Happy Fall

Wishing you all a happy fall.

Snapped this photo while on a walk today with my friend, Joan.

She made me laugh so hard I almost cried.

Hope you have a fall filled with laughing so hard you almost cry.


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A Tiny Excerpt from The Language Of Sisters

Chapter 1

I was talented at pickpocketing.

I knew how to slip my fingers in, soft and smooth, like moving silk. I was lightning quick, a sleight of hand, a twist of the wrist. I was adept at disappearing, at hiding, at waiting, until it was safe to run, to escape.

I was a whisper, drifting smoke, a breeze.

I was a little girl, in the frigid cold of Moscow, under the looming shadow of the Soviet Union, my coat too small, my shoes too tight, my stomach an empty shell.

I was desperate. We were desperate.

Survival stealing, my sisters and I called it.

Had we not stolen, we might not have survived.

But we did. We survived. My father barely, my mother only through endless grit and determination, but now we are here, in Oregon, a noisy family, who does not talk about what happened back in Russia, twenty-five years ago. It is best to forget, my parents have told us, many times.

“Forget it happened. It another life, no?” my father says. “This here, this our true life. We Americans now. Americans!”

We tried to forget, but in the inky-black silence of night, when Mother Russia intrudes our dreams, like a swishing scythe, a crooked claw emerging from the ruins of tragedy, when we remember family members buried under the frozen wasteland of the Soviet Union’s far reaches, we are all haunted, some more than others.

You would never guess by looking at my family what some of us have done and what has been done to us. You would never sense our collective memory, what we share, what we hide.

We are the Kozlovskys.

We like to think we are good people.

And, most of the time, we are. Quite good.

And yet, when cornered, when one of us is threatened, we come up swinging.

But, pfft.

All that. In the past. Best to forget what happened.

As my mother says, in her broken English, wagging her finger, “No use going to Moscow in your head. We are family. We are the Kozlovskys. That all we need to know. The rest, those secrets, let them lie down.”

Yes, do.

Let all the secrets lie.

For as long as they’ll stay down.

They were coming up fast. I could feel it.


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How To Write A Book Before The Handsome Green Alien Abduction

If you want to write a book, first you buy a pretty journal.

Then you open the pretty journal and you naively hope that inspiration hits about the main character but it doesn’t so you sit there on your butt and slug down coffee and eat chocolate even though it is morning and chocolate is not recommended as a healthy breakfast alternative.

You stare at the blank page and nothing comes at all, not one hint of an idea of who this book will be about, so you think it would be best to wander around your house aimlessly and meow at the cat and she meows back and you do it again and you know you are in a serious conversation with your cat and you don’t think this is odd at all and then you pretend to clean but you don’t really clean because cleaning is so very, very boring.

You know that you could be abducted by handsome green aliens tomorrow to Jupiter and if you had spent today cleaning that would really tick you off.

Eventually, after days of staring at those blank pages in the pretty journal, curse them, you hate them, those white, pale, insipid pages, you think of a character but she is stupid. She is wimpy or whiny or weak. She is dull or complainy.

She does not have real problems only thinks that she has real problems so you go back to eating chocolate on your butt and muttering to yourself and meowing and not cleaning because of the upcoming handsome alien abduction.

You know your character needs a job so you ask Daughter Number Two, Adventurous Singing Daughter, what kind of job your character should have and she looks at you impatiently, sighs and rolls her eyes, as she is reading a really good book, not yours and she says, “Mom, just make her unemployed,” and she goes back to reading her really good book, not yours.

And you ask Daughter Number One, Rebel Dancing Daughter what kind of job your character should have and she doesn’t know but she is so excited because she wants to travel to some dangerous country in Africa or the middle east and you can feel your hair turning white the more that little mouth goes on and on about “exploring the world,” and then she says what would you say if I told you I was dating a vampire?

And you don’t know what to say because but you realize that your mother lied to you by omission by not being honest about how mind boggling it is to raise teenagers, especially ones with wild streaks, like your children, and you just want to start drinking but you remind yourself that you don’t drink but then you say to yourself, “Maybe I should start up.”

