Posts filed in: Books

Almost there.

comments: 37

Shoot2

Yesterday was one of the big photo shoots I had planned for the book. This was the last big one, the one with my model, Beauty Nicole. That's what I call her. She's also the most patient and the nicest girl in the world. Even though a porch swing she was sitting on fell out of the porch ceiling and she got hit in the head with a two-by-four (from the ceiling) six days ago (I didn't really know this until we were fussing with her hair and had to be careful about where she'd just gotten two stitches removed), she modeled five projects perfectly. I really, really hope she has the weekend off, poor darling. I wish I had baked her some cupcakes to take home, at least.

I get a little anxious about these photo shoots. The "vision" we're trying to translate is such a wily, capricious thing. When I am designing something, I almost always have a vision for it, a specific environment. It's a setting. I can hardly think of anything that doesn't inhabit a very specific setting in my imagination as it's coming to life. Since I was very young I have always designed things this way, whether I'm making embroidery projects or short stories: There's always a place. It often comes first. My friend Andy Greer once said to me after a fiction workshop when we were in grad school together, "Well, I'm not sure what's going on in your story, but I know what all the characters are wearing and what the wallpaper in everbody's room looks like." And I was like, "Oh good! So you got it, then!"

I'm getting more relaxed about photo shoots in general, I think, which is good, in general, for the almighty blood presure, but good aesthetically, too. I've been involved in enough of them now to know that holding on too tight just squashes the sponteneity and naturalness right out of anything. I "know" this, of course, but it still takes a conscious effort for me to remember that letting go is Good, not Bad. But you gotta let go at just the right amount, and that's the tricky part. It sort of feels like doing a triple axel (as if I could even stand up on ice skates, but we'll just say) — you let go enough so that you can lift off and spin, but not so much that you can't land it. And maybe even attempt a teensy wrist flourish: Ta da! [There. Skate on.]

Part of what contributes to the intensity is just the weirdness of working alone for so long, only getting to talk to editors and art directors on the phone, usually in abstractions and generalities, and then trying, when there's only that one day to get it right (since, trust me, rescheduling a photo shoot is not something anyone anywhere ever wants to have to do), to get something that pleases all of us equally, not to mention pleases our future audience. It's ultimately a collective vision and I feel a great responsibility for that, since a lot of people and a lot of time and a lot of effort (and money) is involved. Part of it is just simple performance anxiety, which has always plagued me. And part of it — maybe even the biggest part of it — is just something that comes with experience, I guess. Is that right? Because all of it, not just the phototography but everything about making a book, has been so much easier and so much better the second time around. I think I'm surprised I had the capacity to enjoy myself this much.

Anyway. These are just the things I think about, now that I am almost there, and almost done. Just two more project photos to go now. But I'll be far away from needle and thread, camera and computer this weekend: I'm digging in the dirt. If the weather holds out.

comments: 74

Whew, what a week! Good week. Too much working and not enough anything else (I can always tell this because my shoulders feel like rocks) but it's been great and I am happy. The photo shoot on Thursday went really well. Andrea and Andy helped so much. I can't remember if I mentioned it, but for the past few months I have been lucky enough to be hanging out with the amazing Andrea of Hula Seventy, talking to her about the concept of this book, and getting the benefit of her incredible photographic eye. The girl just sees things. She is a born stylist. On top of that she is so kind and gentle and enthusiastic, even though it frequently feels like most of what amounts to "assisting" at a photo shoot isn't about making aesthetically valuable contributions but just jumping when someone bleats, "Can you get that/move this/dust that/straighten that/lower it now/recharge these batteries/hold this reflector for me, please?" [if they even remember to say please].

But it all matters. And she (and Andy) does it all with such generosity that you resolve to be more generous yourself, in general, because — that's nice. That's just so nice to be around. And I like to think that it — those happy conditions — shows in the shots. All our conversations and brainstorming and fiddling go into the day, and, with any luck, the thing that appears on film matches our visions, our hopes for that little scene. Sometimes it just doesn't work, and then you have to switch gears. But sometimes it does. So much of embroidering and writing and sewing is solitary, a personal labor of love. It simply blows my mind when anyone else cares enough to share it. I'm so grateful. Because sometimes it takes a village. And if cool, kind people live in your village, then . . . jeesh. Score.

