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#my7links: part 3... and a little more

Last installment of My 7 Links, and thanks again to Jen for nominating me. (Part one here and part two here.)

A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved: Fangirl, which is about my favorite night of last year’s International Festival of Authors in Toronto. This year I went to Toronto to bask in the glory of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell; last year I did it for David Mitchell. (This year Lev Grossman is going to be there, and OH! It is killing me to stay home. Alas, money is finite and stupid.) Anyway, I do not usually get emotional and become fangirlish about famous people, but I was in the presence of very smart people at that festival; Myla Goldberg and Paul Harding were standouts as well. But no one rocked me like David Mitchell. He was fantastic. It only “didn’t get the attention it deserved” because it was written before Reverb when Heather and I were just starting out, but you might just like it.

The post that you are most proud of: Open Spaces and Heat Lightning, which is one of the truest things I’ve ever written. You may have seen this picture in the Link Within widget below current posts. I know I see it often, and I get a twinge every time. The most wonderful thing that came out of this (besides crystallizing a few thoughts that I have about growing up without knowing very much about my father) is that late last year, one of my father’s nieces got in touch with me after finding the blog. She saw that picture and had to write to me, because—and you guys are not going to believe this—she was actually there the day that picture was taken. She’s been able to send me more pictures of my dad, from when he was younger and looked like a kid straight out of Stand by Me. If I hadn’t taken the risk of writing it, she may not have had the impetus to write me. 

I don’t usually take part in viral blog things, but this one appealed for some reason, and I think it’s because of the household purge (which reached full steam this weekend). I’ve been doing a lot of looking back, because looking ahead is a little bit impossible right now. If you don’t wear glasses you might not know this feeling, but there is always a moment when I first open the oven and peer in, and heat fogs up my vision. For just a second, I have to wait until things clear up. And every time I wish that I’d kept my head farther away or that glasses didn’t do that or that I had put in my contacts that morning. And then everything clears and I turn over the butternut squash. Right now, I’m stuck in that fog moment when it comes to everything about my life, and the dissipation rate is out of my control. 

So I control what I can. I purge. 

The odd thing is that I have no interest in current phone books, but these old ones have been company for me on sleepless nights for years. They remind me of my wanderlust and all the different Kims I have been. I told myself at one point that I might set a book in Lock Haven circa 1996, and this phone book might become invaluable. But no, I know what I need to know about Lock Haven. I know the blast of the trains flying through at night, the way they would wake me up the first two weeks that I lived in that jewel-town by the river. I know the ways we walked the levee and the bat that lived in the corridor that took me to my friend’s apartment and I know the third floor of Raub Hall and I know bottles of Blue Moon and Melanie’s perennial Midsummer’s Night Yankee Candle jars and fried pierogies and the drive home from the shoe store in the quiet snow.

None of those things are in the phone book. It can go. 

#my7links: part 2

My internet keeps flickering in and out this foggy morning, so before it goes out again, I’m going to continue on quickly with the My 7 Links project.

Most helpful post: Aie! I don’t think I’ve been very helpful here. I glanced back through the RSS feed and kept vetoing post after post. I’m going to pick a post when you guys as commenters were very helpful to me: writing about writing, in which I threw out a few formless ideas for an article I wrote for the RWA-WF newsletter. It turned into something pretty great by the time it was done, and I owe a lot of that to you for these comments (and especially those of you who had time at the last minute to critique it before my final polish). 

A post whose success surprised me: Noël reminded me of mana in the comments earlier and it definitely fits this category. (And not just because I’d forgotten all about it in the meantime.) I remember writing it and feeling like I should write more, that I wasn’t quite making my point, but you guys got it. It was also a post that got me several emails via our contact form, from people who weren’t comfortable leaving public comments, and that was a wonderful feeling—not just that people went out of their way to talk to me, but also that they shared such personal stories. (Thanks, N. You were right.)

#my7links: part 1

Not the berries I mentioned in “Where I’m From”—these are part of the scenery on the walk from the bus to my friend’s farm stand.A couple of weeks ago, Jen of Little Yawps nominated me to take part in My 7 Links, and I knew that as soon as I got back from Toronto I’d give it a shot. I’m going to break this up into multiples, just in case you get sucked in to reading the old posts—reading seven entries all at once would be too much of a commitment for your average Monday, don’t you think? 

  1. Most beautiful post: Where I’m From. I didn’t really expect this all to come out of me when I started writing it, but when I was done I kept rereading it and feeling surprise at how true it was. It’s the sort of thing I wish I could show my mother. Once I got past a certain age I stopped showing her most of my writing, but I’d send her bits here and there, and this is something that she would have liked
  2. Most popular post: Without question, truth, fiction, hózhǫ́ is my most popular post. Noël nominated it for Five Star Friday and the rest is history. It still gets hits from StumbleUpon even after all this time. I still remember that day and the drive home after class. I was so close to leaving the reservation—just a couple of weeks away—and I felt like I had wasted years of my life at my job there. Fortunately, that feeling went away, but at the moment, it was pretty bad.
  3. Most controversial post: If you’ve read here for more than a couple of days you know that Heather and I don’t really do controversy. The closest I have probably come is in sunshine cleaning, where I wrote about throwing away my journals. The summer got away from me and I still haven’t done all of them—I only made it through two. For what it’s worth, I didn’t wind up keeping a single page of either of them! The writing was sentimental and juvenile, and although I hoped I’d wind up with inspiration for a potential book down the road, I’m now sure that my own childhood voice is not a salable YA voice, not by any stretch. And oh does it EVER belong in the shredder.

I now get to pick five people to take part in My 7 Links, too. My choices:

Get on it, ladies! Into your archives for some old wonderful posts, chop chop.