Books & Resistance

Teresa Piccari

alfons-morales-YLSwjSy7stw-unsplash Photo by: Alfons Morales, Catalonia Spain


Resistance comes in many forms.

Memories from a childhood in Communist Prague…when there were lines for everything…the longest were in front of the bookshops.

“Books have been a symbol of resistance on many occasions when there has been an abuse of power.”
Author Monika Zgustova

Read her article In Celebration of Bookstores Reopening.

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Why Story Matters — Teresa Piccari

Dominican-American writer Julia Alvarez says reading has always been about “being together apart” and is more so now than ever, during our sheltered days. “Stories help us to survive the worst of times,” she says in this video promoting her new novel, Afterlife. The best books, she says, don’t provide answers in difficult times. “They […]

via Why Story Matters — Teresa Piccari

Meet Cute & Beyond

Teresa Piccari

Source: Disney’s 101 Dalmatians

Authors and readers, like screenwriters and audiences, love a good meet-cute scene that sets characters on a romantic, although often bumpy and winding, trajectory.

It’s what keeps us up late turning the pages, or binge-watching programs we can’t get enough of.

According to Your Dictionary, meet cute is:
A plot contrivance by which two protagonists in a romantic comedy first meet under unexpected and often comically adverse circumstances.

The application of meet-cute goes back to movies of the 30s and 40s, particularly in the romantic comedy sub-genre known as screwball comedies, where screen couples navigate a hilarious path to coupledom. You can see these plots played out in movies such as Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story. 

A meet cute according to Urban Dictionary:  Scenario in which two individuals are brought together in some unlikely, zany, destined-to-fall-in-love-and-be-together-forever sort of way (the more unusual, the…

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Art in Isolation?

Teresa Piccari

The Girl Who Could Fly Image by Anje Stieglitz

We’ve all heard about the idea of the artist as lone wolf. Sheltering during the Coronavirus pandemic is giving those who dwell in the creative arts an opportunity to figure out how well they fit into that concept, or don’t.

What sparked this article was a blog written by Jason Horejs that came across my FB newsfeed early this morning. In it, he talks about the challenge of overcoming isolation that artists grapple with, and how they address it.

As a gallery owner, I get to spend my days interacting with artists and collectors – it’s easy to forget that most art is created in solitude. Creating is so different from the pursuits of the rest of the world, that even among friends and family you can feel alone.

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Dad’s Italian Eggs

Teresa Piccari

Dad’s Italian Eggs

Many years ago I learned that a fail-safe method for getting uninspired, reluctant or reticent students to write, was to ask them to write about food.

In my experience, I have found this especially helpful when people are new to one another and me, and might be a little shy about allowing a glimpse into their writing or world.

People respond to food! I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised then to discover over the last several days beginning at Easter, when I posted a couple food pictures on my personal Facebook and a particular group page I’m on – that people sat up and noticed. They reacted and asked questions!

In all honesty, I found this somewhat amusing. I am not really known for being a cook, or being overly domestic, for that matter. I mean, even I don’t count those activities among the short list…

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Yukking It Up

Teresa Piccari

586C7039-71E8-4FE8-9800-F09606B93F9AIf you want to endear a reader to your work one of the best things a writer can offer, is humor.

Wanting to be entertained or escape are among the top reasons people pick books up. Honing your ability to convey humor on the page and adding it to your writing toolbox can prove invaluable as part of your overall writing arsenal.

Especially when times are dark, humor is a reliable path to healing our minds. And a relief from burning a hole in our psyches through too much stinkin’ thinkin’ about negative things that may never come to pass. 

Think about how many jokes, visuals and even family and friends sharing stories about toilet paper on social media or personally you’ve come across in the past few weeks – a lot, right?

The lack of toilet paper is pretty much something we’ve all been able to relate to, while…

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Easter Morning

(this was written and posted this morning for a particular FB group but then I thought some of you might enjoy 😉it)

Good Morning

I wanted to post in the most quiet of morning. To show you my view with sun steaming on my coffee and breakfast of raspberry yogurt & the chocolate mint cookies I was thrilled to find after they had gone missing from the market shelf in recent weeks. I’ve been enjoying my coffee w/just a splash of heavy cream in place of my usual 1/2&1/2, a tip from a chef friend. For the first time in a year, I’m having coffee in my mother’s cup. She placed it among the many things I moved to Maine with and even though I guess it is mine now, I don’t think of it that way.

I woke early to find a new message from Clarissa Pinkola Estes on her FB page, following her night vigil in Colorado nature. I sent that along to a group of women with whom I study Women Who Run With the Wolves. Here is a link to her FB page in case you might like to see what this Jungian scholar, traditional Spanish cantadora, healer and poet is doing at this time. Yes, she is Catholic, yet she casts a wide feminist net for women and social justice for the oppressed, and draws on many ancient and indigenous traditions. She makes mention of her Lakota connections in her post. I am supported by her words and rituals today.

My intention and need is to spend the day as quietly and digitally-free as I can, writing and reading myself home. I’m feeling world weary and spirit hungry today. In fact, I’m going to forego my usual Sunday NYT.

The sunshine continues along with snowmelt from a late Nor’easter that was carried in on flakes as big as kittens a few days ago and deposited eight inches on ground cleared and warmed for spring. I’ll go for a walk. 

Last night, I went to church, with the star illuminated above Mt. Battie shining down on my beautiful town and guiding my path. I saw several cars parked on the street outside but when I tried to enter my church for the traditional Easter Vigil service the door refused me entry. We are under strict limitations of 10 gathering at a time. Since I was already garbed-up in the required quarantine fashion, I made a quick dash to the market, where I found the returned chocolate-mint cookies and got a freshly roasted, rotisserie chicken for just $3.49. The Easter Bunny is alive and well!

I went home and watched the Easter Vigil on livestream, being able to discern a couple voices in a cobbled-together choir, off camera. I was grateful for the strong and steadying presence of both our pastor and deacon broadcast from a simple, mission church. It took me a long time to take to my church here in Maine, being used to sweeping grand ones in an urban setting most of my life where the Catholic Churches are typically the largest. Here, my simple, white church is the smallest in town but it packs a big punch.
I hope this Sunday finds you well and at ease with small but tender comforts and a full heart! 💚

Somethin’ To Read

Teresa Piccari


What are you reading these days?

It’s quite possible, at this point, you’ve run out of books housed under your own roof! In my community, neighbors are putting their porches to good use these days – eggs, just-off-the-machine face masks, baking essentials, kid toys, toilet paper and especially books are among the popular items I see being set out and offered from one neighbor to another.

Our community has already sadly lost a longtime local book shop, that began as one store and grew into about a half dozen, during the crisis we face.

We are very fortunate to have several amazing and independent, new and used bookshops in Midcoast Maine. Hopefully, your community does also.

Our local libraries are closed but their staffs remain hard at work, devising ways to get new material into our hands, digitally.

Our dedicated and enthusiastic kid librarians are the new rock stars of…

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