Archive for March, 2012

A new tack

I’m going to try something different, and be a little less precious about what I write here for a bit. Write a little more, don’t worry so much about the packaging or “building a platform,” and just get that feeling of a dash into what goes here. As in, I’m dashing off a sweet missive, a love note, out the door.


I have thought a lot about outgrowing cities, because I never anticipated what it would feel like. Someone asked me recently how I knew I was ready to leave NYC; she’s mulling an escape of her own. I paused, let a weight shift in my heart, and then said, “How I fill my well is different now; I don’t need so much from the outside world.” What I need now are sunsets, quiets, conversations about families and people’s children and hobbies and daily lives, a wide horizon, a horse, a walk by the river.


Around me the trees are budding ferociously, and there is an unseasonal warmth. Temperatures are in the 80s, and the wind today was whipping through the winds. You feel the heat sink into your limbs, which are still barely thawed out from the winter.


The melody of a certain voice.

On spring cleaning of a different kind

I had a strange dream last night. I tell you this because I know a lot of people hate reading about dreams. If you do, you can just skip to the end, but it won’t make much sense.


In my dream, I was making a movie, which is something that I haven’t done in awhile. The movie was this: I would bring my camera to a significant room in my life, either set up a tripod or have someone hold the camera, and then I’d film myself standing in the center of the room, spinning.

As I spun, I would begin corralling all the feelings and thoughts I ever had in the room, much like how a tornado sucks up the air around it. The thoughts and feelings would concentrate into my chest; it was like re-experiencing what happened in that room in fast-motion and hyper-speed. And then as I stopped spinning, the feelings would ebb away, and I was left feeling much space and light inside of me.

I put the footage together into a film of me spinning around in rooms, complete with a voiceover of what had happened in the room and what I had gotten from it. I showed the film at a screening, and it was called, no joke, “My Life.”


(I should also mention that the “significant rooms” in my dream had no bearing on my real life. They were rooms like the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, or a tea room in the Dorchester Hotel in London. Weird, right?)


I woke up this morning after the dream feeling really light and unburdened, so I decided it was my subconscious doing some spring cleaning. This isn’t entirely out of context with what is going on in my real life; I had a big gasp of a realization earlier this week, a significant shift in something related to my past. But it wasn’t until my dream where I felt I truly let something go.

How do you clean out your subconscious for spring? What emotional burdens and baggage are you cleaning out now?

(Just as I write this, it’s clear and sunny out, and the day should hit 60 degrees in the afternoon. It will be beautiful!)

A bit of my novel

Happy Leap Day! How nice to get an extra day in the year. I’m using mine to be utterly corny and take a leap — here are a few paragraphs from my novel.

I was too dumbstruck by the skaters to notice who they were right away. But, squinting more closely at the bigger, broader skater, I saw Viv was right. “It is Jim Dietz!” I whispered back, surprised. Jim Dietz had been the equivalent of a heavy metal power ballad at our school, semi-famous for his maroon Camaro and a lethal combination of bad temper and good looks. Viv had a crush on him when we were freshmen. But he got suspended pulling a knife on a kid in the cafeteria two years ago, and then was sent to his dad’s house in Wisconsin. No one had heard of or from him since. And now he’d come back, and become a skater. He had gotten much bigger and grown his hair out, but it was him.

“He’s amazing,” Viv noted, admiration in her voice as we watched him. She was right: he had incredible strength and power. Jim attacked every movement with a forward intensity, as if he wanted to smash himself into something and take glee in the rubble, like a human hurricane on concrete. He had a heft that belied the fearsome speed he got on the board, able to explode into astonishing flips and spins in mid-air.

Then there was the other skater, the one no one knew at all. He was less flamboyant in style, but once you started watching him, you couldn’t help but stare. Next to Jim’s massive bulk, he was taller and lankier, with dark hair and pale skin. A network of tattoos covered him, snaking all over his sinewy arms and shoulders. He had a different skating style from Jim, imbuing everything with a kind of offhand grace and intricacy. The way he moved wasn’t exactly feline, but it had an animal-like, instinctive quality. He could do half-cabs like they were nothing, one after the other. He could do all kinds of flips and grinds, dashed off like an afterthought. He could soar up into the air with ease, getting incredible air off the simplest of railings. He nailed the hardest skate tricks ever, the most complex combinations, and he did it like it was the easiest thing in the world.

I watched them for a bit, admiring the show like everyone else. But feeling my own board clutched against my chest, I remembered what I had set out to do tonight — and realized that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. Nothing anyone did tonight would compare. It was this bittersweet feeling: seeing the most beautiful skating of my life, and realizing how janky my own efforts would seem in comparison to it.

I tugged at Viv’s arm, motioning for us to go. “Aren’t you going to go up?” she whispered, looking confused. I could tell she didn’t want to go.

I only shook my head. “Let’s go.” I took one last look at the two skaters, soaring high in the air in a way I could never hope to touch, and then turned and made my way back to the edge of the park where I belonged.

It is called, at the moment, LOVE AND CONCRETE, and it tells the story of Lily, a skateboarder who falls in love with a mysterious, gifted skater she meets on the scene. But he’s a werewolf, and of course, hijinks ensue. Okay, not hijinks! I jest — it’s a paranormal romance, for God’s sake! But there is illicit swimming in ponds, moshing with skinheads, animal sacrifices, skinned elbows and a secret lurking in the woods. If you’ve ever been giddy with a crush-turned-true-love, you know what my book feels like. If you’ve ever cowered in fear in the middle of the woods at night as you overhear the crunch of breaking bone and flesh against metal — well, you also know what my book feels like, too.

I also started a Tumblr for my book, collecting all the images I’ve been squirreling away since I started the novel. And I must say, it is super, super-hot, with loads of gorgeous wolf pics, skater pics, and the occasional snapshot of alt-rock heroines. Visit it: . I also started two Pinterest boards, one of , one of . You can also check out my dream home Pinterest board while you’re there. Or the one of my wardrobe. Those are kind of dorky, but well, there you go!