Sunday, December 29, 2013

musings on goodness (or God, if you prefer)

Sometimes it’s far easier to believe that the world is an insidious place. There can be so much hurt and anger and outright bad that it’s difficult to see through it all. Like a murk or a fog that settles over the landscape, once you start seeing brokenness and oppression in all their various forms it’s very difficult to unsee them – not that you want to or should. It’s just that seeing the bad, hard things makes it difficult to see anything else.

And then there are times when the murk settles and the fog rolls away in the midst of very real goodness: A woman who’s lost her truest love smiles for the first time in a long time because her grandchildren are sitting at her kitchen table, drinking her tea. A man who spends half his life caring for his wife and after she’s gone that same wife’s picture sits on his girlfriend’s mantel because why on earth wouldn’t she? The generosity of a woman who has nothing to give and yet gives anyway – gladly and unapologetically. There is a blinding brightness to these things. They can show you the way through the fog. You just have to remember to look for them.

I often wonder if goodness (or God, if you prefer) isn’t neat and tidy. Maybe goodness doesn’t like clean lines, but instead prefers complexity and chaos and mess. Maybe it wants to sit in the hard places, wants the challenge of making something out of nothing (or less than nothing). It was YHWH who brought light out of the darkness, after all.

Friday, December 27, 2013

how I'm spending today

Listening to: Imogen Heap
Writing: character profiles
Eating: lots and lots of chocolate
Taking breaks with: WORN Journal

Sunday, December 15, 2013

killing your darlings

Every writer knows the phrase, “Kill your darlings,” because every writer knows exactly how necessary the act is. But up until very recently - like, just now – I never really understood why this sentiment carried so much weight, why so many writers vehemently shouted it from the rooftops. Up until very recently, these were my thoughts on the matter:

Kill my darlings? Pfft. Easy. Darlings, shmarlings. I can cut anything at anytime, no matter how perfect or wonderful I think it is. Nothing is sacred.*

Very often, I take this too far. Sometimes I get feedback on a manuscript and think, “That’s it! Everything must go. A total rewrite is in order.” (It’s times like these that my agent rolls her eyes and bites her tongue while I sleep on it and come to my senses. She is a wise, wise lady.) Sometimes total rewrites are what’s needed. But not always.

Anyways. I’ve been trucking along on these revisions for a while now, and then, out of the blue, I get to this scene that I really love that needs to be cut. But instead of deleting that darling, it stopped me dead.

Surely, not this scene, I thought to myself. But the reasons for cutting it were sound. No matter how hard I tried to sabotage those reasons, they blocked me at every turn. So I held my breath and closed my eyes and cut the scene. And then I kept on trucking.

And lo and behold, it happened again. Another scene that I adored needed to be cut for very sound reasons. Not this one, I thought. This one is special. And I clung. And I clung. And I clung.

Finally I had to take a step back and realize I’d been deluding myself all these years.

Killing your darlings is really, really hard.

There are some scenes that you will write that are perfect and poetic and insightful and whatever else it is that endears them to you. Sometimes, though, those scenes have the power to weaken the narrative. And when that happens, they must go. The needs of the narrative as a whole are always more important than your desire to coddle that one little scene you desperately love.

So steel yourself (wine helps) and then go kill those darlings.

*I do believe in the sacred, very much so. I just also believe in exaggeration.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


My grandfather passed away last Thursday after spending three agonizing weeks in the hospital. And while death isn't exactly a stranger to me, I've never quite felt a loss like this one.

Someone once told me that being broken up with is like someone close to you dying. I've found that's entirely, fundamentally untrue. Sure, break-ups hurt like hell. But they're nothing like death. Nothing at all. The sounds of your grandmother's sobs, of your mother's, of your aunts' - those are not things you can unhear. Death is irrevocable absence. It's perpetual silence. It's gone-ness. Where someone was, they are now no longer. And will never be again.

It's the strangest thing.

