Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kim Wright, author of Love in Mid Air

 
Kim Wright has been generating a lot of notice for her novel: Love in Mid Air.  A gifted writer with an eye and ear for the nuances of our everyday lives, Kim took something close to her heart and said: what if? 

People Magazine had this to say about Love in Mid Air :  Wright understands female friendships, the interplay of love and envy, the way one woman’s change of fortune can threaten the group’s equilibrium.  Astute and engrossing, this review is a treat.”
(People Magazine [three and a half stars])
Kim was a recent guest at the UCross Retreat in Sheridan Wyoming and she's written this wonderful post extolling the virtues of the artistic retreat.  Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented Kim Wright to the blog!




I’m attaching this picture because I don’t think without a visual aid I can adequately describe what an idiot I’ve been.  This is the view from my writing desk at UCross, a creative retreat for writers, visual artists, and composers in Sheridan Wyoming.

UCross is Crayola-colored, as simple and touching as if it was drawn by a child.  Blue sky, green grass, red barn.  Writing colonies are often situated in places much like this – maybe not the west but someplace simple and silent, far from the madding crowd.  They are these wonderful enclaves where artists can go – usually for periods from two to six weeks – and have unlimited time to work.  The size of the colonies varies; there are only eight residents at UCross, but there were twenty-four when I was at MacDowell in Peterborough, New Hampshire.  Large or small, colony life tends to follow a pattern:  Everyone meets for breakfast and then you scatter to your various studios to work all day.  Someone brings lunch and leaves it at your door.  Around six, everyone converges back at the main house for wine, conversation, and a dinner lovingly prepared by the staff.  You can get an insane amount of work done.  The conversations are electric – one person I met called it intellectual wi-fi, this strange humming energy you tap into that makes you think of things you’d never think of on your own. 

And oh yeah, these places are free.

The reason I’m an idiot is that it took me so long to get on the colony circuit.  My friend and fellow novelist Alison Smith had told me years ago I needed to start applying to colonies but I demurred.  They’re hard to get into I told her. Which is true.   They’re all located twenty-eight miles from nowhere.  Also true.  And then I told her that I didn’t think that a colony stay would be all that helpful to my work.  I’m the sort of writer who gets up and goes at it hard for three or four hours each morning.  It seemed like colonies would be most helpful for binge writers, who would go on great tears of work, dashing off whole books in a single wild-eyed, caffeine driven sitting.  But for someone like me, who begins to reap diminishing returns after a few hours at the computer, it seemed like a waste.

And in that I was utterly, terribly wrong.

Here’s what I didn’t figure in.  A colony allows you to get totally away from your life.  The good stuff as well as the bad stuff.  I wept when I left my dog and I miss my friends and my exercise routine and my ballroom dance lessons and pretty yellow desk.  But the truth is, if you want to break new ground in your work, it helps to break away from it all – the comfortable as well as the annoying aspects of your day to day life at home.  In the middle of my first colony stay, it suddenly hit me that a retreat isn’t about writing more.  It’s about writing differently.  A few days out of my normal rut and I begin thinking things I’d never think back home.  I become experimental, open, looser, more fearless and direct.  I may still be writing four hours a day but they’re four completely different hours than I could manage at home.

Looking out as I’m writing this, deer and wild turkeys are literally passing right beside my deck.  It’s an hour away from suppertime and it’s my turn to bring the wine.  The bad angel on one shoulder is whispering “Don’t post this – it’s hard enough to get into these places as it is.”  But the good angel on the other side is saying “All writers should go to colonies.  It will give you more confidence.  It will transform your work.”

So….get thee to the nearest Google and type in “writing colony.”   What pops up could change your life.

Kim Wright is the author of the novel, Love in Mid Air and has been writing about travel, food, and wine for more than 25 years and is a two-time recipient of the Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Writing.
You can contact Kim at kwwiley@aol.com.
To see Kim on the Love in Mid Air trailer, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDzUay7RqBw

Monday, September 20, 2010

Susan Henderson's Debut Novel UP FROM THE BLUE


Susan Henderson's debut novel UP FROM THE BLUE is going to break your heart.  The young narrator Tillie Harris will take up residence in your soul as she searches for clues to her mother's disappearance.  The writing is lyrical, and the voice, simply irresistible.  

