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Rosemary DiBattista's Blog

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Jersey shore morning
  Here in Jersey we are enjoying a true autumn--golden October days and nippy nights, with the occasional balmy surprise of a day that reaches into the 70s. Knowing that winter chill awaits only  increases my yearning for one more day at the shore. This past season I made more than my usual number...
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strong poison.jpg
  One only needs to look at my bookshelf on Goodreads to know that I am an inveterate mystery fan, and summer seems to be the time I really dig in to them. Last summer I worked my way through many of Christie's works, and currently I am rediscovering the brilliant Dorothy Sayers. A recent reading...
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Aunt Marie's desk
  After my Great Aunt Marie died, my mother gave me what I considered my aunt's most precious possession--her secretary desk. It sits in a corner of my basement library flanked by a wall of bookshelves. With the top open, I have just enough room for my laptop, a notepad, and my two skinny elbows....
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  It's not easy to be a public school teacher in New Jersey these days. If you live in my area, or know our news, you've probably heard that Governor Chris Christie issued an executive order that called for deep and damaging cuts to school budgets all over the state. In my district alone, we were...
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  I know I cannot be the only woman who is disturbed/offended/pissed off by the series of commercials for Pledge in which a Young Mommy is trapped in a glass box to show how effective Pledge products are on dust, pet hair, and allergens. The women don't seem alarmed (I get panicky just watching)...
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The Shoes in Question
  When I was eight years old, my parents took us to see the Ice Capades in Madison Square Garden. Even then I had the sense that going to the city was exciting and special, and required a certain look. I wore my new mohair sweater, a favorite pleated skirt, and was just about to buckle up my patent...
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As It Was Written
This entry is dedicated to my friend, Sujatha Hampton, whose novel As It Was Written is launching this week. I meet Sujatha at a writers' conference in New York in the fall of 2007, for four days of palm-sweating and heart-stopping meetings with editors to pitch our novels. From the moment Sujatha...
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  Last Wednesday my family and I took down our Christmas decorations. It happened to fall on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night. There is a long-standing tradition of taking down the Christmas tree during the Epiphany, in yet another holiday conflation of the secular...
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  At holiday time I try to remember the people in my working life whose presence I tend to take for granted. The women cited below however, are worth a darn sight more than a votive candle or a modestly priced bottle of wine: My hair stylist. It may be shallow, but every woman knows the value of a...
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  Turner Classic Movies showed this 60s chestnut last evening, and I must say that I have always loved this cheesy throwback. The first time I saw this movie, I must have been around 12. I stayed up late to sneak-watch it (sound turned way down) on the tiny black and white television in my room....
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  We do it to ourselves, you know. So convinced that our families can't run without our magical presence, we control, micromanage, enable, and ultimately martyr ourselves upon the altar of motherhood. But even saints and martyrs need a break now and then. A couple of weeks ago I booked a tiny third...
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  Ever since I read The House of Mirth for my women's lit class in college, I have been a Wharton fan. I'm drawn to her work for a number of reasons. For one thing, her books successfully bridged the commercial and the literary, bringing her both fame and money in her lifetime (much to the dismay...
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  I am not a dog person. I never was. As a child I was deathly afraid of them, and I dragged my feet for years when my boys begged for one. When the last kid was finally toilet trained, I had run out of excuses. (I had stipulated that I would not be cleaning up dog poop and the human variety. At...
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Like so many women of my generation and the two behind me, I have spent the last two days mourning Patrick Swayze. He was a big crush for so many of us, and not just for the obvious reasons. Sure, the guy looked like he could grace the cover of romance novels, and those of us who watched Ghost and...
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It’s a gray and rainy day here in New Jersey, making this year’s anniversary of  9/11 a particularly poignant one. Today was only my third day back at school; after the morning announcements our chorus sang a lovely rendition of “America the Beautiful.” As their young and hopeful voices filled the...
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