Last weekend, as my family and I gathered up the remnants of a good, rich life, I could see the passing of time. I could feel the ending of something vast. I know that nothing is permanent. I know that everything changes. I know that this too will end.

It's just that I've never been very good with endings.

Love you, Pa.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


At some point in life, the place that formed you and the people you once belonged to are no longer yours. Maybe those people or that place has changed, or maybe you’ve changed, or maybe death or distance or some other circumstance has separated you. Whatever the case, the seams that once held your world together have frayed and frayed and finally come undone and now here you are, with your needle and thread, and your unraveled world, alone.

You realize that all along your gods were mere mortals. All along you've thought death was the worst thing that could happen - but it's not.

It's not.

So now what are you going to do?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

a secret thing

Because I'm a master of procrastination, I made a new playlist for the secret thing I'm revising. It is thus:

Living Things by the Perennials (Joe wrote this song. It is very dear to my heart. He also wrote All I Need, which is further down that list and which he can sometimes be coaxed into singing to me. But I digress.)

And now I have to go get some actual work done...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

making glaze and taking names

This is my lacklustre attempt at documenting my very first glaze-making session.

Are you ready?


First, I got myself a muse. Exhibit A:

Then I did the following:

And then, because the Oxford English Dictionary just announced its word of the year, I couldn't resist:

The word of the year, in case you haven't heard, is "selfie".

Saturday, November 16, 2013

the six of cups

This is the Six of Cups. It symbolizes childhood and memories and nostalgia.

I was sitting at my writing desk today, going over and over something in my mind. There's a really important decision that I need to make. I’m usually pretty good at making decisions; for the most part, I’m the kind of person who knows what she wants to do and then does it. But this decision had me stuck.

So I sat at my desk, staring out the window, and reached for the unused tarot deck on the sill. I’ve never really been a believer in new age spirituality. (Are we still calling it that? I'm not sure.) For a significant period of my life, I was actually taught that tarot cards were evil - sad, I know. Anyways. I really only own this particular deck because the illustrations are gorgeous and I wanted to look at the pictures.

But as this decision loomed over me, I thought: Why not?

So I reached for the deck. I shuffled and cut. And then I drew a card: the Six of Cups.

I had no idea what that meant. But the moment I saw the image, I sat up and looked harder. Because of the tree, definitely. But more so because of the roots: prominent and important and vividly colourful.

It's hard to explain the significance of a tree (and one with emphasis on its roots) in this decision without launching into all the details - which I'm not at liberty to do. So you'll just have to trust me: this is a decision about trees and roots and rooted-ness. It's one that has to do with something that I left behind in the place where I grew up.
When I pulled out that card, I was definitely leaning in one direction. But after I pulled it, even as I resisted it, I knew I needed to go in the other direction. I needed to go back.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

i see fire

I started making my little brother mix CDs a few years ago in an attempt to "introduce" him to good music. Wow. Was I in for a surprise. Maybe it started out that way, but lately he's doing all the introducing. The last time I looked over my most recent writing playlist, more than half the songs there were recommended by him.

His most recent late night text referred me to this song by Ed Sheeran. It'll be on the upcoming Desolation of Smaug soundtrack. I'm kind of obsessed with it:

Little brothers are the best.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

a pair of pinch pots

There's something remarkable about pinching. It's the most basic way to shape clay, requiring no tools or equipment, just your finger and thumb. It's organic and whimsical and lacks pretension. It's just what I need today.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. – Anne Frank

Yes to this. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Friday, November 1, 2013

my hands are hungry

I've been on a hiatus from clay for over a year now. There were a lot of reasons for this. First of all, I moved and moving always takes such a toll on me. As silly as it sounds, I typically spend the year after a move recovering from said move. Second of all, vending. I was vending at a lot of shows. And while I love the vending circuit, it gets exhausting. It's long days and very little sleep, not to mention all the work that goes into preparing - all for something that may or may not be worth it in the end. Most of all, though, I felt bored and stale and stuck creatively. I felt like I was coasting on these tried and true designs. I felt stifled and lazy.