I met the lovely Susan Henderson in New York City at a reading I was doing at Pianos Lounge on the Lower East Side.  I was thrilled for the chance to get together with Susan and two other Harper authors, Greg Olear and Jessica Anya Blau, since we are published by the same imprint at HarperCollins.  You could say we have a mutual admiration society going -- each are talented writers with books I'd urge you to buy -- TOTALLY KILLER (greg) and THE SUMMER OF NAKED SWIM PARTIES ( jessica) and now we can add the arresting UP FROM THE BLUE.  


INSPIRATION AND THE WRITING PROCESS

by Susan Henderson

I've always been in awe of those writers who think up a big, marketable concept for a book and then set out to write it. My own process is much more chaotic.


UP FROM THE BLUE haunted me the way dreams do with puzzling images that felt desperately important dropping into my consciousness. I'd start to fall asleep and I'd get an image of a little girl's hand on a door knob, afraid to turn it. The same thing would happen when I was driving—I'd see a girl on her front porch with stickers all over her face, waiting to see if someone would notice her.

I don't even know how long I was in this phase, just collecting images and moments: a silver tooth, bells tied to shoelaces, a mustache that hid the expression on the mouth, a dead copperhead in the sink.

And then one day, I was searching for something—maybe a pair of scissors or some tape—and I opened a drawer to find it full of little slips of paper with just a few words written on each of them. It was utterly ridiculous. Why did I write these things down? Why couldn't I throw them out? And what on earth was I planning to do with them?

I learned quickly that there was no way to take these random pieces and somehow organize them into a big coherent picture as if creating a mosaic out of spilled tiles. (Believe me, I tried.) And yet, there was something about these images and the characters who'd formed from them that nagged at me. I couldn't get them out of my head. So I decided to take the one image—the girl with her hand on the door—and I had her open it.

Inside that room was an entire world—a Pandora's box filled with fears, delights, memories, imaginings, and hope. And there were so many questions to answer: What do you do when someone vanishes from your life while so much between the two of you is still unresolved? What of the tension between wanting to be accepted and the insistent calling to be yourself—a self that is so terribly disappointing to others? How is it possible that people living in the same house can experience an event so differently? And what is it (both within and outside of you) that carries you through hard times? 

In the end, the fragmented way this story came to me made sense. This was a child who felt disoriented and haunted by the way her mother vanished from her life, and she'd dissociated from the emotions that were too overwhelming. My job was to give her a voice, to help her tell a coherent story that she was too young to fully explain or communicate—a story she needed adults to hear. And I was very glad to discover, as I walked beside this child, that beyond the grief was understanding, love and grace.

I'm curious to hear about your own writing process, especially those of you who don't feel you have a linear approach or a clear roadmap. What is it that inspires you? And how do you go about finding the story you're needing to tell? 


Susan Henderson is the author of UP FROM THE BLUE (HarperCollins). She blogs at LitPark.com

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Susanna Daniel: Stiltsville

I was first introduced to Susanna Daniel in the very best way:  an afternoon browsing in my favorite bookstore where I picked up her debut novel, Stiltsville.  I was drawn to the story because I too had grown up in a much different Florida than exists today -- and Susanna's novel is about a community of houses on Stilts off of Biscayne Bay -- Stiltsville -  a place that now lives only in the memories and photographs of those who once inhabited the houses.  I read this novel in a breathless rush -- and then I did it all over again.  And then I contacted Susanna to tell her how much the book meant to me. It's that kind of book.  The writing is lush, gorgeous, the characters of Frances Ellerby, Dennis DuVal and their daughter Margo are as compelling as any character in contemporary literature and getting to spend twenty-five years in their lives is a beautiful, heart wrenching gift of the very best kind.
Please welcome Susanna as she talks about what it takes to write that first novel and get it out into the world -- as always -- I'll see you in the comments section.

Novelists: More Swagger, Less Stutter

In my more optimistic moments, I describe novel writing as a sort of game, wherein I have the pieces and have to put them together. In my less optimistic moments, I describe it as a grind and a mystery. The scary kind of mystery. The kind where you're scrambling through the darkness toward either a highway or a cliff.

In between -- and this is where I live most of the time, neither optimistic nor pessimistic, neither dark nor light -- I describe it as an act of faith.

Anyone who's been around a lot of writers know that they tend to be a confident lot. Overconfident, even; some might say arrogant. When I first dipped a toe into a writing community, in my first semester as a graduate student, this was a big turn-off. I liked the people a lot, actually, but when it came to listening to writers (almost all of whom had more experience than I at writing and talking about writing) wax on about their own work, I found it unseemly.

