I’ve always loved meeting authors. Authors fascinate me. I love to figure out what makes them tick, to learn more about their personalities and then see if I can pick out how their lives are reflected in their writing. I’m a context junkie. I don’t care how fantastical a world you’ve created, I don’t believe for a second that anything we do is done entirely outside the context of our own lives and experiences. And after reading a person’s book, I positively yearn to chat with the author.
So, I decided to put together a list of authors I’d like to meet. This list is in no particular order and by no means definitive. It also only includes living authors (not that I wouldn’t squeal with delight to have a fun and meaningful chat with Nora Ephron, for a start).
John Sandford: I’ve been reading the Prey series pretty much non-stop for months now. I’ve never spent any time in Minnesota but I’m starting to feel like I’ve been there. And I can’t help but wonder what John is like in person. I’m probably as addicted to Lucas Davenport as any of his fans so I’m curious about the man who created Lucas and Weather and Del and that fuckin’ Flowers.
Jennifer Weiner: What can I say, I’ve been reading Jennifer Weiner’s stuff for years and I just love her characters, even when they break my heart. She’s a fun person to follow on Twitter and I’d love to just chat with her about writing and life and whatever else strikes our fancy.
Sherman Alexie: We read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian a few years ago in a book club and I loved every word. I’m a sucker for books that make me feel and inspire social action and draw wisdom from personal experience.
Chuck Palahniuk: Just wow. These books give me strange dreams and make me feel funny and I love the way they are written. Invisible Monsters was definitely one of my favorite books but I don’t think I’ve read a Palahniuk book I didn’t love so there you have it.
Cheryl Strayed: Her book Wild made me cry a lot and was inspiring. I also love her advice as Sugar. She came to our area recently and I just couldn’t make it up to see her, so I hope I’ll get another chance.
Laurie Notaro: Because she’s hilarious. I used to read her books on the commute to work in Seattle and I’m pretty sure people thought I was crazy (or maybe just obnoxious). I can still pick up The Autobiography of a Fat Bride and just laugh til I cry!
Okay, so I realize that this list could go on and on. I’d also love to meet Isabel Allende, Nick Hornby, Erik Larson, George R. R. Martin, Tami Hoag, Khaled Hosseini, David Wroblweski (hey, he lives in Colorado!)…seriously, I could just keep going here (and the list just gets more eclectic as I go!). The bottom line is that I love the work that these authors have produced and I think they’d be really interesting to meet in person. Which authors would you like to meet?
P.S. Any Seattle or Portland authors want to join me for a coffee chat in July? (never hurts to ask, right?)
Just Me & My Uke
I’ve always wanted to play an instrument. I sing and I grew up in a very musical family, but I never learned to play anything. I always chose choir as my elective in school. And my sister’s attempt to teach me to play the guitar as an adult was futile. She’s a great teacher but I just couldn’t wrap my mind (or my hand) around that guitar.
So here I am, some years later, and I’ve decided to go busking in Seattle. But I still don’t play an instrument. I’m a pretty good singer, but being a singer is tough when you don’t play an instrument. Even with all the a cappella happiness going on in the world today, it’s still not all that amusing to watch a random person sing without something else going on to “enhance” the performance. At least, not for long.
So, yesterday I went down to our local music store to look for a shaker or some kind of drum-like thing that I could tinker around with while I sing. Almost immediately, my eyes came across a cute pink ukulele. Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for anything pink. Cute and pink? Well, I’m pretty much a goner. I got the uke, a case and some instruction books. I went home and spent the next hour learning to play 4 chords on my new little obsession. Every time I managed to eek out a song I liked, I’d giggle and squeal a little.
I’m hooked! I always wanted to play an instrument and it looks the ukulele was made for me. Look out Seattle! Here I come with my cute pink little uke!
Summer Travels & A Little Busking
This summer is a writing summer. I’m traveling a lot and my laptop is going with me. Here’s what’s on the agenda so far. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
June: New Mexico
- Working on articles about Stella Vita and other New Mexico dining/travel articles
June: Klamath Falls, OR
- Visiting my aunt. It’ll be my first time in this part of Oregon and it’s a girl trip with mom and sister so I hope to work on some travel essays / personal essays.
July: Road Trip to Seattle
- Researching for new book series set in Seattle
- Meeting with Portland, OR magazine (book research)
- Busking (thinking about busking in Seattle and writing about it here on the blog)
- Exploring (road trip with my friend Rachel = adventures and probably a lot of hilarity).
- Essays, travel articles, other magazine work
So, I’ve been toying with the idea of busking in Seattle. I’ve always wanted to just burst into song so I thought maybe I could combine my weird musical notions with some actual street performance. I’m a little bit terrified. I’ve been told that people can be unkind. But I always loved stopping and listening to street performers in Seattle when I lived there. What do you think? Anybody interested in hearing (and seeing) my busking adventure? Rachel’s ready to document the whole thing with photographs and video.
It’s been a rainy couple of weeks. I had to dust off my rain boots and the kids both got new umbrellas. On Friday afternoon, the rain started pouring just as the kids stepped off the bus. My daughter cried all the way up the driveway because she had a paper in her hand that was getting wet.
“It’s ruined,” she wailed. It wasn’t but she’s 5, so everything is a tragedy until it isn’t.
One fun part of all this rain, though, is the appearance of a million worms on our driveway in the mornings. We tip-toe toward the bus stop, hoping to avoid squishing any of the little (and not so little) guys. This morning we found a slug and I introduced my daughter to the concept of “sluggishness.” She walked slowly across the driveway saying, “look mom, I’m sluggish.”
Our house is surrounded by alfalfa (we live on an alfalfa farm) and everything is vivid green. Our allergies are going crazy, but, having been raised in the deserts of New Mexico, even our red, itchy eyes can’t take way from the beauty around us - all the lushness and life.
So what if the roof is leaking a bit or there is mud all over the place? Who cares if I have to change clothes more often because what I was wearing got soaked while waiting for the bus? I still love rainy days!
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.