Number 42

the highlights reel


Summer has been a whirlwind, and since this has been the state for virtually every person I know it is hardly worth mentioning. Except that I am now going to use this space to both apologize for being absent from The Daily Grace / Grace Notes for so long, and also to hit the highlights of what has shaped up to be the Summer of '21.
1. The Hair Situation
My last blog post on The Daily Grace, in early July, traced my short road to blonde-ish hair on the long road to natural gray/white. Whelp, since that time I've had another salon appointment and now I am platinum. Gaga, Marilyn, Anna Nicole—you get the picture. It's dramatic, unnerving, rather shocking, to tell you the truth, my inside personality being so medium brown. But folks have been kind and so I am doing my best to embrace it.
Cathy at Pout copy 2
New blonde me, having just had my make-up done at Pout.
2. The Appalachian Writers' Workshop
This was my fourth year being a part of this esteemed gathering of writers at the Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Kentucky, and while I attended virtually, the experience was everything I knew it would be. Classes in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and short story in the mornings and afternoons; late-in-the-day sessions on the publishing industry, Appalachian Foodways with chef Ouita Michel, and ever delightful Gurney Norman reading from Kinfolks. I was delighted to study with Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, author of Even as We Breathe, and the Keynote was delivered by the inimitable Adriana Trigiani. What a great week!
3. Speaking of Writing.
I've had my head down most days working on the grand edit of my novel-in-progress, The Story of Elizabeth Young. My best estimate is that I've reached the 90% point of what I'm considering a new first draft, and no matter what happens with the work once it is complete I FEEL PROUD to have kept at it, all these years in. It would have been SO MUCH EASIER to quit. Cross your fingers with me that when I hit THE END I'll find all the storylines have actually converged and resolved and that I'll have a tome worth editing.
4. Immersive van Gogh
Some painterly friends and I made the trek to Charlotte for a delightful lunch and this incredible exhibit. I so enjoyed the experience. If you have an interest in art, it is way cool and such a fascinating way to step inside the work of a master.
You know my sweet Eliza married her sweet love, Preston, in May. Then just last week Tim and I traveled to Washington, DC to attend the nuptials of the daughter of our dear, dear friends. It was a beautiful and elegant affair, the reception on a rooftop in the heart of the city, surrounded by those lovely, awe-inspiring monuments. We drank champagne, we danced, we celebrated until they kicked us out. (You can clearly see who won Had The Most Fun.)
(thank you to my friend Julie Williams Dixon for the fun photo)
6. The RP Girls Visit Catsmountain
When these are your work pals, how can you not love your work?
Mare of Easttown, on HBO
We finished this weeks ago and I'm still not over it. Kate Winslet is a wonder.

Smash, on Amazon Prime
Not perfect, but we certainly enjoyed it. I love a Broadway show, and a show about a Broadway show is okay by me!

Making the Cut, Season Two, on Amazon Prime
This has been a treadmill show for me, meaning I only watch it on the treadmill thus it is both a treat (!) and an incentive. I particularly loved this season of the fashion designer competition, where they've finally made the insightful decision to cut most of the silly melodrama (and the ridiculous Heidi Klum/Tim Gunn skit things) and focus on the creative process of these incredibly talented designers. And I am a little obsessed with the work of contestant Gary Graham. He's also a great follow on Instagram.
(rather than my very faves, this is a list of summer reads for me)
Dusk Night Dawn, by Anne Lamott
She never disappoints.

84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff
I've had this classic on my list for a long, long time. So happy I finally took an afternoon to read it!

Greenlights, by Matthew McConnaughey
did not finish

The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
A book about writers and books and a stolen plot. I enjoyed.

The Last Thing He Told Me, by Laura Dave
I like a good page-turner in the summer, and this one fit the bill. A nicely woven tale about a woman whose husband disappears in the midst of a corporate scheme, leaving her to solve the mystery and deal with his teenage daughter.

Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell
Another page-turner. I liked it fine—I will note for you it requires a bit of willing suspension. I definitely kept reading, though, and finished it.
On the Link Between Great Thinking and Excessive Walking
Screen Shot 2021-08-22 at 4.33.03 PM (1)
photo: Pamela Salzman
Made this last night for dinner; ate it for lunch again today. So fresh and good.
Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Feta and Mint, from Pamela Salzman
August 2017

For Mamas and Daddies Taking a Child to College

Six years ago we took Eliza for her freshman year of college and a shocking wave of sadness overtook me. I have a message for parents dealing with the same emotion: There is hope!

Read more
#Catsmountain this morning. 8.22.21, 7:04 am

Be love. Get vaccinated. Wear a mask.

facebook twitter instagram pinterest email