January 2008


by Susan Henderson on January 28, 2008

Today, over 300 bloggers, including bestsellers, Emmy winners, movie makers, and publishing houses have come together to talk about THE LIAR’S DIARY by Patry Francis. Why? To give the book the attention it deserves on its release day while Patry takes the time she needs to heal from cancer.

Before I talk about this book, I’d like to tell you a story about how this extraordinary day happened.

First, you need to know something about Patry Francis.

What if you worked for years as a waitress and then went home at the end of the day to your husband and four kids, and in those rare minutes of free time, you dared to dream that one day you might write a book? This is the story of my friend, Patry – a story that leaves out years of false starts, revisions, and rejection slips. It’s a story that writers know intimately, though the details are different. Every one of us is well acquainted with the struggle of getting a story on paper, of honing it and believing in it enough to send it out, only to receive rejection, or worse, silence for our efforts.

Imagine, after many years, you beat the odds. You finish that book. You find that agent who sells your manuscript. Your dream is about to become a reality. But just as your book is due to be released, you discover you have an aggressive form of cancer.

Patry’s story struck such a deep chord with many of us, not just because she is our friend, but because those of us who know her or read her blog have relied on her company through the ups and mostly downs of trying to write and sell a book. She is our buoy. She has shown us time and again her great gift for shedding light in the dark. Even her blog post about her cancer showed this – in her greatest time of need, she was still somehow comforting all of us and showing us glimpses of joy.

Patry is part one of this amazing story.

Now you need to know something about Laura Benedict:

On New Year’s Day, or thereabouts, Laura wrote to me, calling my attention to Patry’s publication date. “Perhaps we could do a ‘Patry Francis/Liar’s Diary’ blog-o-rama or carnival or something to promote the book?” she wrote. “I’m such an amateur at this stuff that I don’t know what’s possible.”

I didn’t give a moment’s thought to what we might try to pull off, or how; I simply said, “Yes! Let’s do it!”

It’s very important to me that Laura is recognized for her initial gesture – not just because she’s a great and generous woman, but because it says something about the strength of the heart over the kinds of power most of us are without. When you see the amazing outpouring of support and the high-profile people who joined this effort, remember it started with one small voice.

Laura is part 2 of this amazing story.

Now let’s talk about you:

In less than one month, over 300 bloggers, writers, readers, and just big-hearted people signed on to take part in this day. I am overwhelmed and grateful for every single person who said yes or helped spread the word, but let me reserve some enormous thanks for the people who traded hundreds of emails with me to put this together: Karen Dionne of Backspace, Jessica Keener of Agni and The Boston Globe, Tish Cohen, author of TOWN HOUSE, Dan Conaway of Writers House, and Alice Tasman of the Jean Naggar Literary Agency.

What began as a personal gesture of caring for a friend became an astonishing show of community – writers helping writers; strangers helping strangers; and most surprising of all, editors, agents and publishers, who have no stake in this book, crossing “party lines” to blog, to make phone calls, and to send out press releases.

This effort has made visible a community that is, and has been, alive and kicking – a community that understands the struggle artists go through and rejoices in each other’s successes. It’s a community made up of many small voices, but – guess what? – those many small voices can create some noise. So while today is for Patry, it’s also a symbolic gesture for all of you who work so very hard for little or no recognition, for all of you who keep going despite the rejections, and for all of you who have had illness or other outside factors force your art or your dreams aside. We are in this together.


Time to talk about THE LIAR’S DIARY.

Whether you like text, audio, or video, I have a taste of the book for you. Let’s start with an audio clip of THE LIAR’S DIARY. This audio clip comes courtesy of Eileen Hutton at Brilliance Audio.

This video for THE LIAR’S DIARY was created by Sheila Clover English, C.E.O. of Circle of Seven Productions, who was moved by Patry’s story and volunteered her lightning-speed creativity!

