Last week in review – Valentine’s Day, The Assistant


Casual update for the last week. What I’ve been doing outside of nearly all-consuming work.

Listening
Bartees Strange – “Boomer” and “Mustang.” I’m so into Bartees Strange!
Also played while writing or working: Madlib, Sound Ancestor, Roisin Murphy, “Something More,” Nirvana, Nevermind

Book
Snow, by John Banville from Berkeley Public Library. Atmospheric, masterful prose. But the shape of the crime is quite obvious and some of the characters are stock.

Watched
The Assistant – Julia Garner is fantastic. And it really captures the mundane hellscape of office work.

Perfume
Rose et Cuir, Frederic Malle. I ordered a bunch of samples from The Perfumed Court. Love a tougher rose, but some days felt too much leather

Writing
I’m still in a bit of a tough part. From my novel diary for this book:
Sometimes I think plotting a book like this is an exercise of making lists. Make a list of what’s true. Now what are the clues for those truths? Make a list. Now what are things that are true but they aren’t clues. And now, what are things that aren’t true at all. Sprinkle in liberally and stir.

But how do I get to what’s true? I don’t have that yet. And that I don’t know how to do except go blindly by feel.

High point
A drizzly, misty coastal walk on Valentine’s Day with good friends up from Muir Beach to the Coastal Ridge Trail with Green Gulch on our left and Tennessee Valley on our right, then down to Green Gulch, through the farm, back toward Muir Beach. Capped off with takeout shepherd’s pie from the Pelican Inn. Heavenly.

I’m judging a novel competition for Write the World!

I’ve just been so impressed by Write the World–an online community of young writers. Every month there’s a new writing competition, complete with prompts, advice, peer reviews, and guest judges. In the spirit of National Novel Writing Month, Write the World is holding a novel writing competition, and I have the honor of being their guest judge! I’m working through the final entries right now. In the meantime, here’s my Q&A in which I try to dispense writing advice!