Wordless Wednesday: Venezia in Brooklyn

Posted on Oct 7, 2015 in news & muse, the world around me, travels, Wordless Wednesday

Venice in Brooklyn

In my garden: a little bit of Venice brought back to Brooklyn from my recent trip to that city set on water.

Snippet Sunday: The Snow Still Fell

Posted on Oct 4, 2015 in news & muse, novels & fiction, Snippet Sunday


Snippet Sunday is a monthly meme organized by Stephanie Dray in which historical authors post six sentence snippets of their novels (and sometimes a little more). For the sake of organization, I’ve decided to post mine on the first Sunday of the month. You can read my previous snippets here.

October’s snippet is from the Next Novel, which I’m chin-deep in revisions right now. The Next Novel is set in 1851 England and 1837 France; this post offers more details. This particular excerpt marks the start of the last chapter, and seems to anticipate the turn of the year here in the northern hemisphere.

The snow still fell. The snow would keep falling—this Ada knew with a certainty she could not explain, but there it was. Ever since she was a child, she had a strange, almost supernatural sense about the weather that her father had considered yet another of her unnatural talents. Today, though, Ada used her foreknowledge of the snow to convince the obsequious Herr Doktor Engelsohn to finally depart their hallowed threshold lest he remain with them until spring arrived. “The snow will continue until morning at least,” she informed Hugh with her old authority, who then translated her warning for the doctor. (By now, Ada’s German was good enough that she understood much of the doctor’s words, though she lacked confidence to speak the language herself.)

Above: Photographed in Brooklyn during a snow storm.

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: A morning message

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 in interviews, news & muse, novels & fiction, reviews + press, the world around me, Wordless Wednesday


Photographed outside my usual cafe one morning.

Hey, I’m deep in the weeds, dear readers. You know what that means: my To Do list is outweighing my Hours Available list. A quick overview of what’s been going on at Chez Art and Words this month:

~ I finished two Top Secret book proposals. Hint: If published, the subject matter of these books will make Thea very happy.

~ I received feedback from my literary agent on the first third of the Next Novel. Good news: she loved it! Now onto finishing up the rest of the manuscript. (Egads.)

~ Related to above: I’ve completed applications for 2016 writers residencies. After my crazy-productive fellowship earlier this year at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, I’m eager for more.

~ I helped out at the Slice Literary conference. My duties included social media, so I’ve a plethora of great notes that I plan to share here once I catch my breath. One highlight: a panel featuring agent Jeff Kleinman and publishing iconoclast Richard Nash.

~ Thea started school anew and is winding her way toward middle school. (Egads again.)

~ On top of all this, I’ve reluctantly accepted the inevitable: I’ll be having surgery on the foot I broke last year to take care of some pre-existing issues. So I’m feeling the weight of Things I Must Get Things Done before my mobility becomes limited. I’ll be in a walking cast for six weeks. Nor will I be able to drive. (No egads, just a big sigh.)

cover_girl_waits_with_gun_amy_stewart~ Despite all this, I do have some lovely things planned for here once the weeds are less cumbersome. An interview with my fellow Venice-obsessed author Alison MaMahon (THE SAFFRON CROCUS) is on the docks, along with reviews of Amy Stewart’s just-published historical romp GIRL WAITS WITH GUN, and Hannah Tunnicliffe’s food-centered novel SEASON OF SALT AND HONEY. (Many thanks to the lovely people at Touchstone Books and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with ARCs of these novels.)

~ In other blog news, as of this Sunday I’m planning to return to my first of the month Snippet Sunday excerpts. So I hope you’ll check back then. After all, aren’t you curious what I’m working on these days? I know I am. :-)


Wordless Wednesday: Flaming June in September

Posted on Sep 23, 2015 in news & muse, stuff I like, the world around me, Wordless Wednesday

flaming june

Photographed at the Frick Collection earlier this season. Even from a distance Leighton’s Flaming June really draws the eye.

Wordless Wednesday: The view beyond

Posted on Sep 16, 2015 in news & muse, stuff I like, the world around me, travels, Wordless Wednesday

View from Thomas Cole House in the Catskills

Photographed earlier this summer from inside the Thomas Cole House in the Catskills. What a view!