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Archive for the ‘Quick Links’ Category

Until a few months ago, I would’ve guessed that a “pingback” is a football position (like nickelback and dimeback.  Those ones are real).  Now I know better.  Whenever anyone links to this blog, I get a pingback – a request for notification.  I’ve been getting these a lot lately, and it occurs to me that the sites that link to mine might be interesting to my readers too.  So here are a few of the latest:

In Must-Read Writing Articles,” Write It Sideways – a site offering some very good advice about writing – mentions two recent posts on this blog, Under the Influence and Laura Schenone’s Writing About the Past.

In a list of “Five New Literary Blogs to Follow,” First Person Plural – the official blog of The Writer’s Center, a DC-based “independent literary organization with a global reach” – includes A Writing Year, specifically citing Louise DeSalvo”s Why Having Kids is No Excuse, Chad Taylor’s Why Writers Should Care About Twitter, and my Q&A with Julie Metz on designing books, Judging a Book by its Cover.

In “Five Ways to Feel More Legitimate as a Writer,” Real Delia (dedicated to “Finding Yourself in Adulthood”) also mentions DeSalvo’s memorable post, quoting her lines:  No one I knows cares if you’re writing.  That’s why you have to call it work.  Because that’s what it is.  Your work.  Your life’s work.” Real Delia adds:  Amen, sister.

And over at Art and Degrees of Freedom, “a mish-mash of musings and ideas on the interplay of art, gastronomy, and culture,” Lori Gordon discusses a recent quote on this blog from the French cubist painter Andre Lhote.  “Bridging art and writing,” Gordon muses.  “It just shows that concepts and the words to describe those concepts are timeless.”  That piece is here.

*For the young or pop-culture impaired: the headline is a reference to Sally Field’s cringe-inducing 1984 Oscar acceptance speech in which she gushed, “You like me, right now, you like me!” and which everyone misremembers as “You like me.  You really like me!”

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This month I was asked by BookReporter.com to write a personal essay for their Holiday Author Blog feature.  They requested a guest piece about my favorite holiday memories of getting or giving books.   I knew instantly what I’d write about:  a little-known book written and illustrated by Dick Bruna, published in 1963 in Amsterdam and out of print for nearly 40 years, that inspired – and continues to inspire – a family holiday tradition.  You can read my story here.

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madam mayoRecently I was invited to do a guest blog for Madam Mayo, using a simple format:  I had to provide five links that are in some way relevant to my new novel.  (Other writers have used this format in all kinds of ways – 5 Secrets of Mexico City, Top 5 Aviation Museums, 5 Magnetic Spaces – as you can see.)   Rooting around for ideas, I opened a file I kept while working on Bird in Hand. As I leafed through this file I could trace the genesis of my ideas.  So I chose some passages that shaped my novel-in-progress – and why.  That post is here.

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WNBA-NY-October-2009From left to right: Rosalind Reisner (co-moderator), C.M. Mayo, Julie Metz, Eva Hoffman, Christina Baker Kline, Roxana Robinson, and Miriam Tuliao (co-moderator).

This month I was privileged to be on the Women’s National Book Association panel in celebration of National Reading Group Month.  On her lively blog, “A Reader’s Place,” Rosalind Reisner gives the full report.  She talks about my new novel, Bird in Hand, as well as recent works by Roxana Robinson (Cost), Eva Hoffman (Apassionata), Julie Metz (Perfection), and C.M. Mayo (The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire).   It was an honor to be in a room full of people who are passionate about books; as much as I enjoyed talking about my own novel, I was even happier to listen to the other writers talk about their work.

And here’s what Marian Schembari has to say about this extraordinary evening over at Marian Librarian.

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bestoftimesWhen I lived in London last summer I was lucky enough to get to know the novelist Karen Essex.  (Her recent, internationally bestselling books are Leonardo’s Swans and Stealing Athena.)  Recently she moderated a conversation between Penny Vincenzi, the #1 bestselling British novelist, and me because our new novels — The Best of Times and Bird in Hand — both begin with car accidents that change the lives of the central characters.  Karen was interested in two things in particular:  Was the accident the inspiration for the novel, or merely a device, a catalyst for the story?  And – as long-married women, how strange, unsettling, or awkward was it to write about adultery and divorce?

