Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
First, I am alive. I have been swamped with edits, children, house guests and life, I guess. I love blogs, I love blogging and forgive me for ignoring my responsibilities. Here's an update
- I totally bailed on NANOWRIMO. My kid's birthday was in there and I had to take a bus with a baby and a stroller to Target to buy crap for the party because I couldn't do it any other day and then I was a whole 2 days behind and was never gonna catch up no matter how many pep talk emails they sent to my inbox. I am not discouraged. It made me think about my next project and now I'm all committed.
- I've been listening to a lot of Terry Gross interviews while I work and I love it.
- I have not done laundry in too long. We are finally out of sheets, towels and underwear.
- I have lots of fun little Sylvia Plath things going on and I'll tell you more about it when I have time and when they happen.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Have you heard about this? There's this PBS Documentary about the Big Apple Circus like a behind the scenes Real Housewives of New Jersey but real and cool and it is amazing. It's called, THE CIRCUS, a six part series that started yesterday and airs on Wednesdays at 9pm EST. I am already addicted and can't wait for more. I also just found out that a parent I know's partner is the editor and THIS is why I love NYC. There is also this woman who lived near me who actually did pack it all in and joined the freaking circus. I think she was into hooping or horses- I can't quite remember but the point is, she did it. She packed up her hobo kerchief, slung it on a pole, and hopped a freight train dreaming of the glamour of the flying trapeze, trained tigers and sequined fishnets. I have a relative who did something similar with drag queens and dancing poodles but that, my friends, is a story for another day.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I am doing it. I am going to write a novel in 30 days. Hannah Moskowitz made me do it. And my life made me do it, too. I have three ideas for another book and I'm the kind of writer that needs to be threatened, whipped, cajoled, shamed, dared, challenged, tricked, peer pressured etc. into producing words. I think I would be more productive if I would stop self editing at every opportunity and use the bonsai approach- just vomit out 50,000 words and then prune, trim, hack away until I like the deformed little tree that remains.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Just been a little crazy. My most favorite thing I've done since we last spoke was obey my horoscope entirely (thank you Susan Miller at Astrologyzone.com). She said that I would get an opportunity to volunteer for something and I should just say yes and not question it. And so when my neighborhood Harvest Festival put a call out for facepainters I did as instructed and said "Yes!"
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write.--Stephen King
We have a winner for the 30th follower! She seems grand and when I decide what it is she has won... I shall send it and then make it public here.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
- At Ikea
- Cleaning out the hall closet
- Doing effing laundry
- Reading my Marie Antoinette book (Almost done! How will it end?)
- Playing around with lipstick and eye shadow so my lips look like the above
Friday, August 20, 2010
I'm having some title trouble and I don't really want to go into it except to say there is this new book out, by fellow MFA holder Lish McBride, with the best title ever.
- start with the letter A
- wink to Sylvia Plath
- avoid being too Plathian
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Hey cats. Summer weekends when I am not writing on deadline, shopping at Trader Joe's or lying on a couch drinking gins and tonics and watching the Wonder Pets with my children I do other things. Like Rock the eff out. OK well here's what we did this weekend.
- We woke up and ate frozen waffles, watched Nick Jr. till we were seasick, took out the garbage, and left the house at noon.
- We dragged our beautiful gadabout children to the zoo. We became members and got a t-shirt! Saw the elusive snow leopard. Ate a pre-packed picnic lunch and drank iced coffee.
- Went to the Victorian Gardens at Central park where we spent thousands of dollars. We went on the froggy ride, airplane ride twice, and played whack-a-mole and a clown mouth water shooting game. We won nothing but had a freaking ball.
- Dragged kids to free outdoor Lincoln center show celebrating Detroit's hot music with Death, The Gories, Question Mark and the Mysterians, and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels!!
The kids loved it! We loved it. We looked cool and made out a lot and drank beer. Outside. With The Gories on stage and the kids in the double stroller! OK, we couldn't stay for Mitch Ryder but we ALMOST did.
AND THEN we went to Whole Foods and picked up sushi and went home. Fed the kids cold pasta and milk at 10:30. Got them to sleep by 11:15. We passed out with them and woke up at midnight and ate the sushi and drank sake and watched Michael Clayton. The movie.
