Open Linethe divorce dietTrip Sheets


I’ve published three novels, The Divorce Diet (Kensington, 2015), Open Line (Coffee House Press, 2008) and Trip Sheets (Milkweed Editions, 1998). Links to places you can buy them in the U.S. are below. That’s subtle, isn’t it? I should embed the links but can’t be bothered. If that doesn’t prove my professionalism, I don’t know what it’s going to take.

If you’re not tired of me yet, you’ll find links to articles I’ve written elsewhere on the web on the What Else? page.

I was born and raised in New York, lived in Minnesota for a very long time, and now live in Cornwall. I update the blog on Fridays, but don’t try to hold me to that.



Open Line:


Trip Sheets:


Web site:




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203 thoughts on “About

  1. This is wonderful. A blogger (awful word) who doesn’t sound like a ranter or a self-absorbed writer who can’t get published because his/her only subject is him or her. Or gender neutral self. I ignored a grant deadline for a half hour of laughing so thank you sister!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hello there, Ellen! I so appreciate you popping by to have a browse at my blog, and especially for the follow! Having taken a quick look at your own site, I am flattered beyond words that you would take the time to read my ramblings. It would seem we have much in common, both being Yankees abroad. And Cornwall – I KNOW it is beatiful from pictures, but I have never been south of Devon (yet!). I absolutely love the southwest of England. This rock in the Atlantic is my very favourite place on planet earth for so many, many reasons. I am so pleased and excited to meet another Anglophile! xx Mother Hen

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was wondering if you’d be interested in doing another blog-hop. With your permission, I can email you the details so you can make an informed choice (I have your email via the comments you’ve left on my blog). If you’d rather not, that’s perfectly fine as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well, you went and done it. You went and followed Uncle Bardie’s Stories & Such. You are now one of Uncle Bardie’s Band of Merry Followers. Just so you know, Uncle Bardie’s a hoot, and he’s got quite a few whoppers in his bag of stories. Some funny, some not so funny. But all told for your entertainment. Thank you for following his blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I hope you like Cornwall! Whereabouts are you? I’m not asking this in a weird stalker way, I am all the way out in Hong Kong so you’re safe from me ;-) but my inlaws live in Cornwall and my husband and I got married there (in St Mawes) so I’m very attached to the place.

    Anyway, lovely to meet you via the internet ;)


    • Good question, and one I hadn’t thought to address. Short version? Wild Thing and I fell in love with the place and after we retired realized we could actually manage to move here. Getting to stay involved quite a battle (see the posts filed under “In the Beginning” for the tale). I’ll try to write something more extended about the whole issue. Thanks for bringing it up.


  6. Good to hear you’ll write about it. We’ll get to know the beginning more. Not sure if I mentioned it, but I was an ex-pat for 15 years (long 5 year stays in Italy, Greece and Japan). People seem to always want to know the why about living, moving abroad.


  7. Thanks so much, Ellen, for stopping by and liking what you saw. I do hope you come back. I’ve also very much enjoyed what I’ve seen of your own blog (and webpage), and expect to be back every Tuesday and Friday (although don’t hold me to that). So glad I found you!


  8. Nice to meet you Ellen! Your life sounds really interesting– I’ve always wanted to make a trip to the U.K., and actually hope to make that a reality in 2016 for my 15th wedding anniversary. FYI, I linked to you in my most recent post. I hope that’s OK with you. You came recommended by a fellow blogger who I interviewed :-)


    • I appreciate the link, and the recommendation. I hadn’t seen your blog till now, and I like it.

      If you do get to the UK, make sure you get out of London. London’s wonderful, but the countryside and some of the towns and villages are a whole ‘nother experience. Don’t miss ’em.


      • Good to know! Thank you! Any suggestions for places that would be within an hour or two of London? We’ll likely fly into London then go from there. I would love to get a sense of true British culture outside the big city.


