1. Forty – Love. It was only as an adult that I took an interest in tennis, taking a few lessons and playing on the weekends with friends. I haven’t played in a while because it can be quite expensive to play in NYC – especially when the winter sets in and the courts are bubbled. Watching great tennis always makes me want to grab my racket and hear that whoosh of a new can of balls opening.
This week a friend and I snuck away from the office to go to the U.S. Open. (Okay, I took the day off. I’m not that kind of employee.) It’s played in Flushing, Queens. That’s right. I went to Queens. These matches were the qualifying rounds, and they’re FREE! The top tier players get automatic invitations to the competition, but the rest of the pack – you know, if you’re merely ranked 100th in the world – you have to win 3 rounds of competition just to gain entry into the dance. So even though Roger Federer and Andy Murray are still home on their respective couches, these folks are serving their hearts out.
I enjoy a day at the qualifying because I can get very close to the courts – in some cases we were just feet away from the players and could see the sweat on their faces – and there are really no lines, not at the entry gate, security check, restroom, ice cream cart. (Did I say ice cream?)
I may just have to grab my racket and get on a court after signing up a week in advance and waiting 2 hours for my turn – if you’re in NYC, you know what I mean.
2. The Bluths are back!! If you’re a fan of the underground hit Arrested Development, like I am, put down your coffee cup and let me get you up to speed. You know that *they* took Arrested Development off the air after only three short, ground-breaking, laugh-out-loud seasons. Those of us who watched the show with a cult-like addiction were dismayed. We wrote letters, we signed petitions, we went to the television executives’ homes. Ahem. Anyway. They have heard our pleas and are brining the Bluth family back. The fourth season is set to premiere in the spring – streaming on Netflix. And – wait for it – all 10 episodes will be released at the same time! Who’s up for a George Michael marathon? This is all in preparation for the Arrested Development movie slated for 2014.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about…
3. The Housing Works. You all know I
waste spend a good amount of time in my neighborhood coffee shop working on various writing projects. It isn’t that my apartment is not well suited for this, but sometimes a girl needs a change of scenery. Besides, goofing off working at the coffee shop has two advantages. Even though I’m working, I still get to see and interact with other people and the pastries are good. Well, seriously, at home it is so much easier to procrastinate. Believe it or not, I can get more distracted at home than in a busy coffee shop. (I really should vacuum right now.)
Enter The Housing Works Bookstore Cafe just off Broadway in Soho. I can’t think of a more inspiring place to write a novel than in a place surrounded by them. And a wonderful bonus is that 100% of the profits go to charity. The bookstore is part of the greater Housing Works nonprofit group whose mission is to provide assistance to people affected by HIV/AIDS. I tried very hard to resist buying a book, but I ended leaving with Pulitzer-prize winner A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. Next I’m planning to pick up the P.G. Wodehouse book Thank You, Jeeves, thanks to a great review.
Do you have a special place in your house to write or do you have to get away to get some private time?
4. Fall Classes. If you or someone you know would be interested in a creative writing classes this fall, keep reading. I’m teaching two classes starting September 10 through The Loft Literary Center. Both are online so you can login from anywhere at anytime. You can even wear your pajamas and bunny slippers. I won’t tell.
- Back to Basics: Creative Writing Techniques - This class is geared for beginners / intermediate writers of fiction or nonfiction to focus on the building blocks of creative writing. Each class is completely devoted to one element of story (dialogue, characterization, suspense, etc.) to help you hone your skills in that area. Eight weeks.
- Pitch Your Novel: From Query Letters to Literary Agents and Beyond – For writers who have a completed or nearly completed novel under their belts, this class is focused on the insider’s guide to publishing. We’ll be discussing how to write a query letter, finding the right literary agent, and how to navigate the publishing process.
If you have any questions, drop me a message!
5. All human unhappiness comes from not knowing how to stay quietly in a room.
~ Blaise Pascal
Isn’t that an interesting comment? It makes me think of all the times that I might have turned on the television for “background noise” or picking up the phone to call someone to fill a silent space. If you have a moment or two of quiet do you try to fill it with some kind of background noise?
Have a great weekend, everyone!