book groups, phone calls, and other bits and pieces

A few weeks ago I did a conference call visit with a book group in Pennsylvania to discuss Pajama Girls. It was arranged by Wanda (who stops by here once in a while), who also hosted the group that evening. Everybody came in pajamas. Even Sue F., who is 71. We had a great discussion; they asked a lot of good questions and were very polite when I rambled off into subsidiary topics. All in all, a great cyber-meetng.

I have two more book group meetings this month, one cyber and one in person. Please keep this in mind — if you have a book group that is reading something of mine, I am happy to visit. Technology makes these things possible. My only requirement is that the group actually read someting of mine. Just drop me an email and we’ll get organized.

Via the glowingly radiant Robyn Bender, this link to a really interesting post about the similarities between writing and mothering..

Filed under ‘better late than never’ I am jumping on this meme I first saw at HelenKay Dimon’s weblog: ten signs a novel was written by me.

10. There are letters, phone messages, newspaper advertisements and/ or other odd ways of passing along information to readers.

9. Nary a werewolf in sight; nor will you find vampires, elves, fairies, talking animals, or magical to-doing of any kind.

8. Ghosts (human or canine), the green man, and other slightly less than normal beings wander in and out again without much fanfare.

7. The biggest stumbling block for any romantic relationship is going to have something to do with trust and the resolution of troubled family relationships. I don’t do secret babies, but I usually have a difficult mother tucked into one corner or another.

6. I will never, ever tell you how big the main female character’s breasts are.

5. I will never, ever tell you how bit the main male character’s — well, you get the idea.

4. If I open the bedroom door while characters are having sex, the guy is always going to be talking. A lot.

3. The characters I like the best have dogs.

….

I am going to leave two spaces open in case you would like to make a suggestion. Every writer has fixations, and most writers know some (but not all) of them. So, go ahead, enlighten me.

that one-sentence thing, new and improved

Sometime ago I had a brief scurry of posts about the Hemingway one-sentence story. You may remember. You may not.

Something far more interesting in the same vein: the radiant Robyn Bender sent me a link to the One Sentence website (and yes, Robyn, it had indeed escaped my notice). The idea:

One Sentence is about telling your story, briefly. Insignificant stories, everyday stories, or turning-point-in-your-life stories, boiled down to their bare essentials.

The idea was born from a blog entry several years ago that got a million (actually, only 14) responses. “Maybe this will take off more as its own site,” thought I. Let’s see.

You can read a couple pages of submissions in five minutes or so. You can also vote on your favorites (thumbs up or down). Some strike me as the beginning of a longer story, for example:

Because it’s difficult for me to bend, I cleaned the base of the shower with a pot scrubber tied to the bottom of my walking stick.

(Tammii)

If you go over there and find a sentence you really like, would you post it here in the comments? I’m curious about how other people react to them.

Robyn delivers the goods

The radiant Robyn Bender sent me this link some time ago, and I meant to pass it on to you but I forgot. I know, my forgetfulness lately is getting to be disturbing. I’m wondering if I should go talk to the doctor about it.

At any rate, she sent me this, and I adore it.

First, note this bit of a piece by Ruth Franklin, which appeared in Slate on 5/8/07)

‘Michael Chabon has spent considerable energy trying to drag the decaying corpse of genre fiction out of the shallow grave where writers of serious literature abandoned it.’

And now, dive right into the LeGuin goodness here.

Really, go read it. I would quote it here, every blessed word, but that wouldn’t be fair use and so I just urge you: go. Now.