Not much to say, but I feel like I should update anyway, because I keep getting lovely comments and emails and private messages from people who have read the books, and I want to at least say thanks. Thanks for reading, and thanks for writing. I am grateful for the feedback, and for the trust that so many correspondents have placed in me, by telling me their own highly personal stories. I wish I could help resolve all the pain that’s expressed in the notes I receive.
Went to Boston last week for the Nextbook festival, and read with the lovely Elisa Albert and Joseph O’Neill at an event called Escape! Arrival! Disappointment! We had a small audience for the afternoon’s warm-up reading at Northeastern University, and a nice house for the evening’s main event at the Coolidge Theater. There was a weird “photo op” before the show – Robert Pinsky and Jamaica Kincaide, who were both part of the festival, were asked by the Boston Globe to be photographed with me and Elisa and Joseph, in sort of a “younger authors meet older, more established authors” thing. So there was this totally awkward and inorganic meet and greet in the lobby of the theater; I just tried to keep my hands dry while shaking with the famous writers, and not to say anything too bizarre and untoward. The next day, the Globe ran a shot of…Robert Pinsky and Jamaica Kincaide. But more importantly, I got to see my first editor, dream-maker Arielle Zibrak, who is currently teaching a college course in Cannibalism (not a how-to class, more of a survey of cannibalism in literature), and internet pal Michelle N., with whom I had a really fun and restorative drink after the show.
Saturday was the workshop with the mentors and mentees of Girls Write Now , an organization I support with all my heart and a little bit of my wallet. I was asked to give a lecture on the topic of revision (in summary: it sucks, but it gets easier the more you do it); then there was a Q & A and book signing, during which I met nothing but fabulous young women and their awesome mentors. Afterwards, Bill and I were downstairs on the street digging out our umbrellas, when a girl from the workshop approached me with tears in her eyes. “I was in a shelter too,” she said. I opened my arms to give her a hug. “I’m glad you’re not there anymore,” I said. “I hope you’ll keep writing. Send me an email, okay?”
She sniffled and nodded and took off down the block. And then I turned to Bill with tears in my eyes, and it was his turn to open his arms.
So, yeah. Thanks for the emails and comments, and for the hugs. I wish I could help resolve the pain people express to me. Thanks for helping to resolve mine.