I am not trying to brag about our amazing weekend but it was the first time in a long time we felt like the cool hip parents we are. We ALL had fun and the weather was perfect and it was right up there with a big date I had with my then boyfriend, now husband where we went to Coney Island all day, went back to my place to change and then got all gussied up for a swing show at Don Hills. Yes. It was a LONG time ago.
Rrrrreal Rock and Roll bebeh!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Am I supposed to be giving things away here? Ok. Perhaps I shall start. But not today. I know a lot of bloggers are just giving away the store, every day, just win this, and first five commenters that, and one lucky commenter will... and actually I LOVE it.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Meaning, I just sent my heavily revised MS to my editor/s. Meaning I am now on vacation for 2 weeks. Meaning I am shitting myself. Meaning I will now take a little nap, awake, and then put together a toy chest from IKEA. Meaning I am very sad that this part of the process is over.
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others"
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
So I'm working on this book about a girl who is obsessed with Sylvia Plath and The Bell Jar- have I mentioned this?- and I've become an admirer and pal of Plath scholar and champion Peter K Steinberg and his great blog Sylvia Plath Info.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
[Kendra's sex tape exploits] that space where young women have discovered and perfected their sexuality and its value, but haven't yet figured out how it's empowering. They just know that it's something people want from them; it's something people expect from them. Something young men expect from them; something, perhaps, that young men haven't learned how to ask for politely. It's uncomfortable and new and everybody's learning, and what happens, more often than not, is that the male partner's desires come first and more forcefully, and the young woman is disrespected and disempowered and left with a sense that she's less valuable and less capable of demanding respect and control than her male counterpart - a sense than lingers into her twenties and beyond, even though she might not recognize it as such.
And I remember being a teenager and a smartass, I remember being hopped up on hormones and Mickey's bigmouths, vulnerable and so young I was convinced I knew exactly what I was doing at every naked moment. I remember it all so well that I'm thinking that I have a lot more work to do and a lot more deep thinking to do on this revision before I hand it in to my editor...
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
One-Story Editor Hannah Tinti and Webonair Devin Emke pose for snaps. Note Colson Whitehead in suit and tie.
This is Cheston Knapp and Sam Allingham. Two nicer gents I have never met. Writers are so funny. Self-depricating, ambitious, sensitive, envious, emotionally intelligent, bad with money. We are all walking conundrums. We spend our days washing dishes in restaurants to pay the rent and our nights typing on our laptops, pasty and wired on espresso till sun-up, so dressing us up and making us twirl for an audience was quite bewildering for us all- the boys especially. Except for Patrick Somerville- he loves to twirl.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I have copied and pasted this from One-Story's blog because it is hilarious, inspiring, and I am too busy dying my hair and writing to come up with my own blog material today...
Literary Debutante Ball fashion advice from One Story’s Associate (Fashion) Editor:
I’ve been asked to act as fashion godmother for anyone wondering what to wear to this Friday night’sLiterary Debutante Ball. I must assume this is because I own the complete set of Amy Vanderbilt’s “Success Program for Women,” and quote from its more illuminative tomes such as “Your European Vacation” and “How to Develop Poise and Self-Confidence” regularly.
Happily, there is no dress code for our literary ball. A straw poll reveals our staff is thinking cocktail dresses, sundresses and rompers for the ladies, blazers and ties over jeans, skinny jeans, khakis, or pants my grandmother would refer to as “slacks” for the gentlemen. The American Can Factory in Brooklyn is a fun and creative place, so you could arrive dressed as a slice of Swiss cheese and feel right at home. Unless someone else shows up dressed as one (heaven forbid).
Vintage prom dresses and tuxes, casual Friday office attire: all good! Be comfortable. Be brave. Do your best.
Even more happily, it doesn’t matter what you wear. What matters is whether you have a good heart and how many times you compliment the Associate Editor on her Swiss cheese costume.
Finally, I offer a few nuggets of fashion advice I’ve collected over the years:
“Glamour, always.” – Dita Von Teese
“Before you go out, take one piece of jewelry off.” – my grandmother
“Before I go out, I put one more piece of jewelry on.” – Kim Kardashian
“It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.” - Coco Chanel
“My mother taught us that it was always better to be underdressed than overdressed.” Audrey Hepburn’s son, Luca.
