Writerhead Wednesday: In the Car…

Welcome to Writerhead Wednesday, a weekly feature in which a brilliant, charming, remarkable author answers three questions about her/his writerhead…a precious opportunity for looky-loos around the world to sneak into the creative noggins of talented writers and (ever so gently) muck about.


As you can see, I’m taking a holiday-inspired break from my normal Wednesday author interview about writerhead, but no pouting because I’ve got some spectacular writers lined up for January…as well as a few writers I’m lusting after and luring in. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’m prepping for a bit of change around here.

If you’ve followed me for a long time (and if you’ve read this blog of mine and that blog of mine), you know I spent nearly five years living in Shanghai, China, and that I repatriated to the United States in October 2010.

If I’m honest, this past year—The Repatriation Year (and if you didn’t read that phrase in a deep, Darth-Vader-like voice, please try again)—has been one of my toughest ever. Tougher in many ways than the year in which I moved to China…which seems totally insane and impossible if you’ve ever actually moved to China. Without boring the heck out of you with my personal angst, I’ll just say that returning and adjusting to a more settled existence in the United States hasn’t been easy or comfortable.

But as I’ve sat with these uncomfortable feelings over the past year, I’ve gained a good bit clarity about where I am as a human and a writer. And here’s what I know…2012 is going to rock!

Some wonderful things are already happening:

  • I’m giving my first Writerhead workshop at the 2012 Pennwriters Conference in Lancaster, PA. (Whoop! Whoop!)
  • I’m also speaking at the 2012 Write Stuff Conference.
  • I’m preparing to launch an online writing workshop. Yes, for expats. Yes, for travelers. Yes, for all writers around the world who are inspired by place.

Of late, I’ve been keeping in mind something Buddha once said:

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…

not going all the way, and not starting.”

 

As for the title of this blog entry—In the Car—here’s this:

Yesterday my almost-four-year-old daughter dozed off in the car after a harried visit to the hardware store for some last-minute presents. As I pulled into our driveway, my first instinct was to tease her awake and move both of us into the house for some much-needed Christmas cookie baking. After all, it is the holiday season and there are THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE. But then I remembered that I had the new issue of Poets & Writers magazine tucked beside me…and that this particular issue is devoted to inspiration. So instead of waking my little one, I cranked up my heated seat, opened the magazine, and began to read.

Although I hadn’t planned it, within minutes I was transported into writerhead. All my angst about not-yet-bought Christmas presents, unbaked cookies, and what-have-you evaporated and I was thinking/feeling/dreaming only about an essay I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. Soon I was scribbling on a piece of scrap paper, oblivious to the concrete world around me.

It was glorious.

Writerhead—however brief, however fleeting, however inconsistent—is glorious. And I’ll take whenever and wherever I can.

Happy Holidays, my friends!

_____

Image (Buddha): Lavoview / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image (Car): winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Expat Sat: Where Do You Write?

Welcome to Expat Sat, the culturally kooky, map nonspecific, sometimes bewildering, always fascinating intersection of expat life and writerhead. And where every Saturday, I offer tips for writing, publishing, and thriving to expat writers around the globe.


Back in Shanghai, I often wrote on the second floor of Jamaica Blue, a coffee shop on Wulumuqi Road. It had god-awful muffins that sometimes were only partially cooked, but the really nice guy behind the counter would make me iced tea (even though it wasn’t on the menu) and the second floor had great mojo.

I could hunker down there for hours, deep in writerhead.

How about you, writers? Where do you write?

 

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Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mojo Monday: Is Your Desk an Inspirational Space?

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.


Writers, how do you keep your desk? Messy? Neat? Empty? Full of stuff?

Does it inspire you? Help you get into writerhead?

Should it?

Desk – Music and Sound Design from Aaron Trinder Film:Motion:Music on Vimeo.

 

Mojo Monday: Obsessions (Adam Savage’s & Yours)

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.


When I get into a writing project, I get INTO a writing project. Know what I mean? Single-minded, deep in writerhead, distant and distracted from everything else, obsessed.