In college I had a friend who was a flutist at Julliard. I went to see her play, and on stage my sweet-natured friend became a bit of a diva: she gesticulated grandly with the music, scowling or  looking euphoric as the music rose and fell. After the performance, I asked her about this theatricality, and she said it was par for the course. She rolled her eyes. "It's expected," she said. "If you don't do it, the teachers don't take you seriously."

This was shocking to me. I thought the music should speak for itself. The musician was a blank canvas, I thought, or should be. Similarly, the author should be a blank canvas for the novel.

Apparently, this is one of the many things about which I'm just plain wrong.

I published my first novel, STILTSVILLE -- the debut, as it's called -- with Harper last month. STILTSVILLE has gotten many very good reviews. I've heard from dozens of readers who devoured it in one sitting, who say it's one of the best books they've ever read, who cried buckets at the end. This is all very complimentary, and I'd be lying if I said this kind of thing didn't matter to me -- it matters a lot, in fact.

Still, when it comes time to talk about my own work, I clam up. I've been interviewed over the phone by reporters, over email by book bloggers, and twice so far in a radio studio, for taped segments. And every time, what comes to mind is that experience of listening to my classmates talk about their own work, their self-satisfaction and self-indulgence, and feeling strongly that I do not want to come off that way.

But the fact is, it would be better for me if I could toot my own horn, now and again.

I have never felt in describing STILTSVILLE that I've done it justice. As everyone knows, the novel is like the baby -- and how do I describe my own two-year-old son? He has alarmingly blond hair, fat peachy cheeks, and two legs that surprise me every day in how closely they resemble the legs of a grownup human being. When the other day he shouted, "Mom!" and then made a fish face -- puckered lips and hands flapping at his ears -- I was so surprised that I dropped a plate to the floor. Now, you tell me, how am I supposed to summarize my baby? People ask me about him, and I give a vague and stilted description: "He's a delight. He's starting to be willful. He's running and jumping and talking." This is not only a thin, unhelpful summary, but it's such a tiny and bland slice of the whole as to be more or less a lie.

The only criticism of STILTSVILLE that has lodged itself in my mind was from a woman who loved the book, but said that she thought the jacket copy was misleading. This haunts me. I wrote the jacket copy, more or less. What does it say about me that I can't even write a few paragraphs that accurately describe my own book?

There are a few skills that are independent of writing but still useful for a writer. These days, being able to promote with a little panache, verbally and in print, is crucial. I don't wish my book were different in any way -- I love it as is, for what it is and what it is not. But I wish I were different. I wish I were comfortable talking about it in a complex, meaningful, and inspiring way. In a very real sense, I wish I were a little more smug and self-satisfied.

I look back on that uneasy feeling it used to give me, listening to my classmates describe their stories in fawning terms, and I wag a finger at myself. Not only will that talent or skill or whatever it is they have -- and I don't -- serve them well as they publish and give interviews, but also, who am I to judge them? I, who can't answer a question about my book without stuttering or making a self-deprecating joke? I, who finds it gut-wrenching to answer the simple question "What is your book about?"

Writing a novel is, more than anything else, an act of faith. And the bottom line is that it starts with having faith in yourself -- not just a little, but a lot. Some might even say an unseemly amount.



Susanna Daniel was born and raised in Miami, Florida, where she spent much of her childhood at her family’s stilt house in Biscayne Bay. Her novel, Stiltsville, was called an "exquisite debut" by Publishers Weekly, "lushly descriptive and complex" by Booklist, and "a perfect beach and book club read" by Miriam Tuliao of the New York Public Library. Susanna is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives with her husband and son in Madison, Wisconsin, where during the long winter she dreams of the sun and the sea, and of jumping off the stilt house porch at high tide. She is at work on a second novel.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gina Frangello: Mommy's On A Book Tour

My introduction to Gina Frangello was a series of riveting pieces she wrote about her father for The Nervous Breakdown and then we got to meet in person at Pianos Lounge in New York City when she invited me to read with her on the Slut Lullabies tour.  Her writing, fiction and non-fiction alike, is both immediate and thought provoking.  Combine this with a unique voice that speaks to what it means to be a writer, an editor, a woman and a mother in the twenty-first century and you know that Gina is the real deal.   Please welcome Gina to the blog where she talks about the paradox of being a stay-at-home mom and writer.




Not Now, Honey, Mommy’s on a Book Tour



1.

There are mothers who work outside the home.  There are mothers who stay at home.  And then there are mothers like me: who work “outside” careers but “inside” our homes.  Such is the life of a mother/writer/editor.

