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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Experiments in incandescent living

When Halley’s Comet swept across the sky in April 1910, New York Times society reporters implied that to live life to the fullest you simply had to attend a rooftop viewing party. I’ve never cared about staying on top of the trends, but I do enjoy stargazing with a glass of bubbly; so I have reappropriated the “comet party” as a metaphor for living the brightest, most festive version of your life. You want to light up a room, but not in the way people usually employ that phrase: I’m talking about bringing joy and clarity to everyone you meet, and reveling in that effervescent feeling you get when you’ve made yourself useful.

I write novels for readers of all ages and occasionally blog about books, travel, art, and needlecrafts, but this site is mostly for exploring the connection I’ve discovered between ethical veganism and creativity. To that end, I’m working on a follow-up book to Life Without Envy called A Bright Clean Mind: Veganism for Creative Transformation, forthcoming in August 2019. If I’ve piqued your interest, you can subscribe for updates!

Recently on the blog...


A Forest on My Shoulders

Oh, hello! It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged about a craft project, so I do have a bit of a backlog. (Also, how wild is it that this blog is over TEN YEARS OLD?!?) There’s a chapter in my next book about making my own clothes, so I really needed a good pic of my most recent FO: a lace shawl in Vegan Yarn Albireo, a fingering-weight blend of bamboo and organic cotton. The color thrills me to the bottom of my soul!

My friend Dan and I spent the day in Newport recently, and he was kind enough to take these photos on the cliff walk. Newport is one of those places you’ve got to admit is deservedly touristy. We did a lot of browsing in the shops (including an antique mall in an old armory), paused for a round of delicious cocktails, drove by the Newport mansions on Ocean Drive, and wept and gnashed our teeth when we discovered a local vegan restaurant had closed.

I used to think shawls were old fashioned in a way that wouldn’t work for me, but after seeing so many beautiful ones at Squam and online over the years, I eventually changed my mind. I wanted a garment I could feel embraced by, and I don’t care if that sounds corny. A shawl is perfect for a cool summer evening, and in the fall and winter you can wear it more like a scarf.

A few project notes: I don’t necessarily recommend the pattern I used even though it’s a nice mix of easy lace and even easier garter, because if you’re going to charge for a pattern like this (and you should, don’t get me wrong), you need to include stitch counts. That’s just basic. Thank goodness another Raveler took the time to count and write them out! And of course, the yarn was an absolute dream from start to finish. (I adore Heidi so much I’ve interviewed her for Tenderheart.) For full details, see my Ravelry project page.

Still need to identify this plant! [Edit: a kind reader informed me that it is Canadian goldenrod.]

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.