Saturday, October 27, 2012

Memoirs, and Pie

As I've been researching and getting my ducks in a row getting ready to write a memoir, I've been devouring more than my fair share of life-is-all-f'd-up-but-I-come-out-of-it-OK memoirs.  I've read so many books about people whose lives are worse than mine ever was, but made it out in one piece.  I've also read so many memoirs where I found myself shaking my head saying, "EXACTLY!".  And then I realize how messed up the situation is and it makes me all sorts of sad.

The sadness, the nuttiness, the drama, it's all made me who I am, and I'm not even finished yet!  I try to remind myself that things are there, things drop in your lap, for a REASON, but sometimes I just wish that big pile of crazy landed in the middle of the road and got run over by a car instead of inserted itself so seamlessly into my life.

Long-time readers know that I deflect my sadness with the mention of pie.  I have no idea why.  I do remember my grandmother making tiny pudding pies for me and my sister and then bringing them out on a tray to the garden and that's a memory that's a snapshot I wish I physically owned.  But pie is also a FUN thing.  As Jim Gaffigan says, "Candles on a cake, someone's having a birthday.  Candles on a pie, someone's drinking in the kitchen."  I mean think about it -- pie-eating contests!   That first piece that never comes out right so you have to dig back into the plate for just. a little. more.  And there's the entire a la mode and whipped cream quotient.

So I was thrilled to discover a memoir AND a blog I haven't read.  The book is called "Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Pie".  Beth Howard also writes a lovely blog called (aptly)  I already want to be this gal's best friend.  Anyone who can write about pie and pain is a friend of mine, and I'm looking forward to reading her book and blog.

Another author, unfortunately recently departed, loved pie, and that's Norah Ephron.  I absolutely adore her -- her wit and writing is just exactly what I wish I could have.  When someone interviewed her about what she would miss and what she wouldn't miss when she died, she put "Pie" on the list of things she'd miss.  What a woman, someone I think we probably could all relate to.

As I sit here clearing off my desk so I can start what feels like a new LIFE, I keep the thought of pie in my mind instead of the gut-wrenching soul-searching writing memoirs out of necessity entails.  Pie is a pretty darned good cure-all for things, even if I don't EAT it often (I do fight the fluffy) but dream of it.

So when you're deep in the depths of it with that Box of Crazy that just landed on your lap, shut your eyes, and quietly recite the names of pies.  It's hard not to relax after that.

Much love to you all.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.


  1. You know, even though some of your posts talk of pain and suffering, you always end them making me smile, just like this one with your pie meditation.

    While I'm not in your situation, I definitely have a big ol' pile of crazy aptly referred to as my Rollercoaster of Health o.O

    Currently, my rollercoaster is taking a BIG dip and it's hard to keep a smile on my face these days.

    So I thank you for the smile you provided me today Lori :)

  2. Sending you lots & lots of pie filled days ahead, euphemistically speaking of course! :)

  3. thanks for the smile I really really needed one today. Oh and pie, lots of pie.

  4. I do hope you get smiles from the comments of all those who read and follow you ... as much as we all do from you. I wish you many, many slices of pie my friend :)

    Just letting you know that I'm posting my series on my Kalmbach Bead Soup over the next several days ... thank you Lori for the extra helping of soup!!

  5. I'm deep in the midst of grading mid-terms. 140 of them. My reward for getting halfway through? Pie. Coconut cream, to be exact. And when I finish, I'm having another piece.
    Go pie!

    And, I love that you're doing a memoir. Need many more voices of amazing women sharing their stories, their grace and their wisdom.

  6. Love the love in this piece. And I know it's not all about loving pie!!!

    Lots of love to you, dear friend. And lots of dreams of pie!

  7. You discovered the cool pie lady! I came across her too, last week or the week before, on Hallmark being interviewed. She returned to baking pie as a way of healing her beloved's death. And she lives in a famous painting -- she rents a house that is an American classic. The name slips my mind, but as I watched the interview, I thought,"Lori!Pie!" and now you have her. Isn't life neat like that? Coincidence? I think not. What if our thoughts and wishes really do matter, and each time we send out thoughts of love and appreciation, we connect with each other just like giving a nice hug,a smile, or taking uplifting actions. I hope so because I'm sending you my birthday cake tomorrow, which is really pie - 1970's no bake cheese cake to be exact. It's so more like pie than cake. I guess I'll have my cake and eat my pie too! You're gonna love it. It's decorated to look like a Jack O' Lantern ;)

