March 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
Hey, funny people.
Many of you crack me up in the comments on this site — which makes me think you might appreciate this, so I’m going to share. It’s an essay I wrote for The New York Times about humor: where it comes from, how we develop it, and how it helps us get through life. I’m turning off the buttons and comments here, but feel free to click over and visit it there if you’re so inclined:
I was a tiny bit nervous about this, because I almost never write about my kids. I feel strongly about their privacy. Plus, they have so many stories to tell in their voices (not mine) one day. So this is unusual territory for me; but I wrote it because it’s been brewing in my head for quite some time, this thought on humor.
My little guy is one of the most wonderfully complex human beings I’ve ever met, and I’ve learned so much from him. He did read the article, and he’s cool with it. (He’s also a total pre-teen and has angst about being teased at school, so please, if you happen to know us in real life, don’t mention it to him. He’d be all, “GAH, MOM, GROSS, STOP TALKING ABOUT ME, GO STAND OVER THERE.”) We had a sweet little discussion about this in which we got all real and vulnerable and deep. Then we made some armpit noises and went on with our day.
Anyway. Thanks for the support, friends. Back to the usual jackassery next time.
March 5, 2014 § 21 Comments
You know how this goes. The new season’s magazines land in the mailbox, and lo, we are blessed with important and enlightening images. Let’s jump right into what the latest fashion ads have to teach us about living, shall we? Take note.
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1. Be Unpredictable
For the last 100 years, Chanel has been the standard of classic chic. Little quilted leather bags on chains, tastefully boxy tweed jackets, elegant Hepburn-esque sheaths. Well, you can’t stay the same forever. That’s boring. Chanel has decided to mix things up this season, and we all should, too.
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2. Embrace Your Face
Designers are reaching out to women with a message of inclusion and acceptance by putting faces on everything. Eyeballs on shoes, foreheads on dresses, lips on skirts. The meaning of it is this: Don’t be insecure about your face. Your face is beautiful. Your face is so great that you should replicate the image of your face and wear it multiple times on your body. Get up in everyone’s face with your face. And when that happens, we’ll finally understand each other and attain world peace.
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3. History Repeats Itself – Might as Well Accept It
I don’t know how to tell you this, so I’m just going to come right out: Crop tops are happening. Again. It’s a new thing, but an old thing at the same time. You know how you pat yourself on the back sometimes for putting old habits behind you? Yeah, stop patting. The fact is, what happened before will happen again. Your stupid past is about to be your stupid future. It’s just a matter of time.
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4. Trying New Things Won’t Kill You
This is probably the biggest change of the season. As we’ve discussed multiple times before, the reigning show-off-the-handbag position has been front and center and low, right over the ladygoods, for several seasons now. Well, guess what? No more. Look at all these gals, breaking out of the old routine. Freeeeeedom. Here, let’s trace the evolution of this crotch emancipation:
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5. Take Your Cues From Nature
Here’s what hot right now: plants. Leaves, petals, thorns, bark, stems, etc. All over the place. As colorful and as textural as you please. What does it all mean? It means be yourself. Life is a garden. Thrive where you’re planted. Reach, like a sproutling, for the sky. Blossom into your true self. From the tiny acorn grows the mighty oak. Don’t be like poison ivy and transmit a substance that makes others itch. Plants: They’re a metaphor.
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6. Life Would Be Easier If You Were a Fanning Sister
No deep symbolism here. Just pointing out that if you were Dakota or Elle, you’d be rolling in it right now.
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7. Expect the Unexpected
You think you know how life is going to go, but you can’t predict the actions of other people. That’s the thing. You might think you’re just going to go into the ladies room and relax and touch up your lip gloss in peace, but no. There’s some strung out girl you knew from high school sitting in front of the damn mirror. You couldn’t have seen that coming. But now you have to react. And that’s what life does. It surprises you. Sometimes the surprise is good. Sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes it’s someone’s butt in the sink.
Know someone who deserves to have a great spring? It’s as simple as following these examples. Pass it on.
February 4, 2014 § 7 Comments
You know how you have topics you can just blabber on and on and onnnnn about, but you try not to in social situations, because really, who wants to hear you talk about the same thing all the time?
I have a few subjects like that, and one of them is writing. (Hey, you guys want to talk about VERBS? Wait… where are you going?) It’s always delightful to meet someone else who shares the same passion.
So you understand why I was tickled to agree to an interview with the lovely Emily from Tipsy Lit. First of all, she actually WANTED to talk about writing! Second, anything with the tagline “Books. Booze. Brilliance.” is something I’ll say yes to. Anyway, if you’re into that kind of thing too, feel free to click over and join the conversation.
Thanks for having me, Tipsy Lit!
January 15, 2014 § 30 Comments
Will you forgive me for talking work for a sec? It’s fun-work, I swear. OK, thanks. I’m breathe-into-a-bag excited about a new project, and I want to share, because some of you might enjoy it. Here it is:
Ta-da! It’s Musing – a laid-back literary journal. Today it’s being launched out into the world by Parnassus Books.
As you may know, Parnassus is the exquisite little gem of a shop in Nashville that breathed new life into the story of independent bookstores everywhere. (Take that, Amazon.) It’s owned by best-selling novelist Ann Patchett and booklady extraordinaire Karen Hayes, and its star-power brings a roster of authors into town the likes of which you don’t normally see outside major hubs like New York, DC, etc. The Southern literary scene and the world literary scene collide delightfully here, and the conversations that happen in this one little shop, among this group of people and their guests, would blow your mind. So that’s what Musing is all about. Sharing those conversations. And y’all, they’re letting me be the editor of the thing.
Know anyone who’s into this kind of thing? Feel free to spread the word… You can even subscribe (it’s FREE) to get stuff like this directly in your inbox:
- A regular column by Ann Patchett (Like her essays? You’ll love her candid monthly posts about what she’s been doing and reading.)
- What-to-read book lists, so you’ll never be bored again
- Interviews with a wide range of authors (check out our first one: bestselling novelist Sue Monk Kidd)
- Shop Dog Diaries (Fact: Writing in the voice of a dog is 10 times as much fun as writing in the voice of a person.)
Anyway, that’s it. You can read more about it here, and even a little word from me here — but I’ll stop talking now. Back to normal (abnormal?) next time here. Just wanted to share this. I feel tremendously lucky to have the chance to hang out with such smart, funny, interesting folks. Thanks, friends!
PS: I disabled all the likey-sharey buttons on this post (I think), but if your trigger finger is itching, feel free to aim it over at Musing and give it a click.