And you ask Darling Laughing Son what job your character should have and he says, “I dunno. But I’m hungry again,” and you say, “You have already been fed and watered with four meals today and it’s only two o’clock in the afternoon,” and he says, “I’m starving to death, momma. I’m starving. Can you make me something?” and you do make him something because you cannot have Darling Laughing Son starving to death on your watch.

And you ask Innocent Husband to whom you have been married to for twenty three years what kind of job your character should have and he says,“You look good tonight, baby. Let’s just go to bed.”

And one night you finally get an idea for a character and then you have to give her a family and friends and maybe someone irritating and mean in her life, too, unless she is a loner, sort of like you, you really need to get out more when you are writing your books, you weird hermit, and definitely this character must have problems and conflicts and a past but you can’t think of anything you haven’t already written about so you start thinking about writing a romance book with steamy scenes instead and you find your husband, to whom you have been married to for twenty three years and you say, “You look good tonight, baby. Let’s just go to bed.”

But in the morning no ideas arrive and you think you should go back to being a fourth grade teacher again, the kids were nice and the other teachers were cool cats, but you would have to get up by 6:30 in the morning to get there on time and Lord A Mercy, so help me God, you know that that would be impossible for you to get your big butt out of bed at that time.

You bang your head on a table, as if that will knock some smarts into your little brain, or at least a small plot, and it doesn’t because banging your head on the table has not worked in the past, you have done it enough so you should know this by now, you weird hermit fool.

But finally you have a plot and you wait for the first sentence of the book to come through the sky like lightning so you can start writing but it doesn’t and obsessively buying more flowers and plants for your garden does not help because flowers and plants do not talk or think, at least that is what most scientists say.

Finally the first sentence comes because you have begged your little brain to think of something, anything, only one damn sentence, holy moly that is all I am asking for, and you start writing 2000 words a day and when the first draft is done you read it and say out loud to yourself, “You suck,” because, frankly, you do. You do suck.

And the edits begin, endless edits, eight or nine before it even goes to the agent and editor, and by the time it’s done your eyes are fuzzy and you can’t breathe quite right and you are still eating chocolate for breakfast, which is again, not a recommended breakfast alternative, and you need to go outside and talk to people, as you have not been abducted by handsome green aliens, you weird meowing hermit and you need to see if your friends are still friends with you, you do.

And that is how a book is written.

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Chatting At Jan’s Paperbacks on Saturday

Hello all,

I will be chatting about my new book “The Language of Sisters” at Jan’s Paperbacks in Aloha, Oregon on Saturday, October 8th at 1:00.

Also, for those of you who would like to buy a signed and mailed copy of my book go to this link:


I so hope to see you at Jan’s!



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Good Luck, Rebel Dancing Daughter

The truth is that Rebel Dancing Daughter almost died twenty three years ago.

She almost wasn’t here, wasn’t our daughter. She almost didn’t make it.

And now she’s leaving.

Rebel Dancing Daughter graduated from college in June. She now has a job in California. She is packing her stuff up and moving out.

She will take the black high heels she danced in at parties. She will take my old jean jacket because it’s now “vintage.” She will take piles of her favorite books that are like literary friends to her.

And off she’ll go.

She’ll start a new life, a new career that is meaningful and helpful to girls living in poverty in Kenya. She will dedicate herself, every day, to making their lives better.

It is hard to believe that twenty three years have gone by.

I went into labor with Rebel Dancing Daughter when I was twenty three weeks pregnant. This is an extremely bad time to go into labor, as you know. Babies, especially back then, did not make it.

Without the excellent care I received from a high risk specialist, we would have lost her. I was in and out of the hospital many times and was on bed rest for thirteen weeks. I was on two different types of medications. One that left my resting heart rate at, often, 150. The other caused depression. I rarely got off my left side.

The fear that I experienced during that pregnancy, that my daughter would die, or be born severely disabled, is something that I have never forgotten.

