Grace’s Bad Date: A Fiction

Last week, Jennifer Weiner asked me how I’d tell the story of “Grace,” the twenty-two-year-old who went on the date from Hell with Aziz Ansari.   I really did try, but the more I tried, the more confused I got.  

The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.   We tell each other stories about something that happened so that we can impose order on the event. That’s why the same event told by two different people can become two entirely different stories: the event was shaped by two different points of view.  I should make it clear that I believe “Grace” was telling the truth in the way she related the events, and I believe Ansari’s apology and his explanation that he saw the events differently.   I understand that real life comes at us fast and it’s hard to think straight under pressure; there have been any number of times when I’ve looked back at something and thought, Why didn’t I do something about that?   Even so, I can’t take the events as listed and make them into a coherent narrative.   Continue reading

An Art-Full February

I tripped over Lee Thomson’s Dancing Crow Postcard-A-Day project in 2008, and loved both the postcards and the idea.  I really loved the idea of making daily art, something I’ve let drop from my life (my first degree was in art, my first jobs were as an art teacher, now it’s all about the words), but I didn’t have the discipline, so I just enjoyed Lee’s work.  I still don’t have the discipline to do one project every day for a year, but Lee has a new, easier idea: Make a Thing a Day for February, 2018.  Here’s her comment: Continue reading

The Glass is Cracked, But It’s Still Half Full

So America is in the middle of a massive stomach churn of the body politic, heaving while half of it freezes and the other half burns (climate change is a myth, part of SoCal always slides into the ocean during January).  The Evil Empire that Trump put into office is cancelling net neutrality, funding Big Coal, releasing the oceans to drilling, and trying to criminalize pot again.  Also Trump is still President.  So it’s bad.

But it’s not that bad, it may even be good, and I am not a glass-half-full kind of person.   Why am I delusional about this?  Here, have some random optimism: Continue reading

2018 and Change

Krissie had us post our word for the year over at ReFab, and I picked “change.”  I have obvious reasons politically–vote in the 2018 midterms, people–but mostly for personal reasons.  I had a rough time several years ago and it’s taken me until now to get centered again.  Moving into the middle of nowhere was a HUGE help–you would not believe how peaceful and beautiful it is here–but now that I’m back on my feet, it’s time for change, big and little.   Continue reading

Six More Days to the Resolutions


So it’s six more days to 2018, which promises to be a contentious year here in America, but also a chance for a fresh start, especially if we can do some governmental rearranging. Since January 1 is the traditional day for new beginnings (I like Sept. 1 because of spending most of my life in educational circles, but that’s just me), these are our last six days to clear away the deadwood of 2017 to start with a nice clean slate for the new year.  For me, that means finishing a book and throwing out half the stuff in my house.  I don’t do weight loss diets–they’re depressing and they don’t work and also, I like food–and any bad habits I have are now baked into my personality, so changing those is futile, but the book and the house are non-negotiable.   Continue reading

Christmas, The Downside

I’ve been staying home and writing, but today I had to hit the grocery and the pharmacy and the craft store (skull button) and I was brought up once again by the true horror of the season: Christmas music.  The stuff is insidious; I found myself singing along to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”  I probably looked like one of those animatronic elves, nodding my head mechanically as I searched for a good skull for my Day of the Dead project.   Thank god, it wasn’t “Santa Baby.”  I listened to four different versions of that sucker while writing “Hot Toy.” Never again.  Okay, I’ll listen to the Etta James version because she can do no wrong, but that’s it. Continue reading

In Search of the Womanicule


Atlas Obscura has a fun post on the manicule
, that pointing hand that has been showing up in infinite variety in manuscripts for centuries.   And of course I want a stamp of  that because I can put it on manuscripts that I’m editing and . . .
Okay, I just want a stamp of a woman’s finger pointing.  Which is when I made an annoying discovery:

There’s a reason they call them MANicules.   Continue reading

Well, This Is Another Fine Mess

Some of you may have noticed that the blog is REALLY SLOW to load.  No?  Well, I have, and we’re in the midst of trying to fix it.   Okay, not we exactly, Mollie’s in the midst.  I’m dealing with other things, many things.  I have multiple fine messes on my hands, as Ollie might have said to Stan. Continue reading

Sense8 is Back

Remember Sense8, the Netflix show about eight people born on the same day at the same hour who are psychically linked so that share everything including fist fights, sex, and karaoke?  I bitched about it because it was such a chaotic mess last year and raved about it because the characterization was so phenomenal, the romances so well crafted, and the emotional payoff so overwhelmingly satisfying.  I’ve only watched the first two episodes of season two, and once again it moves like molasses on ice, but I’m in.   Which is odd because I’m such a structure wonk.  Where are the turning points?  Where’s the escalation?  Who cares?  These characters are back.  Turns out character really is everything.

Continue reading