Friday Fare: 6/2/17

From Top Left: The Ghost in the Computer (or me, early morning pre-coffee); NEIL DIAMOND IN CONCERT!; Hanging out with Lori Rader-Day and Kristi Belcamino at Subtext in St. Paul; Some dear, dear, dear friends …

It’s been a little quiet around these parts lately … my apologies!  (And it’s not for lack of interesting things on the web, the article keep flowing …)  But man – the time I’ve been away has been personally fulfilling and seriously packed with late nights and excellent adventures.

Last week alone, I got to hang out with some dear, dear friends that I met 19 years ago when I worked at ValleyFair for the summer.  (For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, VF is a amusement park in Shakopee, Minnesota.)  My friend Jessica and I were heading to see Neil Diamond at the Xcel Energy Center and agreed to meet up for dinner beforehand.  To my surprise, she organized a quick dinner party with our old friends and man … 19 years is a long time to go without talking to people, but after the requisite “How many kids do you have?  What are you doing now? Whatever happened to that guy – didn’t he go to jail?”, it was like that summer on East Hennepin Avenue (that was after hours at Pete or Tony’s apartments, utilizing Pete’s ID since he was the only one old enough to buy beer).

The next night featured a meet-up with Lori Rader-Day.  She’s the current president of Mystery Writers of America-Midwest.  And oh, hey … she just had a book came out.  “The Day I Died” is getting some amazing press and glowing reviews (here’s the one from Publishers Weekly).  And Lori’s just an all-around amazing person and is one of the most supportive people you’ll ever meet for those of us in the trenches waiting for publication.  Lori was at Subtext Books in St. Paul with Kristi Belcamino.  Kristi’s YA book “City of Angels” just came out as well and has been receiving equally amazing reviews. I’m proud to know both of these women and spending an evening rubbing elbows with them?  Amazing.

Phew … that’s a lot.  But that’s not the end of it.  I spent the holiday weekend with my best friend and former college roommate.  (And in the mornings when she slept in [because her internal alarm clock is not skewed because of early bird children], I got to spend time editing “Dragonfly” and taking care of some other literary business.)

***

Listening: Robert Plant “29 Palms.”  I kept hearing this song on the stretch of Highway 52 between northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota and had to find out who sang it.  Should have figured it was the incomparable Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame.  This song comes from Plant’s 1993 solo release “Fate of the Nations.”  Rolling Stone had this to say about Plant’s vocals on this song: “… Plant’s always incredible voice finds a new temperature for sex.”  Best. Line. In. A. Review … maybe ever.

Reading: Finished “Jane Steele” by Lyndsey Faye – an amazing homage to Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.” (<– I have a ridiculous soft spot in my heart for that book, I do not care what my friends say …).  Also finished “Death’s Acre” by Dr. William Bass, the visionary who founded the University of Tennessee’s “Body Farm.”  And incredible book about an incredible forensic scientist.  You may not want to read while eating …

Writing Life: Life has been marvelously busy lately.  We’ve had some changes in our personal lives that are incredibly bittersweet, but positive.  (Not to be too vague, but basically – my babies are growing up and we’re changing up their care routine.)  Despite the chaos and an uptick at work, edits are going well with “Dragonfly.”  Part of the clarity around my edits have a lot to do with a class I recently took at The Loft Literary Center.  It was a class on scene and structure with Tamara Hogan.  I was able to get some useful tools out of the class and was able to apply it to my manuscript.

Sorry for the really, really verbose update on my goings on.  I think all of us need to “fill the well” sometimes and looking back at last week – my cup runneth over.

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