Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On being seven.

Kicky is turning seven next week, and I am overwhelmed. Because I remember seven.

(Me, at seven.)

I remember seven better than twenty-seven. I lived in Concord, Vermont. I had a cat named Boogie. I liked to play "Love Boat" and "Charlie's Angels" in the yard with my neighbors, Chris and Angie. I watched "Happy Days" on Tuesdays and "Donny and Marie" every Friday night. I loved Orange Posicles and thought I might grow up to be a gymnast. For fun, I threw my Barbies up on the roof and watched them roll off. I liked to put pennies on the railroad tracks and get the hot, flattened remains after the trains had passed. I believed that notes in bottles would reach the destinations I intended. I was in the second grade, and I wrote my first short story during recess. I got the wind knocked out of me when I fell off the monkey bars, and I had a crush on Sean Cassidy. We adopted my sister the fall that I was seven. I was a devil for Halloween. Anyway, the point is (besides totally dating myself), this is a year that she will remember. And that is wild.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New and Improved

The website has finally been updated after two years of get straight to the Two Rivers stuff, go here.

On another note, I woke up grumpy and have been grumpy most of the day. Do you ever feel like all you do is clean your house? I mean, the hours I spend cleaning the house only to have it look nice for five minutes before being destroyed again. Blah.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fellow Artists!

Oh please, please, please one of you who can ditch your life and dedicate it to your work, please apply for this residency!!!!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Been a long time...

since I blogged, but, thankfully, it's because I've been happily traveling to trade shows to get booksellers excited about Two Rivers. Since mid-September I've been to Portland, Boston, Mobile, and Oakland. I've signed a zillion galleys and tried, futiley, to capture "what the book's about" in tidy little sound bites. I must admit I wish I could just say something like, "It's about a man, a maverick, who wants reform, and a hockey mom, Joe six-pack..." Oops, wrong story.

Anyhow, besides being on the road non-stop, I'm trying to keep up with my teaching and parenting and all that regular stuff. We've almost finished the renovation on the house, and I lament not having the time I'd like to properly prettify it. I'm shooting for Thanksgiving.

I'm also not left with much time to write, making me feel both frustrated and guilty. Oh how I could use two weeks of seclusion to just get it done.

And strangely, while this house of cards we call the U.S. seems to be falling down around me, I feel like I'm in a bubble of happiness. Is that wrong?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I am trying to work on the new book...which I made a little progress on this summer. It's 250 pages, but it's still a mess. It's so frustrating trying to sort everything out. I don't know why I make everything so complicated for myself. Too many voices, non-linear time and plot. Argh.

It's also strange to have a deadline. I've never had a deadline for a novel before. It's good, but a little anxiety-inducing.

Anyway...back to work.

Friday, August 29, 2008

At last, at long, long, last....

Here is the beautiful artwork. It's out on December 30! Here is Kensington's page for it...with a lovely blurb from Lee Martin, whose novel, The Bright Forever, is one of my recent favorites.
I am also gearing up for a tour of all the major independent bookssller trade shows next month. I am so very excited. Finally!!!

And this is funny...I loved the artwork right away, and then I realized why. Check out the view from the living room at Newark Pond:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

You'd think I'd have more time

instead of less since school let out...but alas, I just fill it up with different things. Writing should be one of them...but still not quite back in that mode. I finished an editing job and two summer workshops at the Writer's Center, and am crashing now. Literally. My body has shut down...this used to happen after exams in college too. I am miserably sick with some sort of heinous summer cold. We're also still in the midst of major construction on the house and gearing up for a vacation out west. I think I need it. And, we're actually leaving the girls with my folks for a whole week. I may go crazy without them, though I suspect I'll be okay :)

I got some nice feedback from a bookseller who read a review copy of Two Rivers. It's still almost eight months away from publication. Jeez...having babies is faster than having books.

Just got back from Vermont...the speech at my high school went well, I think. It was sweltering though, and so I have a feeling they were grateful mostly for its brevity.

More sooner than later.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I was recently asked to speak at my high school's graduation. I am so excited and nervous. The last graduation speech I gave was at my eighth grade graduation. I wonder if I can find it anywhere :)

We are in the middle of construction on our house which is absolute madness, and I am busy teaching and editing...I HAVE to get back to my own work, but it's so hard.

A little frazzled...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool's

So Kicky has discovered April Fool's jokes. All afternoon, she's been conducting a series of not so elaborate pranks. Esmee doesn't get it. I just overheard this conversation:

K: There's a bug in your hair.
E: No there's not.
K: Yes, there is.
E: Uh-uh.
K: Come on Esmee. It's April....
E: April what?
K: Come's April Ffff.....
E: April-ham Lincoln?

I need a nap.


I just got my first photo published. It's in the "Portraits" issue of SHOTS Magazine. It's "Twilight," a photo of Esmee. Kicky said, "'re FAMOUS!" Esmee was not impressed.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Some sad news here. My step-grandmother, a wonderful, wonderful woman who married my grandfather after my grandmother died, passed away yesterday. She was ready, I think, but it doesn't make it any less sad. I don't know what would have happened to my grandfather had he not had her. He adored her, and we all did too.

On a happier note, the forsythia are starting to bloom in tentative yellow bursts. Vacation is over, but the end of spring break for me is always sort of exciting. I feel enervated, revitalized and ready to go back. And, it also signals the closing in of the end of the semester and the beginning of summer. I am so excited to get back to my own writing, I can barely stand it. Over break, I re-read the new novel and, despite its rough edges (and squishy middle), I think it might wind up being really, really good. It's my first third person novel...from many points of view. I love the family in it. And it's another Lake Gormlaith novel...

