THE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
This book did not change my life. This book transformed my life. The youngest of three, I would sit enrapt with my siblings as our father recited long passages of poetry to us each evening. I can’t remember if I was mesmerized by his remarkable ability to recite verse after verse after verse of poems he’d kept sealed in his heart his whole life or if I was caught up in the adventures of different poetry he shared, but having a father who was a writer and poet and pastor meant the mellow, oaky boom of his deep bass voice was calming and comforting and home.
My father loves language and wit, which is why the books of poetry by Shel Silverstein were such a critical part of our literary repertoire growing up. We three siblings would page through Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic giggling at the wild images enjoying how funny phrases would somersault in our heads plastering us to our beds imagining the wonders of the small worlds Shel created in perfect rhyme. Read More
GET OUT AND FINISH THAT NOVEL
I am writing a novel. Check that…I wrote a novel….hellooOOOoooo. I wound up this Turkish family in my book for 350 pages (the poor dears). Someone asked me the other night while we waited for a live comedy show to start, “So…how do you know when you’re finished?”
And I paused because it was a good question (and also because I thought I saw Lady Gaga in the crowd) and I gave the honest answer which swirled up in my gut: “I don’t feel finished. I feel like my characters are pausing mid-breath waiting for me to continue their story even though I put a period at the end and clicked save.” Read More
I AM AN AMISH ROMANCE COVER MODEL (AMISH)
This interview originally appeared on Jordan Jeffers’ blog and he has graciously let me re-post it here.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a column for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency on Amish/Christian romance, “Ten Thousand Zombies in Bonnets.” I wrote at some length on the models who grace the covers of these books, idly wishing that someday I might have the chance to talk to one, ask her all the questions I have.
Today is that day. Through the magic of the Internet, Claire DeBerg, actual Amish romance cover model, has graciously agreed to answer some of my questions.