Thursday, April 29, 2010

Libba, Stephen, and Harper Lee

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

The Bunker is Ready for the YApocalypse

How to prepare for the MAY OF MAYHEM
  1. Talk to an inspiring writer and friend for 58 minutes and talk about writing, art, and deadlines
  2. Download Microsoft Word onto your newly refurbished laptop and transfer your files
  3. Become Facebook friends with writers you admire
  4. Email your agent about how great the edits are going in vague terms
  5. After looking up how to install Jibbitz into your surprisingly chic new Crocs on the internet, wear them out on important errands
  6. Go for lunch (oxtail special) at your favorite Dominican restaurant with your baby and an old friend
  7. Spend 27.00 on bizarre headbands, sparkly bracelets and a bedazzled elephant pendant at the 2.99 accessory store
  8. Make 2 trays of baked ziti- one for dinner and one to freeze for emergency rations during the May of Mayhem
  9. Get quarters for laundry
  10. 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.
  11. Blog about it

Days to May of Mayhem: 5

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Pacific- on HBO

My husband insists I watch it.

It's a testament to the horror and futility of war.

It honors the vets and the human toll of needless violence.

It's very literary! Two of the main characters in it are soldier writers.

History can't be swept under the rug!

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

You can't watch nothing but Glee, Arlaina.

But all day, all I can think of is that scene where the creepy guy is tossing pebbles into the dead Japanese soldier's skull and that horrible noise they made when the hit the brain slosh. Until I'm so depressed I can hardly stand it.








In other news... Days to May of Mayhem: 6

Friday, April 23, 2010

What (not?) to Wear

I'm desperately searching for something to wear to the One-Story Debutante Ball. Have I mentioned this event? I want to look fabulous and playful but I also want to look like a real writer and not a gag. Also I had a baby 7 months ago and am not, er, 26. I think I found something but now the shoes are an issue. To tiara or not to tiara? Gloves? Gardenia? I was in Loehmann's yesterday with teenagers trying prom dress on over their jeans and today I was at Century 21 looking for shoes and ended up getting sheets and Diego bubbles and a crystal skull vase ($6.79) for our house. Thankfully, I grabbed a Village Voice on my way to the subway with my girls on the cover. I heart NYC.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thank you, Mr. LaValle...

I have the honor- nay the privilege- of having one Mr. Victor LaValle do me the honor of "presenting" me at the One-Story Debutante Ball on May 21st. When I was first invited to be a debutante for what is sure to be the literary event of the decade, I was, to be sure, thrilled! Only then did they tell me that I needed to find an established writer who has been a mentor to me to take one night from their busy schedule to parade me down an aisle so I could curtsey and hawk my Young Adult novel that still has no name... This, dear reader, proved to be rather tricky. And then I thought of my old pal, Victor. While we were at Columbia together, he was a mysterious dreadlocked figure with scathing talent and a gigantic heart whose short stories had electrified the entire writing program. And now he is one of the most exciting and acclaimed novelists of our generation and he is going to present me at this crazy ball. And he lives in my neighborhood so, hopefully, we can share a ride uptown from Brooklyn. ! And I genuinely like him and have been inspired by him and think that we are a delightful match. And I can't wait and you should buy ALL of his books~!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages-

- Step right up, Folks!

I am always shocked and delighted when I casually bump into people and mention that I just bought a new pair of shoes and they say "oh, yeah, the Crocs- saw that on your blog this morning." For real! I LOVE IT! I also love when people- some I do not even know!- comment on my little old blog here. It makes my freaking day, dude! So, I am reaching out to you, my dear readers- let me know what's up, click on the follow button and take a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl that has become: my life...

