Happy Navroze—Spring is Here!

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Jamshedi Navroz Mubarak! According to the old Persian calendar, March 20 or 21 is the day that the new year named Navroze, Navroz, Nawrooz, and various other spellings is welcomed. This observance mostly celebrated by Zoroastrians—the group inside known as Parsi; Bahai worshippers; and Sunni Muslims with roots … Read more

Get Your Roasted Nuts Here!

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Throughout December, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pecans are always in my shopping cart. I first wrote about this peculiar passion three years ago, yet I couldn’t resist returning to the topic this year.  And the nuts made me contemplate whether traditions can shift a bit and still feel comforting. This … Read more

Hot Enough To Fry a Pancake

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. A little more than a week ago, I was lying in a darkened bedroom at 4 PM on a Friday afternoon—wracked with fatigue, weakness and thirst. The day had started splendidly. I’d driven about 40 miles to the Washington suburbs to visit with my new author friend Shauna … Read more

My Quarantine Smells Like Jasmine Rice

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Scents that jolt our memories are important because we rarely smell them anymore. Think about that for a moment. I can still summon the soothing aroma of the Nivea lotion I used during my sixteenth summer. And the piquantly fruity smell of Haribo Gummi Bears, my favorite snack … Read more

Plum Passion

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. In Maryland, strawberries mean spring, and peaches and plums mean summer. These aren’t the only fruits that prosper due to our excellent fruit-growing climate, but they are ones that are truly ravishing and worth only eating in season. I feel especially passionate about plums this summer. They are … Read more

How to Feed a Writer

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. M.F.K. Fisher, the great American food writer, once stated:”A writing cook and a cooking writer must be bold at the desk as well as the stove.” In the 1930s and ’40s, when Mary Frances began her concurrent explorations of cooking and writing, most writers did not cook, probably … Read more

The Start of a Book Purge

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. A doctor once reassured that it’s normal for a writer to be disorganized. Clutter goes hand in hand with creativity. That my excuse for my lifelong for tendency to fall victim to clutter. But looking at it doesn’t make me feel calm. Because of my issues, I find … Read more

Summer on the Table

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Summer is supposed to be done. I know this because I see big yellow school-buses on the freeway, and the Staples office supply store is full of families loading up on binders, notebooks, and pencils. But may I make a public service announcement that it’s still summer out … Read more