Here are the publisher‘s words:

Answering the question of what is more powerful—family or friendship? this debut novel unforgettably shows how far one woman would go to protect either.

They couldn’t be more different, but they form a friendship that will alter both their fates. When Ali Mather blows into town, breaking all the rules and breaking hearts (despite the fact that she is pushing forty), she also makes a mark on an unlikely family. Almost against her will, Jeanne Cross feels drawn to this strangely vibrant woman, a fascination that begins to infect Jeanne’s “perfect” husband as well as their teenaged son.

At the heart of the friendship between Ali and Jeanne are deep-seated emotional needs, vulnerabilities they have each been recording in their diaries. Ali also senses another kind of vulnerability; she believes someone has been entering her house when she is not at home—and not with the usual intentions. What this burglar wants is nothing less than a piece of Ali’s soul.

When a murderer strikes and Jeanne’s son is arrested, we learn that the key to the crime lies in the diaries of two very different women . . . but only one of them is telling the truth. A chilling tour of troubled minds, The Liar’s Diary signals the launch of an immensely talented new novelist who knows just how to keep her readers guessing.

And now, here are Patry’s words, which I lifted off her blog: “Though my novel deals with murder, betrayal, and the even more lethal crimes of the heart, the real subjects of THE LIAR’S DIARY are music, love, friendship, self-sacrifice and courage. The darkness is only there for contrast; it’s only there to make us realize how bright the light can be. I’m sure that most writers whose work does not flinch from the exploration of evil feel the same.”

Ready to buy the book? Why not buy one for yourself and one for a friend? And if you like it, tell people!

Here are links to THE LIAR’S DIARY at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s. You can also buy directly from Penguin to save 15% (after you add the book to your cart, just enter the word PATRY in the coupon code field and click ‘update cart’ to activate the discount).


A long list of thank yous.

You’re about to see a very long list of those who are taking part in THE LIAR’S DIARY Blog Day. I hope you’ll check out the links because some of these folks got very creative. For example, my friend, Aurelio O’Brien, made up these buttons and stickers:

Wow… to every one of you on this list! Thank you, so sincerely:

Patti Abbott
Barbara Abercrombie
Mario Acevedo
Susan Adrian
Mary Akers
Samina Ali
Christa Allan
Alma Alexander
Shorts – Featured Author

