On the Road: New York with Lani and Alesia

Lani Diane Rich arrived Friday night and I’d love to tell you we did sophisticated, publisher author stuff, but I’d walked all over NYC all day, and she’d been doing the editor/agent thing, so we just vegged at the apartment. The highlight of the evening was when we googled for the Ugliest Dog Contest and then laughed ourselves into hysterics at the dogs, all of whom had proud loving owners so we weren’t being cruel. Sam, of course, is the ugliest dog of all time, a three-time winner of the event, and once you see him you really wonder how any other dog could have beaten him, but we did develop a special fondness for another dog, a little lady in pearls and a tiara:


I’d post Sam’s picture, but he was scary. Sweet but scary. We were devastated to learn he’d died at fourteen, which was pretty good considering the problems Sam’s DNA probably had. His obit is here including a video. Be afraid.

Then Alesia Holliday ducked out of the PASIC conference and came to spend the afternoon and evening, and we bought enough chocolate for thirty and once again let down the glamour of the published author by eating ourselves sick on candy and laughing way too loud. I’d write more about that, but I think Lani has it covered. At least there were several times tonight when she said, “That’s goin’ on the blog.” I believe she’s calling her entry, “That’s Goin’ On The Blog, Bitch,” but I’m not sure. We sort of lost our grip early on. And the real problem with that is that the stuff we found hysterical wouldn’t be if I tried to reproduce it. Giddiness so rarely translates well. Unlike Sam, who was ugly but lovable in any language.

Tomorrow I’m all alone with leftover pizza and leftover Chinese and Agnes, since I have the galleys of Agnes and the Hitman here. I’m trying to think of what I’ve accomplished this week, and it’s been pretty much consuming large amounts of food and walking a lot but not enough to counteract the large amounts of food. And laughing. The laughing is key.

But now I need to get back to work. Galleys, short stories about getting rid of bodies, papers about community, you all have done the research, now I have to write the damn things. The party’s over.

I really am sad about Sam. We will not see his like again.

On the Road: New York with Bob

I’m sitting in the apartment with Bob, and we’ve both got computers going. It’s sad really. Every now and then he snickers and reads something to me. About nuns.

We walked through the village and down into Soho to the Apple store because he woke up and stepped on his power cord and it wouldn’t work any more. Bob without a computer is not a pretty thought. Most of the way we argued about this movie he’d just seen which he insisted was called Heaven Can Have Her. I said, “No, I know that movie, it was Leave Her To Heaven, it’s a quote from Hamlet.” He told me I was wrong. For miles, he told me I was wrong. Then we got back and I checked the IMDB and said, “Leave Her To Heaven.” He said, “That’s what I said.” Now he’s looking up nuns on the internet because he wants the heroine of the solo book he’s working on to be a nun. (Some of you may remember Abigail from the old He Wrote She Wrote blog.) He’s also suggesting that I should be a nun. Or teach at a convent school. Or . . . well, it depends on what Google entry he’s reading.

I called my doc this morning, and she told me I had a tetanus shot in Nov. 2004, so I’m good with the lockjaw problem. In fact I walked all over with Bob who complained the entire time that his feet were going to hurt tomorrow. I finally said, “Hey, I’m the one with the hole in my foot.” He said, “I know, I’m surprised it doesn’t hurt.” I said, “It hurts, I’m being brave.” He said, “Uh huh.” Then he made fun of me because I wouldn’t cross against the light. Then two blocks later I crossed against the light and he yelled at me for being careless. I said, “But back there, you said–” He said, “You didn’t even look.” I said, “So I only get points if I do it on purpose?” He said, “Yes.” Then he crossed against the light without looking.

He just read out loud, “The average age of nuns today is sixty-nine,” and then added, “You’re a puppy.”

So earlier today, I had lunch with Jen and showed her my Curio stuff and she loved it. You can actually pitch a book with pictures, I was amazed. And she said she could “see” Always Kiss Me Goodnight better than You Again, probably because it was all one picture (it’s the one I posted here) instead of being divided into four acts/boards like YA. Or maybe I just have a better grip on that story. Anyway, it was a great lunch.

Bob just said, “I think you could still write.” So it’s okay if he sells me into a nunnery because I can still collaborate. I told him I’m Lutheran. He said they have Lutheran nuns. Then he went back to researching. He appears to be serious about making the heroine a nun. He grew up going to Catholic schools, maybe it’s something to do with that?

So anyway, my foot is really throbbing right now, but it has stopped bleeding and I’m not going to get lockjaw–I think Bob was a little disappointed–so Mollie and I are on for the walking all over tomorrow. Bob is leaving first thing in the morning, having just dashed into town at the last minute without telling anybody which is why you should ignore the pathetic moaning he’s doing on his blog–if you don’t tell people you’re coming in, they can’t save a lunch date for you–and is now dashing out again.

Bob just said, “I don’t think the nun thing is going to work for this book.” YA THINK?

We’re living the dream in New York City.

On the Road: New York

I was really looking forward to this trip, a week in NYC, no business to speak of, a lot of walking through galleries and around the West Village which I love. Then the phone rang this afternoon and woke me out of a deep sleep and I leapt to my feet and snagged the bottom of my foot on a nail sticking up from the ancient floorboards here. Hurt like hell. So I hobbled into the kitchen and saw Bob dozing on the sofa bed and turned to go back to the bathroom to hunt up a bandaid and saw how much blood I’d spattered getting from the bedroom to the kitchen, which is when I sat down and looked at the bottom of my foot and it was gross and dripping blood. By then Bob was sitting up, saying, “What now?” until he looked at my foot and then he said something else. After which I washed it off and he put antibiotic stuff on it and strapped the only bandaid I had on it and then he said, “That’s deep.” Which for Bob, the original “Oh, wah” guy, is like “Have you made out your will? Am I in it?” Thank god I have a blood disease that makes me clot a lot.

And I’d had such a good lunch with Meg, too. I showed her the collages and visual outlines I’ve been doing for the books I’m working on/want to work on, and she said, “Show these to Jen,” so tomorrow I will haul my computer with me to lunch and flash my editor with Curio pages. It could be a whole new way to pitch. Or just a fun thing to do with my editor and agent at lunch. Either way, Curio is working for me once again. Unlike my foot.

But since Bob is asleep in the kitchen–yes, at eight PM at night, my writing partner is sacked out already, worn out from mopping up blood all over the apartment–and my walking days are curtailed for awhile, that gives me time to go back to the short story with the inventive ways to get rid of the body–I told Meg all about you and your ideas at lunch, probably not the best time to mention pouring Coke over a body in a bathtub, especially since we were both drinking Diet Coke at the time–and to continue on with the community paper. I still haven’t gotten my head wrapped around what I want to say yet, but your comments are clarifying things beautifully. I do think there’s some self-selection going on here, but the feedback is so rich that it’s helpful anyway. So thank you very much.

Now does anybody have a big bandaid? Because I think my foot’s still bleeding. If you don’t hear from me again, it’ll be because I bled to death in the West Village and my writing partner got rid of the body.. Thanks to all of you, he knows how.