December 31, 2022
December 30, 2022
December 29, 2022
December 27, 2022
December 25, 2022
December 22, 2022
December 20, 2022
Whatever I've become as an essayist, this collection bears the stamp of a writer who got her start in women's magazines: it is full of example and advice. I will never be a war correspondent or an investigative reporter, but the tradition I come from is an honorable one, and at times, daunting. Many of the essays I'm proudest of were made from the things that were at hand--writing and love, work and loss. I may have roamed in my fiction, but this work tends to reflect a life lived close to home.
One method of revision that I find both loathsome and indispensable is reading my work aloud when I'm finished. There are things I can hear--the repetition of words, a particularly flat sentence--that I don't otherwise catch. My friend Jane Hamilton, who is a paragon of patience, has me read my novels to her once I finish. She'll lie across the sofa, eyes closed, listening, and from time to time she'll raise her hand. "Bad metaphor," she'll say, or, "You've already used the word inculcate." She's never wrong.
When we had our grand opening the following Saturday, an all-day extravaganza that stretched from early-morning puppet shows to late-night wine and cheese, an estimated three thousand Nashvillians came through the store, devouring books like locusts sweeping through a field of summer wheat. All of us who worked there (not a number I normally include myself in, but in this case I was among them) had waited so long for customers that once they finally came we could not stop telling them what we wanted them to read. One more joy I had failed to consider: that I can talk strangers into reading books that I love.
I believe this is the Fourth Great RV Truth: People who don't like them have never been in one.I feel like I went out to report on the evils of crack and have come back with a butane torch and a pipe. I went undercover to expose a cult and have returned in saffron robes with my head shaved. I have fallen in love with my recreational vehicle.
December 10, 2022
It’s Contest Time!
Sailing by Starlight has now been out for over a month; have you had a chance to read it? If so, you could win a $50 gift certificate to the book vendor of your choice: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or an indie bookstore near you! Just write a review of Sailing by Starlight on Facebook or Instagram or post one at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or GoodReads.com and then send me the link. (The review need only be a couple of sentences in length, and you can cut-and-paste the same review at more than one site. Send each link for multiple chances to win!)
Books by authors such as Rod live and die by reviews; the word-of-mouth is what helps sell books and keep going them going. Rod really appreciates all of your kind words, and if those kind words are made public, they're even more impactful!
Remember: Multiple entries means multiple chances to win! Two $50 winners will be selected. Contest ends January 31st.