There's this interesting phenomenon that happens with a big project that evolves as it goes along. Let's just say you are writing and photographing an embroidery book, for instance. Let's just say you are a lunatic who is writing and photographing an embroidery book. It starts as an idea — something that you can sum up in one sentence or so. You hammer out a proposal that includes ideas for thirty projects — and most of these (at least most of mine) are literally conjured out of thin air. You pluck them out of your brain like hazy new plums. Some will stay, some will go (right now you don't know which). Some use techniques you've never done before (don't tell!). Some should take a normal person several weeks, even months — not days — to complete. Thirty is a lot, and at this point, you're just going for quantity. Can one person even think of thirty things? Are there even thirty things to make??? No. Yes. There are. You write things down. You sketch and color and plot. You try to think of something for everyone. You try to think of that one thing that might inspire someone to try something they've never done before, to pick up a needle and go. You think, "I really need guest-room curtains," and design some.

But then you start working on the projects and they start changing and growing and getting bigger, and getting better. You go with it. You just keep stitching. Go go go. While you're stitching, you're thinking, even though it looks like you're just watching Gossip Girl. When not stitching, you're looking through old books, thumbing through your fabric stash, wandering the aisles at the craft store, cooking dinner, petting the dog, worrying about stuff, cleaning the house, trying to keep the bills paid, occasionally walking in the woods, sometimes taking an unrelated break to make a pincushion, and dreaming, and the ideas begin to bloom.

And as the ideas grow and come to life, the book goes from a concept to an actual collection of real things. You stitch and you're committed — each project you start becomes a committment: the book will now be like this and not that — no time for regrets or second-guesses. You must keep going, and also you must go quickly, because that's how publishing works. No time to go back and redo, or rethink it, really. But this is okay — this is how things stay light. There's a right amount of time: enough to do it well, but not so much that you're spinning your wheels, revving, stuck somewhere because you have time to be stuck (you don't).

Because then it's time for the photos, and you have this moment where you're standing there holding a cross-stitched apron and you realize that all of the thinking, all of the designing, the hours and hours and hours you spent stitching the thing, it all goes into that one photo. You generally just get that one photo with which to honor that project. Very few people (like, maybe seven) will actually see the project in real life. And you love your project. Your project has become your BFF since you never leave the house anymore and all your real friends have forgotten you exist and won't remember until April 15 (the manuscript due date) when you come tearing out of the house singing show tunes at the top of your lungs. You want to get it right. Otherwise, what's the point? If this — stitching things — is what you're doing with your life, if this is what you believe in (and I do), then you want to get it right.

But it's funny because, as lofty as your Photographic Goal is, you are constantly brought down to earth by your very prosaic circumstances: The light is bad (this is March in Oregon — there is no light), there's too much clutter, you're stressed about the economy, other stuff, the house is damn tiny and you can't pull the tripod back far enough to minimize the distortion, it's pouring rain, you suck at taking pictures, and at everything, all things, in general.

But then sometimes you get a day that feels just right, where everything comes together, with really cool people, a little alchemy. And that was last Thursday. It happened to be the eleventh anniversary of my accident, the thing that brought me to all of this in the first place. Sometimes you get a day where it — your project/your life, in all its flaws, ommisions, and challenges — is still better than you could've hoped, and the photo says more than you even knew you knew about it. That's the hat trick. Even getting just one is enough to keep you going. Even if no one else notices it but you. And I think we got a few. At least a couple of pages of heart and soul.

Lovely, dark and deep.

comments: 271

WinterWoods34

Last month, when we went to the art museum to see the photography exhibit about the Columbia Gorge, I bought a book in the gift shop called Portland Hill Walks: Twenty Explorations in Parks and Neighborhoods by Laura O. Foster. I started to read it that night, and immediately began conspiring with myself to take Walk #1, Willamette Heights to Balch Creek Canyon Loop.

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I got pretty emotional when I was reading the book. I knew that something was changing for me because of it. Before my accident, I had been a walker. Walking defined so much about me. I can't explain to you how much I loved it. I tried one time to explain, but I don't know that I really got it right. In the years since 1998, walking has had to be replaced by other things that don't cause so much pain, or, worse, risk the fragile tissue we've worked so hard to regrow, but the urge to do it never goes away. Lately I have been desperate to get back to the woods, a place I grew up in; I didn't even really know how much I was feeling it until I was in bed one night a few weeks ago, reading the book by the glow of my tiny nightlight, and I started to cry.

