Friday, April 18, 2008

Making a Literary Life: Potpourri

The cacophonous sound of birdsong, the dizzying brilliance of sunshine, the scent of greens bursting forth. A riot of sensory overload.

Speaking of creative chaos, here's a peek at our thoughts from this week as they bounced and collided inside of our heads. Can you keep up? Lisa Marnell
Though my pages weren't critiqued this week, I feel as though they were. Discussions with Amy, Hannah, and Lynne resonated with me. You see, I changed the setting of where a PARTY takes place in my novel, and in changing location, the story became more real, more unique, it seems to me. Also, I embraced the idea our group often ponders: write for the story (not for the market, the intended audience, etc). That too, has made my novel more true and I hope, more intriguing.

Amy MacKinnon

This is hands down the most magnificent memoir I've read. Ever. She's going to be a bestseller, I know it, I just know it. How does one learn to write like that? Patricia Wood shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Brava, Pat, but honestly, I'm not surprised; I still remember reading the deal on Publishers Marketplace and knowing I had to have that book. I wonder what's happening at London Book Fair. TETHERED's cover is out there. Has anyone seen it? I love the American Fiction blog. It provides the best links. I can't wait to go to NYC next week, it's my favorite place in the world. And then next weekend all of my Writers' Group friends and I will finally be together -- with other writers. What could be better?

Hannah Roveto
Elinor Lipman is on the road; watch for her at events next week, as well! Another tidbit from the movie, Then She Found Me: cast includes (director and script co-writer) Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick and yes, Salman Rushdie. In other news, this revision of mine is flowing toward The End. A whole chapter cleaned up Monday, half on Tuesday, a whopping paragraph yesterday, then most of another today. How many inconsistencies have I cut from these pages? Too many to count; this round feels good, not worrisome in the least. Someday I will visit Wrigley Field, where one of my last scenes takes place, and it will be a familiar, lovely, sensory overload of hot dogs and summer heat. Ahhh...

Lynne Griffin
I took a risk writing a story within a story, and last Monday presented it to my writers' group. The verdict? It was unanimous--they loved it! I am flying high. I'm tied to my calendar for the next few weeks. My goal is to finish another chapter of my WIP before copy edits for LIFE WITHOUT SUMMER arrive, the first of May. I'm prepping for my panels at the Muse, buying shoes, looking forward to schmooze. And my husband and I are taking a trip, sans children, to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. Back just in time to pick up my daughter at college. Imagine May 9th constituting the beginning of summer.

As you can see our moods here at the writers' group are full of anticipation and celebration. No matter your mood, there's a book out there for you. Just check out Hallie Ephron's latest tome, 1001 Books for Every Mood. It's available online now. I can't wait to see her picks. To learn more about Hallie and her process for selecting titles, visit her website.


Gail said...

Amy!! I'm in Tivoli and just checked my e-mail for the first time and of course checked in with your blog and I found this!!! I am humbled by your words... teary-eyed, too! Thank you is not enough. xo, g

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Lisa, oh yes, "write for the story." Words I need branded into my brian, sometimes.

Amy, very cool cover--can't wait to see it up close and personal.

Hannah--You'll love Wrigley Field--it's one of my favorite places.

Lynne--what a fun few weeks you have ahead of you!

Therese said...

Well done, all!

I'm right there with you on "anticipation and celebration," having just finished my Book 2 revisions...and looking ahead to the story I'm itching to write next.

Amy, the cover is entirely "atmospheric," and seems fresh and original as well. Are you thrilled?

Mark Athitakis said...

Thanks for the kind words, Amy--much appreciated.

Mark Athitakis

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Thanks, everyone.

Gail, we're jealous Amy got an early read. Hannah, Lisa and I can't wait for your debut.

Judy, we're interested to hear what's happening with your book 2.

Therese, congrats on finishing revisions. You are one busy writer!

Mark, we happened upon American Fiction a few months back. And now we read it everyday. Thanks so much for writing such an informative blog.


Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Lynne-It's on submission. I'm remaining calm, almost zen-like, until well, until I'm not. Thanks for asking.

Larramie said...

The sunshine has found its way into your thoughts and feelings. So delighted it's a good time for you all!

Sustenance Scout said...

Woohoo for Patricia Wood and LOTTERY!! How exciting is that!! Thanks for all the terrific links. I'm off to check out American Fiction.... K.

Lisa said...

I REALLY love the TETHERED cover. Atmospheric and monochromatic, except for the flower, which I know has special significance to the story.

And thanks for the great link to American Fiction -- I'm going to add it to my favorites.

So many great things happening! You all have a wonderful weekend.

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Gail, turnabout is fair play. You made me cry, burst out loud laughing, stop and think. Yours is not a book for cancer survivors and their families, it's for anyone who wants to stop a moment and thinks about their trajectory of their lives.

Thank you, Judy, you'll see it soon enough. And we're all pulling for your next project.

Therese, I can't believe in the time it's taken me to write one book, you've written two. I need to get better at this. And, yes, I love everything team Shaye Areheart has done for me. I'm lucky to have them on my side and never take that for granted.

Mark, Lynne turned me onto your site and it's now a favorite. I thought I knew where all the good links are, but I tip my hat to you. And what a great writing voice you have.

Larramie, I hope you enjoy your weekend in the sun, though I hear it rains quite a bit in Toronto.

SS, I second your woohoo!

Lisa, I thought you of all people might. I know you said you don't like photos. You have yourself a great weekend too.


Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Great cover Amy! You must be so psyched!

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Thanks, Ello, but you still can't read the book!