So I stepped back. I packed up my studio and moved. I took a job doing another one of my great loves - making bread. I didn't go near my wheel. I didn't cut any clay. I didn't dream up anything new.

And now, a year later, I find my hands are hungry. Maybe this is because I no longer get up at 3am and spend the next eight hours making bread (the process of making bread and making ceramics are actually quite similar). Or maybe this is because it's the first of November and Autumn has that way of bringing you back to yourself. Whatever the reason, I've been more vulnerable than usual lately. And then I came across this video of a potter whose work I adore (her name is Diana Fayt and you can see her work here). The video is nothing particularly special, really, but the glimpse into her studio, the brief moments watching her work, and just listening to her speak had me in tears. I was so moved by her.

So tomorrow I'm going to buy some new clay and then I'm going to bribe my little brother to help me unpack my studio. And then... who knows?

Friday, October 25, 2013


So you know how men (and sometimes women) see a girl walking down the street and, if they’re not smiling, feel they have the right to tell them to smile? Or to make them feel guilty about not smiling? Well this phenomenon happens with dogs too.

Yonder is a very nice looking dog. And when people see him, they automatically think he is approachable and friendly – maybe because his tail is wagging or because he’s panting (which makes him look like he’s smiling). Even if I say, he’s going to bark at you, or, he’s wary of strangers, people will still approach thinking they are the exception. Let me tell you: they never are. And when Yonder doesn’t go up to them, wagging his tail and being all subservient - even more, when he does the opposite (barking or growling or ducking away) - they get offended. Some people even get angry, calling him “bad” or “untrained” or (yes, this happened today) "evil".

Honestly? It’s no different than that guy walking towards me on the street telling me to smile and getting offended or cussing me out when I refuse.

That guy thinks he’s entitled to feel good about watching a girl walk down the street, and if she’s not smiling it negatively affects his mood. Similarly, human beings think they’re entitled to the devotion of dogs. They see a nice-looking dog and think they have a right to that dog’s affection. So when a dog doesn’t go up to them smiling and wagging their tail or (heaven forbid!) it barks at them, they feel personally offended. Dogs are supposed to be subservient and affectionate – this is their function. They are only valuable in so far as they make human beings feel good about themselves.

This, my friends, is entitlement and I have exactly no patience for it. In fact, the next time it happens to Yonder, I’m going to chase the offender down the street myself.

End rant.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

story longings

Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak? - Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

As I raced to the end of my first draft this week, I was thinking a lot about how this particular story is so much different than the last one. The last novel I wrote was a very personal and intimate thing. Writing it felt like walking through the forest at night, barefoot, with only the light of the moon to guide me. (That's actually exactly how the story opens: with my protagonist walking barefoot through the woods in the middle of the night.) In the two years that I've spent writing and rewriting that story, there have been a lot of wrong turns and a lot of lostness and a lot of fear.

This novel (so far) is completely different. Writing the first draft of this novel was like playing a huge game of chess in my head. It’s a much bigger story. It’s political and romantic and the stakes are sky high. It isn’t sensitive and gentle the way the first one was. In fact, I might even call it ruthless. Merciless. And as I think back on the past year or so, that makes a lot of sense. My sensitive/gentle novel began as a way of coping with losing something precious. It was my way of clinging to a person and a place that was disappearing while simultaneously learning to let go.

This novel is much more about what I long for. Because I work at a bookstore, because I review books and interview authors and host their events, I end up reading a lot of books that I must read. This isn’t a bad thing. If anything, it forces me out of my comfort zone and into stories that are very different from the ones I’m used to. But it can get exhausting and reading can start to feel like an obligation. Writing this novel was a way out of that, a way for me not to be burned out on stories. Instead of reading five books and *maybe* falling in love with one, writing this novel has been a way of making sure I'm always in one that I love/want/need/crave. It's my way of fulfilling the story-longings inside me.

