Thursday, January 31, 2008


valentines day, originally uploaded by omnia.

The day before my first surgery I took a walk on the beach where I found a red stone like the one in the photo, and knew I had to have it. Stones, shells, I'm always bringing something home--to the chagrin of my family--who often ask, "What's so special about THIS one?" and "Can't you leave a few on the beach?"

Of course, they're right. The house is cluttered enough with my natural collectibles. And as any child with a pail or adult with pocket can tell you, the wet stone glittering in the sun often turns into something quite ordinary when you try to bring it home.

Not all of them though. Some grow even more extraordinary the longer you look at them. "The Liar's Diary Blog Day" which was planned and organized by a few amazing writer friends--and participated in by literally hundreds of others--including some of my very first blog friends, and others, who had never heard of me, my book or my blog, but who jumped in and said "I want to help'" is like the latter. The longer I look on it and the more I think about it, the more it shines.

Among the wonderful souls were authors who are like gods to me, and those who never aspire to publish beyond their blogs, many people I've met, but far more who I will never know. There were also agents and editors and publishers who defied the cynics by proving it's not all about the bottom line. The real reason they got into this business is because they love books and people, and because they really believe in their heart of hearts that stories can change the world.

I spent the day wandering from blog to blog, but still haven't hit half of them. (I will though!) I cried a lot, but I smiled far more. I had been told not to attempt to comment, and for the most part I didn't. I let friends like the wonderful Robin Slick, who visited so many on my behalf, say my thank yous for me. Know that I realize it's a debt that I can't possibly repay--but hopefully, karma can.

I also know that this goes far beyond me and my illness, and the book you all promoted for me when I couldn't do it myself. Once again, it all goes back to defying the cynicsim that has become so much a part of our world. A cynicism I've frequently indulged in myself.

Others have said it better, but the very best part of blog day has been the amazing show of goodwill. It's out there. If it can send a just-released novel shooting up in the Amazon numbers, and can make writers and cancer survivors and bloggers everywhere feel just a little bit closer, a little bit more united than we were before, imagine what else it can do?

And so back to that red shiny rock I found on the beach the day before my surgery. I didn't know why I was picking it up and bringing it home, but now I do. It's for YOU. For all of you.


I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a few of the people who worked incredibly hard, and dreamed incredibly large to make this happen: Laura Benedict, who started all this with an idea and worked hard to carry it though, Susan Henderson of Litpark and Karen Dionne of Backspace both of whom have an amazing gift for bringing people together, and who frequently put their own work aside to promote others, Jessica Keener and Tish Cohen who shared their knowledge and ability to get the word out, also sacrificing hours of precious writerly time, my fabulous literary agent and even more fabulous friend, Alice Tasman, who cried with me when we first learned of this effort, and has done more behind the scenes to help than I'll ever know, Dan Conaway, who is NOT my agent, but still put valuable hours and enthusiasm and heart into getting this off the ground, all my good friends at Gather, Huntington Sharpe from Red Room, who designed a terrifc author page for me, and who mobilized the site to get dozen of authors involved, Sheila English and Victoria Fraasa at Circle of Seven Productions who made a Liar's Diary book trailer that made it to #7 on Google Videos last night, the delightful Eileen Hutton at Brilliance Audio who offered audio clips, MJ Rose who got out the troops at ITW, my fellow writers from Killer Year, several of whom were out promoting our anthology of the same name, but who took time to get involved in blog day, and two outstanding and generous bestselling authors, who took the time to read and support THE LIAR'S DIARY from the start. Both Jackie Mitchard and Tess Gerritsen once again, stepped up, and shared their thoughts on the novel. And I can't forget my wonderfully supportive editor, Julie Doughty at Dutton, my publicist, Laurie Connors, and all the people at Plume/Penguin, without whom there wouldn't be a book to promote.

A huge thank you--and much bliss to them--and to all of YOU--who made this day a small miracle.


Sarah J Clark said...

You remind me of my mother in more ways than one.

