morning. Colin and I were driving on a snowy road, a mountain face along one side, a river rushing along on the other. I must have been half-asleep, dreaming, because even as I dreamed, I could feel him curled against my back. In the dream, the sky was…

Death of the Routemaster…

OR, for real danger, now you’ll have to go to Mt. Etna It rains in London a lot. Sometimes it just mists, or mizzles, or drizzles. Other days it showers, teems, pours, tips down. In any case, it rains. As a result, quite often, the pavement is wet. It can just be foggy one early…

Baking on Saturday

Today is Saturday. I am sitting in my kitchen on Delaware Road, making cookies. It is quiet in the flat. Colin is at the other end, sitting at the computer, playing a game and relaxing. Through the open window, I can hear, again and again, the hollow sound of a tennis ball striking a racquet,…

Three Reasons to Have Children

In July, when the Barnes family left Lawrence, Kansas to visit us in London, I discovered three really great reasons to have children. The Barneses are our friends through Colin, my husband. Colin and Bob Barnes worked and played golf together in Kansas City. Bob and his wife, Amy, know each other because they are…

A familiar fear for an American in London

Published in The Kansas City Star, July 9, 2005 By ELIZABETH G. HOWARD Special to The Star LONDON — For the first few hours after the four explosions Thursday, it felt creepy, awful and horribly familiar. The BBC tore a page directly from an American news channel textbook: repeating the images of the decapitated double-decker…