A Tiny Gift for Yourself

Poets.org will send you a poem a day to celebrate National Poetry Month. I am sure that a poem a day will soften hard edges and sweeten addled minds. It might even inspire you to greatness, or niceness, or peace. No, Love Is Not Dead by Robert Desnos No, love is not dead in this heart these eyes and this mouththat …

Vanessa McGradyA Tiny Gift for Yourself

Tequila’s stunt double

Looks like bubble bath but it’s really the natural color of the red shiso leaf infused in the shochu. I’m a lucky person, it turns out. So lucky, in fact, that I was invited on a 10-day press trip to Japan, where the good folks of the Japanese External Trade Organization gave me and seven other American writers a crash …

Vanessa McGradyTequila’s stunt double

Champagne with your bloody WWII revenge epic, madame?

  Last Labor Day weekend I had the great fortune to go to Sonoma, where I met the coolest sommelier on the planet, Chris Sawyer. Today my interview with him is posted at gayot.com and culinate.com. Cheers!

Vanessa McGradyChampagne with your bloody WWII revenge epic, madame?

My past has caught up with me

For more than 20 years, I worked as a freelance writer. I covered all kinds of things — schools, health, quirky country folk, crime, politics, oysters, food and art. I was very busy and very comfortable. And then I moved to California. And I was daunted at the prospect of finding new stories from a place where I couldn’t even …

Vanessa McGradyMy past has caught up with me

For my mother

My mother is not the type to be bowled over by a bouquet of flowers on the door. She’d appreciate them, yes, but more than that, she wants a little chunk of my spirit, something meaningful. This year she asked for a poem. I began it yesterday as I volunteered at the Gibbon Conservation Center. My friend and I had …

Vanessa McGradyFor my mother

A Bear Crapped on My Table

I’ve been told by a very inspiring and influential person to get my papers in order (well, outline and proposal) and start working on my memoir after she read my article about living off the grid in Grist. I feel like I landed on the soft pillow after riding bareback in the woods for years. There is a crack in …

Vanessa McGradyA Bear Crapped on My Table

My New Blogging Challenge – One Year Ago Today

OK, here’s a new blogging challenge — post an email you sent or received one year ago today (or to whenever the date is that you posted). Here is mine from last Nov. 10, in response to someone who had her first Craigslist experience and wondered about the veracity of the seller. Yes, he sucks bigtime and is trying to …

Vanessa McGradyMy New Blogging Challenge – One Year Ago Today