Joelle Anthony
Darlene Arden
Jorge Argueta
Vicki Arkoff – MAD Magazine, Nickelodeon, MW Book Review
Melanie Avila
Tricia Ares
Neil B
Terry Bain
Gail Baker – The Debutante Ball
Anjali Banerjee
L.A. Banks
Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Elizabeth Bartasius
Carolyn Burns Bass
Brett Battles
Laura Benedict
Pinckney Benedict
Malorie Bennett
Janet Berliner
William Bernhardt
Alexander Besher
Marcie Beyatte
Brenda Birch
Beryl Singleton Bissell
Roberto Bonazzi
Jason Boog
Raven Bower
Laura Bowers
Beatrice Bowles
Tara Bradford
Gayle Brandeis
Stacy Brazalovich
Susan Breen – Gotham Writers Workshops
Heather Brewer
Eve Bridburg – Zachary Shuster Harmsworth
Sassy Brit
Heatheraynne Brooks
Debra Broughon
Josie Brown
Pat Brown
Ruth Brown
Ken Bruen
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Aldo Calcagno
Austin S. Camacho
Bill Cameron
Lorenzo Carcaterra
Vincent Carrella
Karen DeGroot Carter
Rosemary Carstens
Alexander Chee
Lee Child
Circle of Seven Productions
Cynthia Clark – Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine
Terence Clarke
Jon Clinch
Kamela Cody
Oline H. Cogdill – Sun-Sentinal
Tish Cohen
Eileen Cruz Coleman
Myfanwy Collins
Dan Conaway – Writers House
Laurie Connors – Penguin
Eileen Cook
Richard Cooper
David Corbett
Auria Cortes
Peter Coyote
Elizabeth Crane
Bill Crider – Pop Culture Magazine
Kim Cristofoli
Ann Mare Cummins
Sheila Curran
Kristie Cutter
Tom Crum
Jordan Dane
Josephine Damian
Daryl Darko
A.J. Davis
Kelli Davis
Alyssa Day
Alma Hromic Deckert
Jim DeFelice
Mike Dellosso
Katrina Denza
Bella DePaulo
Kerry Dexter
Karen Dionne
Susan DiPlacido
Felicia Donovan
Julie Doughty – Dutton
Gerry Doyle
Terri DuLong
Firoozeh Dumas
Jennifer Duncan
Susanne Dunlap
Xujun Eberlein
Christine Eldin
J.T. Ellison – Killer Year
Sheila Clover English – Circle of Seven Productions
Kate Epstein – the Epstein Literary Agency
Kathryn Esplin
Gayle Etcheverry
Clinton Fein
Sean Ferrell
Rachel Fershleiser at SMITH Magazine
Ryan Field
Carol Fitzgerald –
Michael A. FitzGerald
William Floyd
Natasha Fondren
Matt Forbeck
Brian Ford
Jamie Ford
Connie May Fowler
Heather Fowler
Therese Fowler
Jenifer Fox
Thaisa Frank
Shelley Frost
Michelle Gable
Gary Gach
Leighton Gage
Neil Gaiman
Colin Galbraith
Jayson Gallaway
Jane Ganahl – Red Room
Erika-Marie S. Geiss
Linda Gerber
Shane Gericke
Tess Gerritsen
Karin Gillespie
Dara Girard
Anne Glamore
Kathi Kamen Goldmark
Jewelle Gomez
Eric D. Goodman
C.W. GortnerHistorical Boys
Susan Helene Gottfried
Deborah Grabien
Elizabeth Graham
Caroline Grant
Robin Grantham
Bob Gray – Shelf Awareness
Nancy O. Greene
Robert Grudin
Lisa Guidarini
Mireille Guilano
David Habbin
Jim Hanas
Lynette Hart
Melanie Harvey
Michael Haskins
Melanie Lynn Hauser
Bill Hayes
Maria Dahvana Headley
Susan Henderson – LitPark
Heidi the Hick
Georgia Hesse
Bethany Hiitola
Billie Hinton
Vicki Hinze
Jenn Hollowell
Lori Hope
Khaled Hosseini
Charlotte Hughes
Sharon Hurlbut
Eileen Hutton – Brilliance Audio
Gina Hyams
Jessica Inclan
International Thriller Writers
David Isaak
Susan Ito
Noria Jablonski
Lisa Jackson
Lori James – All Romance eBooks
