If you’ve spent much time with me, you know I’m deaf as a post. Especially when I’m eating. Or walking next to you. Or singing. I wrote an essay that tries to get at the sensibility of that disability, and I’m so so honored to have it in the newest issue of the New England Review.

Remnants of pie stories from the fair. #isf2014 #apiestory #iowastatefair (at Iowa State Fair Elwell Family Food Center)

Yes. The garnish on this lemon chiffon meringue pie is a Liftmaster. And a winner! This pie illustrated a high drama tale of laughter in the face of certain defeat at the #iowastatefair, thanks to an airborne garage door opener. Jackie Bell didn’t win that contest, but she won mine. Turns out she grew up with my mother’s family on Carroll, Iowa. The world is small. #pie #apiestory #isf2014 (at Iowa State Fair Elwell Family Food Center)

If there are queens in pie lady land, Dianna Sheehy of Audobon, Iowa is one of them. She’s a pie-baking champion-turned-judge. When we were backstage picking overall winners, she taught me the #iowastatefair ropes. “Pick a pie you’d fight for,” she said. #isf2014 #pie (at Iowa State Fair Elwell Family Food Center)

Some people enter #iowastatefair food contests 60 or 70 times in one year. And some people win again & again. Louise Piper is one of those. Jam & pie champion. I couldn’t stop eating her mixed berry pie. That’s saying something. 15-odd pies came across my plate before hers. #pie #isf2014 (at Iowa State Fair Elwell Family Food Center)

I was wrong when I said only one woman in the world loves mincemeat. This one took first place! #pie #bettycrockerfilter #iowastatefair (at Iowa State Fair Elwell Family Food Center)

Busy busy busy backstage at the Iowa State Fair. It takes an army of volunteers to keep the pie coming. Some of them have volunteered for as long as I’ve been alive. #pie #iowastatefair (at Iowa State Fairgrounds)

Waiting for class division 783: sour cream raisin pie. Also known as funeral pie. Also known as my favorite pie to judge at the Iowa State Fair. #pie #iowastatefair (at Iowa State Fairgrounds)

Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter! Out on @sasquatchbooks Sept 30. I’m planning a book birthday party for PDX on Sept 30 and a release party in Seattle on Oct 11. Save the date for me? More details soon. #pieschoolbook #pie