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That was sort of a clue.

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But I think they were really tears of relief, in a way: The book had arrived.

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It's a book of walks, joyfully (you can tell) taken, carefully detailed, lovingly described by Ms. Foster. She has a writer's sensibility, and writes like a dream, but she is also herself an editor, and editors have that uncanny ability to focus intensely on the small stuff — there are excellent maps, precise mileage counts and elevations, and very well indicated directions — while never losing sight of the big stuff: Historical information, fascinating anecdotes, and geological descriptions place you squarely in the context of the physical place you're walking through.

But what was different about it for me, as I looked at the maps and calculated the elevations and imagined the terrain based on her descriptions, was that I felt as if I were walking it as I was reading it, or at least I felt confident that I would responsibly know what I was in for if I walked it — if I went off-trail like this — in a way that maybe only the compromised can really appreciate. "Know" in a way that inspires confidence, and makes you think you can just begin. A small, private victory that may be different from most, or not something anyone else can imagine, or, at least, seems like less than they'd expect from you. But you know. You know you've scored the chance to change. And it feels like grace, something suddenly bestowed.

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On Saturday, we went. Through neighborhoods we never knew existed (though that's not saying much, since we tend to circle the well-worn paths around our own quite happily, being both homebodies and creatures of habit) and on wooded paths we couldn't have imagined, Andy and Clover and I spent this misty, late-winter afternoon lost in slow steps and shared wonder. We felt very far from home, though, amazingly, we could look down and see the brew pub where we had dinner last week, the gleaming port, the river we cross every day, just below. What smells, of wood and water and hidden things, were these? What light, through this odd, fir-treed filter? Where were we, here on the green-fringed edge of the eleven-mile-long Leif Erickson trail, built in 1915 and planned as a conduit between several yet-unbuilt subdivisions named, optimistically, Maybrook, Ridgewood, Regents Heights? They would be abandoned and later forfeited to the city, since the dramatic, ravine-crossing road was doomed to repeated washout.

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Whose house is this, huddled into the hillside?

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To what secret place does this mossy-soft stairway lead?

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Why has it taken me so long to get here, or is this, in fact, just the right time?

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In and out of woods and neighborhoods we wove, shocked to find that the line between the two was blurred and indistinct (and, frequently and unfortunately, covered in invasive ivy). From the stately, enormous old homes and hushed, sleepy streets of Willamette Heights, we made our way down to the Wildwood Trail and into Forest Park, past the site of the old dairy, past mushrooms as big as dinner plates, and further into Balch Creek Canyon, which, according to the book, was named after Danford Balch. He had once owned the surrounding property and was hanged in 1859 for shooting the man who had married his fifteen-year-old daughter, while she (and five hundred other) Portlanders watched. As it turned from afternoon to late afternoon, we wound our way down to the creek.

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Around the bend, a witch's house.

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At the bottom of the canyon, toward the end of the loop, it was busier, more developed (a bright, new fence lined the path), and colder, and my lens started to fog up, which has never happened before.

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Or else, the place is really enchanted.

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Makes you wonder.

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It is for me, anyway. It was almost 4.5 miles in all, and I made it the entire way.

A is for Another

comments: 180

EmbroideryBook3 As I've hinted, behind the colds, curries, and coconut custards, I am working on another book! This one is a collection of thirty embroidery projects that incorporate cross-stitch, crewel, and regular floss embroidery. It will be published, again by Potter Craft, in the spring or summer of 2010.

I have never worked as happily on anything as I am on this book. Everything — manuscript,illustrations, charts, and photos — is due on my editor's desk on April 15th. I started developing the projects earlier this fall, and every day of creating them has been so satisfying and enjoyable. I honestly think I will be sad to be finished with this one, which (for lots of reasons) I couldn't have said about Stitched in Time. For one thing, I have had a lot more time to work on this new book (as of yet untitled), compared with the wild-eyed and desperate dash-to-the-finish-line that was Stitched in Time, and that has made so much difference.

Last spring, soon after Stitched in Time was totally out of my hands and off to the printer, I started thinking about what I wanted to work on next. An article I'd written for Hallmark magazine had come out just a couple of months before; in it I told the story of my accident and talked about how important embroidery was to my recovery during that bewildering, terrible time. I hadn't really thought about embroidery, let alone done any really big embroidery projects, in a long time, but writing about it reminded me of how intensely connected I feel to this amazing medium. After the article came out, I received so many letters and emails from people who told me of their equally therapuetic experiences doing embroidery, and other kinds of detail-oriented, contemplative handwork. The letters really moved me. When my editor called and asked me what I was thinking about, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

This book is a collection of my dream projects, really. I've interpreted so many of the things I love here — intricate cross-stitch motifs, vintage monograms, tolework borders, folky hearts and flowers, naturalistic botanicals, delicate alphabets. Some of the designs are old, treated in new ways. Some of the designs are new, incorporating traditional techniques and stitches. All of them, first and foremost,are things I just love. I'm so grateful to be able to contribute something to this medium that has given me so much.

I can't wait for you to see it!!! Now it's taking too long! :-)

Busy Season

comments: 49

Decor1

Good morning, dears. It's silver outside, early morning. I love the way the Christmas lights look in the early morning. I'll take more photos once the sun really comes up. For now, all is calm and quiet.

I was totally cracking up at the comments yesterday on the plaid parade. Andy P. really does rock the PWS (Plaid Western Shirt). Major babe. I found out yesterday that he is getting all week off next week — a real winter break! — so I am thrilled about that. We head to Seattle this weekend for Urban Craft Uprising, so if you are in town, don't miss it!

Urban Craft Uprising
Saturday and Sunday, December 6-7, 2008
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
Seattle, Washington

Please note that I'll be there officially only from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, signing books at the UCU booth, so please come see me! I'm very excited to go to Seattle again. We're only staying the one night this time, but still — I am excited to go to a big city decorated for Christmas.

I'm late in telling you about some of the really generous publicity I've been so lucky to receive for the book! I finally got it all organized and scanned for the press page at AliciaPaulson.com. I'm so grateful to Hallmark magazine, Romantic Homes, BUST, the Grand Rapids Press, Living Crafts magazine, and Sew Hip! for their gracious reviews and excerpts — please check them out!

I have created a Flickr group for anything you make from the book, so please head over there with your photos — I can't wait to see what you make!

I am sooooo sad to tell you that some errata has come in for the book, too. I knew it was probably inevitable that there would be, but oh darn it!!! My sincere apologies for this. I will be keeping an updated list on the book page at AliciaPaulson.com, and I'll post it to the Flickr group too. If you are working on a project and you have any questions about either the dimensions, or directions, or you just don't understand something, please post your question at the Flickr group so everyone can benefit, and I promise I will help out as quickly as I possibly can. Thank you!

Now, tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. EST (6 a.m. PST!) I will be doing an interview on Martha Stewart Sirius Radio. I don't actually get Sirius radio, so I can't tell you about it or how to get to it, but if you have it you presumably know how it works. The show is called Morning Living. I've never done a live radio interview before so I am excited about that. Must. Have. Coffee. Before. Speaking. At. 6 A.M.! Hopefully actual English will come out of my mouth.

Signed, and Sealed with a Kiss

comments: 46

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Thank you to everyone who came out to Powell's last night for my book signing! It was really, really fun. I get so very nervous about things like that because my friends and family can tell you what a total utter wally I am when I have to stand up and talk in front of people. Quel nightmare. It's like, remember that Jodie Foster movie Nell? That's me. They pull me out of my happy place/(living room)/[the backwoods] and I creep out, wringing my hands and speaking my own private gobbledygook language that only my dogs and cats understand. Well, the cats don't really understand. The dog understands, and she had to stay home.

Anyway, though I worry so much about speaking in public, every time I do do it, it naturally turns out to be just fine, if not a total blast, and I had a great time seeing old friends and meeting so many new ones. It was really so special to me to see you all. Thank you ever so much for coming out to celebrate with us. I was so honored to be there, at that awesome store, where I've spent so many happy hours. It was all just so nice.

If you couldn't make it out, Powell's has lots of signed copies available! I'll be doing a couple more events in the Northwest, and I'll keep updating the sidebar with that information, too.