O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D.

Kinda like Adam Savage is with making the falcon (see video below).

Check it out. Look/sound familiar?

 

Writerhead Wednesday: Featuring Laura Harrington

Welcome to Writerhead Wednesday, a weekly feature in which a brilliant, charming, remarkable author answers three questions about her/his writerhead…a precious opportunity for looky-loos around the world to sneak into the creative noggins of talented writers and (ever so gently) muck about.


I met today’s Writerhead–Laura Harrington–on Twitter after I witnessed a flurry of tweets about her new novel Alice Bliss. Turns out Laura is not only a much-buzzed-about debut author, but also an award-winning playwright, lyricist, and librettist. Yowza! As you know, I’m a sucker for lovely, oozy creative lava, so I just had to know about Laura’s writerhead.

In addition, I’m giving away 5 copies of Alice Bliss today (whoop! whoop!); be sure to leave a comment to enter. Guidelines below. (Laura is also setting off on a terrific bookcrossings.com adventure.)

The Scoop About Alice Bliss

When Alice learns that her father, Matt Bliss, is being deployed to Iraq she’s heartbroken. Alice idolizes her dad, working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. After Matt ships out, her mother begins to crumble under the pressure of suddenly being a single parent and Alice struggles to fill the void as she balances the drama of adolescence with the effort of keeping her family together.

But Alice is supported by a safety net strung with relationships, including almost boyfriends, a grandmother, a baker with too many children, her track coach, her kid sister, her Uncle Eddie, and even her well meaning but complicated mom. She will learn to drive, plant her father’s garden, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt that Alice wears everyday and his infrequent phone calls are never long enough.

Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations: the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next-door. These characters’ struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future. [from www.lauraharringtonbooks.com]

The Buzz

“Harrington creates nothing less than a fully realized vision of a young, complicated girl.” ~ Entertainment Weekly

“Heartbreaking yet edged with promise, Alice Bliss explores the wounds of war, love, and family bonds while illuminating the strength of a young girl’s spirit. A stunning debut.” ~ Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

****Alice Bliss is a ‘People Pick’ with 4 out of 4 stars.”**** ~ Sue Corbett, People Magazine, July 4, 2011

First Sentence

“This is the first time Alice has been allowed to walk back to their campsite from the Kelp Shed alone.”

_________

And now, Laura’s writerhead

1. Describe your state of writerhead (the where, the when, the how, the what, the internal, the external).

Writerhead, for me, is both very mysterious and perfectly mundane. On the one hand, I don’t usually talk about it because it feels so personal and occasionally weird. It can also feel a little bit like magic. On the other hand, it’s really pretty simple.

I have different kinds of writerhead for different kinds of writing. For lyrics I like to walk. I wrote almost all the lyrics for Lucy’s Lapses, my first musical, while walking in the rain in a suburb just outside of Portland, OR. I’m sure I looked crazy as I would walk, then stop, trying to get the bill of my baseball cap to keep the water from leaking onto my tiny notebook. The rhythm of walking helped me connect to the rhythm and music of the words that would become song.

Revising a lyric is another kind of writerhead all together. It’s initially very prosaic: lists of words, of phrases, the thesaurus, the rhyming dictionary. I’m surrounded by pieces of paper, scribbled notes, scraps of ideas, dictionaries, often Bartlett’s book of quotations. It’s a big mess. And then, in the midst of that stew I get very quiet as I try to find that phrase, that perfectly musical phrase where the words begin to combine with a pulse, with a life force, with an ease that belies all the hard work evident in the mess around me.

And then there’s writing a novel, where I begin by sitting quietly until I start to hear my characters. It can be something as simple as a phrase. Henry appeared completely unexpectedly in Alice Bliss with the phrase: “There’s no accounting for Henry.” Why not? And who’s Henry? I follow that phrase and the questions it provokes wherever it leads me. The fact that a character can appear nearly fully formed with something as simple as a phrase is amazing to me. It’s as though the phrase is like a line of code, encompassing an entire human being.

