Question of the Week

Question of the Week: Rejection

by Susan Henderson on February 25, 2008

Let’s hear one of your rejection letters – not one of those flattering close-calls, but a real doozy, like the kind you might get from C. Michael Curtis.

Come on. They don’t hurt so bad when you see we’ve all got ’em!


Wednesday, Jessica Keener will be here to talk about being on both sides of the rejection slip – as a writer who receives them and as an editor who sends them out. See you Wednesday!


Oh, woops, before I leave you, huge congratulations to Enrico Casarosa and Buck Lewis for Ratatouille‘s Oscar win!

And it’s been far too long since I’ve linked the fabulous Tommy Kane. Love this drawing he did on cardboard. And coming soon are the drawings he did on his trip to Morocco. Go check him out and tell him what a hotshot he is.


Question of the Week: Masks

by Susan Henderson on February 18, 2008

What do you hope people will believe about you that couldn’t be further from the truth?


Wednesday’s guest is going to appear a little later than usual because I’m coordinating my show with McSweeney’s. Sometime Wednesday morning, one of their regular feature writers, also a friend of mine, will reveal his true identity over there, while here at LitPark, that friend and I will talk about the mask he’s been wearing.

Now, for those of you who would like to win some money and some attention from a top-notch lit mag editor, there will also be a contest, so be sure to stop by!


Some quick shout-outs to the lovely folks I met Saturday at The Bowery Poetry Club:

Kim Brittingham, who read her sassy, poignant, and seriously funny essay called Fat is Contagious. She will be talking about this essay Wednesday on The Today Show – they even followed her around with hidden cameras! So if any of you know how to turn your TVs on and can send a link (particularly a legal one that doesn’t hurt our poor Hollywood writers who have been through so much), I’ll be happy to post what you’ve got. (If you don’t have my email, and you shouldn’t – it’s only for my mom and my agent, mostly – then you can send that link directly to my webmaster, Terry Bain, who is much friendlier about receiving email.)

Heather Maidat, who told me, after I read, that I closed a certain chapter in her life, and the conversation we had about that meant a whole lot to me.

Shoaleh Teymour, who is so absolutely sweet and wipes tears away when she talks.

Lisa Haas, who not only made us all feel comfortable and welcome, but is also the director of Creative Evolution, which supports women with works-in-progress in literature, and I think, film.

Oh, and I was also so happy to finally meet Rachel Kramer Bussel, and I want to apologize to her for hugging her so much except for she’s so awfully cute!

Okay, everyone, see you Wednesday!


Question of the Week: Driving

by Susan Henderson on February 11, 2008

How would you characterize your driving? (Or, maybe I should ask how the person in the passenger seat would characterize your driving?)


Wednesday, Bridgett M. Davis will be here. She is the screenwriter and director of the award-winning, indie film, NAKED ACTS, and author of the novel, SHIFTING THROUGH NEUTRAL.

She also happens to be married to my friend, Rob Fields – we attended geek finishing school together – and you can check him out over at his blogs, Bold As Love and Marketing Pop Culture.

Okay, have fun with today’s question, and I hope you’ll be back Wednesday to join the conversation!


Question of the Week: Six Words

by Susan Henderson on February 4, 2008

Can you tell your life story in six words? Give it a try.


Wednesday, the editors of Smith Magazine will be here to talk about the six-word memoirs they collected into a book called NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING. Hope you’ll be back to join the conversation!


Oh… and a reminder! Have you entered the Charles Shaughnessy Morning Song Writing Competition yet? I hope, if you haven’t, that you will today because it’s a fabulous opportunity to reach an entirely new audience with your writing. Also, any LitPark regulars who win the contest will win a prize from me!

Don’t know what this contest is about? Well, it was inspired by this song, written by LitPark guest, Robin Lerner and sung by LitPark guest, David Habbin. Listen to Morning Song, and think about some of the losses you’ve experienced in your life. Then write about one of those losses, with the emphasis being on anything positive you’ve gained because of it. Charlie explains this better here.

There has been one change to the original contest rules: the word limit is now 400 words. (You can read why the rule was changed over here.) If you entered when the word count was 200 and felt limited by that, you can enter again! The new deadline is March 17th, 2008. Rock out, guys. I can’t wait to award something all of you want to the winner!


Oh, wait, for no reason at all (okay, okay, the real reason is to embarrass him), I am posting a photo of someone you regulars know very well… but maybe you’ve never seen him quite like this!

See you Wednesday, everyone! And I’ll reveal the identity of the marvelous jumping cow on Friday!


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