I am a heavy user . . . of the Multnomah County Library.
Every day, as I'm researching my current writing project, I use books I've checked out of the library. And I use online sources like the Oxford English Dictionary or JSTOR (an ultra geeky research database that allows me to find articles in languages I don't even read, which I then try to translate), which I access through the library's website. The Interlibrary Loan service has gotten me books from all over the country when I need them.
And maybe most important of all, I look out my window every day and watch families walking to and from the library. Which is about the best inspiration a writer can have.
So what does a heavy user and long-time lover do to say thanks? Volunteers to spend the next 4-8 years making the library better for everyone in Multnomah County.
Look closely at her legs -- can you see what she's gathered to bring back to the hive?
This is what it looks like when you pop the top off a Langstroth hive
It is very difficult to take a good selfie in a beekeeping suit.
Each "box" of a standard Langstroth hive has 10 frames. Here's what a frame looks like.
Sometimes I watch bees at work in my yard. Thanks for keeping the plants looking good, girls!
When I walk through the neighborhood and see bees in plants in other people's yards, I wonder whether they are my girls out foraging.
If you've never tasted local honey, you should. Like wine or cheese or chocolate, it's a wonderful thing to savor. Each year I organize a honey tasting of over 20 local beekeepers. The range of tastes is amazing, and most of the beekeepers can't recognize their own bees' honey in a blind taste test.
I get a lot of questions from readers about the honey bees in Juliet's Nurse, so I thought I'd take the time to introduce them.
Here's a video in which I talk about the bees right under their noses. And their wings. And all the other bits of them.
(My agent once said, "You are like a crazy cat lady, but with insects." So true)
I'm a really a goody-two-shoes. Preferably flats, comfortable for walking, though stylish with a vintage dress.
And so last week to celebrate the paperback publication of Juliet's Nurse, I put on such a pair, and a frock, and hoofed it over to the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Gowanus (I was staying a few blocks away in Brooklyn), and gave a talk with the rather ribald title, "Capulet Gynecologist, Montague Onanist: Medieval Sex, Renaissance Death, and Romeo and Juliet."
It was a little raunchy.
But in a totally edifying way.
So if raunchily edifying or edifyingly raunchy is your thing, ignore my goody-two-shoes warning, and click here for the first part of the talk . . .
If that hasn't frightened you off, here's the second part:
And the more-or-less conclusion (the last few minutes of Q&A got cut off):
I suspect some of that wasn't on the final when you read the play in high school. Unless you went to a rather unusual high school.