Friday Five

Friday Five

It’s been too long since I’ve shared a Friday Five! Here are some things that caught my interest recently.

1.Someday, a two-minute video from The Minimalists.


2. Georgia O’Keeffe.  The Brooklyn Museum has put together a wonderful exhibit on Georgia O’Keeffe’s life and work. It is excellently curated, focusing on the connection between creativity, her strong sense of self, and place. Her first exhibition took place at the Brooklyn Museum in 1927, so it feels appropriate that her work return here all these years later.

This photo of her was taken by her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, in 1920. She was about 33. The placard states that Stieglitz preferred photographing her from a low vantage point “highlighting her audacity in dressing so that her gender was obscured or, one might say, appeared simultaneously male and female.”

The exhibit is open through July. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend it.


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3. My new BFF. Don’t ask me how I lucked out, but I attended a cooking demonstration hosted by Deb Perelman. Within minutes, Deb had me and forty other slightly crazed Smitten Kitchen fans laughing and clapping, feeling like we were old friends.

She seemed exactly like she does on her blog—charming and self-effacing and funny. When I got to speak to her one-on-one, I went all fan girl and told her that I made her pecan pie for Thanksgiving and the crust was delicious, all light and flaky, and browned perfectly, but I had a problem with the filling being too runny and what would she suggest to fix that, maybe a higher oven temperature or cutting back on the golden syrup and as long as I was on the subject, should I toast the pecans? It was that embarrassing. I took my sample slice of sour cream crumb cake and slinked off into the crowd.


4. Move over cronut, there’s a new sweet in town. Cookie Do sells just what you think—scoops of unbaked cookie dough. After being told by two bouncers at the door wearing headsets (no joke) that the line started waaay back around the corner, I wasn’t sure I was going to wait. The website says that when they’ve sold out, they close up shop for the day. I chanced it, and just as I was about to give up hope, I made it in. I got two scoops—peanut butter snickerdoodle and chocolate dream. Why spend an hour in line for something you can buy in tubes at the grocery store? Well…okay, I don’t really have a good answer for that, except to say that it was heavenly… little gobs of butter and crunchy bits of sugar with chocolate and peanut buttery deliciousness.

cookie do

5.Zen Pencils. I’ve enjoyed Gav’s comics over at Zen Pencils for a few years now. He is an illustrator who creates “cartoon quotes from inspirational folks.” In honor of Dr. Jane Goodall’s 82nd birthday on April 3 and Earth Day on April 22, I’m sharing one of my favorite Zen Pencils comics “The Power of One.” Below is a partial clip, and this link will take you to the complete comic in its entirety. While you’re there, also check out Gav’s latest comic dedicated to Frida Kahlo. I never realized just how much physical pain she endured for most of her life.



Coming soon: an interview with author Jill Santopolo. Stay tuned! 

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Friday Five (Or More)

Some happy links and cool clips for you this week!

Gifts with Meaning: Nicholas Kristof, who wrote Half the Sky, offers his annual holiday gift guide, “the chance to recommend presents more meaningful than a tie or sweater.”

How “treat yourself” became the marketing mantra of the 21st century. (Who can stop themselves from reading an article when Michel Foucault is mentioned in the first paragraph?)

68 Inspiring Writing Tips from 9 Great Writers. My fave? Have the guts to cut. Thank you, Mr. Vonnegut.

Still in need of book recommendations for holiday gifts? My suggestions are here, but check out Book Page’s Top 25 Books of 2015 for more ideas.

Former opinion columnist and food writer for The New York Times, Mark Bittman explains Why I Quit My Dream Job.

I finally saw Inside Out. Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Friday Five (or More)

Some happy links and cool clips for you this week!

This was posted a while ago, but it bears repeating. Neil Gaiman on why our future depends on libraries, reading, and daydreaming. “…reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do.”

Mindy Kaling’s guide to killer confidence.

The best of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I miss him already.

Even if you don’t follow sports, this feels momentous: the first female coach in the NFL. This season, Jen Welter will be coaching the linebackers for the Arizona Cardinals. The players call her Dr. J because she has a Ph.D. in psychology. Apparently she leaves little notes in their lockers.

Vivek Menon is developing an innovative approach to protect elephants and allow them to co-exist with people in his native India

I wish this seminar had been offered when I was in college. The course is designed to “help freshmen identify their goals and reflect systematically about various aspects of their personal lives, and to connect what they discover to what they actually do at college.”  The students reflect on questions like, Where am I headed and what is my ultimate personal dream? and What are my responsibilities, if any, to my community and to make the world a better place? I’m (ahem) a few years out of college, but I thought the exercises presented were valuable for people of any age.

I haven’t been this excited for a movie release in a looong time. The Martian.

Side note to you writers: Author Andy Weir started this novel as a serial on his blog. It was really well received, so he decided to self-publish it as an ebook. The response was so tremendous, the book was picked up by Broadway (Random House), and now it’s a movie starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott. Wow!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday Five (or More)

Citizen Science. I love this! National Geographic has links to dozens of opportunities for you (and your kids) to participate in projects that help scientists answer real-world questions and gather data. Take a butterfly census. Snap photos. Collect weather data. Here are two of National Geographic’s popular citizen science projects: the Great Nature Project and FieldScope.


This week’s Modern Love column in the New York Times was touching: A 12-year-old girl’s life and love are shattered by the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (including a short animation). “You are the bravest girl I know,” he whispered.

Have you ever found yourself in Funk Town (not Funky Town)? Leo from Zen Habits has some good tips to help.


Creative Nonfiction Magazine is seeking new essays about marriage (4,000 words maximum). Submit your work by August 31.


How is your summer reading going? I’m looking for a few good books.


A bit of self promotion: I’m teaching an online creative writing class called Back to Basics through The Loft Literary Center. This course will take you through each major element of creative writing to help you hone your skills. The course is eight weeks from Sept. 21 – Nov. 15. Registration is now open. (Enter early bird code EBFA15 by August 21, 2015 at checkout and receive $20 off the cost of the course.)

The Loft

Five-Star Soup Kitchen. Chef David Garcelon has prepared meals for heads of state, rock stars, and the Queen of England. He also cooks for New York’s homeless.


Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Friday Five (or More)

In the ten years since Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love was published, many people have taken their own adventures. Now she wants to hear from you. Elizabeth Gilbert is organizing an anthology composed entirely of your essays. Use this link to submit your 1,500-word essay by July 31.


What if authors were only paid when readers turned a page?  “Amazon will soon start paying authors based on how many pages are read—not how many pages are downloaded, but how many pages are displayed on the screen long enough to be parsed.”


Have you read this lighthearted Daily Shouts” column from The New Yorker? Two weeks of status updates from your vague friend on Facebook.  We’ve all probably read a few like this.


Serena Williams won her 20th Grand Slam titleIncredible dedication!


Ever wonder how the stuff in your recycling bin actually gets recycled? Hank Green explains. (Book fans: Hank is John Green’s brother.)


Receiving compliments with grace. “Many of us find it difficult to accept compliments but easy to believe the slightest criticism. Today, right now, let’s make a choice to fully accept compliments as we would a gift.” The Daily Om. 


Speaking of grace. My blog friend Tori has grace in spades. This Father’s Day was her first without her dad, who was killed last summer. Her beautiful words moved me to tears. (xoxo, Tori!)

Have a great weekend, and a great 4th for those of you in the US!