Saturday, July 28, 2007

8 Things About Me

tiffany's, originally uploaded by patryfrancis.

1. I recently went to New York and posed in front of Tiffany's.

2. I did it for Audrey Hepburn and Truman Capote. Jewelry has never held much allure for me.

3. I did it because sometimes a character in a novel can really change your life--especially if you read it at a pivotal time.

4. I read Breakfast at Tiffany's and Gone With the Wind when I was thirteen, Pride and Prejudice and Madame Bovary when I was eighteen, Les Miserables and The Autobiography of a Soul when I was thirty. All of them spoke to me and continue to speak to me in different ways.

5. As a writer, I want to entertain, inspire, and yes, I dream of creating a character who is capable of reaching into your world and changing your life.

6. Did I really say that? Who do I think I am?

7. A writer, a dreamer, a petty goddess (and occasional tyrant) in a very small universe of my own creation.

8. It seems I've exhausted all the interesting revelations about me at 7, but wait...Look at the photo: I also love the New York Times. Does that count?

Thanks so much to Ellen Meister, who tagged me for this meme. Sorry it took me so long to respond, but summer is a season to slow down, to sleep late and eat fresh tomatoes and make up stories in my head.

If anyone else would like to carry the meme forward and reveal eight startling or mundane secrets about themself, leave a comment...I'm looking for new material for upcoming novels. (Kidding, kidding....)

Monday, July 09, 2007



For weeks, I have been thinking of putting up a post, explaining to anyone who might be interested that I was on a summer hiatus, that for a long and wonderful time, I saw the world in blog posts. Everything and everyone around me was part of a grand and unpredictable tale that might be written about, turned to poetry, photographed, or when I was feeling particularly intrepid, even sketched--and then amazingly--incredibly really--shared with whatever kindred spirits might find it.

But then summer came and something happened. I took up residence in a new novel. My mind, once focused on the glittering outer world, grew utterly consumed with the citizens of this shadowy inner landscape.

I stopped seeing friends, both real and on-line. I didn't go to the gym. Trips to the beach or the movies held no interest. I know this sounds unhealthy, but it feels--marvelous! It's a feeling you can only have when you're doing what you were born to do.

Soon I opened the summer office. Now every morning when I wake up, I put one foot on the floor, and I say thank you. Then I put the other foot on the floor and say thank you again. Thank you for the day. Thank you for the story that hums inside me. Thank you for a chance to be a crazy hermit and write, write, write.

I pour a cup of coffee; if I'm feeling ambitious, I might even comb my hair, then I call the dogs: "Come on girls, it's time to go to work." (Fortunately, my yard is screened by trees on all sides so I don't frighten the neighbors in my pajamas.) Laboriously, my old shepherd-lab rises from her mat and heads for the back door; and the Jack Russell, who is snuggling with the last person still in bed, begrudgingly follows. They take their places on the deck; and I open my laptop.

Life, my friends, is good. Thank you. And thank you again.


One of my co-workers

blue jay

Another co-worker, tamed by the nuts I leave on the rail, who joins me on a regular basis

summer office

My particular paradise