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Showing posts from June, 2016

Revolution in Beige

I am in the fortunate position of having a day job that has a symbiotic relationship to my creative work. Both have to do with crafting language, publishing, and storytelling. Both are weird. (Yes, that beautiful picture above is of me, purpling some cotton candy at work.) And right now, both are helping me to appreciate the stealthy powers of beige. Nobody expects the revolution in beige.

My darling husband, who had such a bizarre childhood and youth that the greatest shock he ever gave his friends was to settle down with a wife and a mortgage and a dependable insurance policy, has helped me explore this idea in both life and art. This winter, he showed me M.C. Escher's advice "to apply the function of contrasts... to cause a shock."

Since then, I've thought of many examples of this technique in some of my favorite writings and works of art. Authors Joyce Carol Oates and Chuck Palahniuk use it to expose the savage brutality that hides beneath the deceptive veneer o…

Summer, Don't Break Me!

It's summer!


Now begins the season of Absolute Zero time away from both family and work at the same time, which I have foolishly ushered in by getting such a wicked sunburn that it literally hurts to put my butt in the writing chair.

I am now 75 pages into The Grove. Summer break, you can't break me!


That's right. Like Judy Hopps of Zootopia, "I don't know when to quit."

Parent-writers (and all writers in touch with your inner child), if you need a mega dose of inspiration, it wouldn't hurt to curl up in a cool, dark basement and watch Zootopia this summer. One of my childhood friends just said he feels "jealous that we didn't have this as kids." But we can have it now! As I heard a very wise man say this weekend, "Stories evolve just like species."

Here's to the future, which won't stop just because it never happened before.

And here's to remembering that kindergarten starts in just two and a half months. Sweet cheese …

Rewriting, Reliving, and Restoring the Yes

I am 45 pages into a drastic rewrite of my novel, which I am now calling The Grove of Thorismud.

I also happen to be coming out of the deep, life-transforming fog of early motherhood and kind of meeting my fully adult self for the first time. Oh hi there, Nux Gallica's mommy--I mean, Jeannie? Wait, the Jeannie that I used to know?

Yes... and no. I've spent my whole life wanting to become a mother, so this place in my life fulfills a deep sense of rightness for me. And unexpectedly, I feel so sated by the motherhood of one child that I believe I am done having babies. One and done. The only thing I want to go forth and multiply is books, which I have also wanted to produce since I unlocked the magic of literacy at the age of three. So I haven't changed at the core, right? I am still that little girl who wants a baby and a book deal?

In some ways, I feel so different now in personality and values and beliefs from that little girl that it's hard to look back and see any c…

Whoops, I pulled a George RR Martin!

No, no, I didn't kill off all my characters. Nor did I become unimaginably successful with my book and television series. (Sadly.) But! I did miss a deadline.

Yep, in the midst of starting a total novel rewrite, helping throw a 400-guest party for work involving the use of a cotton candy machine without a safety shield (holy sticky arm hair, Lego Batman!), and day drinking with out-of-state friends, I somehow forgot my Tuesday blog post.

I did manage to finish a whole glass of wine, though. Yup, still got it.

When your artist friends who keep you rolling in castoff pottery and custom recycled glass jewelry come around, sometimes you just have to forgo normal activities, sleep, and adulting in general for a minute.

(Necklace: Glass by Waxx

In lieu of an insincere apology, please accept this video of my friend Jeff hula hooping: