Monday Nattering

I'm going to give this site a real makeover at some point this year, but I gave it an in-the-meantime one over the weekend. I did an abysmal job at tracking my reading last year, so I'm also reviving my reading log page; will also try to remember to point to it occasionally.

Totally overwhelmed by the number of people who shared and visited the post about sexism and self-promotion and related thoughts over the weekend here or over on tumblr. I almost didn't post it, and am now really glad I did. Look for more Actual Bloggery to happen here, and more little things over at tumblr (where I'll continue to mirror bigger posts). At any rate, I propose a blog renaissance for 2014. And will do my part, even while deep in Secret Project Land, as I am currently.

Speaking of the self-promote-y, I completely missed this lovely mention of The Woken Gods from Erin Keane as part of the WFPL staff year-end reading round-up: "Bond's D.C. is a world of powerful tricksters, ancient relics, and spooky rituals that feels both mysterious and familiar at once, and like her first novel "Blackwood," (listen to an excerpt on Unbound) this whip-smart heroine-led adventure is equal parts creepy and fun." *beam*

Two things I suggest you read today, if you haven't: Genevieve Valentine's fashion round-up from the Golden Globes (always a highlight of the day after any awards show) and Sarah Weinman's great NYT Magazine piece about an award-winning crime manuscript written by a man currently in prison for murder.

And, finally, having eaten in enough restaurants in the last week to last me through the next couple of months in deadline-ville, I'm looking forward to bunker life with the secret novel and our foray into Vegan Before 6 (so far so good, er, on the first day). The fabulously fun winter residency of the Bluegrass Writers Studio definitely also yielded enough social activity to hold me for a good while, but was, in fact, too fabulously fun to pass up most evenings–especially given that it's C's final semester in the program (thesis novel!). Finally met the delightful (but in a noir way) Kelly Braffet in person, along with her editor Zack Wagman (who I interviewed once upon a time), as well as Alissa Nutting, who it turns out we have several common friends with, and the very funny Sam Lipsyte. Plus, the usual program suspects like Derek Nikitas. And, of course, we got to hang out lots with Maureen McHugh, one of my favorite favorite people, who was here teaching a workshop. Witness this evidence from an evening meal at Table 310 with Maureen, Christopher, (the lucky-for-us currently local) Andrew Shaffer, and a former program student who turned out to also be a former small town funeral director and made the best conversation (sample: "We call that 'creating a beautiful picture' "):

In short: I like 2014 so far.

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