Saturday, April 20, 2013
1. I hate Shakespeare. Even if my kid's performing in it. 2. When people say "Dickensian" I don't really get what they mean. 3. I read two pages of Middlemarch and said, 'meh.' 4. Yes, I threw The English Patient across a hotel room, upending a $10 bottle of Voss water. 5. When grad students read my first novel for their class, they asked me questions I didn't understand. 6. I never cracked open a spine by James Joyce. I don't deserve to be an author! 7. The Great Gatsby may be my favorite novel because it has small words. It's possible. 8. Footnotes make me want to kill someone. 9. It took me six months to read Bring Up The Bodies because I didn't get who was talking. Huh? What? 10.Told my husband that reading Harry Potter to the kids would cement their relationship. When in fact, I just didn't wanna do it myself.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
There is so much I don't know. Here is how un-literate I am (as if the use of that word didn't tell you): Until a few months ago, I thought The Paris Review was a daily French newspaper. Yes, I did. Then I stumbled upon a link to an interview with an author, and I thought, wow, they have an English section? And they cover books? Then, perusing the site I Figured. It. Out.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Are you an audiobook lover? (Many book clubbers are, I know.) Proud that our Liars Club Anthology, Liar Liar, is now in audiobook form, with my story, Shuffle, featured along with 14 others. Mystery, paranormal, and, just well, some skewed views of normal await you. More short stories and maybe a novella coming soon while "the next novel" is being sorted by the people who run the world!
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The thank you notes from book clubs are wonderful, of course, but nowhere near as fun as the thank you notes from high school students. Yesterday a packet of thank yous from Kerri Schuster's writing class at Sacred Heart High School arrived -- filled with beautiful handwriting, carefully constructed ideas, and lovely admonitions such as "Stay Excellent." Words to write by.
Sunday, March 3, 2013
When my family decided to bury my mother's ashes in her hometown in Illinois, I didn't want to go. It was my hometown too, and I had already buried something else there: my past. My wayward, meandering, I-don't-want-anyone-to-know-this-about-me past. Stressful events in faraway places hold an additional stress for me -- flying, and the potential for turbulence, which leads to full-blown panic attacks that can last as long as the turbulence. A good friend who worked at Amtrak suggested I might enjoy a train trip to Chicago. That trip was a revelation: not only for the sunsets and the views and the sense that I was seeing the backyards of a million people--their flapping laundry, their fertile fig trees, their pets contained by frayed rope--but the people I met. Their amazing stories of what they were running from and to. And I had my story, too: the novelist who is going to her mother's funeral. This story in the New York Times paints a vivid picture about what it's like to travel by train. From a people perspective, nothing beats it. Nothing.
Friday, March 1, 2013
It's the year of the anxiety disorder! After I wrote STANDING STILL, about a woman with panic disorder who fights back against her daughter's kidnapper, so many people confessed to me that they had the problem, too. Many of them were men. This article highlights anxiety's coming out party.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
I knew I'd need a rainy morning to start this book. Little did I know I would finish it in that same morning. Half-memoir, half-mystery. Set in Chicago, a place I know, in the world of newspapers, a place I once thought I belonged. Is that why I loved it so? No. I loved it for its pacing, its writing, its careful release of emotion and longing. Oh, just go out and buy it. But I'm warning you: read it on a rainy day.