I was a few days late getting on board with the Blog Day, but I wanted to let you know I've joined in the effort.

May you and my mother both find more beautiful stones that inspire, and may your road to recovery be sweet and surrounded by those who love and support you!

I wish you all the best and much success with The Liar's Diary.

Kerstin said...

That is such a lovely photo, Patry. And it's funny, I collect stones, too, especially heart shaped ones, and those that sparkle like gold in the water and not so much once they have dried off at home. But I keep and treasure them anyway, even though I am not normally one to collect "stuff."

It was great being able to participate in the Liar's Diary Blog Day, I am so glad that is was such a smashing success!


Patry Francis said...

Sarah: Beaming good thoughts to your mom! I love the story of how she cut her hair!

Kerstin: Once you begin collecting beautiful stones, you see more of them everywhere you go...Like you, I believe anything that makes you SEE MORE is worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Patry, you've made me cry again. It was an incredible thing to be part of, one of those days when I felt really proud of my blog and all the other bloggers out there joining in.
You put it so well in your post, it was a moment when we put aside our cynicism and let our dreams take flight. I hope the book does really well. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

I wish you a swift recovery. Wish you the very best for your book too..

Anonymous said...

I wish you a swift recovery. Wish you the very best for your book too..

Ellen said...

Yes, Liar's Diary Blog Day says something remarkable about this community, but it also say something remarkable about you, Patry.

Thanks for this beautiful post.


Zhoen said...


i beati said...

This is Sandy another cancer hanger onner. I love what you found from the blogs-- All my shells and stones etc greet me in a little garden at my front door- Took them out of all the drawers..

Laura Benedict said...

I love how you shine, Patry!

apolicastro said...

Hi Patry,
If there is one thing we should learn in life, it is to help others in need and I was thrilled to help you. I wish I could have done more.

Larramie said...

You have a way of reaching out and embracing everyone you "meet," Patry. To be able to return that embrace felt glorious, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Your Welcome. I don't have giant numbers that read my blog, but hopefully it helped a little. The book is definitely on my reading list. I think it affected a lot of writers to see how this spread and how much all of us really wanted to believe that when someone needed help we'd offer what little we could.

Kimberly M. Wetherell said...

couldn't have been happier to help!

shine on, Patry!

Anonymous said...

Best wishes, Patry! I collect heart-shaped stones on my beach. I keep thinking I'll do a project of some sort with them. So far, they're just sitting in a wire basket, next to my husband's range balls. Waiting for inspiration, I suppose.

I'm glad the blog day went well and I was happy to take part. Our books had the same pub date! Here's to you, your book and many more good days to come. Susan Wiggs

Anonymous said...

what a gracious and heartfelt thank you.

i love that red heart stone. i have a small heart-shaped stone collection and a small roomful of other beach treasures i can never resist bringing home.

Anonymous said...


A friend turned me on to your blog and your Blog Day. I, like so many others, felt compelled to mention you on my blog. Posted a day late (the 30th), true, but I hope a few people followed the links to your site. Such an inspiration.

Thanks for a wonderful blog (and I look forward to reading your novel), Lisa

Maryanne Stahl said...

I too collect stones and shells and even odder bits of nature! Maybe it's a writer thing--collecting bits of beauty and bringing them home.

I was so happy to be a part of your blog day. and I reached out to others by email, people who wouldn't read writers' blogs but I knew would want to help and would also love your book. you are touching so many lives!

thank you for allowing us to reflect your shine, just a little bit

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Aren't we all like those shiny rocks? We get dry and dull if we're not in our element. I'm glad I live on the water's edge, rolling and tumbling in the waves with people like you and Sue and Karen and Laura.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Patry! Those heart-shaped stones are certainly there for a reason. No such thing as coincidence! :)

You continually inspire people in so many ways. It feels amazing to be part of this effort, that we all connected across the world and the Internet for such a wonderful aim. So much good energy here!

