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photo (16)For the past few months, I’ve been in a writing funk.

No, that’s not true. I’ve been writing. I write for Food Riot, and I’m working diligently on my book. But I have been in a blogging funk, which has distressed me. And every time I do manage to write a post, and I skip and celebrate and say, “Yay, I’m back!” it ends up being another month before I post again. One post does not a comeback make.

But I have been reading. And I thought I’d share some of my favorite things that I read during the month of April.

Blogs

  • Shannon at a periodic table wrote about her own writers block on her blog in a brilliant series called the Just One Question Project. In a great collection of responses from writers around the web, she gets down to the pitfalls of writers blocks, blogger funk, and all the various and sundry issues therein. It was a tough question to answer – I know because I emailed Shannon and told her that I couldn’t answer the question, being in the midst of my own funk – and it hits on a common problem for writers.

Articles

  • Otis loves me! He loves me! And you know how I know? 1) Because he never leaves me alone. 2) Seriously, I can’t go to the bathroom alone. 3) Science. A new study tracks the emotional (or love) response in animals after interaction with humans (and other animals) and it’s true – they LOVE!
  • I ran across this essay by Tamar Adler in The New Yorker - “Learning How to Eat Like Julia Child.” I was doing some research for an article and ran across the essay. We always conjure up this image of a chortling, joyful Julia Child, uttering quotes like how the only reason to eat diet food is if you’re waiting for the steak to cook, and, “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.” But Adler points out that there’s a great deal of discipline to learning how to eat consciously – how to really taste food. As I spend more time these days eating solo – and cooking solo – this idea of learning to eat and learning to taste and factoring in discipline with enjoyment – this balance – really resonated.

Books

  • I started the month reading Molly Wizenberg’s fantastic new memoir, Delancey:  A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriagewhich I reviewed for Food Riot. A fantastic book – I highly recommend picking it up when it comes out on May 6. Don’t go into it expecting it to be like A Homemade Life:  while it still communicates Molly Wizenberg’s fun, practical, and heartfelt approach to food, she is older and wiser and is, in this memoir, capturing a period of transition – a new venture.
  • Up next, I read Ann Patchett’s wonderful essay collection, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. I was inspired by her essays on writing, and I was the girl who cries on the airplane while reading the essay about when her dog died. At turns funny, sad, ambitious, and covering a range of topics from writing, to renting an RV, to divorce, to working to join the Los Angeles police department. Read this. It’s fantastic. And then read all her novels, which are equally wonderful.
  • Blowout, Denise Duhamel’s latest book of poetry, was challenging in a way I did not expect. Tracking the progression from losing love to healing to finding new love, the book was brutally honest and then also hopeful, and somehow also funny.