To find out the answers to these and other provocative questions, click here.

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BIH inspiration“The newspaper clipping is in tatters.  Folded, yellowed, curling at the edges and mended in places with clear tape, it was tacked to the bulletin board in my office for eight years….”  So begins a guest post I wrote this week for In This Light, a blog about the influence of images on writers and writing.   Instinctively I knew that this image would help me access the core motivations of my characters in Bird in Hand, who act in comparably indiscreet and scandalous ways …

You can read the rest here.

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book club girlWhen Book Club Girl, a site “dedicated to sharing great books, news and tips with book club girls everywhere,” asked me to write a guest post, I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about.  For over a decade I’ve belonged to a wonderful group of book lovers in Montclair, NJ, where I live, and several years ago I became part of very different reading group of writers in New York.  As I write in the post, “My two book clubs serve entirely different purposes.  The Montclair group provides a way to stay in touch with a circle of friends and read current books … And the writers’ group is equivalent to a welders’ convention – a place to exchange ideas about our trade.”  And they’re equally useful to me as a writer and reader.  You can read the rest of the post here.

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WOW awardWomen on Writing – or WOW! – is a buzzing hive of activity for, by, and about women writers and readers.  In a freewheeling interview with Margo Dill, a WOW columnist and contributing editor, I talk about why I keep a blog, why I write first drafts on a legal pad with an old-fashioned micro-point Uniball pen, why I get bored when authors simply read their work aloud, why I don’t feel guilty about not being a morning person, and what I know is true (to paraphrase Oprah, and why not?) about being a writer.  You can find the interview here.

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Lucy09Recently I did an interview with Marshal Zeringue, a screenwriter who somehow manages to find the time to maintain three healthy blogs: The Campaign for the American Reader (“An Independent Initiative to Encourage More Readers to Read More Books”), Coffee with a Canine, and The Page 69 Test, which astute readers of this blog will recognize from an earlier posting.  An excerpt of my recent conversation with Marshal – which includes earth-shattering revelations about how I write, where I work, my English Springer Spaniel, Lucy, and my favorite brand of coffee – is here, and if you can stand the cuteness, the entire interview is here.  Woof!

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69 signThe “test” is simple:  is page 69 of Bird in Hand representative of the rest of the book?  Would a reader skimming that page be inclined to read on?  These were the questions posed to me by Marshal Zeringue, who edits book blogs including CftAR, The Page 69 Test, and Writers Read.

A fun idea, I thought – if perhaps a little gimmicky.  And then, to my surprise, I discovered that page 69 is a turning point in my novel.  Read more here.

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babyYou’d think that someone who spends her days creating and naming characters might have gotten the hang of it by the time she had to name some actual humans.  That’s what I thought, at least.  In fact, I was rather smug about it …

So begins my guest post on Nameberry, a very cool baby name site that’s the brainchild (so to speak — yes, I did) of bestselling writers Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz.

Even someone who names fictional people for a living can make mistakes when naming real live babies.  Like when I named my three sons: Eli, his brother William, and his other brother William.

Read more here.

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This week I did a guest post for Lisa Romeo Writes, a terrific blog about writing and the writing biz.  (One of my favorite features on the blog is Lisa’s Friday Fridge Clean-Out, a weekly roundup of interesting and newsworthy links.)

birthday cakeI wrote about what I learned in the process of writing Bird in Hand — not about writing, but about life.  You can read the post here.  An extra incentive to click through:  Lisa is giving away a copy of Bird in Hand in a random drawing.  I know you already have it, but isn’t someone’s birthday coming up?

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The poet and novelist Lori A. May interviewed me for her blog — Musings, Reviews, News — this week.  In the interview Lori pushed me to reveal what Bird in Hand is really about, why I’m not a hermit, why I think achieving balance is an impossible goal, and the fluky way I got started as a writer.  You can read all about it here.

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For years I’ve been a fan from afar of the novelist and book reviewer Caroline Leavitt.  So it was an honor when she requested a review copy of Bird in Hand from my publisher, read it immediately, and asked me to do a pre-publication interview.  She posted the interview today on her blog, CarolineLeavittville.

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