Monday, May 01, 2006

Mayday, Mayday

Finally able to blog again after a whirlwind weekend where I shared a hotel room with two talented, big-hearted, hilarious people whose work I am confident will be coming to a bookstore near you very soon. (Steph, the hotel called: you forgot your prosthetic leg in the room. And Trish, I think I packed your Metamucil and Best of Yanni CD by accident. Whoops!) But seriously. I can’t say enough about how great these chicks are. Martinis were drunk, chocolate was inhaled, secrets were shared, and gas was released via the legendary Williams position. Steph will have to tell you about that one. Pics from the weekend may be posted at Manic Mom’s place shortly. I’ll be the one with the giant glow-in-the-dark head.

Other weekend / conference highlights: I watched Jenny Crusie knit what appeared to be a scarf during a presentation made by her collaborator Bob Mayer. I was hugged by the lovely and gracious Mary Alice Monroe and Alesia Holliday and tried to absorb some of their success through osmosis. I heard the word “niggling” more than I ever have in my life. I picked up 6 more novels to insert, brick-like, into the walls of my “to read” castle-o-books (In progress: Baby Proof by Emily Giffen. On the bridge: She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel. In the moat: too many to count) Today I sadly learned that I missed a wild Saturday night bacchanalia with intoxicated laxative salesmen and some guy named Eddie in the Deerfield Hyatt lounge 'til the wee hours of the morning. I miss ALL the drunken debauchery, dammit!

And finally, as a result of attending this conference, my attitude toward tackling my impending novel revisions has morphed from “Charlie Sheen forced to live in a world without hookers” to “Kelly Ripa after a case of Peeps and six cups of coffee.” Which is definitely a plus.

On Sunday J and I attended the 43rd annual Waupaca Art Festival, where we got all tingly upon discovering that he won second place in the nonprofessional 3-D artwork category with this entry:

The irony here is that J’s "mixed media" sculpture presents a poem (written by our musically talented friend Eric) entitled “Those Who Can’t,” which is basically a well-written rant against critics. And contest judges. (Although these particular judges were also artists themselves, so they’re probably okay.) But isn't it the loveliest little metal booklet of irony you've ever seen? (That red stuff is velvet, folks. It even FEELS pretty while it's slapping you in the face with words.)

During the critique, one of the judges said that J’s attention to detail showed an appreciation and respect for the viewer. Which is a fantastic way of approaching any art or piece of writing, really: it’s always about caring enough to craft something that gives the viewer or reader a rewarding and meaningful experience, first and foremost. Sort of a massage with words, or paint, or photography. Or a punch in the groin, if that’s the effect you’re going for.

Afterwards we celebrated by buying our very first down comforter and a snazzy red duvet cover. It’s like sleeping in a bed of marshmallows made by My Little Ponies. The next time you are looking for a creative way to celebrate, I highly recommend buying new bedding.


  1. Anonymous10:37 PM

    Jeez. Aren't you two the fancy couple.

    heh. Sounds awesome. I'm totally jealous.

  2. Anonymous10:59 PM

    That sounds like an awesome weekend!
    We just refreshed our bedding too, it is heavenly!

  3. Anonymous11:07 PM

    Glad you had a great time. Kelly Ripa on peeps & coffee?? Yikes!

  4. Envy, envy, envy...I am green with envy. But in a good way. ;-)

    Sounds like a perfect weekend all around.

    And new bedding, yes. I just bought some for myself to celebrate my recently accomplished caulking job. Or, was it my 10 year anniversary? I get those two mixed-up.

    Envy, envy, envy.

  5. Anonymous11:38 PM

    You got to see The Bob 'n Jenny Show, too! I just saw them in Scottsdale the weekend before you did. Were they getting along better? From their blog, it sounds like they were. Glad you had a great time at the conference. I got home psyched to write, too, and full of ideas for making my current book richer. Oh, and congrats to J. on his award!

  6. Sounds like a GREAT weekend! ~ jb///

  7. Congrats to J! That piece looks really cool, I wish I could see it in person! Your weekend sounds like a blast. Drinking, chocolate and the expulsion of gas? Sounds like my kind of good time!

  8. Wonderful weekend. Gotta love the new bedding, too! Nothing like that marshmallowy softness. Did you get any festive pillows to go with it?

  9. Love the weekend...sounds wonderful. Congrats on getting closer to finishing your book...what a chore that must be, but maybe a labor of love. You cracked me up with the whole Sheen thing, too.

