Then Anything is Possible: Happy Thanksgiving

It’s 7:15 on Sunday morning. I’ve just sat down on the couch with a newspaper and the first, and therefore most precious, cup of coffee of the day. Cian’s already here in the living room playing, and he abandons his toys when I sit to climb up beside me and rest his head on my shoulder. He says good morning, and that’s where the expected slow start to my day goes into hyperdrive. “Mom?” he says. “If anything is possible, then nothing is possible.” I’m still in my pajamas. I’ve had one–one!–sip from the hot mug of coffee I still hold in my hand. I am not ready for seven-year-old philosophy yet, but Cian’s thought process moves at a speed that requires the under-caffeinated to catch up. I think for a second. Take another sip. “But, buddy,” I say, “think about this: the word ‘any’ can be all things. Like if we talk about ‘anyone,’ we’re really talking about all people. So what does that…

Leah Cooks Easy Ramen Soup

The kids asked me the other day to name my favorite food, and I totally blanked. I had about ten different options swimming around my head, all foods that I don’t make at home–tom yum soup, risotto, even a really good slice of cheese pizza (okay, I make that, but you know it’s not the same)–but couldn’t land on a single one. The kids were incredulous. “Are you sure you don’t know your favorite?” they insisted. “And don’t say pizza.” But I was at a loss. Two days later, as I was preparing dinner (not pizza) and Quinlan was chatting with me in the kitchen, she stopped mid-sentence. “Mom. It’s NOODLES. Noodles are your favorite food!” Oh, yeah. How could I forget? She’s right. Give me a big bowl of pasta and I’m a happy lady: angel hair aglio e olio, cacio e pepe, Japanese udon, Vietnamese pho, heck, even Annie’s mac ‘n’ cheese from the box–like a lot of people, noodles are my ultimate comfort food…

Writing: I’m Using the Pomodoro Technique

I haven’t talked a lot about my novel-writing lately here, largely because I’ve spent so much of my time this fall either being sad or writing about being sad instead (I’ve been fun!), but what I haven’t told you is this: I’m back to writing, regular fiction writing, and–outside a small hiccup due to my obsessive monitoring of the results of a certain election–I’m working toward a goal to finish the manuscript of the book I’m writing by the end of this calendar year. I know. That’s a lot of words. But I’m a third of the way into this book and can see the rest of the way out. It’s exciting. My issue now is scheduling. It’s easy for the pressures of regular life–the remote learning days for school and the ongoing settling of my mom’s estate, etc.–to edge in around a writer’s focus and subvert it, and I’ve always struggled with letting the concrete tasks of the day nudge the imaginative…