1. Patrick calls Game of Thrones “Thrame of Gones.” We don’t watch it so we hate it.
2. Next Thursday I am taking a social media hiatus for about 3 weeks. On Monday I go to Ucross in Wyoming for 10 days to write and watch cows and write some more.
3. Today Bean asked if he could go with me to Wyoming and it nearly broke my heart. But then I remembered how annoying “What Does the Fox Say?” is, and I thought about how essential and wonderful the time away will be. But also: hard. He will grow so much in the time I’m away! Who cares about writing when you have a human to take care of and love love love? (I do…?)
4. I am so sick of the internet and yet I am addicted to it. Am so close to deleting all accounts forever and living in the woods wearing a sage brush bikini. Imagine my brain on that life!
5. Patrick is having another knee surgery in June, and he can barely walk now. My poor baby.
6. I wore my padded bra to the LA Times Festival of Books and I think it gave me a little oomph on my panel. Especially when I said, “I like to play a little game called, ‘What Russian mini-mart was torn down to build this condo?’” The discussion was about LA, of course.
7. So many bad tattoos at the Ace in Palm Springs.
8. One of my interests: Britons in California swimming pools.
A hotel room in Amsterdam after a splendid breakfast, with music from home on the headphones, sunlight and breeze outside the window, while A walks around the city taking pictures of love locks on a bridge, men on rooftops and a store that sells only antique globes. The first writing I’ve done on this trip. Our apartment in Paris was impeccably quiet but it turns out I like the sound of enterprise — house keeping, some guys with drills fixing a window — outside the room.
I love thinking about my students/friends/colleagues writing work that I will get to read very soon!
One day in your life, or perhaps every day, you will discover that someone has succeeded in the exact avenue in which you desire to succeed. Said usurper of your dreams might be a friend or a nemesis; perhaps they are a ghost who lives inside Twitter making up facts about themselves designed…
“Standing listening to the Replacements for Patrick Brown! …so much great music. Jagwar Ma and Goat wre fantastic Neko Case was really good- kind of country! Broken bells excellent also. About to go see Brian Ferry- Nancy Kristol I know you are jealous! And Aleve is a wonder drug for. 60 year old festival goers !”—My mon’s status update on FB about Coachella.
“For those of you who are beginning your stories, who might believe, as I once did, when someone tells you there are certain conditions necessary to be a serious writer, a real writer, let me say: I am writing this in a dollar notebook from Staples, with purple gel pen. I can’t believe I’m still at a card table. I am not alone (my youngest is home for spring break with a friend who cannot fly East, and since they are both tall, they have just changed the burned-out porch light bulb), but I am outside, where my neighbors are grilling carne asada, and a homeless man is pausing at the corner with his shopping cart making that shimmery rattle, and I think I’ve finally figured it out.”—Susan Straight, I love you.
“As much as I wring my hands about writing, I also can’t deny the small satisfactions it offers me. Be it a turn of phrase, an image, a moment between characters — these are tiny but distinct pleasures that I can revisit anytime I flip through my work. It’s miraculous that these little darlings didn’t get killed in the rewriting process. My work never lives up to the dream I have of it in my head and that’s the way it should be; Martha Graham calls this “a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” It’s the tension between this “queer divine dissatisfaction” and the fulfillment of writing something that pleases me, however minor, that makes me want to write at all. The flaws of my novel, California, are in conversation with its strengths.”—Edan Lepucki, “Hug Your Darlings, Give the Moon the Finger: Writers On Delight”
“Then we talked about how every marriage/partnership, when it is either going really well or when it is going terribly, seems to exist at the end of the world—the idea that great, private misery or great, private joy tends to annihilate the world, regardless of the setting. That might be the thing that I’ve thought about most after reading your book, Ed.”—
If You’re Not Yet Like Me, Edan Lepucki. This is not a humble brag so much as an out-and-out boast, but I have dined (multiple times!) with Edan, and yet I had not until this month read this, her novella (her debut novel, California, comes out in July!), because in a lot of ways I am…
Ahh! I have always longed to make one of Katie’s “What I Read” lists!
I know a shocking number of writers with books coming out very soon, and many of them are joining me in this massive book giveaway.
It’s easy to enter, and you could win signed copies of ALL the books mentioned above. You might have to buy a new bookshelf! So, for my part of the giveaway,…
Emma and I are both participating in this amazing giveaway, as are so many other terrific writers. Enter every day starting April 7th to win a different book, and at the end one lucky reader will win all the books!
“I just wanted to let you know that I finished a digital ARC of your novel last night and it is the BEST FREAKING THING I have read in ages.”—Emails from strangers make life with a tyrant-toddler-who-will-not-nap almost bearable!