Today I am in serious need of a catch-up! What an exciting week. The house is trashed. I was going to replace the buttons on my sweater at the last minute last night, so I dumped an entire one-gallon pickle jar of buttons onto my already-covered-with other-stuff work table, looking for three 1" matching reds before I decided I was crazy and only had seven minutes before I needed to leave the house, so I took off, and those buttons are still all over the place, including the floor. There are newspapers, dead leaves, junk mail, and dog hairs upon every surface. We have nothing to eat, and mountains of laundry. But it's a beautiful sunny day, and I think I'm going to leave it all and go outside and play. I hope you have a great day, too. xo

Free Pattern, and a Giveaway!

comments: 36

Craftpod88 Would you like to enter a contest? OF COURSE YOU WOULD!

Hurry over to Craftzine (before noon PST tomorrow) and tell Jenny why you need to be chosen to win one of four copies of Stitched in Time, courtesy of the lovely people at Potter Craft!

And while you're there, you can download the pattern to make my Monogrammed Stockings. Just remember that I took this photo when it was about 95 degrees outside.

Isn't it cool to have the insider 411?

And you thought I wasn't even gonna show up today, didn'tcha. See that?

Thank You!

comments: 58

Apron1

Thank you ever so much for all of your kind words and all of the emails about the book! Jeesh, I am overwhelmed, and truly appreciate every single sweet message that has come my way the past couple of days — you guys really know how to make someone's day. It's been a really fun time, and I am crazy busy! Today I have got to get to the grocery store and do some chores around here. If you're in town, please try to stop by my first book signing this weekend:

Sunday, November 16, 2008
7:30 p.m.
Powell's Books
1005 W. Burnside
Portland, Oregon

Ooo yipes, and I have to finish the skirt I'll be wearing! Keep forgetting about that.

Please come! If you can't, don't worry — I just saw that you can actually order a signed copy from Powell's. And I have signed bookplates for anyone who wants one (or as many as you'd like). Just send me a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) and I'll sign some bookplates and send them back to you. If you're overseas, just send me a self-addressed envelope and I'll put some U.S. postage on it for you. Let me know how many bookplates you need, and if they should be written out for any special people, and I'll get them out pronto. My snail-mail address is here:-)

Thank you for making me feel so special this week. It's really, really nice. Thank you! Back soon. . . .

Stitched in Time: Memory Keeping Projects to Sew and Share

comments: 252

Book2

Yay, it's finally here! The book has officially happened! Thank you so, so, so, so much to everyone who has helped, been excited for, listened to, and shown patience with me and The Book this past year and a half. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.

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I truly hope that you will like the book, and be inspired to make things for yourself and the people special to you. At the end of the day, my dream for anyone is to find joy and peace in making things by hand.

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Out of all of the things I did to make the book, out of all the frantic afternoons sewing alone in the studio, the slogs through the mall buying clothes for the models, the time the puppers pulled the unfinished strip of bias tape attached to the placemat and toppled the full cup of coffee onto the placemat thus ruining the placemat just a millisecond (thankfully) after the photo was taken (and this was the third version of the placemat, the first two having been screwed up by me), the times I thought I couldn't do it, the photo shoots with Andy where he held mobiles on the end of a jerry-rigged fishing pole and moved entire bookcases out of the way to put up Christmas decorations for stocking photos in August, the long days when Audrey was sick in her little bed under my prop table, when I worked side by side with my sweet niece coloring cupcakes and mugging for the camera ("Can you hold the doll up just a little bit, sweetie?" — she'd hoist it high above her head, grinning — "Okay, down a little bit?" — she'd drop it to the floor — "Um, okay up a little bit . . . [please please please please]"), the things I didn't know and learned too late, the quiet winter afternoons with red pens and sticky notes and the Chicago Manual of Style, out of all of those things what I will remember most is sitting at the dining-room table writing the small essays that introduce the sections, and the sidebars.

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They came at the very end of working on the project, when the crafts were finished, the photos taken, the patterns explained. They were both the easiest and the hardest parts of the whole thing. The writing came out as if a faucet had been turned on, literally. I cried about each one. Then I sent them all in anyway. It became something different, then.

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Writing a book makes you feel vulnerable in about a million different ways! Will people like it? Will they hate it? Will I make mistakes? Will I wish I could've done something different? You wonder why you couldn't have just been one of those people who was content to read. In the end, you can, of course, only do your very best, and then close your eyes and cross your fingers in the sincere hope that you've contributed something to the remarkable community you love. And not made an ass of yourself. Because you wish for that, too.

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In the end, late at night when you can't sleep and you're thinking about it all, you think: Oh, yes — it was a privilege. To have had the opportunity, to have said it how you felt it, to have done it and finished it, to have worked with great people, to hold that real printed book in your hands. It is a privilege to have shared it with, and to have been encouraged by, all of you.

Thank you so much for that. I really mean it. Thank you.

The Last of the Summer Reading Booklist

comments: 36

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I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get around to talking about the rest of my books on the booklist. If you've been hanging around here for a while, you might remember that this list came together in a few stages from your recommendations. I talked about my choices here and here and then here. And now it's five months later. Egads.

So, I want to mention the rest of the books on the list that I haven't written about yet, because I at least dipped into all of them, and some of them I loved. Some of them I just couldn't get into. Some of them I'll keep and read again. Without further ado:

Thrumpton Hall: A Memoir of Life in My Father's House by Miranda Seymour. Title-craving George FitzRoy Seymour only ever had one true love: an anachronistic house he begged to inherit from a childless aunt and uncle. Passionate about the property since boyhood, Seymour's single-minded determination to put Thrumpton Hall before all else is written about by his daughter with honesty, insightful research, and not a little pain. This book, while not the happiest read in the world, was strangely difficult to put down, but then strangely exhausting and a bit depressing. It depends what you're in the mood for. If nothing else, it is a compelling portrait of an old house against the backdrop of modern England, as well as a daughter's search for explanations.

Step Ball Change and Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray. I put these two together because they have a lot of similarities in my mind, and I loved them both equally. The narrator in each is a sassy, hilarious, thoughtful wife and mother; each story opens on a day where several big things happen at once: her husband loses his job just as her father falls down a flight of stairs and breaks his wrists and has to move in (and her divorced mother already lives there, too); her sister discovers a cheating husband the day her daughter gets engaged to the richest guy in town. There's lots going on, lots of opportunity for humor and tension, and lots of great writing here. I think Jeanne Ray is Ann Patchett's mom, so the good writing gene must run in the family. I'll definitely read her other books. They were just exactly what I was looking for this summer.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley." Rebecca needs no introduction from me, I'm sure. This classic mystery/romance, first published in 1938, is one that I read back in high school, at the urging of my Auntie Georgianne, who said it was her favorite book, and I loved it then. My aunt sadly passed away this summer, and I pulled out the same copy of Rebecca that I'd kept all these years, and spent several quiet days on the porch re-reading it this summer. If you like big English houses (I see a pattern here), mysterious first wives, mousy young brides married to bossy older men, and mean servents, then you'll probably really love this book, too.

Not a Happy Camper: A Memoir by Mindy Schneider. This memoir of several summers at Jewish sleepaway summer camp started out strong and funny, but quickly devolved into labored descriptions of teenage flirtations, and I got bored. The dialogue just didn't ring true for me, and I didn't finish it, though some parts were quite funny.

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner. Kate Klein is a young mother living in an upscale Connecticut suburb where everything about her is at odds with everything about it. When she stumbles upon the murder of picture-perfect Kitty Cavanaugh, and is shocked to discover she may have a very personal connection to it, she embarks on her own investigation. I loved this. I like all of her feisty, edgy characters and consistently solid writing. I've read several of ther other books and I keep them when finished. I also think the movie version of In Her Shoes is brilliant. One of my favorites.

World of Pies by Karen Stolz. I was trying to remember something about this book, and then I realized that I never read it. Ooops. I forgot about this one.

That was easy.

I should space out and then play dumb more often.

Anybody Out There? by Marion Keyes. I like Marion Keyes's books a lot. I've read several of them. This one was a page-turner — I literally couldn't put it down — until the big twist in the middle, which horrified me to such an extent I literally dropped the book in shock and never picked it up again. And I probably won't. Not a happy book. (Though everyone is saying to keep going with it.)

Od Magic by Patricia McKillip and The Penderwick Chronicles: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall. People love both of these books, and I don't know what my problem is but I couldn't get into them. Yet. I don't know if I just read too late at night or what, because although it seemed like I should love them both, I could not keep the characters straight in my mind, especially the four sisters. I'll surely try these again sometime.

Wow, I think that's it. I have new ones I'll add now, thank goodness! Thanks again for the recommendations — it was a great summer of reading. Yesterday I picked up Heidi and this old one, Black Flower by Jane Abbott, from 1929. I have absolutely no idea what it's about. I'll let you know. Hopefully before April.

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"So they made fudge"

About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.