Tuesday, October 25, 2011


So. Here’s the thing. When I was in college I had this boyfriend. He was a philosopher type and was a little obsessed with Nineteenth Century Transcendentalism. Of course Walden was his bible. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy being in a relationship with a philosopher, he was always pondering and then wanting me to ponder and be all brilliant with him and, well, I’m not. Brilliant I mean.

So one time he looked at me and told me he’d figured me out. Like I was this very deep and profound puzzle, which—as I’ve said before—I’m not. I’m shallow. Simple and shallow. Really. Anyway, when I asked him what he meant he said, “You’re chapter eight.” And then he stopped, like I was supposed to know what that meant. So I picked up Walden and read chapter eight, which is called “The Village.”

So here’s the deal. Thoreau went to the woods to ‘live deliberately,’ you know, suck out the marrow of life and live isolated and independent on his little plot with his little house and his paper weight (another chapter that would bore you) and his rows of green beans. Well the truth was, he didn’t. He went to the village, which was Concord, everyday. That’s right everyday!

So I guess old Thoreau was a social guy after all. And I suppose my boyfriend was right. I’m a village kind of girl. I like people. I like community. I thrive on conversation and support and friendship.

Which is why being a writer is hard sometimes. It’s a solitary life.

And that, my friends, is why I’m doing NaNo. I’m drawn to it by my sense of community. I know, for a month, I will be participating in an absurd undertaking. But at least I’m being absurd with thousands of other crazy villagers. Our writing village.

And everyday, as I finish my word count, I’ll step out of my little cottage on Walden pond, take a deep breath of woodsy air, suck out the marrow of life, snap a green bean into my mouth and saunter to Concord. My little writing village. And we’ll gossip about writer’s block and plot and characters and story arc and failure.

And then we’ll ‘sail from some bright village parlor’ and make for our ‘snug harbor in the woods’ ready for the next day with a ‘merry crew of thoughts.’

And when we’re done we’ll get t-shirts and book bags and a button for our blog. And we’ll say, ‘We did it. We survived.’ Because, you see, it’s better to survive or fail with each other than alone.

So. Are you doing NaNo?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thoughtful Distractions.

I'm going to pretend this is me right now.
and without a Word Processor...
Which is not entirely true, because I can't write without a keyboard and spell check.
But, I'm going to pretend the intrawebz doesn't exist because it's VERY DISTRACTING.

Ah yes, and wearing a corset and a bun.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Me In-between Two Extraordinary Writers.

Maureen, Me, Stephanie

So. For some weird—the gods must be against us—reason, we never have YA book signings in the Bay Area. Why is that? We have a population of about nine million. Surely there are enough kids around that might be interested in meeting an author? Or reading a book? But no, I endure email after email, post after post, picture after picture of my crit partners and their numerous, copious amounts of book signings in Utah.

Therefore, I was pleased. Very pleased to rub in that we were finally going to have a book signing in the Bay Area. And YA. And, not just any YA authors, but STEPHANIE PERKINS and MAUREEN JOHNSON.

So. I braved the early rains and drove to a little indie bookstore in the hills of Oakland. Seriously, this bookstore was the size of a postage stamp. And adorable. We got front row seats, because there was, literally, only one row of seats.

Stephanie and Maureen were hilarious, smart, informative and hilarious. Did I mention they were funny? Maureen had a prepared rant about Ghost Hunters that was spot on. I loved hearing about their inspirations, their research, their struggles and their support in the writing community. I was happy to see many youth there as well (Not just weird middle-aged women).

I hope this is the beginning of a trend and we’ll see more YA authors out here doing signings. Cause I’ll go to all of them. Every. Single. One. Thanks to their publishers or book sellers or whomever made it possible to get them here.

Maureen and Stephanie being smart.

When’s the last time you went to a book signing?

Now I'm off to read this and this. Oh yeah, and write. Of course.