Luke James
Arachne Jericho
Allison Johnson
Jen Jordan – Crimespree
Jungle Red Writers
Lesley Kagen
Polly Kahl
Andrew Kaplan – Media Mensch
Alan Kaufman
Jessica Keener
Douglas Keister
Charles Kelly
Lisa Kenny
Beth Kephart
Jackie Kessler
Merle Kessler
Kristy Kiernan – Southern Authors Blog
A.S. King
Jeff Kleinman – Folio Literary Management
Sandra Kring
R.D. Laban
Rebecca Laffar-Smith – Writers Roundabout
Clair Lamb
Daphne Larkin
Judy Merrill Larson
Aaron Lazar
Caroline Leavitt
Virginia Lee
Leslie Levine
John Lescroart
Mary Lewis
Richard Lewis
Sharon Linnea
Jessica Lipnack
Aimee Liu
Julie Anne Long
Ericka Lutz
CJ Lyons
Laurun M.
Jonathan Maberry
Amy MacKinnon – The Writers Group
Tim Maleeny
Ric Marion
Kerstin Martin
Nancy Martin
Adrienne Mayor
L.C. McCabe
Damian McNicholl
Ellen Meister
Christa Miller
Kyle Minor
Jacquelyn Mitchard
P. A. Moed
Terri Molina
Pat Montandon
David Montgomery
Alexis Moore
Joe Moore – Inkspot
Michelle Moran
Amanda Morgan
Sarie Morrell
Amy Nathan
National Post
Tia Nevitt
Kristin Nelson – Nelson Literary Agency
Carolyn North
Aurelio O’Brien
Martha O’Connor
Andrea Okrentowich
Lori Oliva
Jodie Osinga
Tamara Palmer
Aimee Palooza
Michael Palmer
Stephen Parrish
Dan Passamaneck
Marie Peck
Micah Perks
Marcia Peterson – WOW! Women on Writing
Jeff Pierce – The Rap Sheet
Jason Pinter
Anthony S. Policastro
Neil Pollack
Douglas Preston
Publishers Marketplace
Edie Ramer
Terese Ramin
Reader’s Entertainment TV
Jody Reale
Martha Reed
Janet Reid – FinePrint Literary Management
Kamilla Reid
Lance Reynald
Linda L. Richards
Michelle Richmond
Jess Riley
Maria Robinson
John Robison
Gregory Roensch
J. Shannon Roggenbuck
James Rollins
M.J. Rose – Buzz, Balls & Hype
Renee Rosen
Carol Rosenfeld
Jordan Rosenfeld
Russell Rowland
Anneli Rufus
Hank Ryan
Marcus Sakey
Harris Salat -Visual Thesaurus
Rachel Sarah
Maria Schneider – Writer’s Digest Magazine
Nina Schuyler
Michele Scott
Dani Shapiro
Rochelle Shapiro
Charles Shaughnessy
Jessie Sholl
Robert Siegel
Clea Simon
April Sinclair
Lynn Sinclair
Jen Singer
Shelley Singer
Single Mom Seeking
Sisters in Crime
Robin Slick
BPM Smith – Word & Bass
Bridget Smith
Claudia Smith
Kim Smith
Stephie Smith
Alexandra Sokoloff
Char Solomon
Samantha Sommersby
James Spring
Emilie Staat
Kim Stagliano
Maryanne Stahl
Bella Stander
Kelli Stanley
Marta Stephens
Bronwyn Storm
Jennifer Talty
Judith Tannenbaum
Mindy Tarquini
Alice Tasman – the Jean Naggar Literary Agency
Charles R. Temple
David Thayer
The Book Pirate
The Boston Globe
The Memoirists Collective
The Outfit
Veronica Towers
Joyce Tremel
Danielle Trussoni
Louise Ure
N. L. Valler
Barbara Vey – Publishers Weekly
Bev Vincent
Nury Vittachi
Brenda Wallace
Therese Walsh – Writer Unboxed
John Warner – Tow Books
Gary Wassner
Brenda Webster
Jennifer Weiner
Sarah Weinman
Laura Wellner
Kimberly M. Wetherell
Diane Whiteside
Dan Wickett – Emerging Writers Network
Susan Wiggs
G. Willow Wilson
Jacqueline Winspear
Liz Wolfe
Patricia Wood
Cheryl Wyatt
Stephen Wylder
Irvin Yalom
Belle Yang
Dawn Yun
Michele Zackheim
Victoria Zackheim
Ernie Zelinski
Crystal Zevon

