Thursday, January 24, 2008

Uphill Climb

I think it was Lance Armstrong who said the guy who wins the Tour is the one who can hurt the most. I think the writer who becomes successful is the one who can hurt the most, too. Writing is hard.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Maná lately. One of my favorite songs of theirs is about unrequited love. Oh, muse of fiction, come back to me! Why must our relationship be so dysfunctional? This arguing isn’t getting us anywhere; we’re only hurting each other.

Cómo quisiera poder vivir sin aire
Cómo quisiera calmar mi aflicción
Cómo quisiera poder vivir sin agua
Me encantaría robar tu corazón

Realmente, arte, podemos fijar esto.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Missed Predictions

Is there some part of San Diego that receives twice as much rain as they’re forecasted for? Because we in Carmel Valley seem to get about half of what's predicted. Rain supposed to come in this morning? Nope. And again this afternoon? Doesn’t look like it. Not that I’m complaining.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Feliz Cumpleanos!

(Photo by Lynn Dao)

Today is Louie's third birthday. It's quite a milestone in a young dog's life, and our perrito celebrated it in style with a morning at Starbucks, an afternoon at the park, dinner at home with his parents, and an extra biscuit.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Saturday, January 19, 2008


My latest rejection is a we-don't-want-this-story-comma-but-we're-interested-in-your-writing-so-
send-us-something-else letter. It's akin to being disliked in a likable sort of way. Which is quite flattering, but I'm holding out for being liked in a likable sort of way.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pura Vida!

Costa Rica is beautiful, peaceful, and somewhere we will return to. I knew we were in a polite country when its citizens complimented my Spanish accent. Como esta loco!

To be crude, here's a laundry-list summary of the trip:
-A swinging tour through the forest canopy.
-Lava boulders erupting out of Arenal.
-A hike up a dormant volcano, with a view down to its crater lake.
-Too many mosquito bites.
-A serendipitous dip in hot springs.
-One good downpour.
-Checking in to a hotel three hours too late to meet members of Phish and The Grateful Dead.
-A six-foot-long snake that wanted to take advantage of the pool deck.
-Dolphins and a swordfish off the side of our boat.
-My husband's toes wiggling on the hammock in front of mine, which I studied with interest.
-Fried plantains, fried plantains, fried plantains.

Bryan and I came home to an uncontrollably wiggling Louie (which we reciprocated), to a stack of mail, to a life together.

Monday, January 7, 2008


This blog will be on vacation until January 19th, while Bryan and I honeymoon in Costa Rica!

Putting the trip off a few months worked out perfectly; we were able to visit with out-of-town family after the wedding, and also recuperate from the wonderful, exhausting event.

We didn't want to be that couple that matches--same hat, same sandals--on vacation. But after a trip to REI, Bryan and I ended up with the same hat and same sandals. Different colors, though! The Ticos are in for a good giggle.

We'll be celebrating both our birthdays in Central America. And we'll also be able to celebrate another short story acceptance, this one from Perigee. The story, titled "Fly the Coop," will be out January 15.


Since we're about to take off for our honeymoon, I thought I'd post a few photos from the wedding:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Revolutionary Road

This book is good. It sticks around with you. The underachieving, unhappy young husband. The fussy wife. A flat-footed pregnancy. Flirting with infidelity. Enervated suburbia. Loss. Hopelessness.

My favorite image: the housewife viciously mowing the lawn on a Saturday morning, her hung-over husband watching from the front door.

It quickly reminded me of Rabbit, Run. Updike's book was published in 1960, and Yates' in 1961. I can't help but wonder about a possible connection.

Google is a wonderful thing. Because I don't have to be satisfied with wondering. I can run a search and find an answer from someone much smarter and more well read than myself. Unfortunately, the answer deflates my balloon of the two men drinking scotch and playing pool.

Get to the Point

I’m working on a new story that has a premise, some interesting characters, worthwhile dialogue, and a backbone of narration. But it doesn’t yet have a thrust, a downhill snowball’s propulsion of a good story. I’m keeping with it, but I’m beginning to wonder if it might come to the Amy Hempel method: write and write and write. And after editing, editing, editing, ending up with a short-short. Which wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Normally I don't mind not knowing where a story’s road will bend or fork. But this time, I can't be certain if these characters and I are on the right road. Maybe I’ll find out in Costa Rica, bumping along on one of their muddy, potholed, beautiful caminos.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

This was the booze for our big celebration (note the quarter for size).

We went out to dinner earlier on New Year's Eve. Outback Steakhouse, and Helmut knows all the employees. Happy hour in Florida means two-for-one. You order one beer (or Southern Comfort Manhattan, if you're Bryan's grandpa) and they bring you two. 4-7PM everyday, and there was nary an empty bar stool. Once it reached 7:15, though, the place had cleared out.

Traveling back and forth across the country in two days isn't as bad as one would think. Bry and I got through it with four on-time flights, two novels, a half dozen episodes of Lil' Bush (highly recommended) on the iPod touch, and one Lonely Planet book on Costa Rica. We are, ahem, changing our honeymoon itinerary just a wee bit.

Feliz Ano Nuevo!