Writer’s Life: Kelly Simmons

Summer has taken over my senses. It’s warm, lovely, and lazy outside, and all I want to do is find a shady spot with a breeze, and open a new book to fall in love with. If you have the time and inclination to do the same, I hope you’ll consider Kelly Simmons’ new novel, ONE MORE DAY. Meet Kelly:

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What have you learned from parenting, or from your own parents, that you bring to your work as a writer?

I love this question! My father studied architecture, had a love of engineering and was one of the most patient people I’ve ever met. I think building a book requires similar qualities, and I only hope I modeled some of his behavior!

Where do you write? What do you love about it?

Laptops and smartphones make it easy to write or brainstorm wherever I am. Since I have a “real” job and three kids, I need to grab snatches of time wherever I find them. Also, when I’m writing from home, I love to move to the sunniest corner, like a cat!

If you had a motto, what would it be?

When the croutons are gone, the salad is finished.

Who inspires you?

Passionate people in every field inspire me. I love reading about scientists or designers or political activists and how they operate, their tenacity.

What charity or community service are you passionate about? Why?

I co-run a mentoring writers group, where published writers meet with fledgling writers to help them with issues with the craft or business. It takes up a lot of time, but I wish I had a group like that when I was starting out.

What are you reading now, and/or what book do you recommend?

I just read a truly funny, lively novel about some of the early followers of Karl Marx called MRS ENGELS by Gavin McCrea. She is a character you won’t soon forget.

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Kelly Simmons’ novels have been hailed as electrifying, complex and poignant, and aren’t those nice words? Her third novel, ONE MORE DAY, just came out and everyone calls it riveting, so don’t buy it unless you want to stay up all night reading it. She’s a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Tall Poppy Writers and The Liars Club, a group of published novelists dedicated to helping fledgling writers.

http://www.kellysimmonsbooks.com/

https://twitter.com/kellysimmons
https://www.instagram.com/kellyasimmons/

Writer’s Life: Amy Sue Nathan

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Amy Sue Nathan makes things happen. Looking for a blog for writers of “Women’s Fiction” and finding none, she created her own. Within a few years it was winning “Best of the Web” awards. Who are “women’s fiction” writers anyway?

We might love chick lit, but we don’t write it. We might love romance, but we don’t write that either.  Same goes for zombies and vampires.  We write extraordinary yet realistic characters in realistic and extraordinary situations.  If our main characters have love interests, it’s a bonus. In our books, as in all books, the main character’s journey leads to an ultimate goal. But in our books — the main character saves herself.

Amy’s blog introduces readers to other writers through guest posts, including mine almost one year ago, and in so doing she sets a beautiful example of how to celebrate others and create community. I’m so happy to introduce you to Amy Sue Nathan:

What have you learned from parenting, or from your own parents, that you bring to your work as a writer?

I know that the patience I needed to write my first novel, and then find an agent and a publisher, go through the editing and publication process—and then do it all again with book two (and I just handed in book three) comes from my experiences as a mom. I learned, and try to remember, that you can’t get any time back, so you might as well take it slow.

Where do you write? What do you love about it?

I write while sitting on the sofa or on a “fainting couch” in my family room. What I love about it is that I have my favorite things around me, and that on sunny days (few and far between here in Chicago) the room is filled with light. I also have a fireplace in that room which is much more likely to be needed than shade!

If you had a motto, what would it be?

Bloom where you’re planted. I moved five times in nine years before I settled where I live now, in suburban Chicago, in 1999. I was a mom with kids and a dog and was determined to create a home everywhere we went. Now that my kids are grown and gone, I’m getting ready for another move, where I’ll be packing up that motto and taking it with me again.

Who inspires you?

My kids inspire me. They’ve grown into fine adults who I not only love, but like very much. When they were very young, their dad and I divorced, and that’s always devastating to children. Then, their father passed away. So as kids they dealt with the two things named as the most stressful things that could ever happen—to an adult. Their determination to thrive, not only survive a lot of hardship, reminds me that anything is possible.

What charity or community service are you passionate about? Why?

I’m dedicated to causes relating to teenage mental health, suicide prevention, and LGBTQ causes in general, because I’ve watched a lot of teenagers suffer, and because my own kids have been touched by these issues, as have their friends.