2. What happens if someone/something interrupts writerhead? (a spouse, a lover, a barking dog, an electrical outage, a baby’s cry, a phone call, a leg cramp, a dried-up pen, a computer crash, etc.)

Mostly I like interruptions; sometimes I crave them: a walk, a swim, hanging out the laundry. Interruptions create time to think, to reflect, to reconsider, to listen to a character’s voice, to listen to the promptings of my better—or worse—self; both of which are useful. I even like crazy-making interruptions because I’ve learned, like an improv actor, to use them.

I was traveling to NY on the train once, working on a play—a comedy—about Civil War re-enactors. Two guys were in conversation on a park bench—a lost truck driver and a chubby re-enactor, taking a break from a long hot day on Pickett’s Charge. The guy in the seat behind me on the train got a phone call in the middle of my scene and talked on and on and on. At first I was totally ticked off; I couldn’t concentrate on or even hear anything but his voice, which was so loud and so insistent that he filled all the space in my head and my characters were silenced. Until I decided to use the interruption and have my character, Chuck, get a call on his cell phone from his six-year-old. Great moment: a guy pulls a cell phone from the pocket of his lovingly created Confederate uniform, filthy with dirt and crusted with sweat and fake blood. Nothing could have juxtaposed the world of the battle, the mind of the re-enactor, the parallel universe that is re-enacting, colliding with the “real world” in quite the same way.

3. Using a simile or metaphor, compare your writerhead to something.

Writerhead is like getting to be a seal or an otter for a little while. Playful, joyful, buoyed by the water around you, living in a medium that feels like perfect freedom, aware of unexplored depths and the light above you, at one with the physical world, aware of the possibility of a spiritual world, breathing, playing, grateful, in awe.

_________

Laura Harrington, award winning playwright, lyricist and librettist, winner of the 2008 Kleban Award for “most promising librettist in American Musical Theatre,” has written dozens of plays, musicals, operas and radio plays which have been produced in 28 states, Canada and Europe, in venues ranging from Off-Broadway to Houston Grand Opera to the Paris Cinemateque.

Harrington has twice won both the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award in playwriting and the Clauder Competition for best new play in New England. Additional awards include a Boston IRNE Award for Best New Play, a Bunting Institute Fellowship at Harvard/ Radcliffe, a Whiting Foundation Grant-in-Aid, the Joseph Kesselring Award for Drama, a New England Emmy, and a Quebec Cinemateque Award.

Laura teaches playwriting at MIT where she was awarded the 2009 Levitan Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She has also been a frequent guest artist at Tufts, Harvard, Wellesley, Skidmore, and the University of Iowa.

Alice Bliss, her first novel, has been chosen by Barnes & Noble for their “Discover Great New Writers” program for Fall 2011.

You can find out more about Laura Harrington on her web site (www.lauraharringtonbooks.com). You can also say “Hidy Ho, Laura Harrington” on Twitter (@bookalike) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/Lharringtonbooks).

_________

Q4U: Readers / Writers / Looky-Loos / Playwrights / Librettists: Do you have different kinds of writerhead for different kinds of writing? Do you welcome interruptions? If so, how do you use them?

_________

GIVEAWAY! 5 Copies of Alice Bliss

Today—Wednesday, August 3, 2011—I’ll be giving away 5 copies of Laura Harrington’s novel Alice Bliss.

“5?” you ask incredulously.

“Yup, 5!” I say.

So thanks to Laura’s very generous publisher, you’ve got a great chance of winning.

RULES: To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment right here on WRITERHEAD for Laura. Wish her well. Tell her you have a neighbor named Alice Bliss. Talk about a shared writerhead experience. Tell her you can’t wait to read her novel. (Make sure to leave your email address so I can get in touch with you if you win.)

**Comments must be posted before the clock strikes midnight on August 4, 2011. (That’s Eastern Standard Time U.S.)

**This contest is open internationally.

***The lucky winners will be drawn on Thursday, August 4. Be sure to check back to see who wins.

****The winner will be drawn randomly by the highly scientific method of my 3yo pulling a name out of a hat (or some other convenient container).