If I’ve accidentally left you off the list, or if you’ve just now decided to join us, drop a note in the comments section with a link to your blog. Every single voice counts!


Reminder: Tomorrow is THE LIAR’S DIARY Blog Day

by Susan Henderson on January 28, 2008

Here’s a reminder that tomorrow is THE LIAR’S DIARY Blog Day, and more than 300 of you said, “Count me in!”

THE LIAR’S DIARY at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s

My post will go up at midnight tomorrow, and you are more than welcome to take any text, photos, audio or video you like in order to make it easier to participate on the big day. Everyone who takes part will be linked to LitPark, and it is not to late to join us.

As a little surprise for Patry, a gift before the big day, here’s something she hasn’t seen this yet – it’s from her husband, Ted, who included in his letter this photo he’d taken of Patry at Skinner State Park, 25 years after their first date there.

One of the happiest days of my life was the day I met my wife, Patry Francis for the very first time. I had just moved to Northampton, MA after graduating from Penn State University and had stopped to eat lunch at a restaurant where she was working. It was love at first sight. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever set my eyes on and it took me about two months to get the courage to ask her out on a date. Little did I know at the time how she would transform my life from a shy, insecure, college grad into a happy and proud father and minister; a better and holier person. She has so many qualities I have tried to emulate and she continues to inspire me with her enthusiasm for life and her ability to enkindle others with her actions, as well as, words.

She taught me the meaning of compassion and has the ability to make everyone around her feel important no matter whom they are or what they do, especially the poor and least among us. She has been given a gift to see situations from the heart which she uses to help others bring out the best in themselves and no one is turned away who asks for advice or help.

She exemplified the meaning of sacrifice as she forfeited many years of her writing career to help support our family. Working the difficult and physically demanding job as a banquet waitress and raising our four children left her little opportunity to spend doing what she loved most, writing. She also put off her endeavor to get back into serious writing while I attended the seminary for five years. She never once complained always putting everyone else’s needs before hers, including mine.

In short, words can’t describe how lucky and blessed I am to have Patry as my spouse. She is a woman filled with love, peace, and goodness and every day I marvel and am amazed what an awe-inspiring twenty five years it has been to be with her. Of all the gifts I have been given in life, wonderful parents and sisters, four beautiful and talented children, the miracle of three special grandchildren (one more on the way), none have been greater than the day God introduced me to my beautiful wife.

Finally, I would like to thank Susan Henderson, Laura Benedict, Jessica Keener, Karen Dionne, Tish Cohen, Alice Tasman (the Best Literary Agent in New York) and *all of you* who are trying to help make Patry’s book a success. Yet again, we have been blessed to be part of such an inspiring community of talented writers and to witness the goodness and love that all of you have shown to Patry as she journeys through her difficult situation with cancer.


See you at midnight tomorrow, and my sincere thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to help this dear friend and awesome writer! xo


Weekly Wrap: Penn Station

by Susan Henderson on January 25, 2008

I am deep into my second round of book edits, and I’ve been very busy helping to get things ready for THE LIAR’S DIARY Blog Day (which is Tuesday, January 29th), so I’m just going to give you a quick tour for the weekly wrap.

All of the public transportation I take funnels me through Penn Station.


I go through these doors all the time. Cars and cabs used to be able to pull up to the doors, but no more. Now there are enormous cement barriers to keep vehicles a good distance away.


Penn Station and Madison Square Garden are all in the same building, so if you time things just right, you can take a ride with a lot of drunken sports fans. This is not as bad as it sounds.


The thing you have to know about NY is that people are actually really friendly, but there are a lot of people and most are in a hurry, so if you walk slowly or stop to ask someone a question, you are going to make about 500 people late. You do not want to do that.


There are soldiers with automatic weapons everywhere in Penn Station. These guys are really nice and really bored so I always try to wave to them on my way to my favorite haunts.


My favorite stop inside Penn Station is Penn Books. Whenever I go there and browse the Literary Fiction and Staff Recommended shelves, I wonder if there’s enough time in my life to get through all the books I want to read.


I am not a health food nut, but I am totally addicted to the beet, celery and apple smoothie from this place. It stains your mouth a wicked red, so it’s something I’ll only get for the ride home.


I love the live music at Penn but rarely stop. Do you remember the story of Joshua Bell playing at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station? No one stopped for him either. (I’m told I quote this article too often, but it left such a big impression on me for a number of reasons. Read it if you get a chance.)