Sometimes I forget that writing is a living, breathing thing; that the story (or the poem, etc.) not only transforms you and feeds you, but is transformed and fed because of you. Erin Bow in her interview with the Quill & Quire last month said that she thinks she writes what she will ultimately end up needing. And I wonder if there's truth in that for every writer.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

where i write

I can write anywhere. In bed in the middle of the afternoon. On my mother's kitchen floor. On my grandmother's crumbling steps leading into the woods. In a cafe with the music blaring and the people beside me trying to talk above it. But my absolute favourite place to write is my writing desk.

There's something about designating a particular space to a particular task. It gives that task more weight, more heft. It says: Hey, pay attention, this thing is important. We designate spaces to eating, sleeping, lounging, playing, working. I decided a few years ago that if writing was important to me, I needed to give it its own space. So I did.

Writing isn't the only thing I do here. Sometimes I draw. Often I procrastinate. But mostly, I write. And because it's mostly writing that gets done in this place, my body knows that when I sit down at the desk and open the laptop or pick up the pen, it's time to get down to work.

Friday, October 11, 2013

the strength of not knowing

This is my dog. I like him a lot. I especially like to cuddle him - which he does not like. Not in the least. I'm lucky if he tolerates hugs for more than two seconds.

Already I'm digressing.

A few days ago, I was playing with him in the kitchen. He's a pretty big dog (85lbs) and he was getting excited  - jumping and barking and play-biting - which is bad if I'm not going to take him outside (which I wasn't, we'd just been outside) because then his behaviour escalates and he stays in that overly-excited state and it's not fair to anyone. So in the midst of trying to calm him down and it not working I said playfully/exasperatedly: "Yonder, go lie down!" He immediately stopped, went straight to his blanket by the door, and lay down.

We stared at each other in the silence. This was not a command I had taught him. And if you know anything about dogs, you know that they don't understand English and therefore don't understand spoken commands they've never been trained to obey. Dogs innately understand movement and body language - it's what they pay attention to. They may listen to you when you speak to them, but they don't understand you.

So I thought it was a fluke and forgot about it. But then just yesterday the same thing happened: We were playing, he was getting riled up, and before it escalated I knew I needed to stop it. So again, I said, "Go lie down." And he did. Again, the silence descended and we stared at each other.

It was in the silence that I realized this must have been something his former owner taught him. Because Yonder and I didn't always belong to each other. When I found him he was sitting in a cage at the humane society in my hometown. He'd been there for months, and before that he'd been a stray. When I first saw him, he was mangy and recovering from some kind of fight and his ribs stuck out too far. The time of his life before we met are a mystery to me. I have no idea where he came from or how he ended up where he did.

And there's something beautiful about that - about the not knowing. He has a past that I know nothing about. He has no way of telling me what his previous people were like, if they were kind or cruel, why he left them or if he was abandoned. He carries with him remnants of his past (like the "go lie down" command) but I'll never be able to know him completely. And it's the same for me: I have a whole past that he wasn't a part of and that I'll never be able to tell him about and that I carry with me in my own ways.

In the beginning, when we were first getting used to each other, I thought this was a weakness. Not being completely understood and not being able to understand was frustrating for me. But it turns out that a bond that can't be defined or defended or built up by words doesn't need to be. What's more: it can't be ruined by them. It turns out that there's something appealing about not being completely known by the one you're devoted to. The companionship that exists between Yonder and I is made up of mystery and silence and it's sealed with an unasked for devotion. It needs no basis or logic; it just is.

And thus, what I thought was the greatest weakness in our bond has turned out to be its greatest strength.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Fear is something that is far too prevalent in my life. I’m afraid of so many things: The dark. Walking down the street alone at night. Blood clots. Brain aneurisms. Dying in general. Someone I love dying. Maybe those are all related. Actually, I’m pretty sure they are.

But the thing I’m most afraid of, right now, this week? Writing. Specifically writing the part that comes next in this manuscript that I’m almost at the end of. The fact that I’m here writing this blog post instead of the next 2000 words in my story tells me that I’m scared.