*****Although I welcome all charming comments, only one comment per person will be counted in the contest.

Mojo Monday: Learning About Writing from Architect Thomas Heatherwick

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.


I think an awful lot (probably too much…especially when I should be thinking about making dinner or how to remove rug glue from floor tiles) about the structure of novels/memoirs/picture books, and one of the folks who inspires me to step (leap head first!) out of the box is architect Thomas Heatherwick. He’s a friggin’ genius. Just look at the kick-ass stuff he builds/creates/imagine. Doesn’t it make you want to build/create/imagine kick-ass stuff on the page?

Man, I love this guy.

Love!

Check it out:

 

Laura Harrington’s Novel “Alice Bliss” on bookcrossings.com Journey

Book Bloggers around the world, listen up!

Next Wednesday (August 3), I’ll be featuring author Laura Harrington on Writerhead Wednesday. Her new novel Alice Bliss was published back in June and it’s getting lots of great buzz. (I’ll also be giving away 5 copies of Alice Bliss next Wednesday! So be sure to stop back.)

In the meantime, Laura is launching a bookcrossings.com campaign for Alice Bliss. If you’re not familiar with bookcrossings, it’s a really cool way to share books around the world.

As a repatriated expat (China), I love this program. (Yep, there are bookcrossings events in Shanghai.) After all, it’s not always easy (or affordable) to get books when you’re living “elsewhere.” So if you’re a book blogger based anywhere in the world, you can participate.

To join in the fun, here’s what you need to do:

 

Help us send Alice Bliss all around the world.

This summer, book bloggers from across the United States and the globe have the unique opportunity to participate in an exciting, new international adventure. Laura Harrington, author of the novel Alice Bliss, is pleased to invite you, a book lover and blogger, to be a part of Where’s Alice Bliss?

What Is Where’s Alice Bliss?

Where’s Alice Bliss? is a campaign to send copies of the novel Alice Bliss to as many countries and U.S. states as possible. Through bookcrossing.com, copies of Alice Bliss will be registered and tracked as they travel around the world, passing from one reader to the next. Your bookcrossing ID (BCID) allows you to follow your book wherever it goes. It’s like a passport enabling your book to travel the world without getting lost. Once your book is registered, you will leave it in a public place with a note inside for someone else to find, read, and pass on, like a modern-day message in a bottle. You will be part of an international movement encouraging readers to read, register, and release books for others to enjoy.

How Do I Join?

If you are a teenage or adult book blogger, you are invited to request a copy of Alice Bliss through lauraharringtonbooks.com. Click on the Where’s Alice Bliss? page and fill out the submission form. The copy you receive will have a bookcrossing book plate on the inside. Please go to www.bookcrossing.com to register your book and get your book’s unique bookcrossing ID (BCID). Put the BCID in the space provided on the bookmark. This number will allow you to track your book’s journey.

What Do I Do When I Get My Copy?

Upon receiving your copy of Alice Bliss, you should read and review the book before logging on to bookcrossing.com and following the instructions to “release” your book to someone new. Photograph or video your “release” and upload your images to your blog and/ or Tumblr account and send us a link.

Goal:

We want to send Alice Bliss to four continents and 50 U.S. states.

How Can I Follow Alice?

You can find out where Alice is by going to wheresalicebliss.wordpress.com, see pictures and videos of Alice all around the world on wheresalicebliss.tumblr.com, and get Where’s Alice Bliss? updates by following WheresAB on Twitter.

 

Mojo Monday: Ira Glass on Storytelling

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.


Especially important for beginning writers, but really important for all of us beautiful, crazy, word-obsessed folks who sit down alone with the words every day:

 

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

 

 

Mojo Monday: What Does a [Writing] Community Mean to You?

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge you into writerhead.


A week or so ago, I caught this video about community on the fantabulous site Brain Pickings. In it, oodles of folks respond to the simple question, “What does a community mean to you?”

