Category: Blog

Her thoughts scattered.*

Brainstormers, scatterbrains, creatives, and planners: If you have a crack-for-Mac addiction, MindNode Pro is mind-mapping software worth its $15. Download the trial version for free at: — I’ve been using it to sort out ideas and research. * Cliche? Or just received text?

…longed for the rhythmic pounding of the surf, and the salty sea air.*

What news? Pending my annual, five-day writing retreat at Rockaway Beach, I wanted to update my blog in grand Internet fashion: using a lot of words to say, basically, nothing much. Reseach on Book 2 continues at a loping pace thanks to Matt Beynon Rees, the prolific former Jerusalem bureau chief for TIME, whose information-dense … Read More »

And then the alarm went off, and the dream faded, and green numbers said it was time to get up.*

At the beginning of August, I joked with Jeffrey Richards that we’d come to the month where we stop counting rejection letters, and just collect the out-of-office replies. Like the therapists, the literary agents go away–and so, it seemed, did my ambition. Four of my submissions are floating around greater Manhattan, and I haven’t done … Read More »

Submissions update

A partial manuscript and full manuscript submission are still pending, and the good news of a few weeks ago (a cold query that turned into a request for a partial) came back with a form rejection last week. It’s been two months since the conference, and I am now wondering if I should query the … Read More »

The value of good definitions

Ursula K. Le Guin comments on John Retchy’s article about breaking the rules of writing. As for “Write what you know,” I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa … Read More »

Throwing away good news

In a rush to get through the mail, I noticed my own handwriting on a #10 envelope. Always a bad sign when you have material on submission. So, determined not to let it distract me from E’s departure for California, and repeating to myself Liz Rosenberg’s comment about “collecting your no’s,” I thumbed open the … Read More »

They said it was bad, but…

This is the saddest indie-bookseller story that I’ve heard in this down economy. I bought my copy of UKL’s Lavinia there, and saw UKL read in the store’s back garden. I also bought Ian McEwan’s Saturday here, and a new copy of Farenheit 451. (From Publishers Marketplace) Portland, OR-area bookseller Stephanie Griffin closed her store … Read More »

Amazon Names Best Books for the First Half of 2009

(From Publishers Marketplace) Not waiting for the end-of-year list season, Amazon is highlight an eclectic selection of their “best books of 2009…so far.” The Top 10 overall comprise: Cheever: A Life by Blake Bailey Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann Fordlandia by Greg Grandin The City & The City by China Mieville The … Read More »

The cosmic I is watching you

A few weekends ago I attended a three-hour memoir workshop with screenwriter and memoirist Annick Smith— (Belated post, I know. I’ve also been moving across town, and you would have no idea how well and neatly I had packed my old apartment with things I didn’t need. Lessons learned: accept only edible gifts, love your … Read More »