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The Socks Are Only Pink Very Briefly. More CFP Monday!

And here I Interrupt Crazy Farm Plan’s Teeth to Tell You Three Things!

1) Look at this DARLING Flash animation for SHINE SHINE SHINE. Did I tell you I read the audio of this book? Because I did. I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK WITH AN UNHOLY LOVE. I think I have read it about 26 times now. I have literally read my ARC into a TATTER, and not Rob Lowe-style “literally,” either. Real literally. It is a rag.

It comes out in July. You can win a free copy of the ARC here, in case the link in the flash fails. Which it maybe probably yes will. Because I do not know how to code it and just kind stole it by saying SAVE PICTURE. Heh.

2) Scott and I went to see CABIN IN THE WOODS last night. It was So. Very. Violent. SO very. Earns the R rating. You are warned. But also awesome and blackly funny and surprising and fun and spooky and (bonus!) chock full of Amy Acker-y Goodness that I did not expect. (Plus more Buffi-verse cameos for fanatics.) SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU ON THE BIG SCREEN, BEAUTIFUL FRED.

SO entertaining and unexpected—or, another way to say that is “Joss Whedon Touched It.” Also the director did CLOVERFIELD which I LOVED. To this day, when things feel ominous, Scott and I look at each other breathlessly and whisper, “This is the story of Cloverfield, the monster. He. Eated. EVERYBODY.” I don’t know why. It is a trope in our marriage. AND ALSO CLOVERFIELD IS NOT EVEN THE MONSTER. We say it anyway.

3) Lastly! I have to respond to Sandy, who basically thanked me for suffering to make the books, but no no no, oh no no no. Sandy, you make me a saint when really I am just a garden variety mentally ill person. I am not Van Gogh, slicing off an ear for art.

Even Van Gogh might not have been Van Gogh! There is speculation that he removed the ear, not for art at all, but because he loved a girl or prostitute or girl prostitute, and some say he threw a wine glass at Gauguin who then snatched up a rapier and fenced the ear right off him, willy-nilly!

I do not suffer so that I can make books. I think that’s backwards; I don’t think the books make me mentally ill. I think I am mentally ill, and so I make the books, to process it. More than that—to get one over on it.

The books are what I do instead of going someplace that has soft walls and is very very quiet and where I could eat up quite a lot of medication.

It is personal and sometimes it is selfish. To write is a great, great pleasure, and helps me know what I want. I wrote my stories in badbadbadunforgiveable poem form and play form and in short fiction and unpublished novel form for YEARS before I was publishing. If I ever stop publishing, that does not mean I will have stopped writing, or cycling through these phases. The writing and the publishing are separate. One is my job. One is who I am.

To write them is to spit in the black of the world and affirm my beliefs. Even in my darkest book, Backseat Saints, I think hope survives. I think love wins, or at least refuses to go under. I process via story, as I never know what I am feeling until I see what I write, until I see what I do. Story is what pulls me back to what matters, which is always, only, ever, this: human connection, sacrificial love, Easter.

In the part where I sink and weep, I sink because I have lost Easter. I am writing a story to find it again. When my faith falters, I can’t see my way to the end. This happens because, well. I know all the things that Liza knows in A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY:

This is what Liza knows: People go under. They fall off the world, they go beneath and drown and die. Sometimes, nothing saves you…Liza knows how black the world is, how fast it spins, and how you have to take the taste of apples and the smell of your little girl’s orange zest shampoo where you find them. You have to hold these things and strive, always, for one more word and one more step. You push forward and you fight, for as long as ever you can, until the black world spins and the moon pulls the tide and the water rises up and takes you.

SO, Sandy, please do not thank me. It is astounding and a miracle to me that you read them and respond to them and like them and buy them and tell people about them…. If you didn’t do these things, I would still WRITE, but I would lose my job. I only have my job because of you guys. Thank YOU. Not me. Thank YOU.

15 comments to The Socks Are Only Pink Very Briefly. More CFP Monday!

  • I saw Cabin and loved it. I will anxiously await the day I can get a screenshot of that whiteboard with the bets. So fun to deconstruct. And funny, funny lines.

    “Poptarts?”

    But I will worship anything and everything Joss touches. Just as I will read anything and everything you write.

  • Sittin’ here smiling like the Cheshire cat. This post is glorious. If the manic has not yet arrived, it is WELL on its way. Maybe you just needed a scary movie date with Mr. Husband. Or maybe you’re just a GREAT writer. Or maybe both.

  • I’ve got a THING for that Hemsworth guy, you know Thor. The movie is high on my radar, but may end up watching it later because if I go to the theater to see it my kids will go nuts. They love horror, but they won’t see THIS horror for a few more years. My daughter is quite the horror aficionado. Not many scare her.