So why am I so afraid? Well in some ways this next chapter is my Voldemort. I have a vague idea of what it is or what it needs to be but I can’t see it clearly because I haven’t written it. It has a great deal of power over me because it’s the point at which everything in the story gets turned on its head. It’s the point at which the most awful thing that can happen to my characters happens. I’ve even resorted to calling it The Chapter That Changes Everything - because that’s not terrifying at all.

The thing I always have to remind myself when I’m in this place is that fears are like shadows. Depending on the way the light shines, a shadow can stretch and loom or it can shrink and fade. Shadows are always going to be there, whatever their shape. Just like fear is always going to be there, taking its many forms. It’s me that has to decide what I’m going to do in light of that.

Once, not very long ago, I thought I was supposed to strive for fearlessness. I’m not so sure anymore. These days I wonder if maybe the best I can do is look my fear in the face and say: You’re not going to stop me today. And then try to make that come true.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

apparently I have a new favourite picture book

From the same publisher of Hildafolk comes this eccentric little book, WILD by Emily Hughes. It is perfect. Seriously. My first day back at the bookstore (which was yesterday) I saw its spine peeking out from one of the shelves and was all: WHAT. IS. THAT. Needless to say it was mine from that moment.

After work I brought it home. It was late. And there was a whole lot of people over at my place (my partner had invited his colleagues over). I read it to each and every person who would let me.

I might be obsessed. Maybe. Just a little.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

On Writing

Before you begin, you’re standing at the bottom of the bluff looking up. The sight both thrills and terrifies you because the question of Is it surmountable? is still unanswered. So you make your first choice: Do you begin? Or do you simply admire it and, when you’re done admiring, walk away?

You don’t walk away. You find the trail, or you make one, and you walk. This particular bluff is steep, which is of course why you picked it. But soon your legs are burning and your breath stings your lungs and you’re nowhere near halfway up. At this point it would be oh so easy to turn back.

Today, though, you push yourself on. It’s hard. Every step is one where you could stop and say enough. You’re tired. Also, what if you have to pee? You’re in the middle of nowhere. More importantly, though, you left the car way back there, a world away, with all your belongings. What if something happens to it while you’re up climbing this silly hill?

But now you are halfway there. And when you take that next step, those worries begin to slip away. The space between you and world grows and you forget why your belongings are so important and who cares about the car, anyway? You know where you want to go and you’re not going to stop until you get there.

As you climb, higher and higher, it’s still hard. Your legs are still burning and your breath is still scraping your lungs... only you’re used to it now. You start to pay attention to where you are. The smells are sweet here and a little bit bitter, like berries and balsam firs and wet, dark earth. The clouds hang low, kissing your face and leaving mist in your hair. The wind hushes and the hawks soar. The higher you climb and the further away you get from the world below, the clearer things become and the more you can see. At the top you find a rock and you sit, looking out over the sea and the hills and the clouds hovering all around you.

And when you’re ready, you start your return. It’s easier going down. Your legs move fast. Your breath comes quick. Everything flows. The thunk-squish-splash of your boots is like the tapping of keys or the scratch of a pen on a page. You ride that flow all the way back to the world and upon your return, you look up and find that same awe-inspiring sight towering above you, except this time the question of Is it surmountable? has been answered.

With a sigh, you close the laptop or you set down your pen. And then you make yourself lunch.

Friday, September 6, 2013


In the northernmost part of Newfoundland the wind is so harsh it snatches the breath right out of your lungs and makes the trees grow at vicious angles. Here the sky is brooding and dark one moment and the next it's clearest blue. The landscape is rugged and bleak, cornered by a cobalt sea, and speckled with lichen and berries and moss. It's an old world, full of old magic, and it's making my heart sing.

