Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wonderful News!

My mentor, friend and former employer Eve Ensler was just named one of US News and World Report's 'Best Leaders'! It is utterly true.

Eve is different. She instinctively thinks on a different scale. Her mind, heart, empathy, and determination are of an enormous scope, as if she were drawn by giants. I will never forget one day in London when I had been working for her for about thirty-six hours and was listening to her give a telephone interview. The interviewer asked in a vaguely condescending tone, if she really believed that an end of violence against women was possible on this planet. "Why not?" Eve countered without waiting a beat. "Why would I ever waste one minute of my life doubting that it will happen?"

I was thunderstruck. It had never occurred to me to live or speak without prevarication; without doubt or apology or the kind of realistic tempering of ambition our society expects. That is what she is like. She is fast and ferocious and moves through the world ruthlessly exposing herself to unimaginable pain; meeting it head on with her profound humanity, humor and singleminded resolve to stop the violence. She expects more of herself, of us, of humanity.

She sees people. Really sees them; hears their stories, acknowledges their experiences and then carries them with her. It helps. Even if the woman's situation does not change immediately after speaking to Eve--the woman's life does.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Writer's Block

It is a knock on wood, kiss the window, touch something blue when you go over the railroad tracks sort of feeling. Like when I am in New York City and obsessively wash my hands to avoid the flu--although that never works. Writer's block. I've heard about it. I do not want it.

It crept up on me where I did not expect it--this blog. For the last two weeks I have written and erased at least fifteen entries. Not good. That is how it starts. I have no proof of that whatsoever but am sure in that total conviction based on nothing kind of way.

I have been reading up on how one promotes a book these days. It is some frightening stuff. Apparently I do not get to disappear into my pajamas and re-emerge when the new book is finished. Book trailers, websites, a web presence? That sounds Darth Vaderish. I think I read too much in the last few weeks, freaked myself out and then panicked. I am very good at panicking. So we broke it down. We--the select group of angelic, patient people who answer the phone/email/door when I panic--were going to tackle this step by manageable step.

The Website: "" if you can believe it. We bought it. First hurdle safely cleared. Matt (one of my oldest childhood friends--see adorable photo on the followers thingy below) and I sat down to discuss my website--see I said it without squeaking in panic. He is a webmaster--sounds very dungeon and dragons to me. What do I want it to look like? I came up with wanting it to be a bit like a faded, sunbleached, blue bottomed boat or old french shoes, either one would do. Bizarre but I felt they had a certain relevance.

The Book Trailer: my boyfriend Noah is luckily a trailer editor. I wrote to my lovely agent. What do I do? Nothing! We do not have to subdue this particular beastie until spring. Hooray! Second hurdle safely ignored.

The Blog: I decided that whatever I write today, I am going to post. I am going to do mighty battle with the beginnings of the publicity-centric writer's block boogeyman and win. Now I have done it and can take my lovely research materials for my next book out to the sunshine.