I Love Manzanita Trees

Filed under: Personal — joy at 7:02 am on Monday, July 27, 2015

Marcia and I went on a hike and I remembered how much I love manzanita trees.

From far away, manzanitas are all scraggly and ancient and gnarled looking.


They look like they belong in a Van Gogh painting.


Up close, the bark is this weird thin tissue paper that’s red and orange and yellow.


It comes away in flakes. …

green wood2

And underneath, the wood is green!

green wood1

Article: Great Expectations in Mental Floss

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 7:09 am on Saturday, July 25, 2015

Did you catch my most recent article in Mental Floss? It’s 11 Dickensian Facts About ‘Great Expectations’. Did you know Estella may have been based on Charles Dickens’s mistress?

Also, remember the 1998 movie version with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke? It seemed like it was going to be so good, and then it was so bad.


Why doesn’t her shirt have buttons?

Coast Trip 2015

Filed under: Personal — joy at 7:27 am on Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Last month, we rented a cabin on a bluff overlooking the California coast. It was a great four days. We played banjo and card games and took walks and roasted hot dogs over an open fire. There was even a fire pit. Here’s some pictures:


View of the deck.


There was even a fire pit.


Look at that water.


Lots of fishing boats.


More gorgeous water

more water

And more.


Flowers and beach and water.



I want to go back there. Perfect place for a writing retreat.

Hello and Some Facts

Filed under: Personal — joy at 7:10 am on Monday, July 20, 2015


I’ve decided to make updating this blog more of a priority, for now at least. Old-fashioned-bullet-update-go!

* We took a four-day, much-needed vacation in a cabin on the coast. Pictures soon.

* Kyle is writing a book. I am writing a book. I’m surprised Gideon isn’t writing a book.

* I have tons of zucchini coming in from the garden. I froze 14 bags already. I don’t even know what to do. I guess make zucchini relish?

* Next week, I’m buying tickets to go to Amsterdam and Belgium. It will be my first overseas vacation since having a baby.

* I’m almost scared to post links to all the articles I’ve written in the last few months. Stay tuned for a round-up post.

* Did you know that the dresses the women wear in Gustav Klimt paintings really existed? They were designed by a woman called Emilie Flöge.


Annie Clark On Unplugging And Creativity

Filed under: Writing and Publishing — joy at 7:38 am on Tuesday, April 21, 2015


One thing I kind of learned [about creativity] is that so much of the creative process is just about showing up. There’s some things, some realms of thought and levels of brain waves activity, or whatever, that you’re never going to get to being constantly distracted. And you’re never going to get to unless you’ve been plugging away on something, and it’s hour 7, and you want to quit music. And then something happens. -Annie Clark from St Vincent.

We Printed A Ukelele

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 3:43 pm on Saturday, April 4, 2015


Check it out, Kyle printed a ukelele on his 3d printer.

Yes, it actually works. It’s a pretty cool little instrument. Sometime I’ll take a video of him playing it and put it up. In the meantime, here’s some pictures.


The ukelele printed out.


We added tuning pegs on the side that we bought from the music store.


Kyle stringing the ukelele.

Article: 14 Things You Might Not Know About ‘The Sound of Music’

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 6:42 am on Sunday, March 15, 2015


Did you know that The Sound of Music turned 50 years old this year? I recently re-watched it for my Mental Floss article 14 Things You Might Not Know About ‘The Sound of Music’. Now I really want to go to Austria.

Article: Luther Burbank Experiment Farm In Via

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 6:39 am on Sunday, March 15, 2015


Want to learn about the white blackberry, the spineless cactus, or the trifoliate orange? Consider taking a trip to the Luther Burbank Experiment Farm, which I wrote about for Via Magazine.

Fiddle-dee-dee! 18 Facts About Vivien Leigh

Filed under: Joy's Work — joy at 6:34 am on Sunday, March 15, 2015


When I was a kid, Vivien Leigh was one of my heroes. My admiration was re-awakened by this recent Mental Floss article Fiddle-dee-dee! 18 Facts About Vivien Leigh. She was a fascinating lady.

Suiting Up For Battle

Filed under: Writing and Publishing — Administrator at 7:19 am on Monday, March 2, 2015


I looked down at my hand while I was line editing and had to chuckle. I look like I’ve had an injury, but in fact the three band-aids I have on are to protect my fingers from writing calluses. Who says editing a book isn’t physically taxing?

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