The pros are obvious.  I can take my kids to school in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon.  I’m in the house, so unlike some busy career women, I’m here when my kids have playdates; I’m here to make dinner, pack lunches, help with homework, drive them to soccer.  I’m here . . . well, with the exception of the 4 hours per week when I teach a class at a university downtown . . . pretty much all the time.

Wait, was that a “pro?”

Because that, itself, may also be the con.  Since I am home, it would seem crazily indulgent to hire a nanny to do all these things that women who work outside the home hire nannies to do.  You mean my nanny would be doing our laundry, cooking meals for my kids, helping them with math, all while I’m . . . sitting here a room or two away?

Even if I could get past that emotional hurdle (okay, that might not be so hard), there are other hurdles.  Even more-successful-than-I-am writers usually don’t earn money on a novel or other book until after it’s finished and sold, the process of which can take anywhere between 1 year to 10 years depending on the writer and the book.  My own average is 3-4 years.  With what 15 bucks per hour would I be hiring this said nanny to chauffeur my kids around, exactly?

Loan the fact that I can’t even stand the radio on when I’m working, much less some adult non-family-member nanny-person occupying my space.

So for me, this has been the compromise.  My kids are out of the house 6 hours per day, which gives me a mostly-uninterrupted 30 hour work week . . . when school is in session, that is . . . when nobody is sick.  Because since I work from home, if there’s an orthodontist appointment, a call from the school nurse, it’s a given who will be handling that.  My husband works in finance, earning the money that allows me not to have to embark on a more “stable” career, and so his work hours and responsibilities usually take priority over mine—a situation that benefits me, and so about which I can scarcely complain.  And so, my life is a mainly happy paradox of simultaneously enjoying the geographically relaxed lifestyle of a stay-at-home mom, along with its accompanying luxuries of knowing my kids’ friends and teachers and having daily control over my own home environment . . . all while I also run an independent book press, an online literary magazine, write fiction, review books, and blog in addition to my teaching.

“I don’t know how you do it,” my stay-at-home mom friends like to say.  “I’m so impressed!” 

But is it my imagination, or do they say this with a slightly pitying air as though they all concur I am some weird form of masochist but nobody has the heart to tell me?

2.

As I write this, my kids are playing Leggos outside my office.  They’re mainly quiet.  They whisper as they build.  They know better to turn on the television (though we have one upstairs they could watch, they seem to prefer proximity to me—I try not to think of this along rhesus monkey analogies.)  My office has no door: its frame is too wide.  We pretend it’s a separate room, but really, it is a nook at best.  We live in the city.  I am lucky to have a nook.  It’s late August.  The last time they were in school was mid-June.  They were in a part-time day camp, but that ended at the end of July, and for a while there was a lice scare and I kept them home, and then some pipes exploded at the park district and camp was cancelled for a few days, and then everyone in our house got sick, and then there was a family vacation . . .

This has been going on for 9½ years.

3.

How many books would any of us have written if we did not have children?

The question is one of apples and oranges.  After nearly a decade of motherhood, to imagine a Me who had never met my children would be like asking how many books my next door neighbor would have written . . . uh, if she happened to be a writer.  It’s unanswerable, unknowable, based on something that is Not.  No matter how true it is that women have every right not to define ourselves through motherhood, the truth is that human beings do evolve and identify largely by who we love and who has touched our lives—that we change with each new love and each new touch. 

The “me” who would have written those books, in that parallel reality, does not exist anymore.

4.

Recently, a discussion on She Writes, a popular online community for women writers, book tours were discussed.  Many women in the discussion group expressed that there was simply no way they could tour with small children at home.  One of my authors forOther Voices BooksZoe Zolbrod, brought up her anxieties about her forthcoming tour for her debut novel, Currency, but stressed her belief that touring was important for her book, for her as a writer—that this could be part of what she wanted to model for her children, too: living her own life and pursuing her dreams.

My second book, a collection of stories called Slut Lullabies, was released (by Emergency Press) the same month as Currency, so Zoe and I toured together as much as we could swing it.  From May to September the cities on our itinerary included Austin, New York, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Iowa City, Portland, Seattle, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and for her Pittsburgh and Boston; for me Madison, Denver and Palm Springs.