Here…watch:

As I hunker down in a new community here in the U.S. after almost five years in China, I think a great deal about this very question. Sometimes at normal hours of the day; sometimes (like last night) at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning when my brain is taken over by the I-can’t-stop-thinking-so-I-might-as-well-think-about-something-creative energy.

And because I am who I am, as I watched the video, I applied the same question to my writerly life and asked myself, “What does a writing community look like to me?”

Here’s what I’ve come up with thus far:

It’s local and it’s worldwide. It’s live and face-to-face. It’s online and virtual. It’s big. And small. Welcoming. And intimate. Critical, but not judgmental. Open. Diverse. Lively. Funny. Irreverent. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s coffee at the local shop. It’s getting to know the booksellers in the local bookstore. It’s a quick volley of Tweets or a friendly Facebook add. It gives and forgives. It changes and grows. It challenges me, and I it. It kicks me in the tush when I need it. It’s organic. It’s fluid. It’s p-p-p-powerful.

But—and this is a super important thing to remember at 2:00 in the morning—a writing community is something I create and build. It doesn’t make itself. It doesn’t appear magically when I land in a place. I can’t manifest it by wiggling my nose or waving my wand (though that would be pretty damn cool). It takes a lot of work…a lot of reaching out…a lot of reaching in. And time. It takes time. It’s kind of like… (pause) Here…let me reach into my cheesy-and-obvious-but-spot-on comparisons bag and pull out…voila! A garden. Growing a writing community is like growing a garden. (cue Peter, Paul & Mary)

 

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Q4U: And you, dear writers? What does your ideal writing community look like? Do you have one yet? How do you work on it? How do you tend it? How do you make your garden grow?

 

Writerhead Wednesday: Featuring Janna Cawrse Esarey

Welcome to Writerhead Wednesday, a weekly feature in which a brilliant, charming, remarkable author answers three questions about her/his writerhead…a precious opportunity for looky-loos around the world to sneak into the creative noggins of talented writers and (ever so gently) muck about.


Today I’m happy to welcome Janna Cawrse Esarey to Writerhead Wednesday. She’s the author of the laugh-out-loud funny, rather poignant travel memoir The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife (Simon & Schuster). It tells the story of how Janna and her newlywed husband spent their honeymoon sailing across the Pacific Ocean in a somewhat dilapidated sailboat…for two years…just the two of them.

Yes, you heard that right. Just the two of them.

If, by the time this blog entry posts, Janna hasn’t been nominated for sainthood or been offered the Academy Award for living alone with a husband on a sailboat for two years, she should be.

The Scoop About The Motion of the Ocean:

“The Motion of the Ocean gives readers a satisfying mix of adventure, soul-searching, and romantic comedy. Join Janna and Graeme on their 17,000-mile journey and their quest to resolve the uncertainties so many couples face: How do you know if you’ve really found the One? How do you balance commitment to others while preserving space for yourself? And, when the waters get rough, do you jump ship, or do you learn to navigate the world . . . together?”

The Buzz:

“This highly entertaining debut memoir follows thirty-something journalist Esarey and her new husband, Graeme, on a 17,000-mile journey around the Pacific Ocean in their small sailboat. Before they leave, countless married friends tell them, ‘If your relationship can survive this, it can survive anything.’ It doesn’t take the nautically challenged Esarey long to realize just how true the warning is. A well-written, rollicking high-seas adventure, this will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good love story.” ~ Library Journal

“Love at sea was the idea when Esarey and her newly minted husband decided to honeymoon in a beat-up old sailboat on a trip across the Pacific. Eight hundred and thirteen hilarious, treacherous and, yes, romantic days later, she comes to some serious conclusions. Let’s just say you’ll be wildly entertained and glad to be on solid ground.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly, “Favorite Reads for the Summer” (2009)

“I didn’t think it was possible to write a ‘new’ cruising yarn. However, Janna Cawrse Esarey has done it—from a female sailor’s perspective. This isn’t a story of a cruise; it is an insightfully-written story of a maturing relationship. Best of all, her pen is as sharp as her wit. She pulls no punches. I laughed and cried—and saw myself on every page.” ~ Cap’n Fatty Goodlander, Editor-at-Large of Cruising World magazine

First Line:

“Somewhere fifty miles off the coast of Oregon I realize the skipper of this very small ship is an asshole.”

