Here’s someone I like a whole lot, and it happens to be his birthday today. Maybe you can drop by his blog and wish him a good one.
Also, a shout out to those of you who made the jump from LitPark to Brad Listi’s fabulous Nervous Breakdown!
And one last thing before I get to the Weekly Wrap: Here’s a link to the conference I’ll be a part of this summer at NYC’s Algonquin. Go ahead and click it to see who’s on my panel …because if you’re a LitPark regular, you know I have footage of one of those panelists during his 80’s rock star days. And you know that person was wearing a shiny button-up with giant polka dots on it.
Am I the only one at LitPark who owns this album? You know it, right? The song worked its way into my head this week and got stuck there, and now it’s also the title of today’s Weekly Wrap. But if you’re me, you don’t just sing the chorus because you know the whole damn song….
Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain
Joy and pain
Like sunshine and rain
Well I’m the new kid, I’m just comin’ up
A lot of rappers think that I can’t tear it up
Well I’m ‘a show ’em and ignore ’em
And when they think I ain’t lookin’ I floor ’em
I mean take ’em out I keep groovin’
A slick bass line keep the beat movin’
They can’t take it they just fake it
They wonder how the Rob Base make it
I get ill, you know the deal
Cuz this is how the Rob Base feels.
Um. I could go on, but I’ll stop there. It feels different singing this song when you’re forty.
You’re waiting for the tie-in, I suppose.
At first it seemed odd that the week I planned to feature an interview about artists and depression would also become the week I announced my book deal. It seemed like it would be difficult to talk about joy at the same time as pain, and I didn’t want to water down either one. But as I think about it now, it’s very much the way of the world. Weddings and proms are classic occasions to remind people they’re alone. One wins a race at the exact moment another loses it. An artist creates a masterpiece that leaves him feeling exhausted and bare. Life is filled with these moments where joy and pain live side by side, and certainly that marriage of opposites is a part of the life of writers and artists.
Oh look! The spontaneous joy of Neil Gaiman! Wait! You can’t have him. The torture!
What a fearless and inspiring interview Daryl Darko was! I shared more of my history of depression with Daryl than I will here, but I can tell you that, for years, I had to chart each day in 15 minute intervals and check them off as I lived through them. I hated myself, hated sleeping, hated waking up, hated the thoughts I had, hated the way I behaved, hated the sense that my life felt both meaningless and too intense – all at once. It was the writing that saved me, but I can say equally that the writing nearly killed me.
I’m in the middle of filling out an author questionnaire for St. Martin’s (HOW F**KING COOL IS THAT?!) and they asked a question about my experience writing this novel.
I’m not sure what my answer is yet, but I know that creating my novel was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I had to go to all the places I feared. I took a long look at every dark place in my soul. I created characters I didn’t like and followed them until I respected and understood them. Writing the novel felt like entering a tunnel with no assurance that I’d find my way out the other side. And the only thing harder than writing this book was for this rejection-phobe to gather the stamina, courage, and blind faith required to send it out. Connecting with that editor who’s moved by my characters and their story: Pure joy.
All of this is to say that you can come to LitPark to celebrate, to vent, or to hang. Come when you’re feeling giddy, sarcastic, drunk, hopeful, cranky, frustrated, or joyous. Moody artistic types are my favorite company!
Here’s a hard truth: You will never be Neil Gaiman’s cat.
But, like Rob Base says: Keep groovin’!
Thank you to those who answered the Question of the Week and for the nice things you said about my book deal and about each other. I am so genuinely grateful and happy to know you. Okay. I can’t do all the links for a thread this long, so I’m going to link those who are new or irregular or share names: amy, Jordan E. Rosenfeld, Terry Bain, Robin Slick, mikel k poet, Claire Cameron, Renee Rosen, Anneliese, Betsy, Ric Marion, lance reynald, Lori Oliva, Roy Kesey, Jonathan Evison, Kirk Farber, Myfanwy Collins, Richard Cooper, Tish Cohen, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Julie Ann Shapiro, Jody Reale, Carolyn Burns Bass, Richard, Gail Siegel, Margy, Maria Headley, Nicole, ellen meister, Carrie Hoffman, Grant Bailie, Amy Wallen, Noria, Trisha Mortimore, NFD, Sarah Roundell, Kimberly, Katrina Denza, Juliet deWal, Nathalie, Elizabeth Alan, Karen Dionne, Richard Lewis, daryl, Pia, patry, maryanne stahl, Bruce Hoppe, Mark Bastable, Jason Boog, and Sheila.
See you Monday!