bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY

Claudia Moment

June 22nd, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

The yellow of my nails matches the yellow of my notebook paper which gives me a thrill that can only be described as a CLAUDIA MOMENT, which is when colors sync in a bright way as if you planned it, because you did, just like Claudia at every meeting of the Babysitter’s club, and somewhere, Ann Martin is writing a whole paragraph about it.

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January 23rd, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

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book review

May 7th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

I have a lot of gifts, like roasting nuts, making people feel comfortable, and talking about nuts to make people feel uncomfortable.  Describing WHY I enjoyed something, be it a book or a play or a movie, in any sort of innovative way, is not one of my strengths.  But still, I want you to know that this book I just read — Turner House, about the lives of a family house in Detroit,  spanning 65 years —    is exquisite, and so:









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March 12th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

Today, on Using Other’s People’s Writing to Stand in for my Own, or, Live Every Day like you’re in a really good Sophomore English Class: I’m finally reading  The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien’s memoir about the Vietnam War. I just can’t (read: I can) with his incredible descriptions of one Lieutenant’s thoughts of a girl he left back home, who doesn’t really love him, who he loves: Martha.

And then suddenly, without willing it, he was thinking about Martha. The stresses and fractures, the quick collapse, the two of them buried alive under all that weight. Dense, crushing love. Kneeling, watching the hole, he tried to concentrate on Lee Strunk and the war, all the dangers, but his love was too much for him, he felt paralyzed, he wanted to sleep inside her lungs and breathe her blood and be smothered. He wanted her to be a virgin and not a virgin, all at once. He wanted to know her. Intimate secrets: Why poetry? Why so sad? Why that grayness in her eyes? Why so alone? Not lonely, just alone—riding her bike across campus or sitting off by herself in the cafeteria—even dancing, she danced alone—and it was the aloneness that filled him with love. He remembered telling her that one evening. How she nodded and looked away. And how, later, when he kissed her, she received the kiss without returning it, her eyes wide open, not afraid, not a virgin’s eyes, just flat and uninvolved. Lieutenant Cross gazed at the tunnel. But he was not there. He was buried with Martha under the white sand at the Jersey shore. They were pressed together, and the pebble in his mouth was her tongue. He was smiling. Vaguely, he was aware of how quiet the day was, the sullen paddies, yet he could not bring himself to worry about matters of security. He was beyond that. He was just a kid at war, in love. He was twenty-four years old. He couldn’t help it.

I think every girl, or at least high school or college age girl, or at least definitely me at that age, longs to be Martha:  so loved while giving nothing in return, so deeply lonely and silent and still and yet so beautiful that brave strong boys want to live inside of her lungs.

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love what is present

March 6th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

Today, on I read a book and it changed my life or at least I had a moment in which I felt a change and you know, we’ll see if it actually lasts, but please could it?:

This passage from Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a Reason and other Lives I’ve Loved (a memoir by a woman who’s in the slow process of dying from cancer at age 35):

“I think I believed I was living in the center, but I rarely let my feet rest on solid ground, rooting me in the present. I my eyes shifted to look for that thing just beyond, the next deadline, the next hurdle, the next plan. That second baby is going to need his or her own room, so let’s talk about renovations. On long walks I forever roped (my husband) into my favorite topic: The next thing. How could we improve our lives? What could we do next?…If I were to invent a sin to describe what that was — for how I lived — I would not say it was simply that I didn’t stop to smell the roses. It was the sin of arrogance, of becoming impervious to life itself. I failed to love what was present and decided to love what was possible, instead.”


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and other lies I’ve loved

February 22nd, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m only a few chapters into this memoir but I’m already struck by it. Kate Bowler, a 35 year old divinity professor and mother and wife, was raised in a strong Christian family, spent her 20s and 30s researching and writing about prosperity gospel, the idea that the more you love and serve God, the more he blesses your life with riches. After giving birth to her son, she found out she had stage four colon cancer, and is currently in the process of dying. She says she wouldn’t have had the ‘hubris’ to write this book without if it weren’t for this. It’s a book about how dying has shaped her faith, how it’s gotten her to a deeper, less presentational relationship with it.  I don’t know the thesis yet as I haven’t finished it, but I love this part and so I have to share:

‘There is something so American about the Show and Tell of our daily lives. A big house means you work hard. A pretty wife means you must be a rich. A subscription to the New York Times shows you must be smart. And when you’re not sure, there will always be bumper stickers to point out who has the honor roll student and who finished a marathon. America likes its shopping malls big and its churches even bigger, and every Starbucks in every lobby proves that Jesus cares about brewing the best. Sometimes I saw this idea under the banner of family values…It was the way the women boasted about their fat cheeked babies and their little boys in bow ties. It was in the way that the pastor displayed his wife and child in the front row and asked his little Jennifer to sing the solo: “Isn’t she talented, folks?’ It was in the way people bought tidy mansions with extra guest rooms in case a refugee sponsored by a church needed to stay a night. Christmas cards were prosperity gospels writ miniature, stacks of pictures of a family in matching denim sitting on lightly distressed couches in fields of waving wheat. Does every field in America have a photo couch? But I was taken with the white light brightening their smiles as they turned to each other and laughed. They were the good news.”

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preferred classic literature

December 28th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Leo Tolstoy WHO? After years of trying to read dense books before bed, I hereby, going forward, only ever want to read seasonal romance novels about beautiful round british baker women who’s bakeries hit crisises at Christmas time, as do their relationships with their beekeeper boyfriends. I don’t care if my brain turns to sprinkles and croissant dough, reading should be an escape, and so THIS IS ALL THAT I WANT.

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books on books on books

October 17th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I have procured Harold Bloom’s ‘How to Read and Why’ for reading purposes, because I have a feeling that while I read, I’m don’t read well enough / retain enough of it (probably because I’m either skimming articles so that I can say that I’ve read them or reading right before bed)  but mostly so that I can SAY THAT I AM READING A BOOK ON HOW TO READ and just snuggle deep into the folds of those layers.

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Home Library

April 18th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Usually when I come home for a visit, my Mom has left me a series of books in my room that she thinks will be good for my soul.  I am usually so consumed by the undulating dramas of my own life that I rarely read them. But no part of me could resist this trip’s offering, the love story of Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper:

Basically the show just follows this adorable married couple as they flip houses for other adorable people, while he does things like ram his head into walls and put spiders in her hair and she just laughs with the shy beauty and grace that only a half-Korean half-Texan could bear. Perhaps a book ONLY to be read snuggled into bed at your parents house, drifting off on a soft sea of Melatonin, but a charm of a  book, just the same.

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February 4th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I was re-reading the Boxcar Children last night, like you do. I came across the part where the kids find the old broken dishes in the dump, take them home, clean them off, create a quick makeshift shelf in their boxcar, and arrange their new dishes on the shelf so that the boxcar might feel like home:

And it filled me with SUCH FEELING. I remember reading this part for the first time years and years ago. I remember how it made me long for a house with shelves that I could arrange things on. And I realize, that perhaps every time I can’t leave my house without making my bed or every time I put flowers on the table or stack dishes accordingly, and then do this psycho thing where I just kind of pause and look at the Order, appeased, I am living out this very boxcar children moment over and over.

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