Monday, September 26, 2011

someone like you

I spent Saturday at the Red Pencil in the Woods Conference nerding out with a a bunch of people who wanted to talk about the future of e-books as I much I do. I was there with Lam, one of my fabulous new colleagues from Girl Friday to lead a discussion group about our group business model. Chatting with all those lonely freelancers made me appreciate anew my good luck at finding the Girls Friday.

A couple of years ago, I worked with the fabulous Pulitzer Prize Winning music critic and writer Tim Page on his memoir Parallel Play about growing up with Asperger's Syndrom. He spoke in an interview about how people sometimes assumed that you could put two Aspies (his term) together and they would be on the same wave length but that this could easily misfire because if you had one person who was obsessed with say, silent films and another who was obsessed with automobile engines they would be speaking completely different languages.

I think nerds are this way too. We need people we can go off on tangents with without worrying we're boring them and while a book nerd can surely befriend a computer nerd, sometimes you just need to be with your own kind. I think that book people can find this especially difficult given what solitary tasks writing and editing are.

How do you find your people?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

living by the list

One of my projects this week was to do a digital clip file for myself of all my Gloss columns. By the by, I wrote for them today about my before thirty fitness goals and last week in case you missed it about reuniting with an old friend

Looking back over the past six months of columns put me in a reflective mood about my progress with the list so far and how it's become something much more than what it began as, a simple laundry list of items I wanted to check off while my age still stated with a '2'. As I come up on the halfway point, I realize that it's changed the way I looked at my life in that I stopped asking why and started asking why not. Whether it's going abroad by myself or dancing in the street or finding some way, any way to get my novels out into the world, I've put myself in a position where I have to justify to myself why I wouldn't go after something rather than why I would. 

I’ll be thirty in the blink of an eye, and I hope I’ll have done everything I set out to do. But moreover I hope I can hold onto this feeling that I can do anything. 

Amazing what taking a few chances can do. 

the fall reset

                   you can be overwhelmed and you can underwhelmed but can you ever just be...whelmed? 

I have a pattern that I realized I am once again cycling through. Periodically, I'll decide for whatever reason: birthday, fall, new year, breakup, Tuesday morning, that it's time to hit the reset button. I spend some time reevaluating what I really want out of life and then recommit myself to work, writing, fitness, tennis, dancing, having a super awesome social life or what have you. Usually it's some combination of all of the above and before I know it my calendar is packed with all kinds of things and my long list of goals looks a little less inspiring and a little more just plain terrifying. I also forget to allot time for things I need like sleep, bad reality television and staring off into space.

Too often, I'm either feeling listless or fired up to do everything at once. Does this happen to you? How do find balance? When is enough enough?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

the first time ever I saw your face

I've been going to a lot of weddings lately. People who are getting married talk a lot about the first moment they saw their partner and oftentimes they recall a feeling that they just...knew. There's something comforting about this, the idea that you could be going about your business and out of the blue you see someone and it's game over. But what I find more intriguing than what you think you knew at the time of first contact is everything you didn't know. The idea that you lay eyes on someone without knowing that that stranger is about to crash into your life and turn it upside down, that there will be no going back from this moment. 

This is true with books as well. You pick something up because a friend recommended it or because you read a good review or maybe just because you like the cover. Your expectations vary depending on the situation but the ones you really fall in love with, the ones you end up talking about for years, they always catch you by surprise. 

I remember where I was when I started and finished Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go the way that people remember where they were when they first met the person they fell in love with or when they first head about a life altering event. 

When I think about what being successful as a novelist means to me, I think it's that above all things. That feeling. That impact. That lasting love. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

the summer of 29

I have this certain laugh that only comes out when I find something something so unbearably funny that I lose control. First I start laughing so hard that my laugh becomes silent and then BAM, the snort. It's embarrassing but if you hear the snort-laugh you can rest assured that you've probably just made my day. I might muster up a little chuckle when I'm trying to be polite but never the snort-laugh.

Laughing really hard at something is one of the most healing things I can think of and fortunately I have many friends who have come into my life, and some who have been in my life a long time (you know who you are, queen of cartwheels) that brought me much needed bursts of joy and gave me a great summer after all, which I wrote about today on the Gloss.

What makes you laugh your most embarrassing laugh?