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Lisa Eckstein
Attended Brown University
Lives in Silicon Valley
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Lisa Eckstein

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This month in juvenilia, a look at my early efforts as a book reviewer:
During the investigation of my childhood writing, we've learned that in fourth and fifth grade, I especially enjoyed writing stories with mysterious and spooky elements. None of these efforts contain much in the way of actual mystery, but hey, mysteries are hard. Even after writing seriously for ...
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Lisa Eckstein

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I'm excited about the first Bay Area Book Festival, which will take place in Berkeley on June 6 and 7. The event features panel discussions and lectures by authors, and there will also be book-related art installations and other fun stuff.

The festival is free, but for guaranteed seating at sessions you're interested in, you can purchase tickets in advance and avoid waiting in line on the day of the event. The Early Bird Pass, available only until May 15, gets you 6 tickets for a total of $30. After that date, individual tickets will be available online for a small fee.
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Last weekend as part of my birthday celebrations, we took a tour of St. George Spirits, a distillery in Alameda. We went via ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building, after sampling some of the tasty treats available there. All parts of this excursion were great fun and definitely recommended!

http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/
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Wow! Sounds like a fun day. I really must ride that ferry someday. 
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A great crop of books last month: THE COUNTRY OF ICE CREAM STAR, WELCOME TO BRAGGSVILLE, and NIGHT AT THE FIESTAS
March was an excellent reading month. I highly recommend all three of these books: → THE COUNTRY OF ICE CREAM STAR by Sandra Newman astounded me from the opening sentences, when I discovered the story is written in an invented dialect of English that doesn't yet exist but could after ...
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Progress listicle.
The stack of manuscript pages on the left is slightly taller than the stack on the right, which means I'm halfway through this revision. The novel is becoming shorter and the story tighter, so all is going according to plan. 2. The stacks of unrelated papers and magazines on my desk are growing, ...
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I had such a great time at FOGcon this weekend!
I've attended FOGcon, the Bay Area convention celebrating speculative fiction, for the five years of its existence, and this year was one of the most fun for me. The theme this time was The Traveler, and one of the honored guests was Kim Stanley Robinson, whose fiction takes readers on ...
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Yay, I'm so glad!!
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Lisa Eckstein

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Three reviews from my April reads:
Before May gets completely away from me, here's a look back at what I read in April: → THE RACIAL IMAGINARY: WRITERS ON RACE IN THE LIFE OF THE MIND is an anthology of essays edited by Claudia Rankine, Beth Loffreda, and Max King Cap. I read Rankine's excellent prose poetry collection CITIZEN: ...
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Ready for another exciting piece of fiction from my childhood?
In the most recent post of my juvenilia series, I promised to share a story from fifth grade that is maybe supposed to be a mystery, though it leaves the reader with rather more questions than it answers: "Room Nine". "But I can't, I just can't take a room numbered nine!" cried Ms. Raven.
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I'd never baked a cake before, but in honor of my 40th birthday, I decided to bake two of them. The results were quite tasty!

I wanted to record and share the recipes I used:

The Best Lemon Loaf by Averie Cooks
http://www.averiecooks.com/2015/01/best-lemon-loaf-better-starbucks-copycat.html

The batter was very easy to assemble, and since you mix it with a whisk, there's not much equipment to deal with. I'll definitely be making this again.

Don't overlook the note in step 6 to put foil over the pan in the last 10 minutes of baking to allow the inside to cook all the way without burning the outside.


Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake by Nigella Lawson
http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/quadruple-chocolate-loaf-cake-130

I made this as only a double chocolate cake (the cocoa powder and the chocolate chips in the batter). I intended to top it with chocolate syrup, but I burned the syrup while making it and then decided not to try again because I thought pouring the syrup over the cake would be messy, and I was running short on time. I also skipped sprinkling the finished cake with chocolate flakes. It was still plenty chocolatey.

My cake required more than an hour of baking. The different cooking time might be due to a loaf pan with somewhat different dimensions than specified in the recipe.

This recipe involved a bit more work than the other one, but I'd return to it again if I wanted a rich chocolate cake. 
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Will try the lemon cake. Did not realize you never baked a cake. Hope you had a wonderful
Birthday. 
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It's my birthday!
Today is my birthday. I've missed my chance to appear on a best-under-40 list, but I can now take as long as I like to claim the questionable title of late-blooming writer. I kicked off the festivities Wednesday evening with a great event at Kepler's Books. Kirstin Valdez Quade, whose excellent ...
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Happy birthweekend!
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It's time for another installment of "Wow, Lisa was a weird kid!"
The study of my childhood writing lingered on the prolific fourth grade period for a while, but now it's time to move ahead to fifth grade. In some respects, my writing style remained unchanged throughout the late-elementary era. For example, this paragraph from a story entitled "Pie Problems" ...
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Reviews of last month's reads:
I finished four books last month: → BEL CANTO by Ann Patchett: Somewhere in South America, an international group of dignitaries assemble at a private birthday party. A world-famous soprano has been hired to sing, and as her performance ends, terrorists invade the house and take the party ...
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Education
  • Brown University
    Linguistics, 1993 - 1997
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Introduction
I write. I spend time online. Sometimes I do one more than the other.

I blog about reading, writing, and revising at lisaeckstein.com. On Twitter, I'm @lisaeckstein.
Bragging rights
I know all the lyrics.
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Writer
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Silicon Valley