I confess that our tour had an air of prisoners on a day pass from the jail into town.  Zoe and I bought packs of cigarettes wherever we went.  We drank early in the day.  We wore heels in which we would not carry our toddlers, and silk dresses that normally would not stand up to small, greasy fingers.  Perhaps there was some occasional flirting with literary colleagues or old boyfriends.  Yet whenever we saw women with babies on their hips, we felt woozy with longing.  We tended to book our return flights home as early in the morning as we could possibly find, knowing our eagerness to return to our children could rise to dangerously acute proportions if we spent too long unoccupied, waiting for an evening flight.

As the tour reached its final stages, we felt proud of ourselves for how hard we had worked it.  When my first book came out in 2006, I was 9 months pregnant and then spent the next 7 months nursing, unable to leave home for more than a few hours at a time.  Our travels this spring and summer seemed a monumental (I actually typed “momumental”—talk about a Freudian slip!) achievement.

Yet when I think of some of my favorite male writers—Joe MenoSteve Almond and Stephen Elliott come to mind, whose careers, it might be fair to say, were in part made by their hardcore and innovative touring tactics—the “big tour” Zoe and I managed threatens to feel suddenly paltry and haphazard, spread out far beyond the short-lived buzz most books can really hope for and pieced together in-between family emergencies and kid-friendly beach vacations.  Our grand act of doing something for ourselves and our careers, which so many on a women writers’ site didn’t feel they could even undertake, threatens to feel like the middle-aged-mom friendly version of the guerilla marketing for which indie writers (like us) are supposed to be known.

5.

Between April (the AWP Conference) and June (Los Angeles), my four year old son, Giovanni, who had been toilet trained for a year without incident, began having “accidents” at preschool and, up to a few nights per week, wetting his bed.

6.

What does it take to write a book?  Truly?  Virginia Woolf claimed, in an era perhaps less long-gone than we would like to believe, that it required a certain base level of independent means, and a room of one’s own.  Yet I, at the dawn of the new century, am still making due on my husband’s income and a nook without a door.  In this fashion, I have written two novels since my children were born, along with the bulk of a short story collection and other new stories.  I have launched a book press, guest-edited several books and magazines, and blogged, reviewed and interviewed my ass off.

At times, it has felt like pulling teeth.  At times, it has felt like a struggle to hear the voices in my head above the click of Leggos outside the door.

At other times, it has felt like transportation to another world.  At times, the veil between the world of my fiction and the world of my family has felt so thick and impenetrable that I have had to fight by the moment to part the curtain and get back to my real life, lest I fall under the deep waters of the world inside my mind and make mistakes that would render it difficult, if not impossible, for me to find my way back.

What does it take to write a book?  We revise expectations and needs as we go along.  Perhaps it takes a school schedule—a mercifully decent public school education that does not cost me money and allows me to inhabit that other world for x hours per week without my having to pay someone else to manage my children while I do it.

Perhaps it does not take even that.  Women have done it with less.  Have written poems with a crying child on their hips and a pot on the stove.  Have done it with no money for rent, addicted to drugs, or grieving a death.  Despite my love of Woolf, there are no real rules.

Because writing can be born of either luxury or desperation, or both.  It is alternately an indulgence and an act of heroism.  Like being a mother and an artist at once, it dwells in perpetual contradictions and complements. 

What does it take to write a book?  Emotional risk.  Determination.  Working your ass off, with no guarantee it will ever “pay off”—pay off ranging from economic to artistic. 

Okay, yes, it takes those things.  That much we know.

7.

My husband and I fashion a “potty chart,” which our ten-year-old twin daughters decorate.  We give Giovanni stickers on days he does not have accidents.  After each week without an accident, he obtains a reward: flip top sunglasses; those blasted Leggos.  We hold our breaths and wait for my trip out to Portland and Seattle, to see if the system holds in my absence.  I hold my child in my arms and tell him over and over again, “I love you, I love you.”  I promise that Mommy always comes back.  I wish, as I sometimes did when I was a therapist, that it was possible to truly become a tabula rasa for our children (or clients), but instead I am gripped with anxiety: what if my plane crashes and I am lying to my son and Mommy does not “come back?”  What can it be that is so important I am going to get inside some metal tube and hurtle across the sky without him?

Thank god for Valium.

8.

School begins in two weeks.  Two more weeks and I will have more than a handful of snatched hours while my kids busy themselves, unnaturally quiet indoors on a sunny day or confined to our small, urban back yard, the twins playing Mommies to their younger brother, making sure he doesn’t wander out the gate to talk to any passing stranger with a dog.  Two more weeks and they will be back in school like all kids, even those whose mothers do not spend much of their time inhabiting a make-believe world, even those whose mothers “stay at home” in the real sense, and I can stop feeling guilty for insisting on my scant work time because they will be out in the world doing what all children do, what they would be doing no matter what lifestyle their mother chose.

