A quote I like from my WIP, Outside In

“I logged onto Facebook, but I couldn’t look right away. I checked my news feed, played Bejeweled Blitz, Scrabble, and Scramble, in the same order I always did. I only had 48 friends, unilike Miranda who had hundreds. Too bad I couldn’t post a truthful status. Alexis Holden…is an idiot. Is not worth your time. Sucks. Can’t do anything right. Isn’t good enough. Is disgusting.

I opened Ben’s profile so I could stare at his picture, and my eyes traveled down the left hand side of the page. Oh my God. That was fast. His relationship status had changed to “single.” Not even “it’s complicated?” How about “just broke my girlfriend’s heart?” At least he hadn’t unfriended me. Yet.”


What I Read in 2011, Completely Uncensored

I know it’s not the end of 2011 yet, and I’m sure I’ll read more books by the end of the month, but I feel like doing this now! And I’m going to number my list, ’cause I’m nerdy like that. Weird list: book club books, classics, celebrity humor, lots of middle grade books, fairly mindless best sellers…

1.Freedom/ Jonathan Franzen

2.Getting to Happy/ Terry McMillan

3.The Cookbook Collector/ Allegra Goodman

4.In My Father’s House/ E. Lynn Harris

5.Promises to Keep/ Jane Green

6.The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks/ Rebecca Skloot

7.Stuff White People Like/ Christian Lander

8. Anna Karenina/ Leo Tolstoy

9.Alice in Wonderland/ Lewis Carroll

10.Shit My Dad Says/ Justin Halpern

11.Naked/ David Sedaris

12.Blue Like Jazz/ Donald Miller

13.Model Home/ Eric Puchner

14.Everyone is Beautiful/Katherine Center

15.Invisible Boy/ Cornelia Read

16.Red Hook Road/ Ayelet Waldman

17.The Pint Man/ Steve Rushin

18.Bound/ Antonya Nelson

19.Me Talk Pretty Some Day/ David Sedaris

20.Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim/ David Sedaris

21.The Giver/ Lois Lowry

22.Sing You Home/ Jodi Picoult

23.Crime and Punishment/ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

24.Superfudge/ Judy Blume

25.Don’t Blink/ James Patterson

26.The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook/ Matt Dunn

27.A Visit From the Goon Squad/ Jennifer Egan

28.Bright-sided/ Barbara Ehrenreich

29.Room/ Emma Donaghue

30.The Crucible/ Arthur Miller

31.Toys/ James Patterson

32.Minding Frankie/ Maeve Binchy

33.Squirrel Meets Chipmunk/ David Sedaris

34.Fever 1793/ Laurie Halse Anderson

35.If it weren’t bad enough that I’m 12 and ¾, my mother is running for president/ Donna Gephardt

36.The Devil’s Arithmetic/ Jane Yolen

37.The Catcher in the Rye/ J.D. Salinger

38.I’ll Walk Alone/ Mary Higgins Clark

39.The Informationist: A Thriller/ Taylor Stevens

40.Brain Rules/ John J. Medina

41.Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother/ Amy Chua

42.10th Anniversary/ James Patterson

43.My Horizontal Life/ Chelsea Handler

44.If You Ask Me/ Betty White

45.Cleopatra/ Stacy Schiff

46.Who Ran My Underwear Up the Flagpole?/ Jerry Spinelli

47.Ida B./ Katherine Hannigan

48.Mennonite in a Little Black Dress/ Rhoda Janzen

49.Princess on the Brink/ Meg Cabot

50.Dune Road/ Jane Green

51.The Paris Wife/ Paula McLain

52.Bossypants/ Tina Fey

53.The Confession/ John Grisham

54.Little Bee/ Chris Cleave

55.The Tiger’s Wife/ Tea Obrecht

56.State of Wonder/ Ann Patchett

57.California Diaries: Sunny/ Ann Martin

58.Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Dummies/ Rhena Branch & Rob Willson

