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Yes, there is such thing as “forced divorce”

August 16, 2012 | By | 1 Comment

“Forced divorce.” It has a nice ring, maybe, but surely it’s an impossibility: no outsider can make a couple legally dissolve their marriage, right? Not so fast, at least for those of us interested in time travel to ancient Rome. Then and there, forced divorce wasn’t as prevalent as arranged marriage, but it was a […]


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On publishing a book: THE FEAR

August 10, 2012 | By | 3 Comments

My friend Nate Johnson has a book coming out a month after mine does, and he recently posted about what he calls “Don’t Screw This Up” and what I think of as THE FEAR. Writing a book requires its own particular tussle with one’s ego, but in some ways you’re so busy and so engrossed […]


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On letting go of library books

July 27, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

For nearly a year now, the little cubby off our kitchen (also known as my “office”), has had stacks of library books all around its edges, like margins, many of which I borrowed from the UC Berkeley library. Books on attachment theory, biographies of people as disparate as Brahms, the Marxist theorist Rosa Luxemburg, a […]


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On the first glimpse of my book…as a book

May 9, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Just two days ago I got a sample of what the designer of my book has come up with for the interior pages. I don’t think I have ever been quicker to open a PDF, and I think I emitted a little gasp when I saw what she’d come up with: it’s gorgeous. Elegant, dignified, […]


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On the PMB (post-manuscript blues)

May 3, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

I feel it like the rumble of the subway when you’re up on the street. Faint but there, familiar yet disorienting. It’s been about two weeks since I turned in my book manuscript, and while you’d think I’d be high-fiving the world at this point, I’m not. The fact is I feel a little blue […]


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The Tale of Two Bears: Charlie Brown and Eon

May 1, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

A few months ago, my son Henry grew attached to a cute mustard brown teddy bear a cousin had given him when he was an infant. It must have been just after Christmas that he discovered this particular bear because he named him — presumably not getting his own pun because he’s only three years […]


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Do people outgrow vulnerability to heartbreak?

September 13, 2011 | By | 1 Comment

So, here’s a question for you: do people outgrow their vulnerability to romantic heartbreak? Can it strike at any time in one’s life, or is it something that experience and shifting priorities defangs? I honestly don’t know the answer to this question, which is why I’m posing it. Many psychologists who study “social pain” — […]


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Andy Whitfield and My Primacy Effect

September 12, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

Today, the bit of entertainment news that I’ve been dreading for a year: Andy Whitfield, star of the series Spartacus, died yesterday. He was 39, he died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and damn, he was one of the few men on screen to really light my fire. Sure, as Spartacus he was not just chiseled but […]


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Hot nun poem

August 30, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

I put your letter under my left breast —  They say that’s nearest the heart At last, weary, I tried to get to sleep But love that has been wakened knows no night… I lay asleep — no, sleepless — because the page you wrote  Though lying on my breast, has set my womb on […]


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Getting myself to a nunnery…or at least into a few books about nunneries

August 24, 2011 | By | 1 Comment

Among the many things I don’t understand (grits, polenta, heavy metal, hominy, the allure of Sarah Palin, rottweilers) are nuns. I always feel a little squirmy when I see one. My internal dialogue goes something like this: Respectful me: “What a nice thing to devote yourself to making the world a better place.” Feminist me: […]


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