For Diane.


I wrote something tonight, a little tribute to you. It goes:

What is space, or time, but chalked lines taught to us in our childhoods? Because over all the hours and footsteps that have separated us, you are ever near to me, ever accessible, ever Diane-like, ever the same. And that particular sameness is all one needs to be reminded that life is texture and angles and creativeness tempered by practicality. You remind me of doll-boxes: delightful in their whole form, ever more delightful when opened. I thank the lovely doll-boxes and the Dianes of the world for all the little truths and reminders that comfort a nervous soul: jobs are JOBS, kids are worth the work, books transplant us…and mostly, that we are never as far away from one another as we’d at first believe.

Thank you.

It has been so, so long.

It has been a very long time since I’ve written. But that’s not really true. I write everyday, but the things I write lately are not fit for public consumption. They are all about the private triumphs and disappointments one experiences in their inner life.

I have thought seriously of deleting this entire blog. It feels…not relevant, a chore, frivolous. It feels like something “other” or apart from real life.

So I deleted some things.

A few readers have emailed me, wondering what’s happened to several recent posts. It’s nice to know people are paying attention…as one wonders at times if the words are simply going out into the ether.

Some of my recent posts explored matters of the heart: the hope, exhilaration, disappointment, frustration, confusion, vulnerability, hurt, butterflies, giddiness, inspiration, et cetera, et cetera, etc. And some of you found it interesting, and some of you found it worrisome: where’s the commentary on our girl’s daily life? Did our friend go out to LaLa Land? (Yes.) Did she ever get to Limantour? (No.)

So I’ve deleted some things for the time being. Those posts may show up again, when I release my Greatest Hits collection, but for now…they collect dust.

Quantify it.

So I am, what now? On a scale of 1 to 10, what?

I’m a seven in prettiness,

a six in brains,

a two in articulation,

an eight in presence,

four in emotional brattiness,

five in the ability to be realistic,

three as compared to your peers,

nine when compared to my peers,

a one in confidence.

Come on. Come on, multiply me. Make me more than the sum of my parts.

Tools for damn good writing.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Angst
  • Put someone up on a pedestal. Now watch him fall off. Re-play that image in your mind as you write.
  • A bottle of cheap wine
  • Breaking (not broken) heart
  • A romantic predisposition
  • A dash of real eccentricity
  • A feeling that you don’t quite belong
  • A hesitancy to speak. A propensity to collect scaps of paper and scribble on them
  • A love/hate relationship with food. Strong opinions about flavors and textures
  • Strong tendecies toward apathy regarding politics
  • Guns N’ Roses, or if not that…Coldplay can work, but if that isn’t for you, try Getz/Gilberto
  • Feelings of inadequacy, or feelings of grandeur. Pick one
  • Did I mention angst? It’s the writer’s best friend.


Do you keep a journal, or does it keep you? I often wonder about this, the systematic recording of one’s thoughts, feelings, wishes, fears, desires, episodes, et cetera. I mean, why? Why do it?

Because it’s cathartic, it reminds us of where we’ve been, it shows us how strong we are when we see how far we’ve come.

In college, I was enchanted with author and libertine Peter McWilliams. He wrote a couple of books that were absolutely critical to me. One of them was Come Love With Me and Be My Life. In it, he records the beginning, middle, and end of a romantic love experience. It’s almost voyeuristic to read, because it’s journalistic in nature, and no doubt anyone who’s been through a heartbreak (or two) could relate. One of my favorite entries:

I write only
until I cry,
which is why
so few poems
this month
have been
It’s just


i adore it.

I’ve posted him before, I adore his writing so much: e.e. cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers.  Don't cry
-the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says
we are for each other: then
laugh leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis


I became motivated to write today…my novel stretched out it’s rough fingers and tapped me on my bare arm, saying, “Lady, your casual behavior toward me is an insult.”

My novel is right. I owe it something for giving me so much–purpose, understanding of self, exploration, a place to vent and weep and feel and love and create and drop my poise, reach for something, give something, move in trance, awaken, fulfill the ego, impress you, impress me, become bigger than the myriad parts that make me up, exist on screen, live on paper, hope for more, become fabulous, exude heat and charisma, receive insight, twist and turn and massage into accurate expression, perceive and be perceived, imagine my face on a slick jacket (what would my eyes say in that picture?), my name in bold along the seductive spine of the book itself.

Yes, little novel…I owe you.

Guidelines for success.

in future tense I see a home
in past tense I wonder where it went
third person, she says what went wrong
first person, I forgot the words to


an arc of beginning, middle, end
three acts muddled by human error
no awards for a life, no contract for

plot, POV, character development, story grids
I tore up all those papers or

she’d torn up all those papers

loosed them into the waters of some
undeveloped, nondescript, told-not-shown



So there’s the infamous 50 and 55 words competitions, which I personally loathe because…well, because I don’t succeed at them well. The aim is to write an entire story in 50 or 55 words, usually a twist in the story helps. Here is my recent attempt. Try it–you’ll despise love it, too!

Rejections poured down on the would-be author. “Thanks, but no thanks” and “you can write! But, sorry–not for us.”

Time to go into the publishing business, he thought. He approached the bank with his idea. “Thanks, but no thanks,” they said. “You can dream! But sorry–not on us.”