I've been taking more pictures lately too...I got some great ones today of Esmee wearing bunny ears while Kicky stares me down through a magnifying glass in the background. Priceless. We had a terrific Easter...lots of chocolate and eggs. Kicky said that she heard the Easter Bunny, and I quote:

K: I heard thump, thump, hop.
Me: Really?
K: Yes. And then a twinkling sound.
Me: A twinkling sound? What was that?
K: Jelly beans, Mom. Going into the eggs?!

I hope this sweet faith in all things magical lasts just a little while longer.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Single Mermama

I've been completely consumed with mermamahood for the last several weeks; P has been traveling for work, leaving me and the girls to fend for ourselves. In a way, it's been empowering; did you know that it is, indeed, possible for one person to drop two children off at schools in two separate cities and still get to work by 8:00 a.m.? To make all speech therapy, ballet, and gymnastics lessons despite two outbreaks of hives? Did you know that one single, not very big or strong woman is capable of assembling three Ikea wardrobes in a 7 ft by 3 ft. space to surprise husband upon his return? Well, it is, and I proved it. I'm pooped. BUT, I am on spring break for a week, so all is well in the world. Today I'm taking the girls to a Purim party at Esmee's school and then to "Horton Hears a Who."

On the writing front: I just mailed back the copyedited manuscript to Kensington. Next come the proofs and galleys!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Good news!

I recently found out that I will be getting a MD State Arts Council grant this year. I'm going to take the summer off from teaching to write the next book.

MSAC Press Release

I am thrilled to death. The writing sample I gave was from the new book which gives me a much needed confidence boost.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I just finally ordered Swim to Me...a novel based on the Weeki Wachee mermaids. In Two Rivers, Brooder's mother runs away to become a mermaid in this roadside attraction, and he winds up married to a mermaid he meets when he goes to Florida to find his mother. I have been fascinated by them since I first discovered Weeki Wachee. It bums me out that someone beat me to the punch with the novel, but maybe a photo project would be fun. A road trip down to Florida??

Do you suppose I'm too old for Mermaid Camp??!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Esmee was possessed by the devil two days ago. Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" possessed. Marlena on "Days of Our Lives" in the 90's possessed.

So it was time for the annual check-up for both girls. No big deal. Ears, nose, throat...a flu shot. Some boosters. Right? Am I crazy? I thought this would be a piece of cake. These girls have been going to the doctor for years! And their pediatrician wears a little rubber Pooh Bear attached to his stethoscope and makes them guess what animal is living inside their ears. We'd be in and out, right?

No such luck. Here's the timeline.

2:30 We arrive at the office. All is great. We even get called in early by the nurse.
2:35 Blood pressure, pulse, height and weight. The girls are happy, smiling, finding their own pulses.
2:45 The doctor comes in, Kicky starts to ask questions about the flu shot. "I'm just getting one shot, right? Just the flu shot, right? It won't hurt much, right?" Anxiety starts to build. The doctor proceeds with the exam...checking tonsils, spines and asking questions about what kind of veggies they like. Kicky keeps asking questions about the flu shot. The doctor says she will, indeed get a flu shot. And a Hep A booster. AND a chicken pox booster. Terror sets in.
3:00 A respite: the eye and hearing exams. Then the nurse comes with Kicky's shots. Esmee's cool...watching Kicky freak out as she gets not one but three shots. But she is brave, strong, proud of her band-aided shoulders.
3:15 Esmee's turn.
3:20 Where is Esmee?
3:25 Curled up under the chair, clinging like a monkey to the chair legs. Screaming bloody murder.
3:30 The nurse and I extricate her from the bottom of the chair and try to get her situated on my lap.
3:35 Flailing, beet red and screaming, the demons have arrived.
3:40 The nurse prepares FIVE vaccinations and gets ready to administer the first one.
3:41 Esmee's head spins round and round and then she close-fisted clocks me in the face. Hard. Harder than I have ever been struck. Ever.
3:42 Stunned and bewildered and IN PAIN, the rest is a blur. Somehow the shots all get given, and the demon leaves my child's body.
3:45 We go out to the lobby, Esmee is clutching her Dora the Explorer sticker. I am clutching my nose. The receptionist, clutching her side, laughs, "The Four Year special?"

Monday, January 14, 2008

A New Year

I am several days (weeks?) late for new year's wishes, but I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the bittersweet waning of 2007 and the glorious waxing of this new year. I have high hopes for this year, though 2007 really gave most others a run for their money.

I have lots and lots of writing goals for this year...I have to revise The Hungry Season (the next book in line). I also want to write a short story. I want to find a home for my collection of poems and my children's book.

Other resolutions/aspirations: I want to get a photo published. I want to make all of the Christmas presents I give next year. I vow to go to the doctor AND the dentist this year (for me, not for the kids). I will practice patience. I will pay off some credit cards. I will use the stupid new treadmill at least once or twice. And I will try to be a better teacher to my children. And I will make more time to be a grown-up with my husband, even if it means hiring a babysitter every now and then. And I am going to try to spend less time on and more time reading the books that are threatening to collapse my nightstand.

As for the blog...I promise to try to be more prolific. My silence has been due both to absence (holiday vacations out west) and the fact that my typing fingers have been otherwise engaged. I finished my edits on Two Rivers just a couple of days ago...and I think I am finally done. for those of you have had any sort of history with this will know that this damned novel has occupied my digits for far too long. I swear I almost got up and danced when my index finger clicked the mouse on SEND.

That's wishes to all of you in this new you. Peace. (Oh yeah...Kicky learned a new word during break...PSYCHEDELIC. She told me I have psychedelic eyes. So have a psychedelic new year!)