Archive for February, 2009

One of the advantages of working in the book division of a media company is that when I walk into the office bleary eyed, with dark circles and clutching my bottle of miracle Excedrin to my chest protectively, the fact that it’s not a hangover, but the result of staying up too late because I just had to ‘read one more chapter, just one more’ that turned into several more, garners empathy rather than disdain.

This got me thinking though, in the shower, about the terms we use for things like that. It’s not a hangover, not in the traditional sense, certainly. Is there a proper term for this result? I’m too tired to come up with anything really creative or coherent, and the two awake brain cells I have are working overtime on grammar and punctuation. (Give them a break, okay?) It’s not their fault I did this to myself. As Radiohead sang, “You do this to yourself, you do, and that’s why it really hurts.”

So how many of you are guilty of staying up too late to read, and finding yourself with the equivalent of a hangover the next day? Any remedies?

Oh, and the book that’s got me hooked? The Serpent’s Tale, by Ariana Franklin. I’m not done yet, so no spoilers, okay? But I’m really looking forward to finishing it.

So what are you reading?


Happy Voodoo

Today at the office we had a Mardi Gras Fete. Grace made sweet rolls. Melissa made pralines. Everyone made voodoo dolls. Mine is the scary one.

Voodoo dolls by Amy, Grace, Scott and Melissa.

Voodoo dolls by Amy, Grace, Scott and Melissa.

A Sweet Valentine Read

The winners of our Red Heart/Black Heart Valentine’s Day Writing contest were published in a booklet available for download at

Check it out, and send the link to your sweetheart.


Valentine's Day Poems, Letters, and Essays

Valentine's Day Poems, Letters, and Essays

To your left…

Given the statistic that one person in ten is left-handed, I find it intriguing that of the six of us in Marketbooks, three of us are southpaws. Back during election time, we had a discussion about the fact that no matter who won, we’d have another lefty in office, as both McCain and President Obama are left-handed.

In fact, of the past several presidents, Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton were also left-handed.

My right-handed friends don’t often understand all the daily struggles we lefties go through and why I got so excited to discover my niece is (another one in the family! Yes!!!). I can explain how it makes dinner table arrangements a bit easier, as we can simply sit on one side together rather than having to arrange everything so I’m on an end. Always being on the edge means I miss parts of conversations.

Being left-handed often leads to looking like a klutz when dealing with right-handed equipment. Did you know that more than 2500 lefties die each year as a result of accidents with right-handed equipment? And have you ever priced (or, in some cases even tried to find) left-designed stuff?

But it’s not all woe, and it’s certainly not like I’m truly suffering on a daily basis. It does mean I have a certain sympathy for my mom, though, who will soon be going in for surgery on her right (dominant) hand because of carpal tunnel syndrome.

As we sat at the table the other night, trying to write and draw with our opposing hands and laughing at the results, I thought about how the Catholic school made my father learn to write right-handed, and how the same school, years later, made one last-ditch effort to do the same thing to me, before my mother went and made it very clear she would not put up with old superstitions and methods.

For too long, lefties have conformed to a righty world, but on the other hand, we’re creative and adaptable, and studies show, we tend to be independent thinkers. National Left-handed day is apparently not until August, but I say we make this the year of the lefty, where it’s fun to be left-handed every day. We’re in good company.

February 2009
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