sometimes you don't need to throw a launch party; the party is the day itself

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Early morning, opening this outrageously wonderful gift from Taylor Norman (Chronicle Books), in celebration of the launch of This Is the Story of You.

A 20-minute walk in the rain to the delayed train.

Train time spent with Diana Abu-Jaber's Life Without a Recipe, a very beautiful memoir launching from my first editor and house, Alane Mason, W.W. Norton, this month.

A walk in the lessening drizzle to Penn where, on my way to a meeting, I discovered Story in the front window of Penn Book Center, where I'll be joining my Jensen friends (Cordelia and Melissa) for a Saturday afternoon reading and discussion on June 4th.

A conversation with my teaching and writing colleague, that very same Melissa Jensen. "Pure sunshine," one of my students said of her, and oh she is.

The privilege of watching my students conduct a conversation about Between the World and Me. One by one, they wrestled with the readers' guide questions I'd prepared, felt free to disagree, voiced their opinions with precision—and deep respect. A discussion unbounded—content and craft.

The moment when I read out loud from Dear Mr. You, Mary-Louise Parker's collection of letters to the men in her life. The students had read "Dear Daddy." I shared, then, this, from "Dear Oyster Picker." Parker's father has been given little time to live. Parker is standing in a bookstore, on the phone with her dad, wanting to be all right, not being all right. These are the final words of this essay, and the book:

I said well, okay, I'm standing in this really awesome bookstore. You'd love it, I said. He gave a sigh of longing and said, oh my, tell me, they have anything interesting? I said yeah, tons. I'll send you a book from here, how does that sound. He said that's wonderful, that's just tremendous, thank you sweetie. I told him I was sending him some candy too and he thanked me, said he'd be on the lookout for it, and he then said, tell me, what are you writing now? You working on anything? I said oh Daddy, just little things, I don't know, and he said okay, but listen to me

just write, keep writing, promise me that you will.
The walk back to the train in brightest sunshine. The train ride home with the gloriously multi-gonzo talented Lorene Cary. The deliberately lengthened walk from train to home so that I might talk, as I love to talk, with Debbie Levy.

The infusion of unforeseen support and hope and kindness on Twitter, on Facebook, on email, regarding the launch of Story. Thank you.

A dinner with my husband, where we lifted our glasses to sea and storm and, then, sun.

A call from Danielle.

Sometimes you don't have to throw a party for a book. The party is simply all bound up in the day that you have lived.

Thank you, universe.

Just write, keep writing


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