May Reading

Saturday, May 31, 2008


  • Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch
  • The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller
  • Asking for Trouble by Elizabeth Young
  • Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes
  • The Solomon Sisters Wise Up by Melissa Senate
  • Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
Notable Nonfiction
  • None :(
And there we have my reading list for my travels. Not really highbrow, but it was nice to take a break from what I feel I should be reading and focus on some fun stuff.

A rave goes out to Monkey Beach, which I found in a wonderful Canadian independent bookstore. I'll definitely be looking for more of Robinson's work because this book was phenomenal. Also, I really enjoyed Melissa Senate's The Solomon Sisters Wise Up. I read See Jane Date several years ago and didn't love it so much, so I was pleasantly surprised by this novel.
Both are recommended.

In other reading related news, I have to report that I visited no fewer than eight bookstores on our Alaskan adventure. Highlights included Green Apple Books in San Francisco (spent a good hour browsing there), Hearthside Books and Rainy Day Books in Juneau, and Book Warehouse in Vancouver.

Linkage: "Confessions..."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Via Jade Park: "The confessions of a semi-successful mid-list author"

If you don't want to hear about the noir underside of publishing -- if you're a writer longing for a literary career, or a reader who's happier not knowing that producing and marketing a book these days involves about as much moral purity as producing and marketing a pair of Nikes -- I suggest you stop reading now.

The above linked article is not a cheerful read. I've had a long rant coming on the publishing industry, the death of reading, and the stigma of self-publishing. I'll see if I can't get that up in the next week or so.

My Meme

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's been an absolutely crazy week and it will likely get crazier still. Of course, the best way to deal with a to-do list that is miles long is to . . . blog. Right? Last week, Deborah of the Rhythm of Write blog tagged me for a meme.

You've probably heard this song before, it goes a little something like this:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.
So here they are, six "interesting" things about me:

1. I stepped over a rattlesnake when I was nine. I almost stepped on the rattlesnake but at the last moment I felt like something was "off" about the perfectly coiled rock and skipped over it. Only when I turned and looked back did I realize the rock was a rattler.

2. I've been bitten by a tiger cub and hugged by a chimpanzee in a dress.

3. When I was young, I participated in roller skating competitions, complete with the sparkley costumes. I still have my "professional" skates sitting around.

4. My new favorite easy breakfast is a cup of vanilla light yogurt mixed with some Kashi Go Lean! Crunch cereal. That's not really interesting, is it? Ah well, try it and we'll call it even.

5. I am very distantly related to the following people: William Penn, Jim White (discoverer of New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns), John Henry Tunstall (the shooting of whom started the Lincoln County War, he was also the employer of Billy the Kid), and Reba McEntire.

6. I've never had the chicken pox (knock wood). My mother used to arrange chicken pox play dates because she wanted me to get it when I was young. Never took. I was vaccinated against it when I was a teenager.

Deborah challenged her taggees to tag people that they had never met. I'm shy and honestly, this week is so busy I'm not sure I'm going to have time to blogstalk and force you all to complete your memeage. So I'd totally copping out on rule number four. But hey, if you want to be tagged, consider yourself tagged. Leave a comment here with the link to your meme and I'll even go back and edit this entry to make it look like I tagged you.


To add some cheer after yesterday's doom and gloom, I uploaded a new blogger template. . . and promptly managed to erase all my comments. :-( I suppose I should have expected that.

The good news is, *I* still have access to them through HaloScan. The bad news is, no one else does. And there were a lot of good comments. Needless to stay, I will not be reinstalling HaloScan, so from now on commentary should survive a template change.

Submissions Update

Thursday, May 8, 2008

When I said I actually wanted to get rejection letters, I didn't mean that I wanted them all to come at once. Really.

One more arrived this morning. I suppose it was one of my not-a-snowball's-chance-in-hell markets, but rejection is still rejection.

Prior to the mail arriving, I was already in a writing funk. I'm realizing how out of practice I am and I'm struggling getting started on a new project. I have something I really want to do, and I have no idea how to start it. I allow myself to write whatever when I freewrite, but when I settle in to officially work on the story, nothing comes out well. And thus, the funk.

Also, I sliced my finger open yesterday and it kinda hurts. (Note to self: sign up for the Central Market knife skills class already!)

I know that writing well requires practice and I am fully aware that not writing for close to four years puts me back at square one. I am also fully aware that really, the only way to even start improving is to just keep working at it. But I'm impatient and I want my writing level to be back where it was four years ago. And so I get into the funk and then I worry that my writing skills may never come back and then . . . double funk.

Any good funk-relief strategies out there? My first impulse is write through this but I wonder if that's the best strategy. What would you do? Write? Read? Take my notebook out to the springs and lounge in the sun?

Well, It's Something...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Two more rejection letters rolled in this week and the latest leaves me wondering, does a rejection count as "personal" when the editor addresses you by name and signs his own? Even if that's all he does?


I'll take what I can get.


Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm playing catch up today. Please bear with me.

If you're in Austin, please note that Michael Chabon will be at BookPeople on Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. I will be the giggling fan girl in the front row. Please come and save me from myself.

I finally have a first-ish draft of a story. I say first-ish, because I've written a couple of different stories that reside only within the pages of my notebook. This one not only made it to the computer, but managed some editing as well. This would be the farthest any story has gotten outside of the MFA program. Not exactly something be proud of, but I'm taking what I can get. Finishing this story made me realize that I'm tired of writing stories. I've moved back to my novel. More on that later.

Later this month this blog with be taking a long hiatus. I'm also sick of the green and will be revamping.

Fourth and finally:
I'm reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. If you haven't seen the lecture, you should. Then you should buy and read the book. Then you should pass it on to someone you care about. One of the Pauschisms that is resonating most with me:

"Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things."