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Small town

A few years back, when Squish was itty-bitty, she and Felicia built a fort together. From the outside, I could hear their conversation. Squish told Felicia about a town she'd recently visited. "What was it called?" Felicia asked her. "Small," Squish answered. "It was a town called Small?" "Yes, that's

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Quote wall: Raymond Chandler

On the bulletin board above my desk, I keep a handful of quotes that have taught me something, or that I hope to learn from. Here's one: Two very simple rules, a: you don’t have to write. b: you can’t do anything else. —Raymond Chandler, in a 1949

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Quote wall: Note to self

On the bulletin board above my desk, I keep a handful of quotes that have taught me something, or that I hope to learn from. Here's one: No one will care about this work as much as you, therefore you will have to do it yourself. (A reminder not to

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Love or fear

Last week I listened to an episode of Off Camera, in which Sam Jones interviewed Rashida Jones about her life and career. At one point, asked how she made some career choices, Jones said her father, legendary music producer Quincy Jones, had always taught her to make decisions based on

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Kolaches!

I can't remember the first kolache I ever had. (Kolaches are a pastry, usually fruit surrounded by sweet dough. In Texas, where I would've first encountered them, however, they'd evolved, or been mutilated, into bundles of meat and cheese and sometimes eggs inside a pocket of sweet dough.) Around 1992,

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A grumpy daemon

This weekend, Squish and I watched the 2007 movie The Golden Compass, based on the first novel in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. While the movie is not terribly beloved, Squish was enthralled. She was heartbroken to learn that there are no sequels (and only mildly reassured by the

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Morning view

Up a bit early this morning. I wasn't the first one awake—Felicia's often up before me, getting a workout in—but I was the only one stirring upstairs. I went from window to window, pulling curtains and raising shades. The sun wasn't yet up, but the horizon was tinted

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Quote wall: Brian Koppelman

On the bulletin board above my desk, I keep a handful of quotes that have taught me something, or that I hope to learn from. Here's one: Never let them tell you you're dead. You're not. You're alive. And you have way more control than you think. Go do the

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The Squish method

One of the best things about my basement study, where I write: It shares a wall with the room where my daughter practices piano. Listening to her play a piece again and again, or trying to work out the notes in something she's heard in a movie, is just one

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Are you not entertained?

The books I choose to read at any given moment are often thematically linked; when I enjoy a terrific epistolary novel, I look for another epistolary novel next. A great nonfiction book about politics will often guide me to another related political subject. Lately my movie-watching has taken an unexpected