Showing posts from July, 2014

More on Being Small

A friend who read my blog post yesterday sent me this lovely video of Peter Mulvey performing "Vlad the Astrophysicist". Melancholy, sweet, centering, and exactly what I needed. Thank you, Rosa.

Locating the Moon

There are stretches of time in my writing life when I wake up eager to work and have one productive day after another. Then there are stretches like this week, when I wake up feeling like it's intolerable to be on page 12 of a difficult 400-page revision, and am I really supposed to be in charge of making all these decisions? Is it really up to me and only me to decide what's best at every moment? To figure out the solution to a lot of complicated problems? By myself, in this room today for hours? It becomes difficult to keep my focus small. Instead of the group of pages that are my small task for today, with a small list of objectives, I start thinking about all the changes the book needs as a whole, and I get overwhelmed. I start thinking about how many days this big revision is likely to take, while my editor and other people are waiting, and I get overwhelmed. My friends might find me to be a little bit glum, because during these times, I tend to see the world through re

Rainy Randutiae for a Sunday

As I'd hoped, a number of friends emailed me with suggestions of superhero role models for girls. So many, in fact, that I'm going to have to set aside some time to organize it all before I post it – but it will be forthcoming. Unfortunately, most of the suggestions were for teen readers and older, which leaves the youngest girls waiting, but it was encouraging. Many, many thanks to those of you who reached out :o) I'm listening to Peter Gabriel's more recent album Up – one of his darker albums. I love these lyrics, from "Darkness," which is a song that reminds me of early Peter Gabriel (the self-titled albums), mainly in the way he balances silence and sweetness with crashing noise – this sentence has gotten ridiculous, but here are the lyrics I love: "I have my fears / but they do not have me." I've gotten a few of my friends to start using Siri to dictate on their iPhones. (If you have an iPhone and there is a little microphone symbo

Three Weeks of Revisions, Shown in Nail Polish

When I began this revision, I was feeling a little vulnerable. I wanted my nails to make me think of claws, or maybe little shields. My palette. During the next week, things briefly got impossible and I needed my nails to help me feel as hard as asphalt. My palette. This morning, I have gotten to a place of hope. :o) My palette.

Just a Little Dance

Tui and I have been watching So You Think You Can Dance religiously for a bunch of years now. We have opinions and strong feelings. We are experts. At the moment, the show is in the midst of its eleventh season. For all these seasons, we've watched one group number a week, which is a lot of group numbers, and I just want to state, for the record, that my favorite group number remains the original, Top 10 performance from Season 2, choreographed by Wade Robson and danced to Roisin Murphy's "Ramalama (Bang Bang)." For old times' sake, here it is. Sorry about the screaming. (If you can't see the video, go to my Blog Actual .)

Where are the superheroes for young girls?

The other day, my sister, codename: Cordelia, texted me to ask if I knew of any comic-style superhero storybooks for five-year-olds, starring girls. Here's an excerpt of her text: "They [Cordelia's twin daughters] love Batman, Spiderman, Thor, Superman, wonder woman. In addition to wonder woman, do you know of any age-appropriate girl/woman superhero series? Note how Siri capitalized all of them except wonder woman." In fact, I have noticed, on many occasions, that Siri recognizes, and properly spaces and capitalizes, all superheroes except Wonder Woman. Same with Dragon, which I'm using to dictate this post. No thanks for that extra kick in the ovaries, Apple and Dragon. (Not unrelatedly, have you heard about Apple's sexist iPad engraving policy ?) No thanks to the comics industry, either, for presenting Cordelia with this very real dilemma. What to give young girls who are interested in superheroes? Nina Jaffe/Ben Caldwell's Wonder Woman series for

Transitioning to a Revision

This is what focus looks like. Here in the office, we are transitioning from writing the new book to revising, for the second time, one of the old books. ( I enumerate my current projects here ; the book I'm about to start revising is the one I refer to as the "second book" in that post.) Unbeknownst to me, a friend snapped a picture while I was explaining to him my method of, um, organization. Normally, anyone besides me taking pictures in my office is asking for it, but I was rather pleased with this result, because I feel like it expresses well what the beginning of a revision is like: Everything is starting to crystallize, but it looks (and feels) an awful lot like everything is coming apart. Hanging on the wall behind me is the book plan to the book I'm about to revise. (The old book plan. I will take all those cards down and put up new ones once I know the new revision plan.) The crumpled orange pile to my left is the book plan of the new book I was writi

The World Cup of Arm-Folding

If you've been watching the World Cup, then chances are, you've seen a lot of players turn to the left and cross their arms during the line-up presentations. Even if you haven't, I bet you'll enjoy this piece at Slate , Who Won the World Cup of Arm-Folding? Hilarious. Read it on a device that allows you to see the graphics, i.e., maybe not your phone. Thanks, Stephanie.