Reading at RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, NH on April 30!

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New Hampshire folks! I’ll be reading from & talking about THE ART OF FLOATING at the marvelous RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth this coming Wednesday, April 30, at 7pm!

Join us! Bring questions & thoughts about literature. Bring friends, neighbors, grandparents, and coworkers. Bring your love of books and good stories.

Oh, if you don’t know, THE ART OF FLOATING takes place just down the beach aways in Newburyport, MA, & on Plum Island.

See you Wednesday!

Pub Day of THE ART OF FLOATING!

It’s official, folks! As of today, April 1, THE ART OF FLOATING is now published and available at bookstores everywhere: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and, of course, your local bookstore!

In my heart of hearts of hearts, here’s what I’d love for you to do: Go! Run! Buy a copy! Fall in love with THE ART OF FLOATING! Share that love with anyone and everyone who will listen!

A big smooch to all those who’ve been on this journey with me: husband & daughter, family, friends, amazing agent Barbara Poelle, editor, publicists! Thank you! Thank you!

So many great things have happened along this path! Check ’em out!

Andrew & Tully always cheering me on!

Andrew & Tully always cheering me on!

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Me at the launch celebration of THE ART OF FLOATING at the fantabulous Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport, MA!

THE ART OF FLOATING headlines in the Boston Globe North section!

THE ART OF FLOATING headlines in the Boston Globe North section!

A lovely stack of THE ART OF FLOATING at Jabberwocky in Newburyport, MA!

A lovely stack of THE ART OF FLOATING at Jabberwocky in Newburyport, MA!

And I’ve been waiting (tapping toes) for my copies of the book to arrive from Penguin, each day peeking out the window a thousand times to see if they were on my doorstep. Then last night—March 31—voila!

Copies of THE ART OF FLOATING arrive from Penguin on March 31, pub day eve!

Copies of THE ART OF FLOATING arrive from Penguin on March 31, pub day eve!

And here they are! (heart sings)

And here they are! (heart sings)

Now I’m going to flop into a chair, put my feet up, and breathe!

Whew.

Yay!

 

The ARCs Have Arrived!

Almost kissed the mailman earlier this week when he delivered the ARCs of my new novel THE ART OF FLOATING!

Getting closer to the big day….

(For non-writerly friends, ARCs are “advanced reader copies.” They are books printed directly from the manuscript…no copyediting or proofreading done yet…nothing fancy…made for the purpose of sending to reviewers, authors for blurbs, contests for readers, etc.)

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A Sneak Peek at the Cover of My Upcoming Novel THE ART OF FLOATING!

(drum roll, please)

Here it is! A big thanks to the cover designers at Berkley Books | Penguin Random House. The novel isn’t due in bookstores until April 2014, but until then, I’m going to enjoy the cover.

Cheers!

the cover for my new novel THE ART OF FLOATING (Berkley Books | Penguin Random House, April 2014)

the cover for my new novel THE ART OF FLOATING (Berkley Books | Penguin Random House, April 2014)

Hiatus: #38Write Writing Workshops

Last week I announced awesome-blossom news (novel!), and today I’m announcing some not so awesome-blossom news. Due to current insane life pressures (mamahood, job, writing, book coming out, tightrope-walker, etc.), I’ve decided to put #38Write writing workshops on hold for a while.

I know, I know! Boo on me!

I’m just having a hard impossible time not falling off the tightrope, and I need to get a little balance back in my life. As all of you know, helping writers grow, sharing my love for culture and place, and connecting the world via story is one of my great passions, so I’ve not come to this decision lightly.

But don’t worry. I’m hoping to be back in kick-arse workshop mode soon!

In the meantime, get into writerhead as often as possible, write your bloody hearts out, and then write some more.

 KO15

 

 

#38Write CRUSH launches today with 14 writers in 7 countries!

#38Write—my global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of culture, craft, or the writing life, and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag (#38Write) and a group Pinterest board. Lots and lots of good work getting done.


Ice_crusher_Wikimedia CommonsWhoop! Whoop!

Today—Saturday, February 23—#38Write | CRUSH launches with 14 writers in 7 countries:

  • South Korea
  • Australia
  • U.K.
  • Belgium
  • France
  • U.S.
  • Turkey

Great mix of cultures, voices, stories, and energy! Crushing it!

worlds are forming in my heart…

“I need to be silent for a while,

worlds are forming in my heart.”

~Meister Eckhart

 

(brilliant quote swiped from Julie Long’s website)

#38Write: February 2013′s Writing Workshop Is Open for Registration

#38Write—my global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of craft, culture, or the writing life, and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag and a group Pinterest board.


Crush Points_Wikimedia CommonsWhoop! Whoop! February’s #38Write writing workshop is open for registration!

Topic?

CRUSH!

Why CRUSH?