But Rebel Dancing Daughter made it and grew up. She played sports, she took dance lessons, she camped and hiked.

And she has been through her share of hardships.

As a young girl she went with me when I took my mother to chemo and radiation. She brought joy to my mother in law when she was dying in a care home. She made my father laugh when he was suffering from terminal prostate cancer. She visited her other grandpa in a nursing home and happily chatted with him before he passed, too.

Rebel Dancing Daughter lived in France her junior year of high school and she has traveled all over, sometimes alone, always with little money. She loves politics and social issues and is infuriated by injustice and the lack of fairness in a painful world.

She worked multiple jobs during college, one at a nursing home in Scotland where she took care of a number of people who either fought in World War II, or lived through the London Blitz. One still had the sweater she knitted while in a war bunker as the Nazis bombed from above.

She listened to their stories and she comforted them when they cried because they didn’t know who they were or where they were. She changed diapers, cleaned them up, fed them herself with a spoon, and held their hands. She took care of them with courage and compassion.

Rebel Dancing Daughter is much older than her years because of what she’s been through. She’s a thoughtful, kind, smart young woman. She loves to read, to write, to laugh, to explore. She is fearless.

She adores the twins, Darling Laughing Son and Adventurous Singing Daughter. They are her best friends.

And now she’s leaving. Out the door with her dancing shoes. Out the door with my vintage jean jacket. Out the door with her beloved books.

It breaks my heart. But Innocent Husband I are proud of her, we are.

Good luck, Rebel Dancing Daughter. Be safe. Be kind. We love you.

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See You At Powell’s Books!

Greetings, all. I will be at Powell’s, Cedar Hills, Beaverton, TONIGHT, October 3, at 7:00. I am now at my kitchen table, staring off into space, eating morning chocolate, trying to think of something at least semi – entertaining to say. Hope to see you tonight, I really do. Cheers and happy day to you. (I’ve always thought this flower looks like a heart. Do you think so?)

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Not Writing Here

This is my favorite place to write. Unfortunately, I am not there.

Soon I will be chatting with my mechanic and paying a huge amount. Then I will do laundry. Then I will sweep the kitchen floor because not even I can ignore it anymore.

And who put all that junk in my garage?

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A Delicious Interview with Chef Didier Quemener

Hello everyone!

Today I’m interviewing Chef Didier Quemener. He lives in Paris, France.

I know, I know, you want to go to France and eat scrumptious food! So do I!

Didier is the first cook book author I have featured here. Why him? Because his recipes are delicious and I love to eat. I am good at eating, not so good at cooking, but Didier has assured me that I can change. Not so sure about that, but I am sure that if you make his recipes from his new book, Chef Q In Paris, you will be delighted.

Didier, tell us about yourself. We need to know the man behind the stove and the spices and the sauces. When did you decide to become a chef?  What were the events in your life that led you to this career?

I actually studied literature at the Sorbonne—but my friends used to tell me that I should open a restaurant! I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but as you can imagine, there is a big difference between cooking for your family and friends, and doing it professionally. I lived in the United States for a few years, working in management for a translation company, and when I moved back to Paris, it was difficult to get a job. It was my wife’s idea to pursue a culinary career. She’s always been of great support, and I felt that making this dream come true would be a tribute to her Italian family, especially after all I learned in the kitchen from her mother and grandmother!

I have always heard that training to become a chef is rigorous and difficult, often dealing with rigorous and difficult chefs. Is that true? What was cooking school like for you? 

Pastry at Ecole Ritz Escoffier in Paris and countless hours, working harder and harder, alone in my kitchen! Just like numerous self-taught chefs (Chef Guy Martin, Chocolate Master Jacques Genin to name a few), you have to work extremely hard in order to achieve a proper level of skills in this field.

As I mention in the cookbook, the basics came from my grandmother, then I traveled and learned from other passionate cooks and chefs in the UK, China, US, and across Europe. I learned everything I know about Italian cuisine from my wife’s grandmother, who made her own pasta, sausage etc.