Okay, I should get back to my edits….



Green-Hand, me, Bach-Boy in Paris this summer.

Oh! Before I call it a week, I just want to mention a strange something that happened to my son, Bach-Boy, who many of you know is not just a phenomenal little piano player but also scary-smart in math. [OOPS, HAD TO EDIT OUT SOME IDENTIFYING INFORMATION, SORRY] and now he attends a college math course two hours a week. Anyway, he was sitting in class at his normal public school when a letter was delivered to him from a very prestigious college. The letter noted an article in a newspaper that had mentioned him and said, ‘While it’s (WAY WAY!) early to think about college, we want you to consider our school and want you to know you can call anytime, etc. etc.’ When my son handed me the letter, which was of course all crinkled at the bottom of his backpack, we both just busted up laughing. Every day after school, Bach-Boy and I go on a walk together. That day, we talked about his excitement about the release of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, 2 because, right now, that’s way cooler to him than going to college.


Thank you to this week’s guest, Dan Passamaneck, and to everyone who played here. And thanks to those of you who linked to LitPark this week: Imagination in Flight, Rioter’s Roost, the Sun Sentinel, Ovations, The Split Infinitive, The Chucklehut, The Book Pirate, and Backspace at Publishers Marketplace. I appreciate those links!


Top 5 with Dan Passamaneck

by Susan Henderson on January 23, 2008

Tell me 5 things you notice today.

My guest today, Dan Passamaneck, is going to take a slightly different angle on this question and will give his five reasons why it’s important to notice what’s going on around you. If you want to add to his list, feel free.


1. It’s interesting. Noticing things helps me through life’s boring moments. Every so often I’m stuck killing time. I may be commuting, on a layover, whatever – I’m just waiting for the next official “thing.” But if there are people around me doing pretty much the same as I am, somebody typically gets into an argument or has a strange quirk or is just somehow provocative. It’s fun to watch these people. It helps me pass the time. I see things all the time like this that I could never have imagined on my own; other things happen that are so incredibly hackneyed that I’m hesitant to write about them for fear of coming off as unimaginative. I also think that attentiveness makes my writing more interesting to read. I’m more confident as a writer when I’ve seen what I’m talking about with my own eyes. That confidence supports a more vigorous narrative, which makes for more interesting reading. At the same time, my world expands immeasurably when I keep my eyes open, and that in turn makes my writing richer and more varied. Finally, writing as clearly as I can about my day-to-day experiences life helps make it possible to share them with others as well. These events become part of another person’s life. Honestly, I think that’s pretty interesting all on its own.

2. It’s inspirational. What happens out on the streets is poetry to me. Yes, most of it is pretty awful poetry, but some of it actually turns out to be very moving. I’m regularly seeing things that make me feel compelled to start writing immediately, just so I don’t forget the details. Phrases and figures of speech come to my mind that have never occurred to me before, because I’m seeing things I’ve never seen and they demand an ongoing expansion of my descriptive faculties. I’m inspired thematically by the sheer range and intensity of things that happen all around me, and I’m inspired by the technical challenge of reducing these experiences in all their fullness to a static written format. The exercise of attentiveness has been inspirational for me on a personal level, too. All kinds of things I’ve noticed have moved me very deeply – both in positive ways, and very much otherwise. But they aroused something within me, encapsulating some shade of truth with such eloquence that writing about them almost felt like a spiritual act. When I’m writing like that, the words seem to write themselves. This is the most powerful form of artistic inspiration I have experienced.

3. It improves my writing. I consider this to be true both in terms of mechanics and in terms of resonance. On a mechanical level, training myself to notice things has (big surprise) sensitized me to new things to write about, coaxing me out of comfort zones and into areas that otherwise would not have emerged in my work. I don’t have to make things up, or when I do, they’re made up out of something that had been stuck on the tip of my tongue until I’d come back to it a dozen or more times. That evolving appreciation for the story makes the process of writing more enjoyable and more fulfilling for me. Events seem more meaningful and I find more to say about them. To me, this feels like better writing. I guess I’m open to alternate viewpoints on that one.