And I agree -- don't comment on all the blogs (hundreds!!!). Swim in the energy of these posts. We want you to use your energy for healing.

Mindy Tarquini said...

I think you look gorgeous, Patry. It was a pleasure to tell everybody about your book and a privilege to join the fun. Sure beat my alternate blog topics for the day - making orthodontic appts for the kids, washing the cat and cutting the dogs' toenails.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely adore this picture of you with your pup (exactly as I imagined)! I miss the Cape, my eyes are hungry to see the ocean again...and to bring home more rocks for my collection...promise to leave some for me!



Sustenance Scout said...

Hugs from Denver, Patry!! K.

Anonymous said...

Hope you're feeling better, Patry - all the best to you.

Sky said...

what a pleasure to share you with others and celebrate the writer and person that you are. giving love always feel so good!

love the photograph of you at the beach! we bring home so many stones from everywhere we go and promise ourselves we will remember where each one came from. Right!! we are now picking up driftwood, too. oh, and the sea glass in northern california and the agates in oregon. just call us junkies. :))

Melanie Margaret said...

You look beautiful on the beach!
Today is a lovely day here on Cape Cod (it's Saturday) and I hope you are feeling well and enjoying the sun.

I went to Border's by myself on Wednesday to buy my copy of the Liar's Dairy. I half expected to see you there!

Much Love to you!

Sandra Cormier said...

My son found a five inch wide rock shaped like a stone. With the help of my stepmother, he painted it red with a greeting for my husband and me on our twentieth anniversary.

The brush he used was too big to make the letters recognizable, but I treasure that rock and use it as a doorstop!

I was fortunate to win a copy of your book from one of my fellow bloggers, and I look forward to reading it. Good luck with your book and your treatment.

Sandra Cormier

Tea N. Crumpet said...

Thank you for the little red stone! I once found a shell on a beach in Mexico and it was partially worn. It got thrown away, perhaps by my mother or maybe I did. I carry it in my heart as it reminds me of how we get worn down by life but more lovely in the process. I'm still looking for a shell like that again, but I love your stone-- it is whole!

chosha said...

Awesome news, Patry. I remember back when you were talking about writing this book and now here it is!

Carleen Brice said...

What a beautiful stone to find right before your surgery. Something tells me it's not just for "us," but also for you--you're the soul who called it forth.

Kay Cooke said...

It certainly restores one's faith in the world hearing about such love and support.
I can only add my best wishes and send you lots of good vibrations! :)

Anonymous said...

Patry, I feel priveleged to help support you (and your book!) in some small way. A big thanks to the people who organized this very special show of writer support :)

Stay strong, and be well!

Anonymous said...

So much beauty all around, you are so right. The rocks on the beach, and the good vibes and good will of so many who got together to support one in their community (whichever community they happen to be part of ). And you too, of course ... fighting, noticing bliss and beauty and reminding us to notice too.

Sending continued love and good vibes. xo D

Anonymous said...

sending you much love from Paris my dear P.

paris parfait said...

A wonderful photo, Patry! Isn't it the truth about getting things home and sometimes they seem quite ordinary? But that doesn't diminish the joy felt at the time they were spotted and seemed somehow magical. Was thrilled to be a part of the collective effort to promote your wonderful book - and "met" some fabulous people in the process! xoxox

RobinSlick said...

I got so incredibly choked up reading, what an event last week was. Pure magic!

I stayed awake until after midnight watching your Amazon numbers and when you hit #1 in Mysteries I think people heard me whooping it up all over downtown Philadelphia.

I haven't wanted to blog since 1/29, either...your gorgeous photo and just the whole story of that day are so beautiful that I didn't want to have it slide down the page with a new entry.

But I just broke down and put up an Obama video sent to me today by someone very cool I met via The Liar's Diary Blog Day - which was yet another amazing experience I had in conjunction with that day.

May the magic continue and I cannot wait until summer and NY and Canada!


Robin said...

Love that pic of you on the beach, Patry. You inspired me to dig out a similar stone we found in Alaska. I'm going to keep it on my desk for a while for positive and healthy karma all around. Can't hurt.


