Tag Archives: Reading

The Reading!

I’m reblogging this from fellow writer, Louella Dizon San Juan. On her blog, Louella (also a close friend and former college roommate) shares the details, as well as some fun photographs of our reading at Dewey’s Candy in Brooklyn. It was such a delightful event, in such a sweet setting! I read, listened, met some fascinating people–including the author, Karen Heuler, and agent, Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary– and also shopped for my kids’ Valentine’s Day candy!

Magic and Fantastic

We literally had a “fantastic” time at our Sugarplums and Fairies reading event at Dewey’s Candy on Thursday night, Feb. 7th.

Dewey’s Candy owner Alison (Dewey) Oblonsky and I thought that the combination of candy and fairies would be a natural crowd-pleasing event, so we decided to throw that party in the first week of February, in time for Valentine’s Day and as a book launch and platform for a few author friends and I.

We had 2 rounds of readings from Karen Heuler, Lisa W. Rosenberg, and myself, with ample opportunity for attendees (walk-ins) to purchase candy during our Candy Prelude, Candy-mission, and Candy Wrap-up.

During our Candy-mission and Candy Wrap-up Q&A, over Perrier and Prosecco (courtesy of our host, Alison!), queries centered on topics like, “What served as the inspiration behind your story?” and “How do you feel about traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?”

Audience members of all ages…

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Back: a Book Revised, a Reading Upcoming

DSC00621It has been so long since I’ve posted here, so long since I’ve read or commented on the blogs I follow.  In my last post, I apologized in advance for what I knew would be a break, and my kind, supportive followers commented that there was no need to be sorry—that they understood. However, at this time, I think an explanation of what’s been going on might make for a good return post.

First, as I mentioned, I had restarted my therapy practice, which felt wonderful, returning to a part of me that I’d been away from long enough to really miss.  It was time; I was ready to work and focus on the lives of others.

Second, though I had technically written two books during my leave, both needed some work yet. Though Twice the Dazzle—a version of which I’d completed before the hurricane—was close, my concentration had been nil since the fire.  I was unable to write much more than a blog post and was unable to read much more than the New York Times.

But as December was nearing its midpoint, something began to lift.  Suddenly, I was able to sit with a book again (and read one I’d been meaning to get to for years: The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.  Loved!)  I was also itching to return to my own book, which was so close to done.  It was time to finally use the feedback from my consultation with Arielle Eckstut and make it the very best it could be.

Step one was to minimize the priorities in my life.  The top was, is, and has to be my family.  I have two children and a husband who are still reeling in their assorted ways from this fire—a trauma for us all, no matter how you look at it.  Next—related to the first—is managing our lives in this temporary home, replacing and recreating what I can of our life.  Next is my work, rebuilding and reestablishing my therapy practice.  Writing came fourth and had to fight for its place at the table.  I knew that if I was going to get this thing done, I needed to focus.  That meant releasing myself from other commitments, as well as giving myself total permission to withdraw from the blogosphere, from Facebook and Twitter, and even—to a degree from email.

It was so freeing to do that, to trust my instincts and to devote myself to the few things that could not wait.  Thanks in no small part to the understanding support of my friends, family and, of course, my followers, I am happy to say that I have done what I set out to do and completed the revision.  The book is now getting a last onceover from my “team” of wonderful beta readers, and a serious proof-read.  This time around, I will not—mark my words—submit my manuscript prematurely.  (Yes, I am trying the traditional route at this point, not having the wherewithal to research self-publishing right now.)

That said, I do have exciting news: I am doing my first reading from Twice the Dazzle, my YA novel about twin teens in the ballet world—this very week!  My dear friend and former college roommate, Louella San Juan, has invited me to join her as she presents from her new book, The Crowded Kingdom, at Dewey’s Candy in DUMBO, this Thursday.  See Louella’s website for details.  I have also posted the press release on my new “EVENTS” page.

“My friend’s Book Signing” Or “Why I Can’t wait to read Monument 14”

Me with fellow supporters of Monument 14; Emmy (the author) is on the far right

Sometimes other people’s successes are just as invigorating as our own.  Last Monday, after leaping substantial childcare hurdles, I was fortunate enough to help my friend Emmy Laybourne celebrate the release of her new post-apocalyptic YA book, Monument 14.  Here’s what it’s about in a nutshell:

“Fourteen Kids.  One Superstore.  A Million things that go Wrong.”

And I have lifted that word-for-word from the inside flap.  I can tell you how I know the book is going to do well.  First, my daughter’s best friend read the blurb and demanded to read the book at once, though it’s YA and she’s just eleven, so her mom and I thought we should read it first.  Then I’ll buy her a copy of her own.  Second, Monument 14 has already been called “the next Hunger Games” in The Grindstone.  Third, on the day of the book signing, I arrived late because of traffic, only to discover that the book store which held the event had run clean out of the book, as had the nearby Barnes and Noble!  My friends and I had to check out three different book stores to find copies, at which point we raced back to have Emmy sign our books.  That said, I haven’t read it yet because I’m still reading my book group book and I want to read Monument 14 uninterrupted.   I can’t wait though.  I know Emmy is a fantastic writer because we were in a writers’ group together briefly.  I had an opportunity to read one of her works in progress as well as benefitting from her wise insights on my own work.

Anyway, after the book signing, a group of us—Emmy’s family and friends from inside and outside the publishing world—went to a bar to celebrate over beer and munchies.  I wish I could describe the feel of love, enthusiasm and pride everyone felt just to share in the victory.  As an unpublished writer, and not the only one in attendance, I felt a few things in addition to awe at Emmy’s grand success.  One was a sense of hope.  Not that I expect to be as successful, but this night made me feel that yes: completion, representation, and publication are within the realm of possibility.  I also felt reassured that—despite all the remarkable new devices proliferating and the apps that go with them—people still like books.  Period.  They will buy them and hold them and treasure them and … can you imagine someone trying to sign a Kindle?  And hand it down to their grandkids?  Nuff said.

I also had a chance to talk with Emmy’s editor, one of the nicest young women I’ve met, who just gushed about her job, reading and discovering books.  I talked with Emmy’s publicist too, another unpublished writer, just as nice, about the writing, submitting, and wishing process.  The whole evening made me feel positive and proud and enthusiastic about this whole business of being a writer.