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.