Archive | February, 2013

Poems and Philosophy

28 Feb

First off, there are poems –  actually a poem – over at The Blue Hour about boys and basketballs and my June who thinks she’s one tough kitty.

So many thanks to them. Small presses rock.

That covers the poetry part – now to the philosophy part.

I was riding the subway the other day, thinking about a book I want to/sort of am writing. It’s about when I was in high school and I fell off a waterfall cracking my noggin open. But really it’s about the people who I spent my time with then, people who meant the world to me – that even today, still do. And I was stuck with a particular thought:

I’m so incredibly thankful I grew up when I did because now I know how to be alone and still.

Hear me out:

During twilight, in the winter or summer, I used to go on walks with my best friend Dan who lived around the corner. We would walk and talk or sometimes we would walk and not talk. We would go down to the basketball courts in my old neighborhood and lay there, staring up at the stars. We would just be together. But also, alone.

Do you know what I mean? The way you can be with someone but also be by yourself?

So that got me thinking about that time, about being in high school during a time of mix tapes and duct tape that held your bumper on and stealing beers from the garage.

And what it made me think about the most was the quiet. Because we had no cell phones. We had no internet. There was no technology that kept us all together. Now clearly we all know the danger of cyber bullying and the heartbreaking stories like that of Amanda Todd – something that extreme is not even what I’m getting into here. It’s something smaller. Something that might be eating us up slowly.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel really lucky to have been in that horribly amazing time before all this “connection.” Because it let me be ALONE.

And there’s a lot to be said about being alone.

About knowing what the crunch of gravel sounds like under your feet in the summer evening.

About laying in your room, alone, making a mix tape for the boy you secretly like.

About just being still.

About knowing that after school – after that horrible fight I had with my friend, after all the horrible things I said and she said – that it’s over. It’s not going to continue in this other world where other people can watch. It’s just me now, and my feelings, alone in my room where I can sort them out and remember that I love her. And she loves me. And now that we can calm down I can see that again.

I just feel really lucky. And not to sound too old or anything but I worry about the kids who are texting and skypeing and tweeting their way through high school. I worry they don’t know how to be alone. That they might not even understand the CONCEPT of alone, truly alone, truly unconnected.

That singular moment when you can feel the blood cells race through your veins.

The realization that you are here, in your room, in this house, on this street, in this town, in this country, on this planet, floating out there in all that dark empty space.

That the chance that you would EVEN exist is minuscule and yet, here you are – alive and still and alone.

Alone is a good thing. And it’s not the same as loneliness. Because I wasn’t lonely. I had friends I would jump off waterfalls for. And I wasn’t afraid of the quiet. Of being with me and only me.

It is its own form of peace. One that we should be careful not to lose.

….And the smoke came out our mouths On all those hooded sweatshirt walks We were a stroke of luck We were a goldmine and they gutted us…

 – Conor Obrest

Interview and Giveaway at A Thousand Wrongs

25 Feb

Lizzie_Final

I’m over at A Thousand Wrongs today for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (like Francisco that’s fun to say!) talking about Lizzy and writing and my favorite villain.

Who is it, you ask? I’ll give you a hint:

Likes: Winter. Being in charge

Dislikes: Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve

Also you can win a free copy of Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb through the giveaway and we all love free things.

As always, my Starburst of Thanks to Laurisa who rocks.

Starburst

Paris, Second Time Around at The Blue Hour

22 Feb

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I’m been to Paris twice in my life. The first time I was 16. The second 32. Paris changes in sixteen years. Still beautiful, but different.

Many thanks to the lovely ladies at The Blue Hour review for accepting this poem.

Beatles Friday

22 Feb

Why?

Cause it’s Friday.

And they’re the Beatles.

Enjoy.

And the PAPERBACK book is here! To buy! Squee!

19 Feb

Lizzie_Final

Today’s the day, folks.

For all of you who are ereader-less who wanted to read Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb you can now buy the physical book at Amazon.

I got my copy the other day and I have to admit, it’s pretty darn cool to hold your own novel.

And I wanted to thank everyone who has read it and shared it and tweeted about it – ya’ll the bestest.

Here’s to moving forward! Make art! Play your ukulele!

Cheers.

Vacation’s all I ever wanted

18 Feb

Hi! I’m been on vacation for eleven days (count em!) and it’s been fantastic. I did nothing. No kidding. No – Thing. Actually that’s not true – I went to the symphony and heard Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique and Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 and I went to the MoMA and saw Inventing Abstraction (which I didn’t really like. Sorry to all the abstract fans out there) and The Canyon by Rauschenberg (which was incredible) but other than that I did nothing.

I read on the couch for HOURS at a time.

I slept in.

I watched Star Wars (IV, V and VI because we pretend those first three never happened in this household).

I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and picnicked in the park by City Hall.

And it was FANTASTIC.

But that’s all ending tomorrow and it’s back to early writing mornings. I might go into shock when the alarm goes off at 5:00 am.

So while I’ve had a lover-ly time off I need to do a bit of updating:

Got some reviews of Lizzy Speare which you can find here and here and here and also here. Needless to say I’m pretty psyched about them.

Was invited over to Lady D for an interview and then over at Alli’s World where I talk about writing advice – not from me obviously but from people much smarter than me.

and finally, I got invited to do a reading at a camp upstate this summer filled with 11 year olds. AAAHHH! I can’t wait and if they don’t eat me alive I’ll have wonderful stories to tell. I’m reading from Lizzy and doing an art project. So strap on your thinking helmets and help me come up with some Shakespearean related art projects that I can do.

And Finally Finally Finally – I proofed the print copy of Lizzy and it’s good to go. That means that all you kids who don’t have an ereader but wanted to read it can do so soon. It should be up on Amazon in a couple of days. I’ll post again when it’s there for real. Again shout out to Sara Gable for the incredible book design. Wait till you see the back, kids. It’s all hand-lettered and gorgeous. I’m so lucky to have talented people to work with.

For now, that is all.

How I Almost Sort of Saw Shakespeare’s Grave at Unconventional Librarian

8 Feb

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So the very very cool Pam at Unconventional Librarian was nice enough to let me blather on over there about the time I went to Stratford Upon Avon and almost saw the Bard’s grave.

It’s a “funny” story – if by funny you mean heartbreaking and disappointing and wanting to punch out some old English chaps.

It was suggested by my better half that it would be worth the English criminal record to get closer to the final resting place of Shakespeare. As I was once kicked out of the country of Monaco (long story) why not add trespassing in Stratford to my list of European offenses?

I can’t help but wonder if I should have.

Anyway, many many many many thanks to Pam. And as you know when people do nice things we say thank you. With CANDY!

I present to Pam, my Starburst of Thanks.

Starburst

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