Prized Black Rice Soup

Readers tell me that Birthmarked makes them hungry.  They read about dark, crusty bread right out of the oven and their tastebuds swoon.  Unlike Harris’s Chocolat, that richly seductive book that makes me crave sweetness, (not to mention the even more troublesome movie version with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche, (whose name, once you’ve become dessert-minded, invokes “ganache”)), my books tend towards the hardy and wholesome food groups: breads, soups, blueberries, and an orange.  An exception is the mycoprotein, provided as sustenance to people living outside… Continue reading

Window Gazing, NYC

She isn’t a mermaid, but she’s surrounded by enormous, silent fish made of blue and green glass, and her space behind the window could as easily be filled with ocean as with air.  I like how the window displays of Bergdorf Goodman are simply not possible.  How can a zebra be constructed of paper, or a polar bear consist of silk fringes?  How can a powerful, confident girl fly in the sea?

I love that otherworldly views are given to us unexpectedly, without explanation.  They do… Continue reading


Scary Dog

Honestly, I’m scared of them.  Just when I think I’m over it, one of them bites my daughter’s thumb or knocks down my ninety-year-old neighbor.  I get, rationally, that most dogs are harmless, and I’m happy to pet the calm ones I know, but that still doesn’t make me less fearful of big, jumping, lunging dogs.  I feel so helpless around unfamiliar dogs, and so confused that their owners don’t control them better.  They let their dogs come right towards me with their panting… Continue reading

Pondering Next Ideas with Agent

Ever since I talked to my agent Kirby Kim last week about what to write after the Birthmarked trilogy, I’ve been feeling optimistic and encouraged, both about the ideas themselves and the open-ended direction of my writing.  I’m normally optimistic anyway, but I did wonder if Birthmarked was a fluke.  Now I believe my brainstorming is leading me in good directions, and I’m grateful once again that I have a great agent to work with.

Food for Thought

As far as I know, there’s no prescribed way… Continue reading


Coincidences tend to be unbelievable in fiction, but I’m living with a couple of curious ones now in my real life.  A year ago, when my daughter told me she wanted to study in France, she applied to a program at the University of Rennes, and Rennes just happens to be the city where Hélène Bury, the French translator for Birthmarked, resides.  What are the chances that my daughter and my translator would end up in the same city, giving me ample excuse to visit?

Off to France… Continue reading

Becca the Highland Cow

Becca the Highland Cow (c) Becca Hart 2011

And now for an inspiring photo by my talented niece, Becca Hart. Thanks for the laugh, darlin’.