    Cool art the husband makes...very nice. Good on ya with the bedding, too. :) My husband is allergic to down, so we get the fake stuff, which isn't as nice..but we recently got a pillowtop, so we also are ensconsed in marshmallowy goodness.

  10. I'm guessing J didn't get much sleep, what with your glow-in-the-dark head and all.

    And congrats to him on his 2nd place - that's quite an honor! I love those art festivals and really appreciate the artists who contribute.

  11. Anonymous9:19 AM’s always about caring enough to craft something that gives the viewer or reader a rewarding and meaningful experience, first and foremost. Sort of a massage with words, or paint, or photography.

    You're right. That's such a great way to say it! If the reader is the first priority, the writing can become self-indulgent.

  12. the thought of kelly ripa with a case of Peeps in her is truly terrifying to sounds like a good weekend!! don't eat the new bedding though!

  13. I LOVE the art! And I love your description of your weekend. We simply must coordinate our conference attendances sometime. I can consume chocolate with the best of them.

    FYI, I posted a little something for you on my site today.

    Write well, Chica. I can't wait for your book to hit the shelves.

  14. Love the Charlie Sheen/Kelly Ripa attitude analogy. And new bedding is always wonderful.

  15. Anonymous2:15 PM

    Ripa hopped up on peeps and 6 cups of joe would be quite a site. Good luck revising!

  16. I'm lovin' the celebrity analogies...and J's artwork. That's awesome.

  17. I adhere wholeheartedly to the "respect thy audience" mantra, which is why I never post pictures of me flexing my biceps on my blog. I wouldn't want to scare any timid readers.

  18. Have you ever seen a velvet duvet cover after a week in a house with a shedding dog? It's hard to tell where bedding ends and dog begins.

    Good for you guys, re: fun weekend with farts and positive critiques for arts. Good on ya!

  19. Anonymous8:19 PM

    Tell me you are going to RWA National in Atlanta this year. You bring the Yanni, I'll buy a round of drinks. We could float peeps in a martini instead of olives. It would be a blast.

  20. Oh Eileen--A Peeptini! I love that idea!

    Jess, you are such a little niggler... What the fuck was that word anyway! And I can't believe you told EVERYONE about the Williams position! Too hilarious. Folks, for your entertainment, I'll be posting a photo of the real live toilet Jess sat on during our stay.

    And I gotta say, I didn't get the joke about the prosthetic leg?!?! Did you mean vibrator? Ha.

    Congrats to J, that one lucky son of a bitch--first, he's married to you, second, he wins art awards! You two must procreate--can you imagine the talented little effer you will have!

  21. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I love your new masthead template!!!! It is SOOO classy! You have got to have your publisher have J do your book cover!!!!! It's AWESOME!!!

  22. Template rocks hard J.

    Also, did you really just say you met Mary Alice Monroe and Jennifer Crusie? How did you not stare and pet? I definitely would've gotten a pet in.

    Good luck with the revisions - do we really have to wait until next year??


    First off I LOVE Jennie Crusie, madly.

    SO back to you and what sounds like a freaking hilarious weekend which I hope was also filled with booze.

    Congrats once again to "J" not only is his art beautiful but he won WHILE poking fun at the judges. It really doesn't get any better then that...

    Oh wait it does because you bought a duvet! I finally bought a new one about 6 months ago and it's still heaven in white. I mean the thing makes me happy, a little to happy.


  24. Anonymous3:22 AM

    Sounds like a fun weekend. And I loved your take on the creative process, looking at it as a means to give the viewer or reader something meaningful. I'm going to write it down, and stare at it during my next 4am deadline crunch so I don't cry.

    And sorry you missed the laxative salesman bonanza, but Eddie says 'hi.'

  25. Anonymous4:56 AM

    You are such the talented couple. Wow.

    I am glad you had such a good time at the conference.

    And now I feel the urge to go sleep with a herd of My Little Ponies (in a purely platonic way, of course.)

  26. We've been working toward the perfect sleeping environment for a while now, and have at least achieved it during the cold months. Down comforter, but of course; wine-colored velvet duvet cover, natch; black-out curtains made by talented spouse (not me), yes; air bed with dual settings, uh-huh. Unfortunately, when hot weather and long days come around, it all goes to hell.

  27. That sure sounds like a good time! I'm jealous. I'm going to Detroit this weekend which is sure to be great fun. Not. It's for a Mom's Expo where I'll be trying to sell books and my sould. The book is 12.95 and my soul is 13.95. You decide.