Training to be a chef is indeed tough because the hours are long, and it is also extremely physical. When you’re in a cooking class, you are in competition with the other students and with yourself. You must excel all the time. There will always be another apprentice who will do better. There is always a bigger fish, as we say. New techniques, news methods, new challenges… You do not get bored.

So yes, your mentors are rigorous and sometime difficult, but it is understandable: They expect the best of you. After all, you are entering one of the most stimulating and rewarding of worlds.

Now that I teach classes as well, I try to remember that we are also very lucky to do something that we love, and that one of our missions is to spread our passion.

You mentioned your grandmother and her impact on your love of cooking. What else did you learn from her? I would love to hear her secrets for excellent cooking.

It is actually pretty simple: One of the most important things she taught me is to be patient! Whether she was making patés, tarts, or beef Bourguignon, there would be no shortcuts. Cooking takes as much time as it takes love.

Your grandmother sounds like a very smart woman.

Tell us a little more about your upbringing and your childhood in the French countryside. I really want to go and hang out in the French countryside, so let me live vicariously through your answer.

I was born in the countryside to the east of Paris and was raised in a small village, which at the time represented fewer than 2,000 inhabitants. As a child, my world was made of wheat, corn and sunflower fields, farms, cows and horses, etc. I was pretty much living in this beautiful fairyland postcard-like place—but under the close surveillance of everyone around me. Why? Because my mother worked at the city hall. Therefore, she knew the entire village and so did my grandparents (my grandmother did daycare in her home for the children of the village). You can imagine my daily life as a kid: Whatever I did, wherever I went, I was never incognito.

After school, I would go straight to my grandparents’ farm, would bake and cook, and the same goes for school vacation. On the weekends, Sunday lunches would be typically French: Family and friends gathering, eating from 1 to 5 p.m., taking a two-hour break and then starting over again until bedtime… Good times!

To me, cooking can be difficult and I burn things. Last Thanksgiving the fire alarms went off twice because of teeny, tiny fires I accidentally set. For Christmas my brother, a fire fighter, gave me a new fire extinguisher. He thinks he’s funny. Anyhow.

Why do you love cooking so much? What makes it such a serious/fun/happy/fulfilling endeavor for you?

Cooking is always a new experience, even when you are making the same dish several times.

And believe it or not, to me it’s the best anti-stress. If I’m tired, I cook. If I have a free weekend at home, I cook. If I do not cook, I’m thinking of new recipes to develop… Kind of an obsession.

Where do you work now? What do you like most about being a chef and what is challenging?

Outside of my private clients, market tours and assignments with my chef mates in Paris (or wherever a mission pops up), I teach at The Michel Roux Jr Cookery School in London.

Being a chef is reinventing yourself every day. I particularly enjoy the fast pace of the job, the opportunity to often be exposed to new products I can cook with, and of course, sharing my love for this profession with people! In terms of challenges, it is not rare that something does not go exactly as planned in the kitchen (produce, staff, equipment, etc.). So even when everything seems smooth and going according to the schedule, you are constantly on the lookout for a potential grain of sand in the gears. Troubleshooting is part of the job.

What are the rules in a kitchen at work in terms of how people work together? For example, everyone has their own job in the kitchen, correct? My job, of course, would be eating.

We all have different responsibilities, and organization is the key word. Everyone knows what she/he is supposed to do at the moment it must be done. If one person forgets that, then things can quickly turn to chaos, and the result in the dish could be disastrous!

What is the atmosphere in a kitchen like? Tense? Rushed? Interesting? 

Strict. We are all having fun, but when it’s rush hour, there is no time for jokes. No one should run around or panic. We are all here to work together and help each other. It is a real team effort that could become magical if we all play the same game. Of course, it is stressful at times, and pressure is constant: The more pressure, the merrier for me! I love the feeling of knowing that you need to get everything done perfectly all the time, over and over again.

