As previously mentioned in this very space, life has been coming fast and furious this summer. I’ve been needing some new stuff in my life, and I got it. All at once! It’s been good, though, and I’m grateful. I had a wonderful time at my first residency with Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA program; what amazing people. I was a total wimp when it came to the Boston humidity but I think I put up a brave face along with some realllly curly hair. After that it was straight to ALA, where I got to see old friends and make a couple of new ones, including Ms. Annabel Pitcher, author of MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE. I’m about halfway through her forthcoming-in-the-US KETCHUP CLOUDS and in love with the voice. Check her out.
Now, with those two things behind me and our move a couple of weeks off yet, I’m in a little gap known as My Vacation! May and June were kind of nonstop and I can’t remember a day during that time when I woke up and had no tasks or obligations, but starting tomorrow that will be exactly the case so huzzah for that.
Meanwhile, here are some writing-related updates if you missed them on twitter or facebook:
- I wrote a short story for the Young Adult Review Network (YARN), called “Skating”, which was partly inspired by an interview with writer Bret Anthony Johnston in which I learned he was once a professional skateboarder. I imagined him as a teen, then imagined a girl who knew him and how their paths might intersect.
- At the Kindle Daily blog, you can read a piece I wrote on teen girls and older male mentors and THE LUCY VARIATIONS
- Speaking of Lucy and Will, there are a bunch of new reviews for the book, including a nice one from the The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books: “The ever-capable Zarr creates an utterly believable family in the Beck-Moreaus, with layers of function and dysfunction melding into one another. … Will, too, is an interestingly complicated character with his mixture of genuine tenderness toward Lucy, self-interest, and a soupçon of lust.” (I try to include a soupçon of lust in each of my books.)
My hometown paper, The Salt Lake Tribune, wrote: “What’s engaging is how the tensions of the various relationships in Lucy’s life are revealed: By the swiftness and clarity of the narrative, by dialogue that cascades naturally, with a certain inevitability, toward her self-styled emancipation.” I also like this bit: “As we watch the novel’s major characters through their interactions with Lucy, their flaws and lived-in traits rankle — in large part because they seem impervious to new possibilities of seeing. But this is, paradoxically, also their golden quality, as it is evidence that Zarr won’t let false awakenings occur.” In fact I may put a sign over my desk with FALSE AWAKENINGS in a red circle with a line through it.
Now: My Vacation! Then moving, and settling in, and writing and teaching and entering in to whatever comes next. Thanks for being here.
A favorite picture from ALA: