Cover art: Let’s chow down

I’m not going to dance around the issue here, friends: your girl Meg likes to eat. I come from a long line of very fine folks who enjoy a good meal, I’ll add, and no — that’s not a reference to weight! I mean, we just like food. My grandmother Wilma loads us up on the meaty stuff, piling cabbage rolls and stews on me, while my grandmother Margy provides all the sweets: sugar cookies, white chocolate-covered pretzels and her famous peanut butter cups, most especiallly.

We’re no slackers in my house, either. Brownies and ice cream are usually milling about, and Spencer and I love baking. I’m improving my own culinary skills slowly but steadily, and I’m looking forward to the day I can prepare a whole meal — from scratch. (When I have the time. So, you know, maybe never.)

So it makes sense that, when browsing for books, my eye goes straight to anything featuring a delicious treat. In fact, just the knowledge that a book features food — or a chef, baker, etc. — is enough to entice me to pick it up.

Inspired by Kay’s lovely “Artsy Shelf” posts at The Infinite Shelf, I’ve been keeping my little brown eyes peeled for any cover art that looked so good I would, well, want to take a bite. A giant one. And it just turns out the some of the covers I remember best of the hundreds (thousands?) I’ve seen feature something delectable-looking. And most of the time? Well, as you’ll see, we’re talking cupcakes.

Some of these books I’ve read — and some I haven’t. If they’ve worked their way onto my bookcase or wishlist, it’s probably because I thought they sounded like an appropriate blend of delicious food and awesome storytelling. Here’s to hoping I’m right.


Are you attracted to cover art featuring food? Why or why not?


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The BookMooch Journals

img_5964While perusing Korianne’s blog a few weeks ago, I came across an exciting and curious link — for something called The BookMooch Journals. I know I’m constantly extolling the virtues of BookMooch, a community of literature lovers who swap books. I’ve gotten so many awesome titles over there, many of them in like-new condition. And all for my cost of mailing one of my own books to another member — around $2.23 in shipping, via media mail. I joined BookMooch last October and have, to date, sent out more than 50 novels — and gotten 50 in return. Sometimes it’s tough to find first-run books there, but I’ve managed to claim titles as varied as Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, Laurie Notaro’s The Idiot Girl And the Flaming Tantrum of Death and Geraldine Brooks’ March, all of which I’ve reviewed here at write meg! So it’s not impossible to get new books — just a little tougher. But I’m persistent.

Well, I have new BookMooch obsession to start taking up my time and energy — the aforementioned Journals. According to the project website, more than 400 of these art projects are currently in circulation, via BookMooch, around the world.

So how does it work? From their page:

The rules are simple: Begin one or more BookMooch-only journals, created out of a hardcover blank journal, a used hardcover book, or a sturdy softcover book, and create a theme and name for your journal. After you’ve made the first art entry in your journal, set it loose into the BookMooch world.

Participants can mooch your journal just like any other book listed on BookMooch. Each person that mooches a journal adds their art entry, and within two weeks re-posts it into the BookMooch system to be mooched by another member, who adds their art entry to the journal and again adds it back to BookMooch for the next moocher, and so on. When the journal is completed, it is sent back to its owner.

I love, love, love projects like this — and I just contributed to my very first journal! It’s called “A Year Of Poetry,” started by Milano in Florida, and is a recycled, hardback calendar. Since it began circulating in May 2008, it’s made stops in Oklahoma, Georgia, New York, Utah, Alabama, Virginia and, most recently, Maryland. In the future, it’s heading to the Phillippines, England, Australia and lots of other places here in the States.

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I contributed three poems — two by me and one of my favorite poems ever by Kim Addonizio. I had a tough time choosing the “dates” on which to paste them. In the end, I went with the most personal ones available, but I’m really happy with my pages. To maintain a bit of an air of mystery, here’s just one of them — with Addonizio’s poem:

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And, since it’s tiny, here’s one of my poems — added on the date I graduated from college! Despite actually graduating from the creative writing program, I think I’ve only written a handful of poems over the past few years. That pretty much broke my creative spirit! Ha. But I’m getting it back!

the english major
by megan

Your grammar enraged me
far more than
your cheating ever did,

And I’ll always love language
far more than
I ever loved you.

Let’s get Etsy-fied

I scrapbook, crochet, make cards, design digital graphics and just generally . . . consider myself “artsy.” Not in the pretentious, black-beret-wearing way — just in the “I enjoy art and making stuff” way. And I sit at a computer all day and hang out on the Internet in between work projects most afternoons. And I’m the Queen Googler! Give me a problem and I promise that Google, the keeper of all knowledge, will have the answer.

So how, then, did I not know about Etsy, a marketplace for handmade goods?

It’s like eBay for crafts. And it’s awesome. You can find pretty much any gorgeous, homemade item you could possibly want! And most of it is quite affordable. There are a hundred reasons why buying from individuals all over the country (and the world) is probably better for you and them than heading out to a “big box store,” but it’s mostly exciting because I’m psyched to be able to find really different, ecclectic items for presents and decorating. I’ve been looking for something else to go with my office’s London theme — I have a London corkboard, various desk items and a London painting my sister got me. And then I saw this for sale by NestaHome (please ignore my very crude text box to keep the photo from being replicated):

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It’s a digital collage — of London! And from a series the creator calls “Alone In the City.” I pretty much am in love with it. This one is “Waiting For the Bus”; there’s another in the set I bought called “Sometimes all you see are buildings.” I have wall space all picked out for them!

And I bought something else as a present . . . but I can’t divulge that highly classified information! Suffice it to say I’m very excited to get it — and to give it for Valentine’s Day.

Once I got more comfortable with Etsy, my plan is to start selling some of the multitudes of scarves I’ve crocheted over the years! My sister and I paid for a table at a local craft fair a year and a half ago — and sadly came back home with the majority of what I’d created for the show. We hardly sold a thing. And I don’t think it was for lack of quality, let me tell you — I’m very proud of my scarves! And I didn’t have anything on the table selling for more than $10. People were just being cheap that year. This past November, when we were in the throes of the recession and folks were gearing up for Christmas? We probably would have done much better. But that’s fine. Now I might have a way to unload some of my stock and bring smiles to the warm, happy faces of potential buyers looking for just the sort of random scarf I happen to be selling! That calls for some cheers!

UPDATE at 8:45 p.m.: I try not to be all talk and no action! I officially have my very own Etsy shop, boasting five scarves that I’ve crocheted lately! I figured I would start small, though I have plenty more to list. Feel free to stop by! And for you Harry Potter fans, here’s a sample — complete with my cultured hands-on-hips pose . . .

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