Saturday, February 21, 2015

What's On My Mind...

It's been almost a month since I blogged last. I'm not sure where the time has gone. When people note I've been quiet and ask what I'm working on, I tell them I've been writing. Writing, talking, listening, editing, writing more. I'm in the midst of a big revision that feels IMPORTANT and my head has been a little bit in that game.

Plus, the winter has been interminable and I don't have much to say about that.

I've been thinking about the way people skate in and out of our lives, particularly on the Internet. How you can meet people and connect with them and maybe follow each other on various social media platforms and how that's really only a half-commitment. It's flirtatious banter on OkCupid before planning a real date. But the people who stick, the ones who take the next step to make a real date and then maybe hold your hair back when you're hurling later because you got nervous about meeting them and drank too much sangria, those are the ones who are worth finding.

My friend Jolene texts me randomly every few days and tells me to walk the dog so we can chat on the phone. Carrie visits and we do a podcast together then she writes me the next week about doing to the grocery store. Asher calls me from the museum in Washington D.C. Gayle emails to ask about the smexy book I'm editing. And my other Carrie sends me notes explaining that she's become addicted to NA novels and may need an intervention. I love this. All of it. These are the things that have seeped into me lately. The parts that matter, when you get close enough to someone that the mundane events of their lives are interesting. When you stop talking about writing and publishing and instead talk about what you think, what you fear, what you want more than anything.

Other stuff. I am brushing up on rape victim advocacy training to get back into hospitals. Because of weird scheduling issues, it has taken longer than I thought. But I'm nearly done and I'm ready. This work is difficult and so re-energizing. This is something that doesn't feel like a burden to me, but more something I must do. Whether or not it's true, in my head, I always think this is why I survived sexual violence. This is why I got out of that car alive.

It was Ash Wednesday this week. I've tried to give up the idea of loneliness as my Lenten sacrifice. I talk about my own loneliness a lot. How difficult it is to balance the work I do with an extroverted personality. For Lent, I welcome the silence, the time to reflect and wonder, the time to be a little uncomfortable by myself so I can figure out where I stand on this earth.

I read this post at Momastery the other day and it was perfect. Everyone has stories to tell. Everyone wants to be heard. And we are all capable of listening. I want to be a better listener. Maybe that more than anything else is why I haven't blogged in so long. It is really because I am out here listening. Tell me your stories. They matter to me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

January Recap

January is almost over and it has been sort of a bananas month so there's a lot to recap:

1. Roller derby started again and it continues to be awesome. This is a good thing since I haven't felt like running in forever and mostly I can't wait for the snow to melt so I can skate outside. My derby name is Desirial Killer, btw.
2. I started writing a book that I really, really like. It's been almost six months since that happened and as many of you know, I've written over 100k words in those six months that I ultimately threw out. I'm 20k into this one and so far I don't want to trash it so YESSS.

3. Julio quit his job to go freelance, which is awesome and fun for him because he gets to do a lot of projects he's been wanting to try his hand at but hasn't had the time. Of course, the two of us both at home is a funny adjustment. He isn't used to silence and I'm so used to it that if he interrupts to ask if I want more coffee, I snarl at him. Although it is fun having someone around to pick up the kids and walk the dog if I'm in the writing/editing groove.

4. My alcoholic girl boxer book copy edits are finished so ARCs are going to be available soon-ish. It has a name! OTHER BROKEN THINGS. You can read about it here and I'll be doing a cover reveal in the next few months.

5. Carrie Mesrobian and I taped our first podcast a few weeks ago. She's coming into town on V-Day weekend so we can tape our second one live. The first podcast will be up as soon as Carrie can stop watching Supernatural and actually upload it to iTunes.

February is going to be an exciting month, and not just because Carrie and I are going to see 50SoG together. Here's what is happening:

Jan 31st--ALA--yay for this! I hope I get to see lots of people there. I'll be wandering the exhibit halls for the Sexual Violence in YA Lit Project
Feb 3rd--Hopleaf, Tuesday Funk reading, 7:30pm (Hope my Chicago friends can come)
February 6th--Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix with Gayle Forman for her I Was Here event

I'm also getting re-certified to go back into hospital ERs as a rape victim advocate in February so all the way around it's going to be busy. What have you all been up to this month?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday Truths...

1. BLEED LIKE ME is going into second printing. This is amazing. I never expected it. And I'm so incredibly thankful to my readers for buying this book. And I am trying to be grateful for this abundance of reader kindness instead of worry that there will be expectations now. You would not believe how frequently I get in my own way with defeat and worry and a lack of belief in myself.

2. I have been quiet on social media because my heart has been heavy with the difficulties of the world. Sometimes it is very hard to make your insides match with your outsides. Every single day I'm reminded of the complexity of human feeling, how we can be happy and sad at the same time. 

3. I have slowed down a lot in my writing, in my editing, in my life. I don't know if this is the hibernation of winter or the acknowledgment that I need more time to process things. I always want answers, solutions, a course of action, but in the end, one thing solves itself and another thing opens up as a problem. I wonder if we spent more time on resolution then fewer things would be problems. 

4. I finished my copy edits on the alcoholic girl boxer book. I love that book still. I hope other people love it too. It doesn't come out for a year. Publishing is a strange animal with timelines, and yet I find I don't mind waiting as much as I used to. There are a lot of books in the world. It is better for people to read widely than be inundated with just my books. 

5. I did a school visit on Friday in front of an unexpectedly large audience. It is difficult to talk about things as personal as rape in front of so many people. I wonder if other people do this better. If it feels less personal to them so they can get their points across more. I have talked in front of a class of 40 at Northwestern University many times, but an auditorium is a different animal. I have been thinking a lot about this issue of who we owe our story to. Laura Ruby and I are going to write something for the Sexual Violence in YA Lit Project about it. I wonder about the balance of being an out survivor and still protecting yourself enough to share your story in your own words and your own time.