  8. How 'bout a different flavor of pie for each pile of crazy? Sweet potato for health craziness, Blueberry for general life stress, Chocolate Silk for family wackiness, and Pecan pie for the good crazy. Thanks for another inspiring, real post. <3

  9. a damned train car of crazy has been sitting on my lap for a while now... so, here i go...
    sweet potato
    pecan... coconut... apple... german chocolate... lemon meringue... cherry... peach... blackberry... blueberry... chess... chocolate creme... banana creme... gotta run to the kitchen. ttyl.

  10. Anonymous7:31 PM


    You sell yourself short. You are an excellent writer and have great wit! I wish that I could write half as good as you. As to wit, unfortunately, I was not blessed with that gift! Now to get over that realization I need some coconut cream pie, (my favorite) do you have any????

  11. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for discovering my memoir, Lori -- and then writing about it on your blog. I'm pretty sure you'll like my book. It's full of pie-making instruction and pie tips, with a few recipes included in the back. But more so it's a recipe for hope after suffering one of life's biggest blows (in my case: grief). Pie really does heal. And FYI, some of my best story ideas have come while rolling dough. Just sayin'. ;-) Best of luck with your writing! Love, Beth

  12. Lori-
    I hate reading about your pain, but I love reading your posts. You are funny and reflective. It really comes full circle. There is nothing more full circle than pie.
    Thanks for the smile. I hope it lightens your heart to keep writing, I promise that I will keep reading!
    hugs, kisses, and strong thoughts your way!


    and the pie blogger responded to you! How cool!!

  13. It is so odd when I think about pie, but really this was the comfort, special, you are loved food, that I grew up with. Not cake, not brownies, not even chocolate chip cookies. But pie, with a from scratch lard based (ugh, but good) pie crust was the ultimate in love. Even odder is that you mention Beth Howard. Last I read, she was living in the Gothic House of Grant Wood fame, in Eldon, Iowa. That's about 2 miles from where my husband grew up. We have family photos from there. My SIL kept her ponies next door to that house. Ahh,memories, memoirs....And just in case you are wondering about celebrity in Eldon, Iowa, and really, who doesn't, Rosanne Barr once had a home and a restaraunt there. After she was famous, by the way. Specialty of the house....the regional favorite, the loose meat sandwhich. In case you aren't familiar with loose meat it is not as awful as it sounds. Browned ground beef and onions served on a bun, condiments of your choice liberally added. Oh my but what a trip down memory lane you have sparked for me. Thank you for that because most often I let the sleeping dogs of the past lie there sound asleep. But these were worth waking up.

    Many hugs to you and hopes that Sandy doesn't cause you too many troubles.

  14. There's a whole-lota-crazy going on, so pie all around.

  15. I don't profess to know what crazy is in your life but I love how you add a smile at the end of your posts. I hope the best for you and I look forward to reading you memoirs. I think you will find healing in writing it down and yes snacking on pie.

  16. This post reminds me of the move "Waitress" with Keri Russell. Have you seen it? The main character makes special pies in her head based on what is going on in her life. For example: I Can't Have No Affair Because It's Wrong And I Don't Want Earl To Kill Me Pie... Vanilla custard with banana. Hold the banana.

  17. I love how we all have a comfort sweet that makes our days just a tad bit brighter. For you it is pie, for me a good piece of Belgium chocolate. It seems that no matter how much pain I am in or how sad I am just taking time to savor that piece of chocolate gives me the opportunity to put it all in perspective.

    And I can hardly wait to read your memoirs.

  18. Lori, I think we all have our own brand of craziness dropped in our laps, but I also think it takes a remarkably strong person to be able to write about the craziness. I applaud you for having the courage to take this project on, and I will be one of your cheerleaders.

    p.s. Shoo-fly pie...had it a couple of times here in OlyWA from a now-defunct pie shop - would love to find a recipe for it, even though I did not inherit the pie-crust gene from my mom. Mmmmm, pie.

  19. I have a candles on a pie story for you. One year for my mother's birthday it was just the two of us to celebrate her day. Her favorite pie was blueberry so I bought a couple of individual blueberry pies. When the pies came out of the oven I put a candle on hers, which promptly melted into the hot pie. Duh!


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