Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pure wins an Alex Award from the American Library Association

Yesterday,  the winners of the Alex Award were announced by the American Library Association, those who choose Newbery, Printz, Caldecott... And Pure has won for 2013!

The Alex Awards go to adult novels that have particular appeal for teen readers. PURE is published by an adult publishing house, it's not a young adult novel and so couldn't compete for the Printz. The company I keep among current and past Alex Award-winners is, well, quite something. On this current list you'll find Louise Erdrich's The Round House, for example. Here's more on the prize, current and past winners. 

Pure is also the first book chosen for the new book club of The Tallahassee Democrat's newspaper. For more information, you can click here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Love Letter to my Husband who Wittingly Married a Writer

Dave --
You didn't know what you were getting yourself into. To be honest, I couldn't have warned you. I didn't know how deep I'd go, how much I would both fail and succeed -- though the success has come as more of a shock and maybe that's because I'm a woman, but nonetheless, I'd prefer it to being those who take success in stride. But sometimes I look at you looking at me and I hear the speeches you give me -- such beautiful, defiant declarations, such unbearably loving defenses of this work I do (headlong, heart-ful) -- and what else in a marriage would I want to bear more than those? -- and I see you as if through a smeared pane of glass. What can I do? you're saying. I can't help you... Here I am, bullying my way through some wreckage, bullying my way past some new fresh blows (why do the blows -- after all these years -- still take me by surprise?) -- and I've overcommitted, yes, I've said -- as we both have made a life of -- yes and yes again. We keep saying yes to more. And I sometimes remember you in that audience -- the 300 women who booed me -- God, how I was up there at the mic, just fumbling, fumbling ... dying a slow and awful death. Victoria Gotti at the front table, taking a cell phone call.  How was I the warm up for Gotti? I can see your face out there, blanched and dying for me. (My God, it only got worse when I sat down and the second speaker told the crowd how Baggott might teach you what it's like to be young and lucky, but he would teach... what? I can't remember... ) And I'll tell you this, it was easier in that moment to be dying at the mic -- than it was to be at the table, watching. That helplessness. What can I do? I can't help you. That's the way of love, I think. But the smeared pane of glass is a mirage.There's no glass. You're always helping me. What I want you to know is that my work is better for your love of it. My process has had to become one of abandoning each novel in some way once it's done, and you hold on to them. And I'm thankful that you do what I don't have the heart to or  the stomach to...
I adore you. You're my legs, sir. You're my durez.


[Disclaimer: For those who worked with me this week, this wasn't written this week. It could have been written almost any week in a given year, though admittedly some weeks require more durez than others.]

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Website for THE PURE TRILOGY (plus excerpt of upcoming FUSE: BOOK II)

Here it is! We're gearing up ...

(I'm hearing that there are more announcements and cool stuff coming up... Getting a little buzzy here...)

And to go directly to the excerpt, click here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Film News for The Pure Trilogy.

The director of SMASHED and SPECTACULAR NOW, which premieres at Sundance today, James Ponsoldt, has signed on as the writer-director for THE PURE TRILOGY. Here are the details. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Caught My Eye, Some Updates, What's Coming Next...

1. My mother was pregnant with -- her fourth child -- at the height of zero populations growth. Three kids in tow and pregnant, she was openly glared at on the streets of our small college town. With four kids of my own, I've built a small armory of comebacks for people who want to tango with me about having too many kids. (Bring it. Seriously, just please try to bring it.) But this week, I read this piece by Jeff Wise about the problem of humanity's possible declining population...  At the end, Wise cracks wise -- you get to see a glimpse of how funny he is ... A good read.

2. Yes, my 16 year old doesn't currently have a smart phone; at present, his below-average-intelligence phone is broken and we haven't figured out the new carrier plan... And no, he didn't get any uber smart technology for Christmas. Instead, this week, he and his Dad went to see Pacino on Broadway in the classic Mamet play Glengarry Glenn Ross. And now he'll understand what I mean when I tell him to go to lunch and call him George. Too, he'll never forget that performance. Never.

I met Pacino one summer when I was around 19 or so, shook his hand ... That's for another post.

My parents took me to plays as a kid -- good and bad in New York, good and bad in podunk towns everywhere we traveled. Those plays got inside my ear -- dialogue, delivered live, the real bodies on stage -- nothing like it, especially for a kid whose brain is beginning to wire up like a writer's brain. 

Everybody, go see a play. Go to the theater. Go feel it.

3. We are, once again, committed to as many family dinners as possible per week. We try to get everyone around the dining room table because that's where I learned so many things as a kid -- like the art of argument from my father, who argues for sport and art -- and, as we told the kids, children from families who have a family dinner are less likely to do drugs.

And so the conversation at dinner last night went like this:

16 year old gives a sarcastic FYI update: You know my cocaine use has really dropped dramantically since we started having family dinners together.

17 year old says: But I think that's just because dinner comes right at the height of cocaine usage time.   

Real entertaining, kids. Ha, ha, et cetera  

4. I love that the IRS is coming down on colleges to find a way to truly and honestly measure an adjunct's time and not just pay them per classroom hour. I don't know what will happen here, but I hope it applies pressure to the unfair, exploitative use of adjuncts and shakes things up.  

5. The Onion gets REAL in its Golden Globes mockery. This is some serious satire. It put me in check.

So, what's coming up on this blog? I have a number of fantastic poets lined up for Q and A's, plus an editor of a new imprint. And I've written on and on about my mother Glenda Baggott, hyper-phobic matriarch, but not as much about Bill Baggott -- man among men! I'll be posting snippets about him -- I've got a long list of 'em -- this spring. He's got a cold now so this is a shout to him -- more to come! Be warned, kind sir!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Essay in the NYTimes Book Review -- Dead Authors v. Living Authors on Facebook and Twitter

Originally titled "Who Will Tweet for Virginia Woolf?" this is a piece I wrote for The New York Times Book Review. Available online now, it will be printed on the back page of this Sunday's edition.

It's about how two pieces of data sent me on a headlong tear, comparing famous living authors and famous dead authors in the realm of social media. Famous dead authors on Facebook and Twitter, how do they stack up? What I found surprised me.

(Check out the image that goes with the piece -- some famous dead people tweets invented by folks at The New York Times.)

The Writer Unboxed - The Secret to Writing a First Novel

This month, I became a contributor at The Writer Unboxed. Every other month, I'll post an essay there -- an essay of the writerly variety.


I hope it's of use!