Love and Rockets,


Monday, April 19, 2010

MAY OF MAYHEM: Pre-party

So I have arranged my life in such a way where I have precisely one month to finish the first edits on my YA novel. The month of May. THE MAY OF MAYHEM. This month of April has been dedicated to:

1. Getting the apartment in shape so the babysitter can find food and diapers with ease.
2.Purging my life of draining negativity- yes a tall order but life is short, goodness only please! (I know that is so Oprahnic but there you go).
3. Buying summer shoes before they are all sold out online and city-wide (See photos. The tattoo heart is a thing that goes on the Croc. Like, a shoe earring. Oh, you know what I'm talking about).
4. Getting ready emotionally and physically for The One-Story Debutante Ball!
5. Getting the baby to love Enfamil...
6. Reading edgy dark YA (Crash into Me, for instance) to prep me for my er, masterpiece.
7. Planning one giant trip to Ikea for kid furniture and a mirror or two.
8. Laundry.

May is also filled with friends' readings, A great big non-fiction Pen Parentis reading, One-Story Debutante Ball, Kentucky Derby, Mother's Day and medical bill paying... When I say mayhem I mean May Hem!


Friday, April 16, 2010

The French!

A friend of mine is in Paris, galavanting about in false mustaches and bangs, buying African art at French auctions, and living her artistic life in ways I can only dream of amid my boxes and baby food grinding. She implored me to find "someone trustworthy" to watch my baby so we could spend some quality friend time together and we will when she returns. I love that although we are both parents, we are not mommy friends, that she wants to escort me to the Otto Dix show at the Neue Gallerie, and that she knows of my obsession with Weimar Germany. In her honor and to celebrate the forthcoming arrival of my editor letter and my upcoming May of Mayhem in which I hire a full-time babysitter and write 125 pages of my book: I bought a fitted black blazer. I am wearing the shit out of it because it is awesome. I took it to the tailor down the street ala What Not to Wear so they could hem the sleeves and move the button. When I dropped it off, it felt like I was leaving my puppy at the pound. Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Coming up for Air...

Hello dear readers. I'm still up to my neck in boxes but after 2 sobering nights of Hoarders:Buried Alive was able to purge our new home of a Darth Tater Mr. Potato head box, a wool leopard shaped rug I bought with my first NYC paycheck 10 years ago, a hand-held egg beater from the 1940's, our old potato peeler I got at a drag queen Tupperware party and 0-3 month Onesies that were clogging the baby drawer. Oh. There is more. But I do what I can and am so delighted to be in a real live 2 bedroom that I can breathe in that I will do all I can to keep it light and open and er, roomy! Bring it!
And then I'll get to my 100 pages...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Literary Debutante Ball: May 21, 2010

The Literary Debutante Ball: May 21, 2010
A Celebration of Emerging Writers

Date:Friday, May21,2010
Times:7pm - 11pm
Location:The Old American Can Factory
232 3rd St.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Tickets:$50 eachThe Literary Debutante Ball will celebrate One Story’s debut and emerging authors, with artists, performers, and filmmakers producing work inspired by issues of One Story. These original works will be displayed at the ball and will be auctioned off in the month following the benefit.

The highlight of the ball will be the formal “presentation” of writers who have made their debuts in One Story. Each writer will be “escorted” by an established author. The presentation will be announced by John Hodgman (The Areas of My Expertise, The Daily Show).

All proceeds will benefit One Story, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and aid it in its mission to support the art form of the short story and the authors who write them. Tickets for the ball are $50 each. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.
Benefit Committee:
Michael Cunningham | Elizabeth Gilbert | Ben Greenman
Virginia Lawrence | Amanda Stern | Katherine Minton | Colson Whitehead
Authors Expected to Attend
Sam Allingham
Andrew Foster Altschul
Ramona Ausubel
Nell Casey
Dan Chaon
Anne Corbitt
Michael Cunningham
John Hodgman
Tamara Jenkins
John Jodzio
Amelia Kahaney
Cheston Knapp
Michelle Latiolais
Grant Monroe
Matthew Purdy
Roxana Robinson
Jim & Karen Shepard
Terese Svoboda
Laura van den Berg
Colson Whitehead