You said that fresh ingredients must be used.  What are your other rules for cooking? 

I’ll make a short list for you:

1) Always wash your hands before touching anything.

That may sound simple, but believe me, it is not…


2) Sharpen your knives.

Nothing more annoying than cooking at a friend’s place with knives that do not cut.


3) Know your pans.

Certain pans were made for certain types of cooking: Do not get confused.


4) Clean as you go.

If your counter top is a mess after 10 minutes of cooking, that will show in the dish, because sooner or later, you will add or mix the wrong ingredients together.


5) Easy with the seasoning.

You are not on a TV show where seasonings might be tossed on a little too liberally to get the point across. And you are not on a plane where meals need extra seasoning because of the altitude. Season during cooking, but be careful and precise.


6) Taste as you go.

Impossible to cook properly if you do not taste, even if you know the recipe by heart and have made it a million times.


7) Less is more.

Use as few ingredients as possible, only adding more ingredients when needed. Excellence is often in simplicity.


8) Texture rhymes with flavor.

Play on the different contrasts to create more interesting dishes.


9) Do not get distracted.

Keep an eye on what’s going on in the kitchen. In the cooking world, an extra 10 seconds could definitely ruin a recipe.


10) No salt on the table, just pepper.
Check seasoning (salt and pepper) before serving, but do not let your guests put their hands on the salt. By default, they will always add more salt before even tasting their dish.

I love soup. I could eat it all day. What are your three favorite soup recipes? What about dessert? And your three favorite main courses?

Ha, tough one! Okay, let’s try to answer (my responses could change a week from now since I’m eternally curious when it comes to discovering new recipes):


Thai (I love them all!)

Fish & shellfish soup (memories of going fishing and crabbing when I was a teenager and then making the best soups with our treasures!)

Jerusalem artichoke velouté with roasted chestnuts (I know, it’s rather specific)


Main courses:

Duck (in any form!)

My wife’s grandmother’s Italian meatballs and tomato sauce (actually, nothing beats that as it would be my last meal on Earth if I had to choose!)

Veggie stir-fry (I love the texture of fresh, crunchy veggies)



The Opéra cake (layers of Joconde cake (almond sponge cake) soaked in coffee syrup, layered with ganache and coffee buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze)

The Paris-Brest (choux pastry with a praline flavored diplomat cream)

Tarte Bourdaloue (pâte brisée for the dough, and almond powder, cream, eggs, sugar and pears for the filling)

If you could have only five spices, which ones would you take?

Smoked paprika


Sichuan pepper

Black lava salt

Tonka beans

A Recipe from Didier…

After Summer “Healthy” Soup

Here’s an easy and tasty recipe to offer you some moral support as the summer days become a distant memory. If you’ve worked hard the previous months (or not!) to stay in shape in between two sessions of sun-tanning on the beach, this recipe will make sure that your efforts were not vain.

And in the case you were spoiled during vacation season and so was your stomach (maybe a bit too much as a matter of fact!), it is time to get back to business. This quick soup, loaded with greens, will energize your body and give you the extra boost required for the busy weeks of fall!

Serving: 4

Ready in: 30 minutes

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

½ onion, chopped

2 cups chicken broth (low sodium variety)

2 cups celery root chopped into 1 inch cubes

1½ cups Idaho potatoes chopped into 1 inch cubes

1 cup baby spinach

1 cup Boston lettuce leaves

6 cucumber slices (¼ inch size)

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Pepper to taste



In a casserole pan on medium heat, add olive oil, chopped garlic, and onion.

Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times.

Add celery root, potatoes, washed lettuce and cucumber slices. Cover with chicken broth.

Add coarse salt and bring to a boil.

Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, rinse baby spinach under water, pat dry. Set leaves aside.

Mix vegetables in casserole pan thoroughly with a handheld mixer.

Add baby spinach and give a few spins of handheld mixer (just to cut the spinach roughly).

Serve hot.


A glass of water after finishing your bowl… It’s diet time!