Second Line:

“He also happens to be my husband.”

_________

And now…for Janna’s writerhead:

1. Describe your state of writerhead (the where, the when, the how, the what, the internal, the external).

These days writerhead occurs at sparrow fart. That’s Kiwi slang* for very early in the morning. I get up at 5:30 every day to write before my two young daughters wake at seven. First, I make coffee—at which point I’m Mrs. Goldilocks, cursing my husband for last night (too late), my girls for this morning (too early), and myself for my push-pull obsession (just write). BUT around the time I’m doing my dying cockroach exercises , my writerhead starts warming up—“and ONE and TWO”—and by the time I’m at my laptop, I’m in my zone.

Writerhead reminds me of what my then-boyfriend-now-husband once termed quicksilver communication. He had this idea, see, that we would get to a point in our relationship where I would just know his thoughts and feelings—and vice versa—without having to talk about them. Connections between us, he said, would just zing-zang-zing like quicksilver. Well. Mind reading isn’t my specialty, nor, clearly, is it his. I informed him I’d much rather communicate(!) than rely on some mystic, intuitive brainwave poppycock.

But here’s the deal. Maybe I do believe in some mystic, intuitive brainwave poppycock when it comes to writing. I mean, the connections between words and images, themes and ideas that randomly, serendipitously, fatefully, miraculously show up are (yes, admit it) like quicksilver communication between one’s soggy brain and some kickass muse. The moments we writers write for.

Though sometimes writerhead ambushes me. If this happens during the day while driving, say, or playing Applause for kids’ dressup, I call it inspiration. If it occurs at night, right as I’m falling asleep, I call it inconvenience. But when it occurs in the middle of the night—wakes me up or keeps me up and will not let me go until I write-it-down-dammit—I call it insomnia. Still, the cracks to some of the toughest nuts come during sleepyhead writerhead, so I try not to complain. Too much.

2. What happens if someone/something interrupts writerhead? (a spouse, a lover, a barking dog, an electrical outage, a baby’s cry, a phone call, a leg cramp, a dried-up pen, a computer crash, etc.)

In my world as a part-time mom/part-time writer, the most common interruption of writerhead is—you guessed it—kids. So let me tell you what happened ten minutes ago while writing up these answers. My five-year-old who still naps (I know!) woke up early from her nap (grrr), and had I just been checking email or googling what G.I. stands for (Government Issue), then I’d have been a good mother and closed my laptop and said, “Wanna read more Little House, chuckums?” BUT I was in writerhead. So here’s what happened instead: PBS. (Which is precisely why I try to schedule writerhead at sparrow fart and do other writerly duties during naps.)

3. Using a simile or metaphor, compare your writerhead to something.

You, of course, already know this without us having to talk about it, right? Writerhead for me is like quicksilver communication. Zing. Zang. Zing.

*No, I’m not from New Zealand. But I met this lady once who was, and I really liked that saying because isn’t that exactly how it feels?

_________

Janna Cawrse Esarey wrote the humorous travel memoir, The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, & a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife (Simon & Schuster). A Publisher’s Weekly Summer Fave, Today Show rec, and Parade Pick, it’s the true story of a couple that sails into the sunset only to find their relationship sinking. Janna was selected as a 2008 Jack Straw Writer and currently performs the juggling act of writer, mom, and wife—only dropping a few balls daily. Visit her at www.byjanna.com.

You can connect with Janna on Facebook and Twitter (@ByJanna). Also, check out her blog at seattlepi.com.

_________

Q4U Writers / Readers /Sailors / Landlubbers / Husbands / Wives: Now I know y’all got something to say about the prospect of spending two years on a dinghy with only your spouse to keep you company. So lay it on us. And in addition to that, any thoughts on writing at sparrow fart, sleepyhead writerhead, or mystic, intuitive brainwave poppycock?