JT Ellison said...

You deserve the love, sweet girl!

Anonymous said...

Stay Strong, Patry. Reading Group Choices and Plume have featured the February MAY WE RECOMMMEND on Reading Group Choices' website for The Liar's Diary. May book clubs everywhere love and discuss your book.

Annette Gallant said...

I also missed Blog Day, but wanted to lend my voice. Hopefully my blog entry will help you in some way. :-)

I love the photo of your red stone and am sending healing thoughts your way. And congratulations on The Liar's Diary. I loved the excerpt and can't wait for it to hit the bookshelves in my area.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

I've popped over from Annette's blog and wanted to say what an amazing experience this must be for you. Also, just wanted to add that my mom - an artist - can't leave the beach without bringing home a stone or two. Or twenty...

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Ahh, like Robin, I was loathe to put up a new blog also, but finally did so yesterday.

Having subscribed to your comment feeds, though, I'm enjoying a visit from your readers everytime a new [Simply Wait] email pops into my box.

Amber said...


It all made me happy to be human, and I am so happy it blessed you as it was meant to.


princessapr said...

My first exposure with Blog Day was when I visited Susan Wiggs's Blog. I thought the book looked really interesting, but I hadn't branched out to new authors in quite some time mostly for budget reasons. Then, I saw you and the book mentioned on Tess Gerritsen and Jennifer Weiner's blogs. It must have been a sign. I picked it up yesterday and can't wait to read it. Since last week, I've also lurked on this blog as well and really enjoy reading it. Your choice of words is really brilliant and they have such nice flow to them.


Tish Cohen said...

Hugs and kisses, Patry.

P.S. That photo is magnificent.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad the day was a success for you Patry - wishing you many more of such bliss-filled days.
I'm sorry I missed the official Liar's Diary blog day, but I've finally gotten back into the blogworld and posted for it.
I love the photo - the stone is beautiful!
Wishing you wonders~xOx

90daystogreen said...

Patry, I discovered your book through Neil Gaiman's site (and joined the blog day, albeit a bit late). I just wanted to let you know my friend bought me a copy of The Liar's Dairy. I read it in one sitting - it is masterful story telling.

Thank you.


Unknown said...

Hi Patry

I've been reading your blog for about a year now--finding inspiration in your perseverance and your road to your first novel. (I think I found you through the fantastic women of The Writers Group Blog).

I'm sorry to hear about your illness. We may have crossed paths at MGH--I had a bilateral mastectomy there in early December.

Anyways, I don't think I've ever left you a note, but just wanted to let you know I'm rooting for you.

I like what you said about how for every cup of bad news, we can find somewhere two cups of good.

I wish you all the best!

Anonymous said...

Patry, I realize I'm late to this party, but I just wanted to offer you an "attagirl," and some reassurance. I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in May of 2007, and as of January 2, 2008, I'm officially cancer-free. There were times when I felt I'd never think of anything else (such as my next book, which I was falling behind on), but you get past it. You have the right attitude, and I know you'll come through this a better person. I like to think I did.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your note on my blog, Patry.

Can't wait to read the book.

Gary said...

Congratulations on your book, your blog, your rich spirit and I wish the best for you.

The 4th shelf up on my bedroom bookcase is the stage for my stones, crystals, WWI dogtags (Grandpa Fred's), a little wooden Buddha, a bead my daughter gave me when she was 3 and more. Precious things because of what they mean, not what they are.

Anonymous Me said...

Thanks to the Liar's Club Blog Day, I ordered a copy and just finished reading it. I loved it! I could hardly put it down and just hated for it to end. It was a completely engrossing story. I hope you've got another one in the works.

leslee said...

Great to hear the book is doing well - and more so to hear that you are!

daringtowrite said...

I'm sorry I missed the day, but oh so grateful to hear about such a wonderful coming together of hearts and minds. Grateful, too, for "The Liar's Diary".