Let’s start with the apologies: It’s been a while since I have had time to post anything substantial here. That’s not for lack of interesting writing related news: I have things to say about Huckleberry Finn! I have things to say about The Help! I have things to say about the march-madness-for-writers that is the Tournament of Books! I have things to say about Wisconsin that I would pretend were writing related on account of the state of Wisconsin having given me time/money/permission to be a writer!
I also have students, and a novel to write, and events and interviews to follow through on, and so my commitment to the blog has been minimal of late. When I was visiting the University of Michigan, a student said that in a writing course she’d been warned that blogging made a person a less serious writer. It seemed silly to me, and I said so– a sort of outmoded fear of technology that as a general rule makes about as much sense as saying that a writer can never use a telephone. Blogging is one form of communication in a world of many. But I also said there’s a temptation in blogging– just as with the telephone, or facebook, or twitter– that can lead one to expect writing to be a process of instant gratification, or to put one’s energy into the form that gathers instant and measurable audience and feedback. I need to get fully absorbed into the long term, slow gratification of pulling the novel into its final form (perhaps another blood-drawing analogy is in order here?), and so it will probably be summer, maybe even fall, before I have time to get back to longer, more thoughtful, less self-promotional blog posts. In the meantime, here are some things I’ve been doing of late:
Last month I dropped by the NPR offices for a lunch hour reading, and they’ve put the video online here.
Before my reading at the lovely Franklin Park Reading Series (totally worth taking the 3AM train home to DC), I got to fill out The L Questionnaire for Writer Types. I also talked to Christi Craig at Writing Under Pressure.
I did a reading at KGB bar for a great program called Behind the Book, and another here in DC, for the Writers in Schools Program. Before the Writers in Schools reading, I had the opportunity to visit Thurgood Marshall High School, and meet some really fantastic and impressive students.
Just this week, I got the exciting news that Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self was given an honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway award.
Sometime this month, I have an interview coming out in the Fiction Writers Review, which has been running some really great essays and reviews and essays on reviewing.
Next week, I am part of a weeklong Goodreads conversation with a panel of debut short story collection authors including the lovely and amazing Emma Straub. To participate in the Q and A, join the group.
Last but not least, later this month I am off to the SMU lit fest in Dallas, which I am very excited about.