What are you reading now, and/or what book do you recommend?

Right now I’m busy reading books for blurbs and those books won’t be out for at least a year, but you’ll be in for some real treats! I’m also reading books for research, since for the first time I’ll be adding a small historical element to story. I’m not sure yet though whether that reading is considered work, or reading, which I don’t usually consider work!


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Amy Sue Nathan is the author of the novels, The Good Neighbor and The Glass Wives, all published by St. Martin’s Griffin. She is the founder of The Women’s Fiction Writer’s Blog, named one of Writer’s Digest’s Best Websites for Writers. Amy is also a freelance fiction editor, mom to a grown son and daughter, and a proud member of Tall Poppy Writers.

http://amysuenathan.com    Twitter: @amysuenathan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmySueNathan/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amysuenathan/

Award-winning Blog: http://womensfictionwriters.com  

Editing:http://editoramysuenathan.wordpress.com 

Writer’s Life: Jennifer Brown

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What have you learned from parenting, or from your own parents, that you bring to your work as a writer?

I come from a family of readers. My paternal grandfather introduced me to some of my favorite writers, such as Sherwood Anderson, Dorothy Parker, and John O’Hara. My maternal grandmother and I exchanged book recommendations on a regular basis. My parents always made sure I had access to books, and they never censored what I read. My family taught me that the written word is powerful, and the love of literature they bequeathed to me made me want to be a writer. Seeing my own children embrace books with the same enthusiasm brings me incredible joy. I secretly love it when they read way past their bedtimes and I have to threaten lights out or else I’ll take away their books. (Don’t tell them: I would never take away their books!)

Where do you write? What do you love about it?
Usually I write on my laptop sitting on the living room couch. I do have an office in the house, but sitting on the couch allows me to relax and let myself disappear into the writing. Plus I live outside of Boston, where we can have bitter cold winters, so I like to be near the fireplace. If I become too antsy at home (read: I make too many trips to raid the kids’ candy jars), I’ll go to the reading room at my local library or a café.

If you had a motto, what would it be?
I’d like to say my motto is something classy, like “This too shall pass,” which is what my grandfather used to say. I used that saying in MODERN GIRLS. But the truth is, about seven years ago, we took an overseas trip to visit family. My kids were then three and five years old. We knew many aspects of the trip would be tough (my daughter didn’t sleep; my son ate almost nothing; the flight was fourteen hours), so we created a family motto: “Suck it up.” The motto sticks to this day, and it’s used freely by all members of the family. When things in the publishing process were making me anxious (nothing bad ever happened; it was just the unknown element of it all), my daughter would bat her big green eyes at me and lovingly say, “You know what you have to do, Mom! Suck it up!” Honestly, it always makes me feel a little better, that little reminder that I’m tough and I can handle whatever’s thrown at me.

Who inspires you?
Originally my grandfather. He was a frustrated writer, but he never let that stop him. He used to write little quips and submit them to Reader’s Digest, and though none were published, he kept writing. Now my children inspire me. They’ve seen how long I’ve worked at writing and that perseverance and dedication has paid off. On my pub day, my daughter gave me a huge hug and told me how proud she was of me. Just the thought of my kids gives me a push on those days when the writing doesn’t come easily.

What charity or community service are you passionate about? Why?
As a writer, I’m passionate about seeing young writers at work. Four years ago, I applied for and received a grant to start a literary journal at my kids’ elementary school. The journal is run by 5th grade students, but it welcomes submissions from the entire school. The first year of the journal, I had twelve 5th graders interested in working on it. This year, our fourth, there are fifty-five 5th graders running the journal! It’s a little tough to manage so many students, but it is important to me that it remain open to anyone who is interested. The 5th graders write morning announcements, visit the classrooms, and make posters to request work. They evaluate the submissions, then type up the accepted pieces. They proofread the journal. We have an editor-in-chief and an editorial committee as well as a designer.

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Watching the students hard at work is so fulfilling, and it makes me proud to see how the kids work together. For instance, the 5th graders work with kindergartners on submissions, taking dictation for the stories the younger students want to tell.

Supervising these dedicated students is a thrill. Our weekly meetings can be chaotic, but also fun. And the look on their faces when they first see the finished journal is gratifying. The elementary school literary journal is by far the most enjoyable community service I’ve ever done.

