The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Posts tagged ‘Meg’

I is for Independence

That beautiful creature to the left is my youngest daughter, Meg, on the Spanish web. Basically, she’s hanging by her wrist from a rope way too high above the floor for her mothers’ comfort.

But we wanted our daughters to have more independence than we had growing up in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Our three girls are children of the 80s and 90s, and they are fiercely independent.

So independent that one is a circus performer and two are bank managers. Never career paths I would have chosen for any of them, but they are all very good at what they do.

I was raised by a mother who had my life all mapped out for me. I vowed I would not do that to my girls and I succeeded, with a vengeance. They’re all powerful, decisive, strong, and above all, independent.

I’m not an outliner when I write. I used to try to map out books and never got one started. Finally, I just decided to start writing. That’s when I was finally able to get something done.

I spent 20 years in journalism, writing ledes in my head on the way back to the office and spilling it out on paper as soon as I was done. A professor of mine calls it “committing journalism” and it is sort of a sin for those who see writing as pure art.

But it taught me a lot, gave me some great material, and taught me how to write in tight confines of column inches, word counts, AP style. So maybe that’s why when I write creatively, I can’t know what’s going to happen. I just have to let my story tell me. That’s my independence.

And, for your viewing pleasure, a person doing something no person should be able to do. Yes, she is my daughter. And this is just the warm up. You should see her on stage.



This blog post brought to you by the words igneous, indolent, iota, implacable, and ingenious. Also by the Japanese number ichi.


Today, for the first time in about a zillion years, I actually made something other than tacos. And I did it all day. First thing in the morning, the Divine Miss M asked for pancakes. Last night she fell asleep in the recliner watching TV with me and she looked so young…like maybe three…so this morning I made her pancakes. I am terrible at pancakes. Something in them fights me every step of the way. But, for the DMM, I made them.

Immediately after the pancakes, I made Almond Crescent dough and Pecan Tassie dough. These are two cookies my mother used to make and I have to make them too. Funny how those traditions work. She’s been dead for eight years but the cookies go on.

Then the DMM (aka Meg….who was Meg until she was five and decided she wanted to be Maggie and now has decided that Meg is a better name for a college student) cleaned the kitchen again (i’d already cleaned it once) and we made Almond Roca. Just because we could.  She also made the dough for Cream Wafers, my traditional Christmas cookie. (Caitlin, the mid kid, called yesterday to get the recipe…..another old family tradition….losing recipes.)

I tried to work while Meg made Almond Crescents and then I started to make grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup (at Meg’s request) until I got distracted by the weather channel and the possibility that Meg was going to drive my car 30 miles in the snow. Meg finished making lunch. I finished worrying (after having Jenny debrief me about why I am so worried about Meg when Caitlin drove in the snow all the time…of course, Caitlin went to college 240 miles away so I didn’t know.

I made Meg leave before dark, and I made her call me when she got there, and then I made mole. Which is Reeses Peanut Butter cups with jalapeno peppers and turkey. I am actually wearing the mole because it never comes out of the jar cleanly. I don’t know what that is about but it is true.

Anyway, I’m all cooked out and Letterman is on.

Tomorrow I may wax philosophical.

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