Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sweet Tweets

I'm following a variety of literary twitterers and wanted to post a round-up of interesting links people have recently posted:

Type: Claudia Dey & Rex Harrington in conversation

A new story, "Childcare", by Lorrie Moore in The New Yorker

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses her new short story collection

Also, my friend Ian sent me the following Marge Piercy poem, For The Young Who Want To, and I'm sharing it with you.

More soon!


One of the seminars I attended during this residency was a brown bag lunch panel discussion on the role of blogging in media with Dana Goodyear, Mark Sarvas, and Veronique de Turenne, moderated by Kate Gale of Red Hen Press.

I was embarrassed that I had never heard of Maud Newton's litblog or Mark Sarvas' "The Elegant Variation". I will add links to both their blogs on the side.

They discussed the pros & cons of blogging; the time commitment, the danger of procrastinating. I will remember more when I check my notes, but I need to check out of this hotel room shortly.

I asked the panelists about blogging under a pseudonym, and they agreed that there was no "should" or "shouldn't" about it, just whatever one is comfortable with and what one wants out of the blog.

The question for me is whether this will eventually be my "author" site, or whether this will remain a personal blog that I'd prefer hidden from googling family members.

To those of you who blog under your real name: Has having your life out on your blog ever had any negative effects?

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Letter to America

Dear America,

I love your "service with a smile". I love your twang... most of the time. I love your artists, your bluster, your swagger, your grand buildings with the names of philanthropists on the front. Your optimism, even when your economy sucks.

I love your absurd portion sizes, your ridiculous menu creations (donut french toast? whipped cream on everything?), your retro diners, your retro grocery packaging, the way you say "uh-huh" instead of "you're welcome". I love your opinionated self. I love your free refills, and the fact that you still have dollar bills, so that holding three of them feels like money and not change.

I (have grown to) love (even though it drives me CRAZY) the perverse dedicated way that ALL the gardeners in LA absolutely refuse to dead-head their roses, leaving overblown, blousy roses outside all the buildings, like aging starlets in faded summer dresses (scheming to hide the new blooms).

I love Broadway, and paying the U.S. price on things, even though there's the exchange rate to factor in. I love that I can justify this blog entry by pretending that it's an assignment for "The List as Post-Narrative Structure". I love that your sale prices are actually a bargain and not just marked-down mark-ups.

I know we don't agree on everything, and that I could make a list just as long with negative things, but I won't, 'cause that's not what love is about.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Things I managed to do today (by "today" I mean since 12am):

Finished reading Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley. It was terrific and I should have read it years ago.

Started re-reading The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.

Had lunch with a friend-of-a-friend who is more-or-less where I was at for the last six months, and I was able to confidently say to her, "don't worry, you'll figure it out".

Remembered to put sunscreen on my shins and the tops of my feet, but did not remember to sunscreen my thighs. Wore a short-ish skirt. Have the dumbest looking tan EVER. Half my thighs are pasty white, half are tanned and my knees are slightly burned. Picture it - you could use a good laugh.

Got spaghetti sauce on my shirt. Naturally. (I can make spaghetti here because it's an "apartment-style" hotel with a kitchenette.)

Went to the two-hour orientation seminar for the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program I have just started. It was terrific. Tomorrow the actual seminars and lectures and introductions to software (for the online portion) begin. I'm really excited. I have a ton of reading to do. I will also have a ton of writing to do, but that part is more intimidating than exciting, so I'm going to ignore it till the next ten days are over.

I dreamt of David Bowie again. I do occasionally dream of David Bowie and Madonna. In the last dream, David showed me his art collection* and then David and my cousin and I played a practical joke on my other cousin. It involved David wearing a fake rubber nose. It was hilarious. In the dream.

I wrote this blog entry. I thought of you and you and you and you.

* I have no idea what kind of art David Bowie actually collects.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Overheard in My Life

On the Phone with My Mother

Mom: Why is your cat crying like that? Is she hungry?

Me: That's not my cat, that's Patsy Cline.


In the Elevator with a Young Male Stranger

Me: (said matter-of-factly right as I got on the elevator) You smell nice.

Him: It's Axe.

Me: Oh... no...


Dad on the Phone with Sister

Dad: Oh... Where? Yeah...Good! You can see the Bell - that Bell they have... yeah, or cream cheese...

(At which point I cracked up 'cause I knew the other part of the conversation was my sister talking about a possible visit to Philadelphia.)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

This is Not a Message

Not a message, just sharing some amazing lyrics off Paul Simon's "Surprise" album. I took it out from the library, and I may have to buy it.

Another Galaxy (by Paul Simon)

On the morning of her wedding day, when no one was awake, she drove across the border. Leaving all the yellow roses on her wedding cake. Her mother's tears, her breakfast order.
She's gone, gone, gone.
There is a moment, a chip in time, when leaving home is the lesser crime.
When your eyes are blind with tears, but your heart can see: another life, another galaxy.

That night her dreams are storm-tossed as a willow. She hears the clouds, she sees the eye of a hurricane, as it sweeps across her island pillow.
But she's gone, gone, gone.
There is a moment, a chip in time, when leaving home is the lesser crime.
When your eyes are blind with tears, but your heart can see:
Another life, another galaxy.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I'm Ba-aack (and a note on nail-biting)

Yes, I've been a very very bad blogger. But here I am, back with a renewed sense of purpose. I have lists of things I intended to blog about, and probably never will. For now, I will just quote a snippet of conversation.

For a few years, I've wondered why whenever I am not quite all "well" (in a neutral or depressed state) I stop biting my nails. Then they grow, and I polish them and they look fab. As soon as I'm back to "normal", I start biting them again.

ME: "I've been biting my nails again. It's always when I'm feeling better. I can't understand why. What does it mean? It doesn't make any sense."
FRIEND: "It makes sense."
ME: "It does?"
FRIEND: "Sure. When you're down, your apathy overrides your anxiety."
Me: !

Current fave nail polish colours: OPI Malaysian Mist, China Glaze Purple Panic, OPI Up Front and Personal. Yours?