“It’s not the clothes, it’s how you wear them.” – Me, 1987
“You cannot go to school with Swatch watches in your hair.” – my mother, 1987
“We’re calling because your daughter came to school with Swatch watches in her hair and refuses to take them out. To make matters worse, after seeing her, several other girls have put their own Swatch watches in their hair. We can’t have that.” – my principal, 1987
“Don’t forget yourself—make sure of yourself!” Amy Vanderbilt’s Success Program for Women, How to Develop Poise and Self-Confidence.
“Nothing beats a nice pair of slacks.” – my grandmother
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I have upped my Do the Write Thing for Nashville DAY 8, ITEM 11 auction to include not only a SIGNED copy of BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott and a short story critique by me but also a copy of the SPRING 2009 issue of INKWELL MAGAZINE where my disturbing and hilarious tale of placenta freezing resides in all its glory and a copy of THE FIRST 5 PAGES: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO STAYING OUT OF THE REJECTION PILE. This is basically, 2 years of Columbia's MFA program distilled into a totally portable moonshine of inspiration and guidance...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
...So if eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich means one less horrifically slaughtered dumb and long-lashed cow, why not? Is meat really so delicious? Well. Sometimes it is. Sometimes, I am obligated to make an exception.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Yes, I'm doing it but it's taking me a while to get in the zone. And my frenemy the Internet, is being really passive/aggressive. Yes, it's a great research and networking tool, yes I'm getting important emails regarding my literary career, no I don't need to look up "Dubstep" on YouTube because a member of Arlainas Rule the World on Facebook told me to.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Last night I left the children in the care of someone trustworthy to attend the 50th Anniversary Celebration of To Kill a Mockingbird at Symphony Space. In addition to Oskar Eustis (Artistic Director at The Public Theater), Kurt Andersen (novelist and Studio 360 Host), Jayne Anne Phillips (novelist and National Book Award finalist Lark & Termite), filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy (author of the upcoming book Scout, Atticus, and Boo), were two of my favorite people in the world Stephen Colbert and Libba Bray (award winning young-adult novelist Going Bovine, winner of 2010 Printz Award)! Basically, they read excerpts from the book and went on about how great it was. And the audience concurred! The panel was mostly Southern-raised and had a deep connection with the book. I didn't read it till I was out of grad school and at my Scottish husband's insistence (!) but it nevertheless tore my guts out. Scout’s voice is amazing, and I think what every writer, YA or otherwise, aspires to achieve in their work. Just when I thought I could not possibly love him anymore than I already do, Stephen Colbert says that he reads To Kill a Mockingbird at least once a year and his copy is held together with rubber bands. It was a great night with a bizarre panel. Jayne Anne Phillips was a little "I'm a National Book Award Finalist and Who the Hell Are You" the whole night, Libba was a little shy, and it did drag on a bit but Stephen kept it lively and it was a real pleasure to be in a room where people were talking about falling in love with a book. Then we went for tapas and wine (sadly without Libba and Stephen) and caught a taxi home. I was shaken up because all I could think of was Scout and Atticus and Jem and my own two little ones at home and the YA book I'm about to delve into come Monday and the power of words arranged artfully on a page to change the world while drinking a fantastic tempranillo and eating patatas bravas... Not quite a Literary Night of Debauchery but pretty fucking close.
Days to May of Mayhem: 4
So, I'll begin a little Q & A here ala Isaiah Sheffer: What do you remember most from reading the book? Where were you when you first read it and how old?
Your turn! Er, in the comments!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
- Talk to an inspiring writer and friend for 58 minutes and talk about writing, art, and deadlines
- Download Microsoft Word onto your newly refurbished laptop and transfer your files
- Become Facebook friends with writers you admire
- Email your agent about how great the edits are going in vague terms
- After looking up how to install Jibbitz into your surprisingly chic new Crocs on the internet, wear them out on important errands
- Go for lunch (oxtail special) at your favorite Dominican restaurant with your baby and an old friend
- Spend 27.00 on bizarre headbands, sparkly bracelets and a bedazzled elephant pendant at the 2.99 accessory store
- Make 2 trays of baked ziti- one for dinner and one to freeze for emergency rations during the May of Mayhem
- Get quarters for laundry
- Buy soymilk for a vegan friend who is coming over tomorrow to see you and your new apartment and unbeknownst to her- help you with laundry.
- Blog about it