What are you reading now, and/or what book do you recommend?
I’m currently in the middle of two books: THE NEST by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, which is, strange to say, such a fun book of family dysfunction, and also THE JAZZ PALACE by Mary Morris, which has the most sumptuous descriptions of music that I’ve ever read.


Jennifer S. Brown has a BFA in film and television from New York University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington, Seattle. This would make her uniquely suited to writing film reviews, if she hadn’t stopped going to the movies when her kids were born. She has published fiction and creative nonfiction in The Best Women’s Travel Writing, The Southeast Review, and Bellevue Literary Review, among other places. MODERN GIRLS (NAL/Penguin) is her debut novel.

Modern Girls
Website: www.jennifersbrown.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/j_s_brown
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jsbrown
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorjennifersbrown
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brownjennys

Writer’s Life: Aline Ohanesian

I had the pleasure of meeting author Aline Ohanesian, author of ORHAN’S INHERITANCE, at a luncheon at the Huntington Beach Library earlier this year. Aline explained that the novel began as a voice in her head, a character telling her story, which Aline undertook to write instead of her Ph.D dissertation. Lucky for us. Meet Aline:

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What have you learned from parenting, or from your own parents, that you bring to your work as a writer?

There were very few books in my house growing up. My parents were immigrants trying to realize the American dream, which meant their focus was on making a living. There was very little room for art or literature in their lives. This worked in my favor because when I discovered fiction at a very early age it was something entirely my own. Books were magical portals I could disappear into, that weren’t mitigated or controlled by adults.

Where do you write? What do you love about it?

We have a family office that I share with my husband and two kids. From 8 am to 3 pm, when everyone is at school or work, that space is entirely mine. My desk is twice as large as everyone else’s and the wall behind it is made of corkboard. I like to surround myself with books and images from the book I’m currently writing. I love that I can see the San Juan Hills through the French doors.

If you had a motto, what would it be?

I don’t have a motto but I do have a strong work ethic. I try to write everyday if I can. I write past the self-doubt, past the need to get up and make a casserole. Some days are better than others but I like to look back at the end of the day and know I dedicated time and effort to my writing.

Who inspires you?

I’m often inspired by poetry and the visual arts. Poetry has an unclogging effect. I turn to it when I can’t or don’t want to write. Sometimes (not always and not exclusively) the poetry I read is associative. What I mean by that is if I’m writing about a certain time and place, I’ll read poetry from that period/ place.

What charity or community service are you passionate about?

Right now I am working with a domestic abuse center for women and children in Armenia. I run a writing workshop that allows domestic abuse victims to write their stories in a way that’s healing and empowering.

What are you reading now, and/or what book do you recommend?

I’m currently reading Ursula Le Guin’s Lavinia. I’m also re-reading Homer. I wasn’t very interested in the classics as a young reader. I wanted the freedom to choose my own books and something about the classroom setting really stripped these books of their power and magic, so I’m revisiting them in my own time and in my own way.


OrhansInheritanceAline was born in Kuwait and immigrated to Southern California at the age of three. After getting her MA in History, she abandoned her PhD studies when she realized her heart belonged to the novel. She is an alumni of the Bread Loaf and Squaw Valley writer’s conferences. She lives and writes in San Juan Capistrano, CA, with her husband and two young sons.

Visit her at www.AlineOhanesian.com  AlineAuthor@gmail.com Twitter @AlineOhanesian www.facebook.com/aline.ohanesian

 

 

On Balance…

I came across author Susie Orman Schnall as I browsed the Penn Alumni magazine section looking for my update about publishing a novel. I was sandwiched between two other announcements of novels being published —  before mine was classmate Cheryl Della Pietra announcing publication of her novel, Gonzo Girl. After mine was Susie announcing publication of her second novel, The Balance Project.

The novel emerged from an interview series of the same name. The Balance Project is “a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews with inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance.” Susie has just published interview No. 148 (mine). What prompted her quest to understand the notion of balance in women’s lives?

“I’ve always been curious about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified ‘doing it all’ craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does ‘it all.’ Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us all feel a little better.” – Susie Orman Schnall

 

I recommend you skim the list of interviews and read a few — who interests you? A writer? A chef? A fashion designer? A journalist? They’re in there.

