Archives for October 2010

A few of Joe’s Favorite Things . . .

Well, it’s the last Friday in October, so here’s the final prize addition – a big dog gift basket from Good Things Green Things, which is one of my favorite shops!

Here’s the description:

This gift basket is perfect for your medium to large dog. We’ve packed up our favorite toy the Hurley from West Paw Design. It is super durable – survives lawnmowers & two years of chewing from a lab, and is completely recyclable. The Planet Dog Orbee Ball is recyclable & can be stuffed with treats. And we can’t forget the treats! Handmade Molasses Explosion treats from Max & Ruffy’s are organic & vegan.

And, okay, maybe you’re all like, but I entered and I don’t even have a dog! But here’s a little secret, the Hurley may be one of the most indestructible dog toys ever (and I know, because my dogs DESTROY toys and there isn’t even a dent on their Hurley), but it’s also a fantastic foot massager. When Argo & Stella aren’t paying attention, I may or may not steal it from them and put it under my desk so I can roll my feet around on it while I’m working . . .
Hey, don’t look at me like that! They have plenty of toys! And Lady told me to use a tennis ball to work out the tight muscles in my feet, but we can’t have tennis balls in this house, because Argo is like that dog in that really sappy Adam Sandler movie where Téa Leoni cried a lot, and once you even touch a tennis ball, you’ll be playing fetch for the rest of your natural born days.
So, if you don’t have a dog, you could always gift the basket to a friend who does, or a shelter, or, you know, massage your feet.
Anyway, the contest ends on Sunday – 10/31, and I’ll announce the winner next week! Don’t forget to enter! eReader versions of STAY totally count too!
And yes, I have had too much Halloween candy. . .

Book Club!

Last night I have the pleasure of hanging out with the lovely ladies of the Holy Trinity Church Book Club in Webster, NY.* They’ve been together for about three years and have an impressive list of books they’ve read and discussed. They’re insightful, warm, and welcoming, and I am thrilled that they chose to read STAY and invite me to their book discussion. It was my first book club visit and it was so much fun!

We had such a great chat, and it means so much to me to have had the chance to talk with them. They asked about my writing process, and what my day to day life looks like. We talked about what it feels like to have a girlfriend who always seems just a little more perfect than you are, why Van felt the way she did about Diane, and what Peter was really about to say when he was interrupted. One of the ladies said she enjoyed watching Van grow as a person. Then another chimed in to say that she felt like she grew as a person reading STAY. She said that she had instant opinions about Diane, Janie, and Peter, and as she read further and learned more about the whys of who they are, it changed how she felt about them. This made her think about how sometimes we’re too quick to judge people without trying to figure out where they’re coming from.
I am honored by what she said, and everyone’s kind words about STAY. I think the biggest gift of being a writer is to hear that what I wrote means something to readers, and I am so thankful for this.
It was a wonderful way to spend an evening! And they sent me home with treats for all of my furry friends and a lovely plant that is brighting up my office so much on this dark and dreary day! So sweet!
Thank you so much, Holy Trinity Book Club!
*Fun trivia: The “tagline” for the town of Webster, NY (which is, admittedly, quite lovely) is “Where Life is Worth Living,” and it has always amused me. Apparently, it’s not worth it elsewhere. I guess we’ll have to move. :)

I swear I don’t need a refresher on the days of the week

I know, I know, I missed a Friday again. It’s not that I don’t know what day is which, it’s that I was so completely and totally exhausted on Friday that the idea of posting felt ridiculously involved and difficult. Ah, the joys of ADD. I swear the tagline for ADD (you know, if we were to all start promoting it) should be “Making molehills seem like mountains since 1798.*”

So, here’s the final Friday prize – In addition to all the other fun stuff you’ll get if you win, I’m throwing a signed ARC of STAY into the prize pack. ARCs are printed as review copies before the book comes out. There’s only a small batch printed and once they’re gone, they’re gone, so they become something of a rarity. Submit your STAY photo before 10/31 to enter!
The reading at Fisher on Thursday was wonderful. I got to have dinner with faculty and a great group of students before the main event. When I got to the reading, I was stunned by how packed the room was! I had a blast. I read from the writing exercise that started STAY and the short story I wrote from the exercise, before I read a few selections from STAY. The students asked a bunch of questions no one has asked me before, I got to meet Steph (on the left) finally, and one of the students asked me to write “Mrs. X can suck it” in his book when I signed it. It was awesome.
And the day before that, I visited M. J. Iuppa’s fiction class. STAY was actually course-adopted, and it was so much fun to be able to talk about the book with the class, knowing everyone had read it. Usually, when I talk with a group about STAY there’s so much I have to avoid talking about so I don’t spoil anything for the people who haven’t read it yet. It was neat to talk in-depth about the ending and how I got there, and hear their ideas on the Van/Janie/Diane/Natalie dynamic.
This week I’m going to a book club! STAY was their pick for this month. It’ll be my first book club chat and I’m really looking forward to it.
And, today I’m doing laundry, paying bills, answering e-mail, listening to Toad, wallowing in the icky grey weather, drinking absurd amounts of pumpkin spice tea, and possibly catching up on Desperate Housewives later while I eat lunch. It always amazes me how real life sneaks back in after a crazy whirlwind week.
What’s on your agenda?
*The year Sir Alexander Crichton used the term “mental restlessness” to describe what we now call ADD. And, of course, I do realize that ADD existed before anyone was writing stuff about it. In fact, there may actually be a reason some of us evolved this way.