Friday, August 30, 2013

truth telling

I was a guest blogger over at YA Highway yesterday and I've been a little afraid of telling people I know because, well, if you head over there you'll see. The post is about writing, but it's also about having priorities and dreams and how the people around you don't always get those those priorities and dreams and how that's okay. It's a really honest post, and being honest can be a scary thing, which is why I've been afraid of sharing it. Anyways, check it out if you want to. It was an honour to blog for them. YA Highway rocks.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ten Reasons Why Being An Independent Bookseller Rocks (Cuz It Totally Does)

1. You get to write poetry on the sidewalk whenever you feel like it. Sometimes your boss pesters you until you do.
2. You get to read books before they’re published. Uh huh. It's awesome.
3. You get to correspond with authors you adore. You get to hand-sell their books and plan their book events and generally fangirl all over the place.
4. Your coworkers are smart, funny and kind. (And some of them are cantankerous curmudgeons, but this only makes you love them more.)
5. You know your customers by name, and they know you by name, and that’s a beautiful thing.
6. Your bosses treat you well, dude.
7. You get a huge say in what books get ordered and displayed and recommended and, therefore, sold.
8. You get handwritten notes from Dustin Kurtz, accompanied by pretty, pretty ARCs. (Seriously. This happened yesterday.)
9. Your whole job basically boils down to you reading and falling in love with and being changed by books, and then putting them in the hands of other people so they can read and fall in love with and be changed by them too.
10. Most of all, though, you get to take pride in your work, and your coworkers, and the community that loves you, along with an industry that has at its heart a reverence for books.

So support your local indies. They make local economies healthier and communities stronger. And they know your name.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I agree with a lot of the criticisms that exist regarding prologues. They can be lazy. They can be useless. But I would just like to say this: If prologues vanished completely from the world, my heart would be broken.

As a reader (and a bookseller) I adore prologues. I always have. And no, I don’t think this means my taste is compromised. See Chime by Franny Billingsley: There’s a prologue AND the book was a finalist for the NBA in 2011, received six starred reviews, made the Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2011, and was an ALA 2012 Best Fiction pick. I really don’t think it achieved all those things despite the prologue.

A prologue done well (keyword being well) very often determines whether I will read a book or not. It tells me if a story is going to be worth my time. And it’s a little bit sad to me when someone declares all prologues worthless. Just like most things in the publishing world, this is a subjective opinion.

Here are some examples of books I love (and have read multiple times) that begin with prologues:

Chime by Franny Billingsley. Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt. Sabriel by Garth Nix. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. (It’s debateable whether or not this contains a prologue, but since the narrative begins before chapter one, I’m including it.) Lament by Maggie Stiefvater. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. (I’m wiling to hazard a guess that Maggie likes prologues too.) I could go on, but I think that's enough.

These books are NYT bestsellers and/or serious award winners. Prologues can and do work.

Monday, August 5, 2013

on repeat

You can tell a lot about my writing patterns just by perusing my iTunes, seeing which songs play on repeat when and for how long. I always make playlists for a particular thing I'm working on - usually, this is a form of procrastination. If I'm struggling to get a thing started, I very quickly decide that the reason I'm struggling is: No writing playlist!

This a ruse. You do not need a writing playlist in order to write.

Anyways. So I always make playlists. But what ends up happening, usually very quickly, is that I get to a song and instead of moving on to the next one, I realize that I don't want the song to stop. So I put it on repeat. Or, with my most recent iTunes updates (where I can no longer find the repeat option) I make playlists of just one song copied twenty or thirty times... which is kind of labor intensive, so if anyone knows how to play songs on repeat with the newest version of iTunes please feel free to tell me.

This is how I end up listening to the same song, over and over, for days and days. Finally, when I'm ready (usually after a scene or chapter or whatever is finished and I need to move on to the next one), I'll take the song off of repeat, or go back to the original playlist... until I hit another snag, and it happens all over again. I am perfectly okay with this system of listening to music. My partner, on the other hand, is not. Which is how I end up writing in cafes, with my earbuds in.

