Writers in the Round

Dear Readers,

Happy Mid-Summer! Here’s an update of my past six months.

January 2015:  I wrote a review of The Poet’s Tale; Lady Wentworth edited by Tammi J. Truax for publication.

February 2015:  I kept writing and reading.

March 2015:  I kept writing and reading.

April 2015: I met with Amy Ray and Laura Horwood-Benton to help plan the  Local Authors’ Fair at the Portsmouth Public Library.

May 2015:  I kept writing and reading.

June 2015: I read some poems on Writers in the Round on 6/15/2015.

Here are the books I read:

The Poet’s Tale; Lady Wentworth edited by Tammi J. Truax

Binary Star by Sarah Gerard

The Fisherman’s Son by Chris Malloy

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The All-Girls Filling Station by Fannie Flagg

The Veldt by Ray Bradbury

The Next Hunger by Kimberly Green

After Everything Burns by Ryk McIntyre

Beneath the Wool by Ryan McLellan

The Wild, Invasive Light by Ryan McLellan

Portsmouth Women edited by Laura Pope

Legendary Locals of Portsmouth by Charles McMahon


Keep Reading! Keep Writing!


Rejection Letters

Dear Reader,

The word for today is “Rejection.” I am told that actually receiving rejections letters versus no response is a good thing. I am receiving many of those, disheartening as it feels, I am at least testing the waters.

July 2014: I read and read, and I wrote and wrote. I was invited by the Teen Librarian to teach a Teen Fiction Writers’ Workshop at the Lane Memorial Library in Hampton, NH.

August 2014: I wrote a letter to the editor of Seacoast Online in support of LOUD Portsmouth, which was published. You can read it under my AUTHOR tab. I submitted an essay to the New Yorker and Paris Review and received two encouraging rejection letters.

September 2014: I met Steve Marchand former, City of Portsmouth Mayor, for coffee and to discuss LOUD Portsmouth and other community ideas.

October 2014: I submitted essays and poems to Granta, Tin House,  AGNI, The SUN, and Real Simple.

November 2014: I was a featured reader at Beat Poetry Night at the Press Room.

December 2014: I received rejection letters from the Essays and Poems submitted to AGNI, Granta, The SUN, and Tin House. I never heard a peep from REAL SIMPLE.

Here are the books I read:

Can’t and Won’t by Lydia Davis

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Joyland by Stephen King

A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

Gwynne’s Grammar by N.M. Gwynne

The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White (1959 edition)

The Gotham Writers’ Workshop Writing Fiction  by Gotham Writers’ Workshop

Eats, Shoots, & Leaves by Lynne Truss

A Guide to Writers Homes in New England by Miriam Levine

Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life by Charles M. Shulz

Webster’s New American Dictionary (1960 Edition)

The Transitive Vampire by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale

The Collected Stories by Ray Bradbury

Dancing Girls and Other Stories by Margaret Atwood

Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed


Best wishes for 2015!


My first reading

Dear Reader,

I can’t believe a year has passed! Here’s a brief overview of how I spent the past six months.

January 2014: I kept the Portsmouth Writers Salon going, I read, and read, and read, I met local writers, I discontinued the Essays Book Group, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I continued volunteering at Sheafe Street Books.

February 2014: I saw Jackson Warfield Read and BCAP perform at the Red Door. I sat with John-Michael Albert and John Simon. I attended Jason Laundry’s photos & essays at NHIA.

March 2014: I read my first poem aloud at the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program Poetry Hoot.

April 2014: I saw Leslie Jamison read from The Empathy Exams at RiverRun Bookstore. I attended Pat Parnell’s 90th Birthday Party at the Wiggin Memorial Library. I went to Connecticut to celebrate my grandmother’s 97th birthday! I was invited to participate in the #PortsmouthLOVE wall of locks at Prescott Park.

May 2014: I saw Elizabeth McCraken (5/20/14) and Kate Christensen (5/24/14) speak at RiverRun Bookstore. I attended the Provence Prize reading hosted by Adam Irish at Portsmouth Book and Bar, in which two members of Portsmouth Writers’ Salon came in first and second place. I saw Adelle Waldman read at RiverRun Bookstore.

