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Cultivate joy

It's hard to believe The Cookie Garden is turning 5 in April! What began as a quirky idea from my then 5-year-old son eventually became a real thing. A children's book. A place of escape for children and the adults who love them. Cookies springing up in the backyard garden or an inside planter.


The Cookie Garden Plot*

When my son was 5, he wondered why I grew so many vegetables. In response, I waxed on about beans, heaped praise on potatoes, and reminded him that tomatoes are actually a fruit. Sam wasn't impressed. At the time, I was a freelance writer and wrote dozens of articles for Parenting magazine. All those interviews with self-described child-development experts took their toll, and turned me into something of a parenting-advice rebel. So when 5-year-old Sam suggested growing a cookie garden, I was all for it.


*I was advised never to use puns in digital headlines. I suspect the person who told me this doesn't like puns and is trying to eradicate them. Yes, I believe it's a (wait for it)... plot.


Other Stuff I'm Working On


I admit that in the last few years I've kind of neglected this site. I've been working on a historical novel that grew out of my obsession with uncovering some of my ancestors' secrets. When I can't find the answers, I make stuff up. It's a back-and-forth between research and reading and then making things up and writing and rewriting. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's a diversion from the present. 


Then 2020 happened. Even before that, I didn't have much time for my diversion. I work full-time, help care for my mom, and maintain an unbroken NYT crossword streak (with only occasional cheating). Like a lot of people lately, I've had trouble sleeping at night and my dreamscape is sometimes just real life on steroids: Family hunkered down in familiar places that now seem apocalyptic. Panic at the ATM because I took out cash that might be sprinkled with invisible COVID glitter. Abandoned offices and me in my pajamas, or worse.


Some of the plots of these dreams though. I started writing them down to make sense of them, like transcribing old letters as a way of decoding them. Then I wrote something that seemed like it might be a blog post, the way I used to write blog posts.


My writing won't cure the pandemic or bring about world peace. But I hope to provide a diversion beyond myself and my small fears. Like Mama says in The Cookie Garden, "If you want to grow something, you have to plant the seeds."