Saturday, June 27, 2015

Providence Noir events in Boston and NYC!

Sunday June 28 at Newtonville Books at 2 PM, 10 Langley Rd. Newton, MA. 

Monday June 29 at The Mysterious Bookshop with Bruce DeSilva, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, LaShonda Katrice Barnett, Dawn Raffel, Luanne Rice, and Elizabeth Strout. 58 Warren St. NYC 6:30. 

This week

Thursday afternoon, just before a panel at Aspen Words with my fabulous cohorts (Andre Dubus III, Dani Shapiro, Richard Russo, Hannah Tinti, and Akhil Sharma), I got a call that Gogo had taken a bad fall. In typical fashion, she was hauling heavy bags of groceries when she fell. And also typically, she refused to go to the ER until I finally convinced her. The good news is there was no head injury. She looks like she's Jake LaMotta with bruises and lacerations on her face and shoulder and knee. However, increasing pain and swelling in her wrist since then has had her in agony. 

I slowly made my way home from Aspen yesterday, a day full of flight delays and mechanical problems and weather. After I fell off the plane at 1:30 AM, we were told there would be at least an hour delay for our luggage because they were short on baggage handlers. They were right! I didn't get home until 3!


Still got Gogo to the ER where we learned the wrist is broken. A splint and half a Percocet did wonders. I made her a pan of beef enchiladas and a pan of cheese ones and she ate up heartily. 

What an ending to a wonderful week in Aspen!

Below some highlights from Aspen Words. And under a seperate post details on two Providence Noir readings in Boston and NYC this week. 

Exhausted here. But relieved. Go Gogo!

My fabulous fiction workshop!

With Adrienne Brodeur and Dani Shapiro.
 And Aspen love with Andre. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Food for thought

I met Garrison Keillor!
Well. I didn't get a picture with him, but still. He was incredible! And gave an absolutely wonderful talk at Aspen Words. 

A much appreciated respite from a day of hard decisions. Hard. But I know that making hard decisions always leads to the right place. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My TED talk!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Brown Bookstore! This afternoon!

Providence Noir takes over the Brown Bookstore at 5:30 today! Join me, Amity Gaige, Hester Kaplan, and Marie Myung-Ok Lee as we read our noir stories!

Noisy Birds

Feeling a bit like Suzanne Pleshette this morning with the racket the early birds are making. Combined with the racket in my brain, it looks like I can forget sleeping! That brain racket is from all the things I need to get done before heading to Nantucket tomorrow for the Literary Festival, and from there on to Aspen and Aspen Words. Packing, copying, Annabelle camp prepping, and a zillion little things filling my lists. And more lists!

But a lovely week at home after a lovely week in the Fiction Cave at Writers@Work in Salt Lake City. Here's my fabulous workshop: 

We spent every possible minute together discussing all things writing, life, food, and craft. We ate and drank whenever possible. What a group! Truly special. 

Shout out too to The King's English, the indie bookstore in SLC where I had the great pleasure to read:

Even though I arrived home 7 hours late--thank you, Delta!--I was happy to fall into bed with my favorite reading buddy:

That's the new Maurizio de Giovanni I'm reading. My latest Neapolitan obsession these books of his. 

Home, I've added more rows to the blanket I'm knitting. Happy for the decrease, finally. On the road I'm working on a paper thin shawl. 

It's been so lovely to indulge in my favorite obsessions this week: reading, knitting,and cooking. The produce is starting to shout summer. So couldn't resist making my go to corn salad last night:

It's so simple and I kind of can't stop eating it. 6 ears of corn. A little bit of diced red onion. Lots of fresh basil. 3 TBS cider vinegar and same of olive oil. Salt and pepper. Let it sit and soak up all the yumminess. 

Ive got coffee on my mind. And also how to fit enough stuff for 9 days and keep it under 50 pounds (thank you Cape Air!). 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer Vacation

Ever since first grade, summer has held the promise of lazy days, melting root beer Popsicles, Del's lemonade (RI reference!), riding the waves, the smell of Coppertone, reading three or four books a week...

Somehow in adulthood, or at least in my world as a writer, that remains a dream. For me, summer is my busiest work time. That's when most writers conferences are held and I hit the road to teach. This month that means Salt Lake City, Nantucket, and Aspen. July is Truro and Ireland. August is my beloved Bread Loaf. 

With me I'll have my editor's brilliant notes for revision on The Book That Matters Most. A lace shawl knitting project. The new Kate Atkins novel, the latest Eric Larsen, two books on WW I, and The Lists of the Past, Submergence, and History. Of course along the way I will pick up more books. 

No Coppertone or Popsicles, I'm afraid. But inspiration, old friends, new friends, beautiful landscapes, hard work, gin and tonics (and Harp!), comrarderie, memories...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Moving On

I am in a strange place. A place I've been in many times before. My novel, The Book That Matters Most, is in my beloved editor's hands. She will have many brilliant things to say that will involve revision. Maybe lots of revision. But for now, I'm waiting. This reminds me of the Dorothy Parker story "The Telephone" (if you haven't read it in awhile, here you are:!

But friends, there's only one thing to do in this precarious state: move on to the next novel. 

For months now I've had the amoeba of an idea knocking at my brain. And now I have 5--5!--pages of what will someday be a novel. The excitement of this precious thing, a glorious mess of characters and ideas and notes, gets me through the waiting. My goal is to write at least a page a day. Yesterday that meant writing at 9 last night because, well, my day got a little crazy and I bought this:

See? Crazy things happen in this waiting period. 

More crazy things: I've been up since 3:30 listening to the rain and thinking about today's page. Should I stick with this character? Or move into the POV of the woman in 1952 Naples Italy?

Why am I telling you this? For the writers among you, it's good hard earned advice. Don't sit by the phone. Start something new. Dive into it. Get excited. Buy a new car. Knit a blanket. (That's the other thing I'm doing)

If you're not a writer, I think it still applies, doesn't it? Don't sit by the phone. Start something new. Dive into it. Get excited. But a new car. Knit a blanket. Read this Mary Oliver poem:

The final line of that poem?
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"