4. It’s just handy. Putting aside the almost tangible benefits that I derive from noticing things as a writer, it’s a useful skill to have in general. I can be really absent-minded sometimes, and noticing some random detail can help me later on to remember something of critical importance, like where the car is parked or how to get home after a party. This lets me come off looking like a hero, even if only on a very modest scale. Names, recipes, directions, the news… there’s just so much out there to pay attention to, even excluding all the things I might want eventually to write about. People are flattered if you notice what they’ve got on their office walls or on their desks. People are appreciative when you draw their attention to the special tray of good pastries hiding behind the counter at the coffee shop. The world is full of things worth noticing, large and small, for both practical and frivolous reasons. When I keep my eyes open I almost always see something that I’m glad, eventually, that I noticed.

5. It helps me write more meaningfully. I care about my impact on the planet, and what my country is doing around the world, and the significance of my work, and also about my next door neighbors and the stranger in line behind me at the post office. All these relationships ultimately connect to each other. When I’m able to keep them all in view and to gauge my own actions accordingly, I feel that I’m doing my best as a person and (if I’m writing at the time) as a writer. Noticing things, and then working them over until I’ve written them up properly, helps me to identify big themes in small events. That’s a good way for me to remain mindful of whatever is really going on around me, and incorporate it into my life as a whole and into my writing in particular. If I do it right, this holistic connection I sense between the small story and the big picture comes through to the reader and becomes something the reader can share with me – which is itself yet another connection, overlaid upon all the rest. I consider this to be “meaningful” writing: writing that says something sufficiently real to forge a relationship with the author and a change in the reader. Affecting these changes in the reader is one of my chief goals as an author. To these ends, I find that noticing isn’t just useful – it’s indispensable. Lucky for me, it’s become such an ingrained habit that I couldn’t give up if I had to. It’s too much fun and I get too much out of it. I like keeping my sensors wide open. It does take a bit of energy, but I find it’s really worth it.



DANIEL PASSAMANECK is a California mensch. Born at the lull between the Baby Boom and Generation X, he grew up in the San Fernando Valley as the son of a professor of talmud and a children’s librarian. He started writing poems and jokes in the second grade and has been using words as playground and therapy ever since. He received a BA from Penn in communications behavior, took a year off as an intern for Knots Landing, and then attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles for his JD. He then moved to San Francisco and practiced civil litigation for seven years before parting ways with the legal profession, citing unreconcilable differences. He transitioned to fundraising for a local animal shelter, and then moved to a position administering grant programs for the State Bar. “It’s a good gig. I give away money and everybody has to be nice to me.” Writing for his own gratification, he started blogging as an experiment and now has been posting essays, stories, recipes, poems, photographs and assorted fluff to his site, The Chucklehut, since 2002. A selection of these essays – true stories from public transit, the streets, and the stores – is being polished up as an anthology, so if you know a publisher who wants to get in on the ground floor, drop him a line. Dan lives within earshot of the San Francisco Bay foghorns with his wife Kelly, who is a guide dog trainer and instructor, and also with their son Zachary, who is unbearably cute.


Question of the Week: Public Transportation

by Susan Henderson on January 21, 2008

What mode of public transportation do you take most often? And tell a story of one of those travels.*Wednesday, Dan Passamaneck will be here. Dan runs the compassionately observant and heartwarming blog, The Chucklehut, and his book proposal called FELLOW TRAVELERS is about the people he observes while taking public transport around the Bay Area. Hope you’ll stop by and play Top 5 with him!*Oh, and P.S., Today’s a great day to listen to this speech – both to celebrate how far we’ve come, as well as to consider the work we have yet to do.