Basically, all of the above is just as an excuse for me to post this - All I Want by Kodaline. It is my newest obsession/snag.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

some things

Today at work I did some things. What kinds of things, you're wondering? (Okay, you're probably not wondering, but I'm going to tell you anyway.) Well, I wrote this little blog post over at Edge of Seventeen about one of my all-time favourite books ever. (HINT: IT'S KETURAH AND LORD DEATH.) Also, I took some photos of the bookstore. Here is one.

And of course, in the midst of the blogging and the instagramming for the store, I sold some books. A lot of books, actually. It was busy today, despite the rain. My favourite moment was when this little girl came in with her mom to pick up her wonder woman book: I handed it to her, she plopped down right in the middle of the floor, pushed up her glasses, and began pouring over the pages like it was some kind of sacred text. Those are the moments that make me really, really love my job.

So now I'm going to write. And then nap. Or nap, and then write. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

a thing I'm working on

It involves this girl:

And one of these instruments:

And also, this:

By the time it was all over, the rivers were black - as black as dragon’s blood. That’s where the rebellion got its name. But it had begun long before, when Myrial first came to us  whispering promises in our ears as we slept and spinning dew-like dreams that disappeared with the morning mist.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


If I were 7 years old (and didn't have to share a bed with my husband) I would sleep with this comic. No seriously. Didn't anyone else do that? Sleep with things they really liked? My cousin used to sleep with VHS tapes. And rocks.

Other people did that right?

Anyways. This comic is spectacular. If you like feminism and epic fantasy and edgy space operas, you should read it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

I reviewed Lola and the Boy Next Door over at Edge of Seventeen today. Here's an excerpt:

"I loved this book because it was raw and true, in the sense that love is often complicated and messy and you’re not always the person you want to be, and you don’t always make the decisions you should. I usually avoid love triangles at all costs, but this one is done really well. It’s realistic in that it shows how much love triangles can really suck, and how much there is to learn from them. Lola’s choices make for a realistic, messy story (or maybe it’s just that I could relate to them), and this is why I loved her."

You can read the rest here.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

a pause

I'm on the last leg of a revision, and as I think back over just how much this story has changed in the past year and a half (a lot - it's changed a lot), it's also stayed exactly the same. Or maybe what I mean is, it's become truer. It's as if all of my revisions were peeling back layer after layer and with each one, I've gotten a little closer to the heart of it. And this most recent revision has brought me closer than all the others. Or at least, I think and hope it has.

So I guess this post is a celebration of that. No matter what happens after this point, this little story and I have come a long way together. Even on the days when I look at it and think to myself, "I've read this so many times that I just can't bear to read another word", there is a deeper place that cherishes those words. Because I did what I set out to do. I captured on the page what I wanted to capture. The reason I ever started this story in the first place was because I needed to hold on to something that was precious to me.

I needed to make sure that I didn't forget.

Friday, June 21, 2013

edge of seventeen

I was blogging over at Edge of Seventeen this week, reviewing Summer Days, Starry Nights as well as interviewing the author, Vicki VanSickle (loveliest lady!). I'll be blogging there most of the time now, so if it's sparse over here, that's why.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

a grief unobserved

The worst thing about dementia is that it robs you of your grieving period. When it first takes root, you’re too busy reeling from the shock of being forgotten that you don’t realize you need to start grieving. And by the middle stages, it’s already too late. The person you love is both gone and not gone. They’re not gone because there they are, sitting right beside you. Alive. But they’re also long gone, with no trace of the person they were left. Or if there are traces, they only come in whisps and hints, always fleeting, increasingly rare, until they only remain in the memories of those who knew them - that is, until they too forget. So you lose your loved one little by little instead of all at once. And grief slips out at inopportune times, for inexplicable reasons. And if you can’t mourn outright, all at once, does that mean you’ll spend the rest of your life stopping up holes to keep the grief from slipping out? Or will you too slowly forget, leaving the one you love un-grieved? That’s what I wonder.