Didier’s tips:

Add a tablespoon of almonds in each bowl for crunchiness!



Cookbook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KTA8818





The Michel Roux Jr Cookery School:


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Come And Visit With Me At Powell’s (Please!)

Hello all!

I will be chatting about my new novel, The Language of Sisters, at the Cedar Hills, Beaverton, Oregon, Powell’s on Monday, October 3rd at 7:00. I PROMISE I will not yak on and on. (Did I spell ‘yak’ right?) I will attempt to think of something entertaining to say. Please come – love to see you.


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How Much Of Your Book Is True?

Hello everyone,

Today I’m handing my blog over to author Brandi Megan Granett.  She’s an excellent writer and a regular contributor to Huffington Post. Most importantly, if you need a tin can shot straight off a tree stump with an arrow, she’s your gal. Brandi is an archer and bows and arrows are her thing.

In this blog, Brandi is addressing the question I get all the time, which is, “How much of your book is true?”

So, friends, here is Brandi to talk about her latest novel, Triple Love Score, truth, fiction, her real life, romance, and Scrabble.


How Much of Your Book Is True?

by Brandi Megan Granett

When Triple Love Score, my first “romance” novel made the rounds to book bloggers and interviews, one question kept popping up in my inbox:  is any of this book true?  While Miranda’s journey to find out what she really wants echoes my own, her finding internet fame with a Scrabble board and seducing a man or two along the way, isn’t my story.  Her story though was born out of my own love story, and my desire to create something that reflected the choices I found myself able to make after a rough divorce as I stood the precipice of a fairy tale happy ending.

My feelings about fairy tales could be called mixed at best.  I am a sucker for fancy dresses and love the fairy godmother’s magical wisdom.  But the whole love at first sight concept rubs me raw.  What if you miss it, you know, turn head slightly to the left or look over Prince Charming’s shoulder instead.  And what do you really know at first sight anyway?

I met my ultimate prince charming one night at a going-off-to-college party for a friend.  I found Avram in the kitchen making chicken Parmesan at midnight at the behest of a stoner friend eager for a midnight snack.  We bonded over burnt chicken and dirty dishes, our mutual sobriety despite our “animal house” surroundings, and the strong, yet opposing, religious faiths our families raised us in.  When I returned to college, I mailed him a recipe for blueberry muffins in the care of my best girlfriend from high school.  When I never heard back, I didn’t think much of it. How many nineteen year olds, even dorky sober ones, had pen pals before the internet?

We caught back up with each other the following year at a house Avram shared with my best girlfriend and another roommate, a hot guy with long curly dark hair.  We reconnected over a love of food and writing; I marveled at my luck at finding this interesting person again.

Later that night, my girlfriend slipped off with another guy into the bedroom I was supposed to share with her, leaving me no place to sleep as their place didn’t even contain a couch or a carpet on the floor.  When the rest of the group broke up for the night, it wasn’t Avram who offered me a space in his bed, but the attractive and somewhat brooding roommate did—the offer being one of only things he said to me that night aside from a nodded hello.

In the year prior, my dorky, sober self gave way to some traditional college impulses.  I found the whole package alluring.

“Sure,” I said to the hot guy.

So began the triumvirate that shaped life: my future husband, my new best friend, and me.  I could have sex with the hot, complicated guy and hang out with the sober, nice guy—a pattern that lasted for the next nineteen years.

Once, a woman at a party leaned in close and asked, “Are you all just friends, or is it something more interesting?”

“It’s not like that,” I said.

“Oh,” she said with a tone of disappointment before turning back to her Pinot Gris.

Soon after, we agreed to call ourselves siblings to thwart any misguided rumors we didn’t want to explain to my seven year old.

The next Christmas, Avram gave me a bracelet marked, my sister, my friend.

I cried at the sentiment; genetics aside, the description fit.

After hearing about our friendship, my therapist asked whether there was ever any spark between Avram and me.  “Do you hold hands? Anything?”

