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The Writing Life
So many of your wrote in helpful suggestions for my friend, Stephanie, who has just moved to Atlanta. And I am sure that many of you read her grateful responses. Then, she wrote in when I was looking for “Lost and Found” stories– just after moving to Atlanta her dog, Peanut ran away! Well, she just wrote in that Peanut is back home safe. See, there is such a thing as a happy ending.
Yesterday, I published an essay in the New York Times for their series, “Summerscapes.” It’s called “Among the Belivers”, and is a sort of amusing story about the time when I, the daughter of an atheist, was sent to vacation bible school.
I have been invited to the Pen/Faulkner Gala in Washington, DC in September. Hurrah, right? Yes. It’s a good thing. I’m thrilled. I bought a dress. Shoes. Bag. My inner debutante has risen to the occaision and taken care of all things superficial. All that’s left is the hard part. I have to write a short piece, about 300 words, on the theme of Lost and Found. And I have to read this piece aloud at the gala.
Yesterday, Nikki Giovanni gave a reading and signing at in Atlanta. The venue: Starbucks on 14th street. If you go to ANY starbucks in the USA, ask to have your drink served in cup #33. That’s the “Nikki Giovanni Cup” which has a short poem printed on the cup itself!
Two of my favorite writers, Pearl Cleage and Nikki Giovanni will be in Atlanta this week. The occaision? Pearl is interviewing Nikki for The HistoryMakers series on PBS. (The HistoryMakers is the largest African American video oral history archive, dedicated to recording and preserving the personal histories of well-known and unsung African Americans.)
I am tickled to pieces that Pearl and Nikki have invited me to tag along for all of the festivites.
Today, I sat down to work on my new novel after three weeks on the road. This novel feel alive within me. I think about it when I lie down at night. I have to force myself to sleep and the only way I can do that is to remind myself that I have to sleep to do any decent writing in the morning. So, this is good. I don’t quite know what to do with myself when I am not working on a project.
But when I finally sat down to write, I had to work hard to shut out the voices of the world and concentrate on my story, my characters, the page.
Fifteen readings later, I am back in Champaign-Urbana. Who would imagine that I would weep with joy at the sight of endless cornfields?
As I promised last week, I have written an op-ed for the AJC about the reopening of the Atlanta Child Murders case…
A recently had a conversation with Quinn Dalton, author of Bulletproof Girl. We talked about writing, life, and the writing life. We gave tips on how to stay sane on book tour, and how to write a novel in the first place. You can read the whole conversation in the cool e-zine, A Small Spiral Notebook.