        • Mmmm. What to choose? There’s a wonderful moated great house called Ightham Mote (https://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A9mSs2mYlpVUVwIAOT1LBQx.;_ylu=X3oDMTB1cWQ5aHFmBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2lyMgR2dGlkA1ZJUFVLMTlfMQ–?_adv_prop=image&fr=yfp-t-402-s&va=ightham+mote) that we fell in love with the first time we were in the UK. Warning, though: It’s pronounced Item Moat. We were lost and asking our way and no one had a clue what we were talking about. You could take the train (or a bus, which may or may not be called a coach; I’ve never figured out which is which) to Bath, Oxford, or Cambridge. or you could get a tour to Stonehenge. That may be more like three hours away, but it’s worth it. And if you drive there, there’s another stone circle very nearby, Avebury, which is at least as interesting. It’s not as grand, but it’s right out in the middle of things and not roped off, so you can wander through and lean against the stones if the mood takes you. When we were there, we helped a couple of harassed farmers chase a cow back into the field. And if anyplace around Bath or Stonehenge is selling cream teas, try one. They’re sheer bliss, but they’re a west country specialty that I wouldn’t try in London.

          Have a wonderful trip. I predict you’ll love it.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my – you’re the one who wrote The Divorce Diet!! I’ve heard so much about your book (all of it good!) that I put it on this year’s reading list. Now I definitely have to move it to the top of the list :)
    Nice to finally “meet” you!


    • I’m flattered, but I’ve declared Notes an awards-free zone. Something about awards–maybe the idea that if I once let myself think they matter to me I’ll wonder why I don’t have them all, in multiples–just doesn’t fit well for me. But I like one of your questions enough to answer it anyway (I’m paraphrasing): If God exists, what would I like him or her to say when I get to the pearly gates? “Your father and uncle are just over there, still trying to figure out how this is possible.” Because, yeah, eternity might not be long enough for them to talk it through.

      Thanks for the nomination, and I’m sorry to be awkward.


  10. You seem like a funny person. But I do have a very odd question. You lived in the US it seems for several years. NY and Minnesota which have very strong regional accents then moved abroad…you must have one interesting accent, lol. Did you adapt an English accent?


    • I don’t pick up accents easily in English (oddly enough, I do in other languages), so after 40 years in Minnesota, I still sounded like the New Yorker I am at heart–with (I’m told) something slightly Upper Midwestern about the O. So if it took the Upper Midwest 40 years to affect the O slightly, I’m guessing I still sound like a New Yorker, although it’s hard to really hear your own accent. Every so often, I catch a snippet of what I sound like compared to the English accents about me and am struck with how American my voice is. It’s not just the accent, it’s the whole pitch of the voice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting. People ask you where you’re from? I lived in Indiana most of my life then moved to California, and people would ask me all the time. I’d like to think I now have a neutral American accent ;)


  11. Hi, Ellen! I popped over to check out your blog and have ended up spending most of my morning on here reading your posts! I love your subjects and I love your humour but my favourite thing has to be all the “irrelevant photos” you put on your posts. That cracks me up every time! I look forward to more of your posts and humour!


  12. Ellen! Thanks for landing on my blog http://www.theitalianaccent.wordpress.com! So now I can follow you and keep comparing habits and traditions. I lived and studied in UK (Bristol and London) for a while and so I can see the differences between US and UK as you describe them. Your project is so intriguing and would like to read more. And then, one of my favorite travel I have ever done was a low-cost tour of Cornwall, all the way to Saint Ives and Penzance (guess why?) in… January. Yes, I definitely, the less traveled route are for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to have you around. Cornwall in January–yes, definitely the discount option. But I spent 40 looong years in Minnesota, close enough to Canadian border to inherit their used weather, so January here looks pretty good to me. When I see primroses coming up in January and all my neighbors are talking about winter, I still think it looks like spring.


  13. Hiya! I love your blog, and have been faithfully following it for a few months now on my mobile, through the WordPress reader. I always wondered why the option to leave comments on your blog is disactivated. Weird, huh? I realised today, when reading your blog from my laptop, that you do allow comments on your full site. I always thought you were attempting to keep your blog exclusive and posh, which didn`t jive with your hilarious writing style. Turns out, nope, it is merely a case of the technologies.

