Motel Confessionals

I’m sure nobody noticed, but I’ve been largely out of sight over the last few months. Oh, to be sure, I popped in here and there, but not much. I’ve posted about an interview I did for the New Books Network, where I co-host a new podcast focusing on books by or about LGBTQ people…

My Interview With Daniel Harrison on the New Books Network

Click to access my interview with Daniel Harrison on the paperback release of his new book LIVE AT JACKSON STATION. A great conversation about a fascinating book that will appeal to music historians, impresarios, fans of Southern literature, and anyone who likes a fast-paced tale about a notorious tragedy at a rambling blues club in…

New Review in ‘G&L Review’

Below is a NEW review from the GAY & LESBIAN REVIEW. The G&L Review is a big deal for us LGBTQ writers, so I’m quite thrilled. (One quibble: my sibs and I were paid for working in the motel – so we were not “free” labor as the writer says. ‘Cheap,’ yes, but not free.)…

Cassie’s Letter to Santa

Wendy G., a friend from my Eunice Sr. High School days, found this letter to Santa published in The Eunice News in December 1960: Dear Santa,I would like a big piano for Christmas and a doll. I’m in the third grade. I am doing very nicely too. My sisters would like a little bear. My…

The Casserole Renaissance

The 1970s ushered in the era of convenience foods – think “Hamburger Helper” and taco-making kits (“Just add your own ground beef!”). It was also the heyday of the casserole – a dish with a wide (and forgiving) interpretation involving the combination of protein, fat, and starch in a rectangular baking dish (funnily enough, called…

What Readers Are Saying About ‘Stone Motel’

My book Stone Motel – Memoirs of a Cajun Boy has gotten some very nice comments from readers. These remarks were made on Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Facebook, and here on Parenthetically Speaking. (Some have been edited to exclude personal details of the writers, and/or for length.) I’ve compiled them here for easier…

Ortense’s Gateau aux Figues

In 1992 when I moved to New York from Louisiana I took my love of the food of my home state right into my East Village kitchen – where regularly I made jambalaya, étouffée, gumbo, fricassée, courtbouillon, and all the rest, like I’d never left Cajun Country. The key ingredients (or reasonable substitutes) for those dishes…

The DIY Audiobook: Recording at Home in a Pandemic. Ugggh.

On April 15, the University Press of Mississippi released my new book “Stone Motel – Memoirs of a Cajun Boy.” To help launch it I had arranged a nearly three-week tour of Cajun Louisiana and New Orleans. The tour was to include appearances in bookstores, readings, book signings, media interviews, and a whole lot of travelling around…

Here’s a snippet from my upcoming audiobook for “Stone Motel.”

The main recording work for the audiobook for “Stone Motel – Memoirs of a Cajun Boy” is done. There is some technical work to complete, but I am hopeful it will be ready some time in July. In the meantime, here is a snippet. Featured image: “Eliza’s Beauty Shop,” acrylic on canvas, by Morris Ardoin….

Un Petit Glossaire Cajun

The Cajun language is a mixture of ancient and modern French, some Franglais, as well as many words that are unique to the region of Louisiana where our Canadian ancestors originally settled. My new book, “Stone Motel – Memoirs of a Cajun Boy,” has lots of words and phrases whose meanings might prove a little…

‘Coonass Kandinsky’ Cornbread

Side dish or main course? The only correct answer is, “Both.” When my parents were kids during the Great Depression, cornbread was usually the main event – breakfast, lunch, or supper. Momma said she took cornbread to school for lunch pretty regularly. When it wasn’t cornbread, it was most likely Bouillie au Lait, another Depression…

New Reading: Popeye’s in the Oven

I read from the final chapter of my book. Spoiler alert: In this chapter we walk through the house at the Stone Motel, after a 30-year occupancy by the Ardoin family. You may wish to hold off on seeing this video until you’ve finished the book.

New Video: Meet the Stone Motel “Regulars”

In this reading from “Stone Motel,” we get to meet some pretty interesting (and entertaining) regular customers. Here’s where you can buy the book: University Press of Mississippi Amazon Independent Bookstores Barnes & Noble 

Cakeover! Glorious Pink Grapefruit Cake

You may have heard by now that I’m in the midst of promoting my book, so I’ve been a bit negligent of my food-making blog entries. Well, today I’m rectifying that (if only temporarily) with the newest recipe: My Glorious Pink Grapefruit Cake! The inspiration for this cake comes from those lemon and lime cakes…