Allow me to suggest a few, women whose stories are windows into many different ways we make life happen:

No. 56: Nicola Kraus, Author and Creative Coach (author of many novels, including The Nanny Diaries)

No. 100: Reese Witherspoon, Actor/Producer (as if you need me to tell you)

No. 107: Bobbi Rebell Kaufman, Reuters Multimedia Anchor and Reporter (In the spirit of the Penn Alumni magazine that connected me to Susie in the first place, Bobbi is a fellow Penn grad)

And, okay, here’s mine (as if you haven’t heard freakin’ enough about me in the past year. I know.)

I have a feeling you’ll want to spend some time with these interviews, browsing, recognizing parts of yourself, wondering about paths not taken and paths you might yet take, remembering that this business of living can be thrilling, overwhelming, satisfying, crazy-making, enervating and energizing — and that we’re all doing the best we can. The interviews are fun peeks into alternate lives, and above all else, reminders that none of us is in this alone.

 

Writer’s Life: Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

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Reading Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney‘s debut novel, The Nest, was in some ways like watching a master juggler loft a dozen china plates in the air, smiling and relaxed as she guides them each on their intersecting journeys. With her story of an extended family on the brink of collapse — siblings, aunts, uncles, parents, children, grandparents, and lovers — The Nest is a literary journey, a familial cautionary tale, and a romp through New York City. Meet Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

What have you learned from parenting, or from your own parents, that you bring to your work as a writer?

Whether you are creating children or characters in a book, it really helps to have a sense of humor about their behavior and to remind yourself of their vulnerabilities.

Whenever I felt a character was feeling too flat on the page, I realized it was because I was doing more skewering than empathizing. In revision, I made myself think about what each character was afraid of and where they were vulnerable and tried to write to and from that place. I think a reader senses your empathy and they sense your contempt — and creating empathy for difficult characters results in a more interesting and satisfying reading experience. I love when I come across a character who is behaving badly but still can break my heart.

Where do you write? What do you love about it?

I write in my office. I never had an office of my own until we moved to Los Angeles eight years ago, so mostly I love that it has two doors that close. Because we live in an old house and any given door knob is likely to fall off in your hand, the doors to my office are really hard to open from the outside — it’s like a little reminder to everyone who is trying to come in while I’m working that they should try to figure out the answer to the question they need to ask on their own first! I also have a lovely olive tree outside my window, which makes me feel like I’m in Italy.

If you had a motto, what would it be?

“It’s never too late” (said the 55-year-old debut novelist).

Who inspires you?

I have so many friends in creative professions who are always working from project to project and they inspire me regularly with their work ethic and commitment. The entertainment industry is tough, but when I see the people I know refusing to sit around licking their wounds when things don’t go well, and just moving on to the next thing — the next script, the next audition, the next opportunity — it fuels my commitment to working as hard as I can.

What charity or community service are you passionate about? Why?

I love this question and I’d like to give a shout to two women in particular I work to support. The first is Lizz Winstead’s Lady Parts Justice. Lizz is a true warrior and activist on behalf of women’s reproductive rights and she does it with a fierce humor and intelligence.

The other organization I’m very involved with is Razia’s Ray of Hope. Razia is a remarkable woman, a true humanitarian. After 9/11, she decided she needed to do something positive in her home country of Afghanistan. She founded the Zabuli Education Center in Deh’Subz, Afghanistan, providing education to the young women in the surrounding areas. She started in 2008 with a small group of girls and the obstacles were enormous. The Zabuli school now has more than 400 students in grades K-12. The difference she’s making in the lives and futures of these young women is astonishing.

What are you reading now, and/or what book do you recommend?

As I count down to publication date [March 22, 2016!], I seem to have the attention of a fruit fly, but I have managed to finish a few books. I really loved The Past by Tessa Hadley. I’m finally getting around to last years big non-fiction books and I’m loving H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald and The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison One of the greatest things about publishing a book is that you get to read books before they’re actually out! I started Emma Cline’s The Girls last weekend and I can’t wait to get back to it. I also really loved Rumaan Alam’s Rich and Pretty, both of those are out in early June.


D’Aprix Sweeney lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons. She has an MFA from The Bennington Writing Seminars. Previously, she lived and worked in New York City for more than two decades, writing copy for a variety of clients, including American Express, McDonald’s and more defunct Internet start-ups than she cares to count. The Nest is her first novel. Visit her at cynthia-sweeney.com.

Cynthia Sweeney

Writer’s Life: Julia Dahl

I met Julia Dahl last May at the Jewish Book Council‘s author “pitch fest,” at which hundreds of authors have two minutes each to give book festival planners a glimpse into their synopsis, soul, and speaking capability. When Julia stepped up for her turn, I heard a thrilled murmur of anticipation among the attendees, and when she described her latest book, Run You Down (out today in paperback!), I understood why. Meet author and journalist, Julia Dahl.

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What have you learned from parenting,or from your parents, that you bring to your work as a writer?

Well, my son is barely 4 months old, so at this point I’m just trying to learn parenting itself! But from my parents I learned to love reading – my mom’s motto is “bring a book!” – and from my love of reading came the desire to write.

I also brought a lot of my parents into my mystery series, which features a protagonist whose mother is Jewish and father is Christian – just like my parents. Our family celebrated both religions and there was never a conflict. My mother and father respected each others’ faith and saw similarities, not differences. Once I grew up and left home, however, I saw people from both religions who seemed keen on emphasizing what divided the two, and I wanted to challenge that with my writing.

Where do you write? What do you love about it?

I tend to write in coffee shops and cafes and I rotate between about half a dozen places near my home in Brooklyn. I like a little noise and distraction and I like getting out of my apartment to work. It helps me feel like what I’m doing is important enough to get dressed for.

If you had a motto, what would it be?

“Talk about a dream, try to make it real.” – Bruce Springsteen

Who inspires you?

Right now, my son, Mick, inspires me. He was born a month early and wasn’t really ready to be out in the world, but he’s such an unbelievable trooper. He’s endured poking and prodding by doctors and two unprepared and overwhelmed parents, and he’s done it all with grace. I truly can’t wait to see who he becomes.

What charity or community service are you passionate about? Why?

Several years ago I went through training to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in the foster care system. I’ve mentored girls since I was in college and while some of the experiences have been tough, I’ve always felt that giving my time to young people who have been let down by the adults in their life is incredibly important. I haven’t been active in CASA for a couple years, but I hope to go back one day. In the meantime, I try to help teens where and when I can. A friend of mine – who left a strict Hasidic community and has managed to make a wonderful life for her children despite the death of her husband – asked me to help her son with his college essays and I loved doing that.

What are you reading now, and/or what book do you recommend?

The three best books I’ve read in the last few months are The Harder They Come by TC Boyle, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, and Purity by Jonathan Franzen.

Julia Dahl writes about crime and justice for CBSNews.com. Her first novel, INVISIBLE CITY, was named one of the Boston Globe’s Best Books of 2014 and was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Her second novel, RUN YOU DOWN, is now out in paperback, and the third novel in her Rebekah Roberts series will be published in 2017. Julia was born and raised in Fresno, California and now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and son. Connect on Twitter (@juliadahl), Facebook (JuliaDahlAuthor) and www.juliadahl.com.


 

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I wanted to tell you.

I’ve been wanting to tell you some things, but I haven’t had enough time or patience to give them their due, to connect them in a coherent story. So they sit in my head, unsaid. Sometimes I’m too busy living my life to write about it. Not writing makes me grumpy. It’s a physical need, to process through words, to wonder. But things move fast, and writing requires stillness.

So I wanted to tell you some things and it may not be perfect.

I wanted to tell you that we’re not too old to play. I nag my kids to go outside and they turn it around, ask me to play Capture the Flag. I have to force myself say yes. Lo and behold, despite myself, I have fun.

I wanted to tell you that my 15 1/2 year old niece joined in last time and was as into it as any of us.

I wanted to say how fast they, and we, grow up. My sister pulled into the driveway to pick up this teenage girl who had been screaming with abandon, “Get the flag!! Get the flag!!” My sister moved to the passenger seat, and my niece took her place behind the wheel. I watched her drive away.

I wanted to tell you to keep playing, as long as you can, even though our bodies can’t keep up with our spirits. A couple of weeks ago my husband’s softball team learned that bitter lesson three-fold, with a broken leg, a torn Achilles, and a fractured finger. Yet wary teammates will return to the field, weighing real risk against real fun.

My Dad plays football every Sunday with the same group of guys. Football is for him like writing is for me. It fills his well. Last week a player came out of the game feeling sick. Tight chest and nausea. My Dad rushed his friend to the hospital a few blocks away, where he had a heart attack in the waiting room, surrounded and saved by paramedics, thank God.

I wanted to tell you so much more, to unravel the string of words that is knotted in my heart and head. I wanted to tell you to play while you can, that there’s not enough time not to play. There’s not enough time for perfection.

I wanted to tell you I appreciate you.

And it’s time for the next thing…

 

Afterlife, Ashes…and a Kickline for Al Diamond

If memories are painted in watercolor, susceptible to fading or being painted over by brighter colors of fresh experience, then telling them as stories are the Sharpies that outline them in bold.

My memories of my grandfather, whose Yartzheit (anniversary of his death) is today, are warm but faded. So when I tell my sons stories about him – clinging piggy back to him in the swimming pool, or the funny way he danced, or that he was present at my wedding despite his illness — I bring him to life.

In fact, the stories I love most are from before I knew him: the 5-year-old boy who immigrated to America; the talented young baseball player who dropped out of school to support his family; the winning amateur boxer; the bold, successful entrepreneur; the handsome devil who followed a red-headed beauty home one day, then married her, putting the rest of our story in motion.

Stories keep my husband’s grandfathers alive, too. Though he was a baby when they died, the family lore gets passed down so that even our children feel like they have known these men. Stories are more important than memories. Or rather, stories pass memories to those of us who were not eye witnesses.

My grandfather was not a religious man, but at his funeral, his nephew, Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan, gave him a tribute inspired by a Hebrew name that came closest to “Al,” the American name my grandfather took as a boy. The name “A’lon,” Peretz said, means oak tree. Al Diamond was an oak tree. That sums up some of his truest qualities – strong, sheltering limbs to protect his loved ones, deep roots. Permanence.

One year and four days after my grandfather left his body behind, our first child was born, a boy. We named him Aaron for my husband’s grandfather. And, in the Jewish custom of giving babies a Hebrew name different from their given names, we named him A’lon for my grandfather. In their names and in the stories we tell, we keep our grandfathersever present, even decades after their touch is gone.

Laura Nicole Diamond

Today as I stepped out of the shower, my mind turned, in that untraceable-to-first-thought, how-did-I-get-here way that minds work, to the subject of cremation.

If I could tell you why I was thinking about this, I would. But let’s just start here.

Would I be cremated? I asked myself. There are a couple considerations. First, there’s the afterlife. I mean, what if there is a there there, and what if we really do need all our parts — what happens if I’m all dust and gone? I wouldn’t have a hand or a forehead to smack it against, no mouth to say “Doh! Mistake!” I wonder, would I be able to get a loaner? Could pick a different body type? Could I be taller?

But if, as I suspect, there’s no need for the body once we’ve expired, what reason is there not to return to the cosmos all dust…

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Friday Reads with new friends

I would spend every day going to author panels if I could. I wouldn’t care if I were the author or the audience. Give me a room of 80 people who made special time in their day to talk about what they are reading, what they are writing, all gathered in honor of the written word. Except for snapping a few photos, cellphones were nowhere to be seen. I heard not a word about apps or chargers or data. Ah, sanctuary.

I joined Aline Ohanesian (Orhan’s Inheritance) and Gwendolyn Womack (The Memory Painter), two generous, funny, tenacious story-tellers. (You have to read them.) I still pinch myself, I told the audience, every time I come up to a podium and remember that I’m one of the authors.

HuntingtonBeachLibrary

The most delightful person I met today (and there were many) was someone who may be behind the podium in the next decade: 12-year-old Ally, granddaughter of the Friends of the Library President, who was very excited because “she had never met a writer in person.” Imagine my delight when she took the seat next to me, and I got to ask her all about her home on a small island off the coast in Washington State. I told her. “I can’t wait to read your story.”

Happy Friday, everyone. What are you reading?