Writers, more often than not, are uncomfortable singing their praises. The work we do, in the quiet of a space we relish, is what sustains us. Lots of time spent being invisible for the sake of the visibility and resonance we hope our stories bring.
Maybe Joan Didion was right when she characterized writing as “the act of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer’s sensibility on the reader’s most private space.” It’s certainly a provocative, Didion-esque way of putting things. But ultimately writing and reading are a transaction of sorts in which the reader brings her unique perspective to what the writer has put out.
It’s a long hard road from conception to finished novel to publication and Just Like February, now out there, has to take on a life of its own. Timing and luck certainly play their part. If, as my mother liked to say, timing is everything, I can’t help but see a certain synchronity in the publication of a novel that evokes the ‘80s in a time when echoes of that decade appear to be back in pop culture, art, and politics.
In the weeks since publication, I’ve gotten some very gratifying reviews and plugs from sites like BuzzFeed, and I’ve written essays for other sites—on topics as varied as bonding with my daughter at rock concerts, learning to swim at the ripe age of 66, and simply, why I write. A new page on my website, News and links, will give you a glimpse of what I’ve been up to. Just click the link in the menu bar above and take a peek while I take break and turn my attention to that next big marker in my life, my daughter’s wedding.