Well…when I first started to plan out this workshop, I was thinking about Valentine’s Day in the U.S. (which falls on Feb. 14) and my very first “culture crush.” The buzz and hum I felt in my head and heart when, in second grade, my teacher Mrs. Mangus introduced our class to the indigenous Aboriginal people of Australia. I was hooked, as hooked as a seven-year-old with a slim social studies book, a World Book Encyclopedia, a few worn issues of National Geographic, and a map can be—by the people, the place, the faraway-ness of it all, the distinct differences between my boring old life and their exciting one, as well as the hint/promise of similarities. At night, for months after Mrs. Mangus moved us on to other, less scintillating social studies topics, I’d lie in bed wondering how to buy a plane ticket to Australia, what it would feel like to be a seven-year-old Aboriginal kid, if the Aboriginal kids were reading about and longing to visit kids in U.S. steel communities, how I could convince my mom to let me pierce my nose, and so much more…. (finish reading about the “why” here)

When?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cost?

$38 (U.S.)

How to register?

Easy peasy. Click over to the CLASSES pages.

WHAT IS #38WRITE?

#38Write is a writing adventure workshop designed specifically for place-passionate, culturally curious writers that will get you out of your house—no matter where you live—and into your environs.

In June, I launched the first #38Write online writing adventure with #38Write | Description.

In July, I continued with #38Write | Structure, which went forth with 16 writers in 9 countries. One of the assignments for that workshop was to define culture without using a dictionary, thesaurus, or other reference tool. It sparked some pretty spectacular definitions (read them here) and a lively conversation on Twitter.

In September’s #38Write, writers wrote about square peg, round hole situations. Read a few examples here.

#38Write has been growing ever since. In January 2013, we had 17 writers in 9 countries.

THE UNIQUE ASPECTS OF #38WRITE

  • Each writing adventure is 38 hours long. It’s a manageable amount of time that fits into anyone’s busy schedule. (Good gracious, no, you will not be writing or adventuring for 38 hours straight. I’m ambitious for you, but not crazy. You will need approximately 2-4 hours to work during the 38-hour period…give or take an hour.)

 

  • Each writing adventure will focus on one particular aspect of culture, craft, or the writing life. You will not be writing an entire essay or short story (but you might accidentally do so). Some adventures will focus on a skill, like writing kick-butt descriptions; others might get you to look at what inspires you or how you move from idea to writing; all will encourage you to engage with and explore the culture in which you’re living.

 

  • During each 38-hour period, you’ll be able to connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag. (How cool is that?!)

 

 

  • You will get feedback from me. (For more info about me, click here.)

 

  • You have the option to participate in peer critiques.

 

  • Terrific for folks writing fiction, essays, memoir, or poetry.

 

  • Beginners and experienced writers are welcome and encouraged to join. There are some of each (and everything in between) in every workshop.

 

  • It’s affordable. A single #38Write writing adventure costs only $38 (U.S.).

WHY DID I CREATE #38WRITE?

Growing and developing my global niche is a big part of who I am. My own global niche starts at home. I’m from the U.S. My husband is from Ireland. Our daughter is from Vietnam. And we began as a family while living in Shanghai, China. While living, writing, and teaching writing in the U.S. and Shanghai, I learned (and/or relearned) a number of things:

    1. Each of us has a heck of a lot to learn from folks in other countries (and not usually the things we think we need to learn).
    2. Story is an international conversation that can help us better understand one another.
    3. By helping writers from all over the world to improve their craft, I can play a wee role in facilitating this global conversation.
    4. Writing is recursive. You must practice. (And if I do say so myself, I’m pretty darn good at getting writers to practice.)

IS #38WRITE FOR YOU?

#38Write adventures are designed for all place-passionate writers, including expats and repats, globetrotters, armchair travelers, nomads, cultural spelunkers, deeply rooted souls, mapmakers and mapbreakers, wanderers and wayfarers, voyagers, and all writers interested in exploring and writing about their environs.

Heart_MorgueFileFreeSo, yup, if you’re asking, #38Write is probably for you.

To learn more and sign up for #38Write | CRUSH, visit CLASSES.

My First MOOC: E-learning and Digital Cultures (via Coursera)

Via Coursera, I’m taking my first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): “E-learning & Digital Cultures.” (Yup, right up my #38Write alley….)

Thus far, we’ve been watching videos & reading articles about the extremist views of e-learning. While there’s a good bit of interesting stuff going on, I don’t have a lot of time to share.

Instead, I offer a brief summary of the utopian and dystopian views that dominate e-learning debates (pick one):

A) E-learning is THE answer to everything. It will save humankind!

WonderfulBalloonAscents1870The_Minerva_Utopia

 

B) E-learning is the devil in disguise! It will be the downfall of humankind!

Eagle-crashed_Dystopia

Stay tuned for answer!

 

Adding & Subtracting

Abacus_MorgueFileFreeA bit of wisdom (Lao Tzu’s, not mine) on this fine Monday morning:

 

“‘To attain knowledge, add things every day.

To attain wisdom, subtract things every day,’ it said,

capsulizing teachings of Lao Tzu.

‘Profit comes from what is there,

usefulness from what is not there.'”

from “The Art of Adding By Taking Away,” by Matthew E. May, NYT, Jan. 19, 2013

___

(Thanks to Anastasia Ashman for sharing this article with me!)