Showing posts from March, 2011

Publishing and Me, and the Great Freakout of 2010

When I started writing, older writers would often say things like, "The publishing world has changed! It's not like it was when I was starting." I'd wonder what publishing was like for them; they painted utopian pictures of editors who spent lots of time nurturing writers who showed promise but didn't have professional polish. They described bookstores giving "fringe" authors a chance, and not giving up on authors whose first books didn't sell well. They described publishing as a kind, gentle world where promotion was left up to the publishers and writers had nothing to do but work on their craft. I don't know how much of that was factual and how much was romanticized. My guess is about 50/50. It's true that when I began writing professionally in 1997, the publishing world had become more competitive, more prone to the chain bookstores' "bestseller" mentality (leaving less space on shelves for books with smaller audiences, regar

Normalizing The Insanity

First, thanks to, where you can get anything from a dollhouse to an Eames lounge chair , for inviting me to do another review-- which is coming up soon. But I have something else I wanted to talk about first. Or rather, that I don't want to talk about first. Namely, I don't want to talk about Charlie Sheen. And so I'm blogging about it. I realize the irony of this... I stopped caring about Charlie Sheen at precisely the moment he held a knife to his wife's throat and threatened to kill her. A guy who does that should not have a TV show. A guy who does that should not have the world record for the quickest rise to 1 million Twitter followers. But people love crazy. We love to watch people go off the rails. I'm not sure exactly why, and I'm sure not above it all-- despite that I have no sympathy or positive feelings for Sheen, I've watched the interviews, too. (At least, parts of them, until I got frustrated enough to stop.) I want more attenti

To My Daughter on her Birthday Eve

My sweet Sarina, tomorrow you will turn 4. I know you've been afraid of turning 4 because-- as you put it-- "my whole life will change." But I want you to know that that's not always a bad thing. When you were born, my whole life changed, and I could spend forever telling you how grateful I am for that. I had heard about this magical moment from some women, but things very rarely happened for me in those fairytale ways... people said things like, "You'll never know how much love you can feel until you look at your baby for the first time," or "It's the greatest joy you'll ever have!" and I only half-believed them. I mean, I really did want a baby more than anything, but I still thought they might be exaggerating this supposedly magical, indescribable, otherworldly love. They weren't. When I first laid eyes on you, I cried. I said, "She's perfect!" and I meant it. And I still do. You, my mess-making, candy-sneaking, bed