Sometimes the world shifts, violently, and everything that seemed important sheds away to show what is.

I’m reevaluating. I’m feeling the need to be silent now, but I’ll be back soon.

What in the World Happened to the Writer of This Blog?

I will tell you:

She was writing. Wow, was she writing.

But she’s back now—I am, me—and this is what’s on my mind:

  • The Lit Auction to help a writer fight cancer without health insurance is in its final wave—and you can still bid on manuscript critiques from YA author Nina LaCour (who wrote one of my favorites, Hold Still) and Alexander Chee (who wrote another one of my favorites, Edinburgh), among other writers and other prizes, oh and including, uh, me. Here’s a direct link to the bidding page on ebay—you’ll find that I’m auctioning off a critique of up to 30 pages of middle-grade or YA fiction. Please consider bidding to help a good cause. And see my earlier post if you want more info about the auction itself.  The auction ends tomorrow (Sept. 16)!
  • If you have plans to attend this year’s Woodstock Film Festival that starts in Woodstock, New York, at the end of this month, I hope you’ll attend the book event to celebrate the publication of River of Words: Portraits of Hudson Valley Writers. I’ll be there, among other writers, and I’ll be reading a tiny bit from Dani Noir—it’s film-related, promise. The event is on Saturday, October 2, at 1pm, and here’s an easy link where you can order tickets. And here’s the book’s website, so you can read more about it.  I’m looking forward to being a part of the event and celebrating the book, but also? I get to see my mom! I miss my mom. So I’m especially excited for that.
  • Speaking of excited, and what’s on my mind, and did you really expect me not to mention this? I’m really excited for Imaginary Girls. I mean, seriously, really, crazy excited. Thank you to the bloggers who have emailed me to say they were interested in reviewing the novel, whenever ARCs become available. As I’ve said, I am keeping a list to pass on to Penguin when the time comes, so if you’re a book reviewer and you’d like to be on that list, do let me know. Also, WAIT TILL YOU SEE THE COVER. It’s still not time to show yet, but when it is, I’ll be revealing it here for sure!
  • Oh, and one last thing. If you’re in New York City and love good writing, you should go to Sigrid Nunez‘s reading tomorrow night: Thursday, Sept. 16, at 7pm at the Barnes & Noble on 82nd Street and Broadway. Her new novel Salvation City “follows the intersection of society’s collapse and the devastation of a doomed first love”—doesn’t that sound amazing? But, more, I worked with Sigrid Nunez in workshops as a writer, and I can honestly tell you she is a generous, inspiring, deeply wise and smart teacher, mentor, and writer. I’ve loved her writing since I read A Feather on the Breath of God, her debut (STUNNING), and I cannot wait to read the new book. Even if you can’t go to the reading, do pick it up!  Here’s a link to the event tomorrow.
  • I have to add a fifth bullet point, if only because I love fives, and because I need things to be in odd numbers, just for comfort reasons really.

What have I missed since I’ve been drowning in writing, anything besides Jersey Shore episodes and Mockingjay (I still have to read it, travesty, I know) and Freedom, which I’ll probably read, too?

Literary Auction (+ Bid on a Manuscript Critique from Me)

While I’ve been away from this blog writing like mad (I’m going mad! But the novel’s benefiting!), my good friend Christine has organized a literary auction to benefit a dear writer friend of hers who’s battling cancer… without health insurance. The auction is raising money to help her pay her medical bills. I’ve been following the auction—and was brought to tears by this touching article on the LA Times blog about it—and all the exciting things on offer, including manuscript critiques from authors and signed books and poetry readings and the chance to have characters named after you in upcoming books, and I really wanted to be a part of it.

You can now bid on a manuscript critique by me—from today until September 16. As a freelancer and writer myself facing the impossibility of affording health insurance, my heart goes out to Jennifer Derilo and I hope she beats Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that this auction helps her do it.

For more about the auction and links to all the items on offer, please read this post on Christine’s blog.

And if you’d be interested in having me critique your YA or middle-grade manuscript, here’s a direct link for bidding on ebay. I look forward to reading the winner’s manuscript—and I’m honored to be one small part of this.

Please consider bidding and please help spread the word. Thank you so much!

Strange Writerly Behavior… Don’t Stare

I’m at that point in writing when I want to cry or laugh at inopportune moments—while sitting calmly at my desk, while crossing the street, on line at the deli buying a yogurt. My notes to myself in my calendar involve much profanity and can’t be quoted here. I’m at that point where I turn off all the lights and turn on a song and whirl around to it in the dark and then rush to the keyboard to set down a paragraph, pretending that didn’t just happen but it did because I just told you. At the point where I really need to dye my roots but I can’t care about that yet. At the point where I’ve alienated quite a few friends. At the point where I question everything. At the point where a letter in the mailbox sends me into a rage until I forget about it five minutes later. At the point where my clothes just can’t match. At the point where I don’t even watch reality TV anymore. At the point of talking to myself on the sidewalk. At the point where I can’t wash the saucepan I just used for dinner last night. At the high point of trying to write the best words possible, and everything else has fallen to the wayside.

I hope I still have a husband after this.