Five Things on Friday: August 14, 2015

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I saw a sunset just like this one!

Where I've Been: I kinda fell down on posting at the end of last week (no 5 on Friday post) and the beginning of this week.  That's because I was at the beach.  I stayed with my family at my daughter's in-law's house in Garibaldi (thank you, Dennis and Carlene).  We also visited old, old, old (and by old, I mean since birth) family friends in Arch Cape.  I shouldn't be posting about Arch Cape here because it is pretty unknown, as in on a weekday in summer the beach is deserted, and I would like it to remain that way.  So don't go there, (as one of our favorite governors famously told people about coming to Oregon to live), please.

What I've Been Reading: Have I obsessed about Dietland here yet?  It is the best book I've read in ages, so full of unflinching, radical and incredibly brave commentary about body image and the way women are treated in North America.   Every woman should read it immediately.  Men, you should too, but prepare to become very defensive.  I'm now reading The Ambassador's Wife, by Jennifer Steil.  I kinda put it down to read a couple books about writing, but I like it well enough.  

What I'm Excited About: A really, really, really, really good publisher is considering my novel, The Bonne Chance Bakery.  Think good thoughts, please!

Where I'm Teaching Next Fall and Winter: I'll be teaching my Get Your Novel Written Now class right here online this fall, starting in October and early-bird pricing is good until I leave for Europe on September 1st.  And then, for those of you farther east and south, I'm part of the staff of the reborn Room to Write in Nashville in January.  Join me at one or both.

What I'm Obsessing About: Clothes.  As in, what to take to Barcelona, Collioure, and Paris.  I gave away half my wardrobe (not exaggerating but I will admit to having a lot of clothes) earlier this summer and felt like I had nothing to wear.  So I've been ordering things like crazy.  I love shopping online.  I think I have it all figured out now.  And I realize how very lucky I am to have this problem.

Oh, and by the way, I'm going to try my best to post regularly from Europe.  Yeah, that worked out well last year.  But on the off chance you've had an idea for a guest post, this would be the time to hit me up with a query about it.

And also–follow me on Instagram because I'm going to be posting photos from my travels there, and at the moment you can see pictures of Poo and Mr. Rock.

What's going on in your world? Please do tell.

9 thoughts on “Five Things on Friday: August 14, 2015”

  1. I haven’t visited Walker’s Dietland. Yes, we differ. Women do not hold every image up to some impossible standard. To them, the masculine body is but a carrying case for the soul. It is that deeper view that allowed me to date the homecoming queen. Her face possessed an odd, haunting beauty. Some sorcerer had concocted her body, sent it to torment every boy who watched her walk by, all of them barely out of training pants. Though you would’ve never guessed by her perfect face, something had happened to her vision, taken it some said. They say if one sense is restrained, another blossoms. So I practice a few nights, cooing into the family’s Teac reel to reel. Finding her in the library stacks, I whispered an exact description of my features. She was happy to go out with me.
    We seemed destined for a volcanic romance until we went to the Senior Dance. As I pushed her through a slow two-step, seeking some leverage with my arm, she said, “Why doesn’t J.D. dance with me? You feel like a real skinny guy.” She put her hand up to my face. “And your nose is kinda big. Where is J.D.? The punch?” After some awkward maneuvering at the social, I cornered her for some white hot kisses across the seat of my father’s old Ford. These were minus any embrace, of course, just lips meeting in the dark. I didn’t have a 6-2 body with broad shoulders and strong arms to embrace her. After all, it wasn’t the library.
    That’s vision I have when I set in my imaginary Mustang Mach 1 at the city limits of Dietland, considering whether I should drive downtown and see what all the fuss is about. Maybe not. Every guy I know that goes there gets ticketed.

  2. Oh God, J.D. you know I adore you–and I love your ruminations on men/women, etc.  I really don't think Dietland is for everyone, though.  Much as I want every human on the earth to read it, I know that many will be very offended by it, and others just won't get it.  (Not including you in those, by the way.)  The differences in our genders are complicated.

  3. You seriously need to write a book and not tell anyone what it’s about. No teasers on the back cover or inside flap. Just don’t. Write. Write like mad. Just like you did here. Publish it. And if it doesn’t hit the roof I don’t know what will. The very best part about most of your writing is each person can interpret how they want or need. Isn’t that one of our goals as writers? Give everyone a story they can relate to. How does this not relate to everyone in some manner. Wow. Just wow.

    I will admit however- it took me a few tries to read and re read until I figured it out.

  4. D, thank you. The Word Strumpet has a way of prying something out of all of us. This is a good time to suggest you turn out your first 1000 words. Or have you? I was in B&N today and saw “Grey” sitting on the shelf. 50 Shades set such a lofty mark, but don’t you know B&N and Amazon and every place that sells books is looking for the next E.L. James under every title page. You’re next! You can throw the party at Charlotte’s house. Depending on the landscape, I’ll have a red wine or a gin and tonic . . . and a signed copy.

  5. Yes! And lucky you- the mystery man will be revealed! I hadn’t considered the time frame of the trip is so quickly approaching. Keep me in your thoughts while there please. It is my enormous hope that I can be with you all next year. And as I settle into a good routine here- I plan to ramp up my writing to accommodate my newfound schedule. Summer is great. And I hate it to end. However, the erratic time frames of each day wears me out. Is becoming a creature of habit a sign of age? I fear possibly so. But relief is in sight.
    So- please have a glass of wine for me the first night out please. And include my wishes in your toast. I’m excited for you all!

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