Close Encounters of a Literary Kind

Doesn’t that sound intriguing? A whole lot sexier than The Mayborn? A highlight of my summer was The Mayborn Nonfiction Literary conference my alma mater, the University of North Texas Journalism School, hosts in Grapevine each July. My wordsmith husband, fortunately, is just as charmed to spend a weekend listening to authors talk about their writing process. When people start a talk with “10 rules” and you can get all of them written down, good for you. But I’ll just share a few. ~In dialogue, never use a word other than “said.” He didn’t “declare” or “yell”–don’t even try to think up other ways to say said.
~If it sounds like writing, re-write it.
~Remember you are telling a story; just tell it.
~To write about business you must listen for the real story; simplify institutional language; use the power of revelation and surprise. That was shared by Robert Blau with Bloomberg who said “you can earn an MBA from just listening to hallway conversations” there. He also said violence in America has shifted to Wall Street. He writes about what players said vs. what they did. Often times the story of financial meltdown is not a story about numbers, it is a story about greed. Two books he recommended: Too Big to Fail and The Big Short. Blau looked like such a gentle fellow.  Who knew he was author of “The Cop Shop:  True Crime on the Streets of Chicago,” a memoir of his years as a police reporter.   From the police beat to a series about the dissolution of Lehman Brothers.  Maybe not such a stretch.

Reading that Blau is married to Leah Eskin, a food columnist for the Chicago Tribune, makes me hungry.  Here is a recipe from one of my “best cooker friends” Kathryn Kent.  It is so easy you’ll think you ordered in.

Portobello Pizzas (for two, or you may be able to eat them both)

Bake at 450 degrees


1 teaspoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 large portabello mushroom caps, wipe clean with damp towel

12 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated

10 fresh basil leaves

2 fresh tomatoes, sliced

oregano (opt)

Combine oil and garlic in a small bowl and rub the mushroom caps on all sides with the mixture.  Place the caps, top side down, in a circle on an oiled baking sheet (STOP!  Cover with foil first then spray with oil for quick clean-up).

Season caps with salt and pepper.  Arrange the cheese, basil and tomato slices alternately in a circle on top of the mushroom caps. Sprinkle with oregano, if using.  Nice to add:  cooked ground sausage if you have some in the freezer.  Bake about 15 minutes at 450 degrees; cheese should be melted and you should be able to cut through the pizza with a knife and fork. 

You may never go back to traditional pizza again.  Who needs the carbs? ##

About shirleybarr

Houston-based Public Relations consultant specializing in marketing communications utilizing media relations as the primary tool.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s