Two weeks.  Where did the summer go?  Why does it always end too damn soon?

9.

In Wisconsin at our friends’ farmhouse for 9 days, I was going to lavish them with all the attention the book tour had precluded.  The house has no internet.  My computer remained upstairs in its case, to be taken out only in cases of emergency insomnia.  We had spent 10 days here last summer, lazily talking on the front porch, going to the playgrounds that line the river, walking the grounds, taking riding lessons at the horse barn just a couple miles down the road, swimming at the pool in town.  That short period last summer shimmers in my memory, and this August it was to be a period of renewal, of rebonding, relaxation after all the stress associated with . . . I was going to say “promoting my book,” but maybe I mean, simply, all the stress of life.

Instead, the house was infested with rodents.  Mice in the cabinets, chipmunks in the basement and the walls, and on the last day, a fat, insouciant rat wandering the upstairs hallway, who failed to even balk at my presence.  Instead, my daughters and I cowered in a cluster on the couch with all the lights on, and my friend Amy called poison control when the poison we put in the basement ended up—like a carefully stacked gift!—carried back upstairs by the chipmunks and placed, while we were out, on her daughter’s baby blanket.  Instead, my husband had to drive up to fetch us, and we fled the vacation early like survivors of the Amityville Horror.

Ah, the best laid plans of mice (er, and chipmunks, and rats) and (wo)men . . .

10.

The potty chart has been retired.  It has been a month since Gio had an accident.  My editor texts to say that, for the first time in a year, he spent a whole day doing Emergency Press business but did not have to do any work on me.  Though I still have stops in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Madison pending, the frenzy is slowing down, and for the first time, the short “seasons” of books begins to seem less cruel, and more a method of preserving authors’ sanity.  Come fall, my editor texts, we’ll have to start talking about the next book, a novel he hopes to put out in 2011.  Meanwhile, my agent is waiting for me to send her a revision of my newest novel so she can shop it to the big boys (or, as is mainly true of publishing, big girls) in New York.

Amid this, I spend a day at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, listening to my children laugh and squeal at the indoor amusement park, my chest bursting with happiness despite the cheesiness of it all.

I come home from the weekend to 360 emails.

And so my son and I walk a few blocks so that I can leave him for the day at his old daycare center, to catch up on the work I missed in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  He fusses, drags his feet, says he does not want to go.  “I want a Mommy day!” he insists.  It will do no good to say he has had two weeks of Mommy days.  In the world of a four year old, every day should be a Mommy day.  In my four-year-old world, every day was.  So instead, I sing with him the words of songs he makes up and cajole him on his way. 

Still, he dawdles.  Perhaps because he is in no hurry to arrive, he stops to pick me a flower.  When he delivers it to my hands he says, “Mommy, I wish I could give you every flower in the world.”

And I realize, unlike an attorney or a brain surgeon, it is within my power to promise I will pick him up a little early.  So a few more emails will go unanswered; that second guest-blog-post unwritten.  But because I work from home, because I make crap money anyway, because I am my own boss . . . screw it, the world will not explode. 

At my promise, I watch a huge grin bloom across his sun-kissed face.

Pro.


Gina Frangello is the author of a short story collection, Slut Lullabies (Emergency Press 2010) and a novel, My Sister's Continent (Chiasmus 2006).  After serving for many years as the editor of the literary magazine, Other Voices, she co-founded its book imprint, Other Voices Books, where she is now the Executive Editor.  She also edits the Fiction Section of the popular online literary community, The Nervous Breakdown.  Her short fiction, journalism, essays and book reviews have appeared in many magazines, newspapers, books and blogs including the Chicago Tribune, Prairie Schooner, Fence, the Chicago Reader, the Huffington Post, and A Stranger Among Us: Stories of Cross Cultural Collision and Connection.  She teaches at Columbia College Chicago and Northwestern University's School of Continuing Studies and can be found online at www.ginafrangello.com.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Style, Substance and Soul

The lovely ladies of StyleSubstanceSoul.com interviewed me recently.  The post is up live today http://stylesubstancesoul.com/2010/09/woman-to-woman-our-exclusive-interview-with-author-robin-antalek/
I'd love for you to visit and leave a comment -- it's a great site!