    ANYHOW, I nominated you to participate in a Freestyle Writing Challenge. Its a lot of fun, requires only a 5-10 minute time input, and I think you’ll produce something unexpected and fun. And British.

    Details here: https://discoveringratchet.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/free-style-writing-challenge-today/

    Looking forward to your post

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad de-activated comments didn’t seem fit what I’m doing here, because you’re right, they don’t. I have no idea how I can fix that, or if I can fix it, but I’m glad you found your way into the comment threads, because I love what people are writing here. Losing control of the blog? I had no idea it would be so much fun.

      Thanks for the nomination (and for the compliment). I’ll see what I can do with it, and if the result fits the blog I’ll post it. Otherwise I’ll chalk it up to experience. (I very carefully didn’t read the topic, so I have no idea where it might take me.) There’s a whole cult of writing like that, promoted by Natalie Goldberg, who’s published a book or three on the subject. She calls if free writing, and her idea is that if you write quickly enough you outrun the censor in your head. She does, however, allow for fixing typos and a bit of copy editing before publication–something know because I copy edited an article of hers–and I’ll probably fix my own. Unless they’re absurd enough to justify publishing.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Ellen, I just stumbled onto your blog (as you do) and thought I would say “hello”. I live in Droitwich Spa (between Birmingham and Worcester) and also own a small place in St Ives in Cornwall. Whereabouts are you in Cornwall? (No need to be specific) ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m between Bude and Boscastle. I haven’t spent a lot of time in St. Ives, but when I have been there the colors–the sand, I think, is what does it–are just beautiful. I can see why it draws artists, although I’m in love with the cliffs up our way.

      Glad you stopped by.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Hey there. Found your crime post on Suzie’s Blog party. I love your writing voice–it’s very sarcastic yet unique. Keep up the awesome posts!

    PS. Your tagline is hilarious. It’s sure to grab new followers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • By not cleaning up my computer desk. Or the floor around it. By letting the weeds grow. (Once they’re high enough, I’ve learned, they’re easier to spot.) By watching less TV (no loss there). By not getting enough work done on the book I’m theoretically writing. It helps that I’m retired. If I had a real job? Forget it. The gift that blogging twice a week has given me, though, is that I write more quickly and I don’t second-guess myself as much. It means I write more freely and have more fun with it. I think my writing’s better for it, but I’m not the person who could tell. No one can judge their own work reliably.

      I’m glad you’re here. Welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Mingle at The Green Study Summer Social | The Green Study

  17. Hello – you’re clearly very busy and have a wonderful blog going on here – which I will spend more quality time investigating when I have the chance (a visit to London tomorrow, which if all goes to plan includes a tour of Bucks House and the Houses Of Parliament …
    watch this space.
    In the meantime I really appreciate you finding the time and energy to visit my blog and like one of my pieces.
    Gulls ?
    Hmmm, let me think on that one …


    • Thanks and welcome. I agree about Cornwall being beautiful. Even after nine years, it still amazes me. As for Yorkshire, we were in York last year, and wandered around a bit of the countryside, including Haworth and Fountains Abbey. Predictable places, I know, but gorgeous places, all of them. And we were struck by how friendly people are in the north. I hope we’ll get back for a longer stretch next time.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi, Ellen. It’s my turn to congratulate you. Three books published, traditionally, too. I hope to reach that status, eventually… Cornwall is a lovely county and it sounds as though you’re very happy down there. I’m a ‘northerner’ myself, but I love many places down south, too. Thank you for visiting my blog and liking my post. It’s much appreciated. Your blog looks really interesting, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think I’d find other periods more challenging after all the research I’ve done into the AS period. But having taught history for years, I’ve looked at lots of different periods. Once I get towards the end of the book I’m writing, I may ‘chicken out’ and stick with Saxons and Danes! We’ll see. Thank you for your kind wishes, Ellen.

        Liked by 1 person

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