    And thank you for your eloquent and heartfelt response! Well, I would suffer (as well as many of my friends) if you stopped writing, so I guess we are all winning here. We are all saved from the padded room by your writing! I swear, the one friend of mine, who you signed my book for, feels that even on her worst day, she can open one of your books and know that someone out there gets it.

  • I have nothing to say, really, except I love love LOVE #3. I totally get it. I have no aspirations for a career in writing. But if I didn’t write, how would I ever know how I feel?

  • Lora in Florida

    Registered for SHINE SHINE SHINE! 🙂 Wish me luck!

  • I love your words: blog posts, books, interviews, reviews, letters to the editor. Yup, love ’em. I am a words person. I collect them in my mind and bring them out for comfort when the world gets dark, or for smiles when I’m feeling giddy, or to express my love of my family to their faces. I love words. Your words, though? They seem to express the things inside me that I can’t seem to describe with words. You say or write the words the way I WISH I could say or write them. True Story.

  • brigitte

    Well thank goodness you have the books, since you have bad reactions to All Teh Meds. Plus the books thing works out for us readers, too. 😉

  • BerniG

    I guess I am thankful for the mental illness, because I love your books. I really really loved Backseat Saints, it is my favorite so far. I am about to read a Grown Up Kind of Pretty, but I am saving it for a reward after I finish this semester of school. I completely lost MY mind and went back to school in my 40’s… I only have a full time job, 4 kids, and a houseful of pets, so no problem, right?

  • Leslie Noon

    Well, crap. You made me cry before work. I popped in because Caty said you’d seen Cabin in the Woods. I was blindsided by profundity. On the upside, profundity with morning coffee is a good omen for the day. It might be as beautiful as that stuff you wrote in bold. I’ll get on it as soon as I get the mascara off my face.

  • DebR

    I want to see Cabin in the Woods because it was touched by Joss Whedon and Joss Whedon is a god. I don’t want to see Cabin in the Woods because I’m afraid I will see things I wish I hadn’t and will never be able to un-see them. Dithering….

    Also, I think you’ve put your finger on exactly what makes an artist an artist rather than simply a “normal” person (whatever THAT means!) with some creative talent. An artist (painter, writer, poet, actor, musician – whatever!) can’t NOT create and will do it whether they get paid for it or not and whether anyone else likes it or not – although of course getting paid and people liking it is definitely BETTER. 🙂

  • Cheryl

    Crazy Farm Plan! Crazy Farm Plan! Where is it? I demand Part II.

    Also, thank you for the Cabin in the Woods recommendation! I am not a horror movie person and thus was not inclined to go and see that horror movie. I was also afraid that I would see things that I would not then be able to unsee. But I just keep replaying things like that scene with Bradley Whitford’s character “I wish I could do what you do – I mean, it was just *inspired.* That last bit was the perfect denouement and when the (spoiler, spoiler), I just SCREAMED.”

    One last thing. Have you seen this: http://bit.ly/IISkLz? “My happiness goes through natural swings, which are often connected to my work.”

  • Caleb

    I have been writing since I was a kid… I started after a family tragedy, and it helped me get through it. Since having a couple of articles and shorts published in college I have quit submitting anything. I write for other people, but I can’t “share” what I write anymore. It is very personal, the stories I write, that I just can’t bring myself to share them with most people… Several years ago I started giving them as “gifts” to family and friends… Nobody gets the same piece and nobody is allowed to share them. It has become the most anticipated “surprise” of the year… Who gets one this year? I must say, though, that everyone has enjoyed it, which scared me more. Maybe one day, when I am dead and gone, somebody else can enjoy them as I much as my family has and as much I “needed” them while I wrote them.

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    I signed up to win an ARC of Lydia’s book. I have been looking forward to reading it since WAY back when you first told us that she had a publishing contract! I have been following her progress toward pub. date since then on her blog. She is much of an inspiration to me. She has proven that only doing the work and spilling your guts onto the page and then working and working on it some more is what gets a book published. Being best friends with a NYT selling author did NOT give her an automatic publishing contract. I think that is inspiring.

    I love what Liza knows. I love it so much that I am going to print it out and tape it to my computer right by my Nonny Fox doll.

  • Thank you for posting that link! Everyone who enters is going to get a Netgalley even if they don’t win an akshull ARC so yay!

  • Michelle thank you for saying those things. That is very cool. Are you on Facebook? Let’s be friends. 🙂 I want to meet you better. http://www.facebook.com/lostcheerio is my personal page.