“No,” I said shaking my head, “Nothing.”  I told her about a recent archery tournament.  My score plunged dramatically, and I dissolved into a puddle of tears and frustration.  I collapsed against Avram for a hug.   His whole body went rigid; he patted my back awkwardly.  It felt like hugging a board.  A friendly board, but a board nonetheless.  No chemistry, no spark, nothing that hinted at romantic love.

Things with the hot complicated guy didn’t really get any better.  He stayed hot and complicated.  We argued. We got married.  We argued. We had a baby.  We argued.  She grew.  We argued.  After so many years and a bunch of counseling, I realized that hot and complicated didn’t always work for a marriage.

I asked for a divorce.

When I told Avram, he didn’t believe me at first.  He offered the same old protest: “But he loves you.”

“Maybe. But it isn’t enough.  It isn’t like this.”

I gestured to the space between us.  While devoid of chemistry, that space radiated love.  During my pregnancy when the doctors ordered bed rest, Avram took off from work and sat at the end of my bed, keeping me company while assuring me the baby would be fine.  He laughed at my jokes and read the stories I wrote.  After I hurt myself playing soccer, he took to coming to my games to make sure I was okay, and because I played soccer with reckless abandon, he more than once took me to the hospital the day after.  When I took Statistics, he ordered the textbook and tried to work along side me to cheer me on.  When I took up archery, he practiced right along side me.

I looked at him that night and saw all of these connections between us.  All of this love between us.  A light bulb moment—all of those things meant love.  The actual every day work of love, not the fireworks fairy tales teach us to expect. And with a flash, I understood I wanted this love, even if our lack of chemistry meant we would live like old cat ladies together.  The together mattered more than any sparks.

“What are you going to do after I’m divorced?” I asked him.  “Are you going to step up or just hope the next guy is as accommodating as the last one?”

“No,” he said.  “Things don’t work like that.” Then he left.

The next day we argued—our first and only time—back and forth via email.  Like many of our conversations, the argument debated a metaphor about writing.

“Maybe we can write a new story.  Maybe we can have a happy ending,” I protested.

“We can’t risk this,” he said.  “You’re my best friend.  And life isn’t a fairy tale.”

But then night came, and exhausted, I shut down the computer believing that maybe he was right; fairy tales didn’t happen in real life.

In the morning, I found this in my inbox, “Life, especially the life we choose, evolves, changes, picks-up new chapters, retells old stories, but it doesn’t have an ending – we’re living it.  The story is about the journey. The story highlights humanity.  Friendship, addiction, adversity, courage, growth, drive, cowardice, pain, song, laughter, silliness, happiness but mainly love. I love the heroine, and I love the story.”

It would be easy to rue the time we spent as only friends as wasted or lost, but doing so would invalidate some pretty wonderful things like my lovely daughter and all the amazing things we did share in our friendship.  I could try to re-write this story as something else, as a fairy tale where dark forces kept us from finding true love, but that wouldn’t be true either.  As much as the love we’ve found feels like something out of a story, I don’t want it to be the kind from a fairy tale.  No offense to love at first sight, but there’s something to be said for taking the long way around.

So I turned to fiction to capture these feelings, the emotional echo behind my own story through Miranda’s in Triple Love Score.  And I hope this answers the question about how much of my novel is true.  In some ways, none of it is true.  And in other ways, it all is.


From Cathy Lamb…

A passage I loved that Brandi wrote:

I am filled with a passionate desire to share one key idea with the world.  This idea is that thoughts are things.  The very stuff we fill our minds with spills out and fills our worlds.  By learning what we are thinking and where those thoughts come from, we can change our experiences within the world.

One way to make this happen is to study and revise the stories we tell ourselves.  Just as we can examine a story or film and suss out the meaning behind it, we can do the same for our internal stories.  Once we have experience something, it lives on in us, influencing us, and how we perceive the world as a form of a story.  We can stop being just characters in those stories and become their authors.

Visit with Brandi –

Brandi’s website:  http://www.brandigranett.com/#home
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Cathy Lamb
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