59.Still Missing/ Chevy Stevens

60.The Hunger Games/ Suzanne Collins

61.Looks/ Madeleine George

62.Great Expectations/ Charles Dickens

63.Hunger Games 2: On Fire/ Suzanne Collins

64.If You Catch an Adjective, Kill It/ Ben Yagoda

65.Commuters/ Emily Gray Tedrowe

66.I am America (And So Can You)/ Stephen Colbert

67.Sizzlin’ Sixteen/ Janet Evanovich

68.See Me After Class/ Roxanna Elden

69.Story of Beautiful Girl/ Rachel Simon

70.Sun and Spoon/ Kevin Henkes

71.Smokin’ Seventeen/ Janet Evanovich

72.Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter/ Seth Grahame-Smith

73.Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me/ Chelsea Handler

74.Mockingjay (Hunger Games 3)/ Suzanne Collins

75.Then Came You/ Jennifer Weiner

76.Atonement/ Ian McEwan

77.Geek High/ Piper Banks

78.Dancing with Mr. Darcy/ Sarah Waters

79.Before I Fall/ Lauren Oliver

80.Dreams of Joy/ Lisa See

81.Sarah’s Key/ Tatiana de Rosnay

82.Body Bags/ Chris Golden

83.Harry Potter 7/ J.K. Rowling

84.The Great Gatsby/ F. Scott Fitzgerald

85.Holes/ Louis Sachar

86.Columbine/ Dave Cullen

87.Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?/Mindy Kaling

88.Small Steps/ Louis Sachar

89.Ttyl/ Lauren Myracle

90.The Tale of Desperaux/ Kate DiCamillo

91.Please Ignore Vera Dietz/ A.S. King

92.Interpreter of Maladies/ Jhumpa Lahiri

93.Skyward/ Mary Alice Monroe

94.Maniac Magee/ Jerry Spinelli

95.Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes/ Eleanor Coerr

96.The Christmas Wedding/ James Patterson

97.Cut/ Patricia McCormick

98.Thirteen Reasons Why/ Jay Asher

99. My Life, The Theater, and Other Tragedies/ Allen Zadoff

100. What Happened to Goodbye?/ Sarah Dessen

101. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn/ Betty Smith

102. There if You Need Me/ Kate Braestrup

And, currently reading:

Flow, Get the Words Down Right, 101 Words You’ll Never Misuse Again, Here If You Need Me, The Lightning Thief, and who knows what else…

Okay, done being nerdy.

A word I like


Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like I want be sad.

But the word “melancholy” makes sadness seem dignified. It’s more like a pensive thoughtfulness that dwells on a greater meaning. It surrounds you as a mood but it’s noble.

And then there’s the spelling and sound. The “choly” spelling is interesting to me. And the sound of the whole word rolling over your lips is gorgeous.

I can barely conceive of a type of beauty in which there is no Melancholy.
Charles Baudelaire

Do you have a “sad” word that you can reclaim for its beauty?

Six-Word December

So have you heard of Six-Word Memoirs?

Six-Word Memoirs was born at Smith Magazine, an online storytelling publication. Taking their inspiration from a six word story by Ernest Hemingway (“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”), the magazine asked readers to come up with six word autobiographies. From this idea came a book:

Here are some of my favorite examples:

“I still make coffee for two.”

“Facebook has ruined my entire life.”

“Sperm too potent, now have triplets.”

“Nothing profound, I just sat around.”

“Naively expected logical world. Acted foolishly.”

“I can’t keep my own secrets.” [This one’s probably me.]

I was thinking, what would be a good six word description of the holiday season, or December, let’s say?

I came up with a couple (not wonderful; y’all can do better):

Rehearsals, shopping, stockings, wrapping, then peace.

Mommy, is Santa real? Um, uh…

Tall white candles illuminating stained glass.

Okay, your turn! Tell me your six-word December.