June 2014: I moved the Portsmouth Writers’ Salon Meetings to my home. So that we could meet without the distractions and interruptions of being in a public setting.

Here’s what I read over the past six months:
Stay Up With Me by Tom Barbash
The Diary of Anais Nin Vol. 1 by Anais Nin
Collected Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck
Blue Plate Special by Kate Christensen
The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
Talking With Birches by Pat Parnell
Another Forty Years by Mike Nelson
That Old Highway of Dead Angels by Jackson Warfield
Look in the Mirror and Laugh in the Face of Madness by Jackson Warfield
Nine Horses by Billy Collins
All of Us by Raymond Carver
Carver Country by Raymond Carver
Call Me If You Need Me By Raymond Carver
Where I’m Calling From By Raymond Carver
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis by Lydia Davis
Just an Ordinary Day by Shirley Jackson

Happy Summer! Keep Reading! Keep Writing!

I attended NEIBA

Dear Reader,

Eek! Time flies! Here’s a brief overview of how I spent the past six months.

July 2013: I started volunteering at Sheafe Street Books on the weekends. I also started running an Essays book group that meets at Portsmouth Book and Bar on the first Tuesday of the month.

August 2013: I started working with Tom D’Evelyn, editor & writing coach. I wasn’t seeking a writing coach, but he approached me about it, and I agreed to give it a go.

September 2013: I saw Paul Harding speak at RiverRun Bookstore.

October 2013: I attended my first NEIBA conference in Providence, RI.

November 2013: I saw Nicholson Baker speak at RiverRun Bookstore.

December 2013: I was asked by Larry Clow from the Wire to provide some holiday book giving recommendations. I was asked by Toby Hatchett from the Portsmouth Herald to provide some holiday book giving suggestions.

Here’s what I read over the past six months:
The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
This is Running for Your Life: Essays  by Michelle Orange
How to Travel with a Salmon by Umberto Eco
Changing my Mind Essays by Zadie Smith
Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
The Yonahlosse Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani
Blueprints for Building Better Girls by Elissa Schappell
Kiss As Many Women As You Can by Franki Elliot
Praying Drunk by Kyle Minor

Here’s what we read for the Essays Book Group:
July 16, 2013: This is Running for Your Life by Michelle Orange
August 20, 2013: How to Travel with a Salmon by Umberto Eco
September 17, 2013: Changing my Mind by Zadie Smith
October 15, 2013: Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
November 19, 2013: Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
December 17, 2013: Holidays with Ice by David Sedaris

Happy Holidays! I wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

Happy Summer

Dear Reader,

I’m sorry that I’ve neglected you. This winter was harsh. I hibernated. Here’s a brief overview of how I spent the past six months.

December 2012: I founded the Portsmouth Writers Salon, a fiction writers’ workshop.

January 2013: The Portsmouth Writers’ Salon began meeting twice a month at Book and Bar.

February 2013: IT SNOWED AND SNOWED. I read a lot and wrote a lot.

March 2013: I was told about The Poetry Collective at Sheafe Street Books and started attending Tom D’Evelyn’s fantastic poetry seminars.

April 2013: I saw Gloria Steinem speak about equality at the South Church with my friend Huw. I also attended the Newburyport Literary Festival with my friend Tanya, where we met Andre Dubus III, Myfanwy Collins, and Alan Lightman.

May 2013: I saw Charles Simic read at the South Church.

June 2013:  I met Erika Robuck at RiverRun Bookstore.

I feel lucky to live in a town that has three independent bookstores. Each uniquely different. I try to support them all as well as our local library. I hope you do as well.

Here’s what I read over the past six months:
Call Me If You Need Me by Raymond Carver
Short Cuts by Raymond Carver
In Praise of Messy Lives by Katie Roiphe
On Writing by Stephen King (re-read)
Monkeys by Susan Minot
Lust and Other Stories by Susan Minot
We Live in Water by Jess Walters
Darkness Visible by William Styron
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Just an Ordinary Day by Shirley Jackson
Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Dry by Augusten Burroughs
We Don’t Live Here Anymore by Andre Dubus
Waiting for Grace & Other Poems by Christopher Locke
New and Selected Poems by Charles Simic
Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck

Keep Reading! Keep Writing!