July 2008

LitPark's Weird Day

by Susan Henderson on July 18, 2008

This is Mr. Henderson, dressed up for the Batman premier last night. He still can’t get the eyeliner off.

litpark batman mr. henderson joker makeup

He ducked out of the way of the news cameras, but this crazy guy in the purple suit (also here) is the guitarist in his band.


Had a very weird day, and I can’t even write about it, except to say it was long and involved maybe 40 phone calls and had a happy ending.

Anyway, since I feel like blogging about something, just to de-stress, how about I share some good news?

kenny finally got a song published, whee!

Some friends have a new album that’s just out. But this one is particularly special because, if you turn to the lyrics of song #11, you will see that my very good friend, Kenny

kenny finally got a song published, whee!

… the heart and soul of my soccer team, is listed there as the songwriter. (Proud of you.)


Monthly Wrap: Annoying but Lovable

by Susan Henderson on July 11, 2008

I’ll be reading at the KGB bar in NYC on Saturday, July 12th at 7pm. This is for the kick-off of the new NPR show, Dimestories. There will be a whole host of amazing authors reading, so get there early or you’ll be standing-only. For those of you following the saga of me growing out my bangs, you may note that, at this reading, my hair will be in its Jackson Browne stage.


My husband and my kids went on vacation without me for the first time ever. I stayed home to edit my book.

Here’s Green-Hand in the Galapagos Islands with a baby sea lion.

litpark galapagos islands and peru vacation photos

I felt out of sorts when they were gone, and mostly missing the annoying things: Mr. H coming into the bathroom to brush his teeth at the same time as me, even though the door is closed to prevent this very thing; Green-Hand leaving a trail of clothes and food through the house; Bach-Boy playing Bat out of Hell on the piano (super-loud!) at 6 in the morning; the boys begging me to read one more chapter (yes, we still read to them every night) even though my voice is hoarse.

Here’s Bach-Boy with an iguana.

litpark galapagos islands and peru vacation photos

So, this week I asked about your top 5 annoying habits, and a whole bunch of you said, Nail biting. Nail biting is annoying?! Come on, now. Only if you shake my hand and your fingers are still wet.

Here are 5 of mine. I didn’t ask for input because I know better:

1. When I’m in the car (driver or passenger), I “sing” along to the radio in sign-language.

2. I love to send Mr. H to the ice cream store with the cell phone and have him read me every flavor. And then when he’s done, I’ll say, I don’t know, maybe try the other store? And every time we have some conversation that includes him saying, I don’t think you like ice cream. Which might be true.

Here’s Green-Hand with more sea lions.

litpark galapagos islands and peru vacation photos

3. If you try to give me directions, I short-circuit after one or two. If I’ve been to your house ten times, I still need directions.

4. If someone sneezes, I have to fight the instinct to say, “Would you shut the f up?” instead of, “Bless you.”

Here are my guys finishing up their vacation in Peru.

litpark galapagos islands and peru vacation photos

5. Every morning, Mr. Henderson wonders if he’s made my coffee right, and he hasn’t. And when he left town, I realized, wow, I really do hate coffee, strong or weak, any kind of bean. And as soon as he’s back, the first thing I want to do is drink coffee with him on the porch, and the reason is because I like the company and I like the way a cup of coffee slows you down.


Books I read this month: Christina Schwarz, Drowning Ruth (loved it till the last 5 or 6 chapters); Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping (marvelous); Kim Edwards, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (liked the concept and the first chapter); Mark Spragg, Where Rivers Change Directions (loved it and want him on LitPark); Lois Lowry, Gathering Blue (read this to my kids; amazing author); Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (not even halfway, but it’s so much better the second time around).


Thanks to everyone who played here this week and to those who linked to LitPark: Ellen Meister’s Side Dish, Edge of the Mirage, Inside-Out China, Ovations, The Publishing Spot, Italian Woman at the Table, Jabberwock, Spaced Law, Vernacular, The Dilettante’s Valentine, Largehearted Boy, and Just Thinking. I appreciate those links! And one more thank you – this one to Bonnie Glover, who has given me just the encouragement and the push I needed on this round of edits. You should all click over to her site if you have time.


Ask a Literary Agent

by Susan Henderson on July 9, 2008

I’m thinking it’s time to bring a literary agent to LitPark, but I want you to be a part of the interviewing process.


Many of you know how difficult and demoralizing it is to try to get an agent. Some of you have been trying for years – cold-querying, reducing your beautiful manuscripts to dreaded single-page summaries, and sending the first fifty pages to one stranger after another.

Many of you are past that stage, and now you are stuck with aloof agents who don’t return your emails, or sweet but completely ineffective agents who have told you things like, “I’m sorry. Your manuscript is all shopped out.”


Do you really need an agent these days? What about all the folks right here at LitPark, who sold their manuscripts to respected publishers without any middlemen at all?


Well, now’s your chance to share your opinions, vent your frustrations, and ask all the questions you’ve been saving up. And in November (or thereabouts), I’ll bring an agent to the park to give some answers.

Have at it in the comments section.


Question of the Month: Annoying Habits

by Susan Henderson on July 7, 2008

I can’t wait to read your answers to this one: Name five of your most annoying habits.

litpark habits

I’ll post mine on Friday… if I can come up with any.

litpark habits


Wednesday, you’re the interviewer, so please stop by.


Promised I’d post something from my kids’ Clapton tribute concert. It was kind of a train wreck, as you’ll see. I’ve got one on keyboards and the other is the littlest guitar player. He’s just learning to solo. Be nice.