Hi I’m a major fan of your book elsewhere (it made me want to be a writer from a young age) and I only just found out you had loads of social media pages (from wordpress- ahaha). I was just wondering if you had any advice for want-to-be-writers? Thank you for writing such awesome books that have really changed me :)

Thank you! I don’t know that I have much advice beyond the usual: read a lot; write a lot, etc. The one other thing I might mention is that one should never be afraid NOT TO WRITE. Thinking — about books, about your goals for your writing, about the kind of story you’d like to tell and the way you’d like to tell it — is for me at least an important part of the process.

Saturday Wisdom: My favorite writing quote is by Samuel Beckett though it is not technically a quote about writing.The quote is from a prose piece called Worstward Ho: Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Rarely a day goes by when I have not thought of that quote upon sitting down at my desk to write.

Gabrielle Performs Her Civic Duty

Ah, isn’t this an inspirational backdrop for voting? Doesn’t it just make you want to sing “America the Beautiful”?


Here, you’ll see my one eye voting. Or, at least, standing by a VOTE HERE sign and pretending to vote. No, of course I voted. I live in New York City’s awesome District 68 — holla atcha District 68! — which, according to my polling representative, includes mainly brownstones and other small buildings — which means voting only took about five minutes. If I lived in District 67 or 66, I’d still be waiting and not blogging inanely. Those District 66 & 67 suckas live in fancy high rises which means there are a lot more of them packed into a small area. Man, I am so glad I live in a lowly lowrise.

Look! My hair voted, too! (Okay, I was having technical problems taking pictures of myself AND the sign using my iPhone camera. This picture captures precisely neither.)

A boy passing by looked at the VOTE HERE/VOTE AQUI sign and said, “What’s aqui?” And I thought to myself, Open your eyes, Kid! Aqui is HERE! It’s here! It’s all freakin’ happening and you were here!

Last Lines #3 & The Writing Life #2: Action-Packed, All-Starred, Double-Featured, One Week Anniversary Edition


Just so there’s no question whether I’m a complete nerd or not, one of my very favorite television programs is American Masters on PBS. Mainly, I like it because it has to do with how it is hard (not like soldier hard or being born with a terrible disease hard, but hard nonetheless) to be an artist and all that self-indulgent hooey AKA the kind of hooey in which I very much like to indulge. Last night, there was a very good & inspirational one on Leonard Bernstein who would have been ninety years old this week. Among other things, the program talked about how it was hard for him to want to be alone & write when there were so many other interesting things to pursue like conducting & teaching & traveling & peacemaking & hosting fundraisers for the Black Panthers & having a most exhausting social life, etc., etc. This is something I relate to aside from the conducting, teaching, peacemaking, Black Panthers fundraising, & exhausting social life parts. So, Maestro, wherever you are, these last lines go out to you:

“It is enough, it is to be blessed enough, to live from day to day and to hear such music – not too much, or the soul could not sustain it – from time to time.”
from
An Equal Music by Vikram Seth*

*An Equal Music is probably one of my favorite books published in the last ten years or so.

**The photograph is of young Leonard Bernstein, who was definitely hot. It’s one I took of my television as you can tell by the subtly embossed Thirteen logo…