Tag: inspiration

February 6, 2016

~ This week I read Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill.  This pleasantly dated work was published in 1988, and is a series of short stories that examines women’s roles, self-perceptions, explorations, often as seen through a mal41cw+tmfduL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_e lens, playing with narrative, and totally chaotic. Lots of sexual content and human underbelly. It is aptly named.

~Quote, from the story “Connection.”: “Connection” was a vague word when applied to humans. What did it mean? She remembered a man she’d had a short affair with before she’d met Steve. He was a sweet, practical person who never read books, rarely went out, and didn’t seem to care strongly about anything except a few friends and a martial art he practiced with fanatic zeal. They had nothing in common. In most ways he bored her. Yet when she touched him she felt  a sensitivity in his body, a sense of receptivity she rarely encountered in men. When he held her against his chest, she felt secure and protected in a way that had nothing to do with his muscular body. She felt that they were nourishing each other in some important, invisible way. But they could barely hold a conversation. 

At times, she had thought this was the only connection you coulsimone_de_beauvoir_2-662x662d have with people– intense, inexplicable, and ultimately incomplete.

 

~ Work habits fascinate me, and the more I read about them the more inspired I am, so now I’m sharing them with you, one a week. I’m going to start with Simone de Beauvoir, because she was a bad ass lady. Simone worked from ten to one every day, then socialized with her partner, Jean-Paul Sartre, from one to five, then rushed back to work until nine pm. She took annual vacations that lasted one to two months, every year.

Obviously, not to be done with kids, but sounds kind of dreamy to have time to socialize AND be a dedicated artist. Eh, I wouldn’t trade it. I really like my kids.

 

~ Movie wise, I watched The Big Short. I, along with many people I know, have always felt like I was undereducated about the economic crash. The movie was smart, fun, witty and in the end I know what happened and exactly how insane it is that the banks were bailed out.

Iceland, people, ICELAND!

 

~And so I know where to find it, this article, 13 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk, is a keeper. I especially like and fear number seven: “Let yourself be with Not Knowing. This bit of advice comes through a hundred famous people, through Tom Spanbauer to me and now, you. The longer you can allow a story to take shape, the better that final shape will be. chuck-palahniuk-essaysDon’t rush or force the ending of a story or book. All you have to know is the next scene, or the next few scenes. You don’t have to know every moment up to the end, in fact, if you do it’ll be boring as hell to execute.”

 

~ Recently, Ive been feeling like I’m not that into chocolate, but my agent, Emily, sent me some when I got my book deal and I remembered the company this week. The figs with ganache and whiskey are my favorites. So, I wound up sending out some thank yous and some happy birthdays and, in fact, ordered enough chocolate that John of this company, John and Kiras, sent me a note saying he wanted to read my book. So I feel like they’re actual people, it’s a small company,  and I’m telling you, the chocolate is effing deeeelicious. You can order on johnandkiras.com, or just stare at the picture like I do. hpvalentines_figsHappy filling of your wells! ~el

 

My UK book birthday!

The U.K. version of  This Raging Light came out this week. It’s of special significance to me for a couple of reasons. One, I lived in London when I was little

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My beautiful family

and it’s one of my favorite places on the earth. The street art, the food, the fashion, and I even love the tube. Plus, I have lots of family there and I don’t see them enough. I have dreams of living there when I’m older.

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But also, the team at Orchard is extraordinary. Beginning with the letter they wrote during the auction and continuing with a delicious dinner when I went to London, during which I discovered that my editor Sarah and the publisher Meagan could not be more spectacular people, and then most recently what I’ve experienced with their marketing team. It’s one of my favorite things about writing how lovely the people are who find themselves drawn to children’s literature.

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My beautiful editorial team

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Anyway, I’m so happy to be with them, can’t wait to get back to them, and am in utter admiration of everything they’re doing! So thank you, England! I’ll see you soon.

Fill the Well Friday 1-15-16

This was a surreal week for me. One, as a massive David Bowie fan, his death had me forehead to counter, trying to hold back tears, flashing through all the ways in which he’s affected my life. It doesn’t end. Each of his incarnations has inspired me. I always hoped I would meet him sometime.

Then, like two seconds after I got that awful news, my boss/agent/friend texted me that Matt  de la Pena had won the Newbery for his picture book (whaaaaa?) Last Stop on Market Street, and that Laura

th-3Ruby had won the Printz for Bone Gap. It’s a big long story why they are each and both so important to me, but tth-4hey are. I adore them both and every time I think about the fact that they won, I start to bubble over, with pride, with excitement, with anxiety. I’m beside myself.

 

 

~ I went to see Revenant Monday in the middle of the day at this great theater in Santa Fe (http://santafe.violetcrowncinemas.com) that serves food and beer, and which I sometimes (rarely) visit because grown-up movies are out in the evening, what with the progeny.

I didn’t know much about it except that Leonardo DiCaprio was in it and that’s enough for me.

Oh holy bananas.

I cried my face off beginning about ten minutes into the movie, and then proceeded to re-cry every time I thought about the thing that made me cry in the first place. It’s so beautiful, so human, the cinematography is ridiculous, the acting perfect. Obviously it has now been nominated for 12 Oscars so duh, but yes. Go see this movie and hold on to your heart. images

 

~ Writing wise, this article brought to me by YA author Ingrid Sundberg (spectacular human and writer), entitled “Why the Young Adult Fiction Sexual Revolution is So Necessary” is a thoughtful, important read. Have a look  here.

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~I marathon watched Making a Murderer on Netflix. No one on that show is likable. Everyone seems shady and sad. I don’t like things that smack of Schadenfreude, but it was so hard to make up my mind about what I thought that I couldn’t stop and so…ten episodes later.

Anyway, I had it going during dishes, laundry, as I was falling asleep. Weekend, done.

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A couple of years ago, I listened to a Radiolab podcast, entitled “Reasonable Doubt” . It turned out to be the first act of this story, the one where the woman mistook Stephen Avery as her attacker. Definitely worth a listen. It gives a whole other perspective.

Anyone out there read The Rag and Bone Shop by Robert Cormier? Should be required readinth-2g if you’re going to watch this show. It’s about a boy who may or may not have murdered a little girl. The entire book takes place as he’s being interrogated. It goes to show how a person can be persuaded of something. Utterly brilliant.

 

 

~I finished my first blurb book, This is the Part Where You Laugh. You know, it made me realize that there’s realistic, and then there’s real realistic. Hot damn, this book is a gem. I can’t wait til it comes out. Summer, summer! Unknown

 

~I’ve also discovered Dazbog coffee (well, really Anna from Sol Food discovered it, FYI Taos people). It’s all Russian and hearty and smoky. It feels a little dangerous. If you see it anywhere, I encourage you to buy it. Like, for real.

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And then, Alan Rickman. I can’t. I mean, I cannot. I love him. Moreover I fell in love with him years and years ago when he played Jamie the ghost in Truly Madly Deeply. You can watch a really goofy scene from the movie here. Sigh.

 

So from grief to elation and back again, there’s never a damn dull moment around here.

Now go forth and fill the well! xx