Margaret Fieland: Poetry and Prose

A Better Class of Spam, and Memory

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 30th, 2007

The spam I’m getting on my website now consists mostly of nice comments like:

Thank you! I delighted!

followed by a URL to whatever the poster wants to promote. At least they are pleasant to read.

Apropos of nothing, I went to my poetry class (I signed up for a six-week course at a local adult education center) and forgot my homework in my car.  I couldn’t remember a single thing I had written in its entirety. Ugh.

Mosh Pit

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 24th, 2007

My son went to hear a rock concert last night. This morning when we asked how it was, he replied, “Awesome” and added that he had stood on the edge of the mosh pit.

Of course, I asked what a mosh pit was. It is, it seems, an area near the stage where people are standing around and pushing and shoving but not actually fighting.

I still can’t picture it. If you have a description/definition of “mosh pit” do please let me know.

New Orleans

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 23rd, 2007

I just got back from my first trip to New Orleans. The occasion was my son’s commissioning as a second lieutenant and his graduation from Tulane.

It really is a fascinating place. I had been under the illusion that it’s background (prior to 1803, when the US acquired it) had been entirely French. Not so. There is a large Spanish influence, which is especially visibile in the architecture in the French quarter where pastel stucco buildings abound. Since I was not paying attention ‘way back when in Social Studies, I bought myself a book about New Orleans cultural history. It’s interesting reading.

If you go, do bring socks and sneakers or other comfortable shoes. I walked everywhere for the first two days in sandals.

The blisters are just about healed.

Thanks, Lea

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 13th, 2007

I would like to take a moment to thank someone who changed the course of my writing life: Lea  Schizas.

Last October I participated in the first online writing conference, organized by Lea and Carolyn Howard-Johnson.

I can’t say enough good things about the conference and about Lea (and Carolyn). There I hooked up with Linda Barnett-Johnson. Linda convinced me to join the LSS Writers Lodge. There I began write short stories in addition to the poetry I was already writing.

Since then I’ve also joined one of the MuseItUp Club’s children’s fiction groups.

The first story I wrote for the writer’s lodge was the first fiction I ever wrote. That was last November. If you’d asked me a year ago, I would have said that I would *never* write fiction.

Now I’ve had two short stories published in online zines and have several others, including a picture book, out for consideration. I’ve also finally started working on my book of poetry.

Whatever happens to those stories (and to me as a writer) the mere fact that I’m doing it at all is momentous.

So thanks, Lea. I wouldn’t be here without you.

PS: Check out the links for the Muse Online Conference, the MuseItUp Club and the Long Story Short Writers Lodge.


Foreign Vegetables

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 10th, 2007

I was in the supermarket this afternoon buying salad makings and one of the things I picked up was a head of radicchio. The very nice young woman at the checkout didn’t recognize it.

“When I first started buying it,” I admitted, “I thought it was a small head of read cabbage.”

It all started one summer when Anne (not her real name), my boyfriend Ed (not his real name either) and I were sharing a house. Anne was an excellent cook and I’d learned a lot about vegetables from her. Anne and I had developed a sudden urge for cole slaw, which we spent over an hour chopping by hand until it was fine enough to suit Anne, who claimed that the French recipe she had in mind called for extra fine cabbage.

“I don’t like vegetables,” Ed claimed.

Anne didn’t agree, “You eat mine. You probably just don’t like mushy vegetables.”

Ed admitted this was true. “But I don’t know how to cook any other vegetables.”

“Either do I,” I piped up.

That’s when Anne started talking about her favorite vegetable recipes and some of her favorite cook books.

I went out that week and bought two of her recommendations, Irene Kuo’s The Key to Chinese Cooking, and Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cooking.

I looked through both cookbooks and picked out the red cabbage recipe from the Chinese cookbook.. I was only cooking for me and Ed, so I didn’t want to buy the large heads of red cabbage on sale at the supermarket. I found a small head of what looked to me like red cabbage and off I went. The “cabbage” didn’t quite turn the color the book claimed it would, but I figured it was just me.

It was a hit with both me and Ed, and I was quite happily stir frying the radicchio using the sweet and sour red cabbage recipe (which I highly recommend) when Anne came over one night for dinner.

“That’s radicchio, not red cabbage,” she informed me.

“That’s Italian, right?”


Right away I hauled out Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cooking to look for a recipe. There was none. The book basically said to pretend it was endive.

“If she can pretend it’s endive, I can pretend it’s red cabbage,” I told Anne, and went back to stir frying it.

The cookbooks I’ve consulted since all say to use radicchio in salad but so far none have had a cooked radicchio recipe.

If you have one, please write and tell us about it. Meanwhile, I’m going back to making my salad.

More on taxes

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 8th, 2007

I got the big package of tax forms in the mail Thursday and today I got the money to pay them so tonight I get to write out all the checks and get ready to mail everything tomorrow. Ugh!

Putting it all back together

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 8th, 2007

We still have no sink and no refrigerator but the kitchen cabinets are in so we are going to start getting things settled. This will be quite a lot of work as everything is now coated in dust and some of it needed scrubbing to begin with.

In any case, tonight I’m going to start washing pots in the bathtub. Oh, joy.

Taxes, Shaxes

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 3rd, 2007

I just learned that due to an error on my accountant’s part I owe money on my 2005 Mass taxes.

I still really like my accountant — she called me up as soon as she figured this all out and has offered to pay the interest but I still have to come up with the $$$ that I owe for the taxx itself. Ugh! This just reinforces my basic dislike of tax season and doing tax returns and the whole nine yards.

Kitchen Progress

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the May 2nd, 2007

I’m not sure if I told y’all, but we’re remodeling our kitchen. This is a big hassle. 

The new floor is partly in. Many of the cabinets are in. There are no appliances. The refrigerator in the living room is being taken away today. I am sick of take-out food.

It’s going to look georgous when it’s done, though.