I am sitting down to write for the first time in weeks. Life has been hectic, albeit in celebration, these days. Lots of parties, outings, (non-writing) work, meetings, travel. I wonder at times if the world is cold-blooded; now that the temperatures have risen, the pace of activity has quickened.
And in the face of a frenetic social schedule and steamy summer, I find myself fantasizing about winter–a time of year when the ubiquitous jackhammers silence, the snow casts a monochromatic scheme over things, and getting dressed is mostly about getting that down parka over my jeans and tshirt. (Yes, I spend almost the entirety of winter in a tshirt and jeans under a parka). I love when nighttime outweighs daylight and a party is not outdoors but cast in lamplight and candles. You’d find me happy in wintertime Narnia.
Winter is the time of year when I get most of my writing done. I am not sure why this is, but after numerous writing seasons, this is confirmed as fact. Thankfully, I normally live in San Francisco, where summer is one long glorious winter.
But it’s summer in NYC, where it can get so sweltering that my legs become slick with sweat (sexy, I know). I’ve stocked up on summer dresses. I’ve cut my hair. I’m trying to figure out summer makeup. And I’m writing and seeing how it goes.
Because I haven’t blogged in awhile–thought I’d do a “quick blog post” as an update.
- Nova Ren Suma’s debut YA novel, Imaginary Girls. Buy it.
- Beginning to read manuscripts from VONA. Did I mention VONA before? I got a lot of rejections in the past few weeks (everytime I opened my mailbox, it seemed there was a lightweight envelope addressed in my own handwriting)…but I will be in Junot Díaz’s fiction workshop this summer. I haven’t had workshop with him since 2005, and I’m excited about working with Junot again.
- Can you believe I’ve never read Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse? So I’m picking it up.
- My novel. I am trying very hard to work on nothing else.
- But I did write up my parents’ visit to NYC, and in particular, their jaunt to Queens, over at AAWW’s Open City blog.
- A lightning storm from inside a jet. I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye, and I looked out the plane window. I’d missed whatever it was. Then another flash in my peripheral vision–was my retina detaching? I kept my eyes on the infinite black horizon–and there, there I saw it: an illumination of the clouds beneath. Lightning storm down below. It was like the animation of synapses firing inside a brain, the clouds brain matter and lightning, genius.
- Too many couples breaking up on the streets of Manhattan to count.
- An “I love my dildo!” sticker on a residential vehicle in San Francisco’s Mission.
- Sailors falling-down-drunk during Fleet Week.
- Bridesmaids. The female response to The Hangover–booyah!
- Lots of nekkid people looking out their windows in the hotel across the street.
Memorable eats/Culinary outings:
- Fine dining Israeli food at Zahav in Philly. Israeli food is much more than pita and hummus, people!
- Too many great meals in Manhattan (some upscale, many more cheap eats)–I’ll have to do a different post on my favorite eats here.
- Everytime I return to the Bay Area–the first thing I want when I get off the plane is a Gordo burrito. If I land too late to get a Gordo burrito, I just get it the next day. NYC has Dos Toros (a direct derivation of Gordo) and it is good–but isn’t the same.
- Oh holy crap, I’m turning into a New Yorker; I don’t think I’ve cooked anything substantial in weeks, not even when I was in San Francisco.
- I have an excerpt from my novel out in Men Undressed: Women Writers on the Male Sexual Experience. I’ve been trying to keep my lips sealed on this until closer to publication date (in October), but I can’t keep it closed anymore! The book is available for pre-order from Amazon–and yes, it features a sex scene from my novel.
- My short story “Ume” will be out in Kweli Journal’s June issue. The piece holds a special place in my heart, because it was the first piece I began and finished after my stroke, from which I took about 2 years to recover. “Ume” was inspired by a friend who told me a story in hopes that it would awaken a part of my damaged brain, and the story brought me hope that I could write again.
- Tamiko interviewed me about writing and MFAs as part of her “(private)” MFA series at kikugirl. I had fun reflecting on my MFA experience, and I hope some of it will resonate with you.
- I have a stigmata on my left foot. When I slammed my foot by accident into a spike, I at first thought, “OW, what did I hit?” and then thought, “This is a very particular kind of bruise–this hurts more than a bruise.” I looked down. I saw the hole.in.my.foot. And then I started crying hysterically as I ran for a bandaid.
- The Rapture