Hey there!
Let’s talk about our days…
I arrived in Provincetown moments ago. Last week I was traveling with Pam Houston, and we read at two awesome bookstores—Square Books in Oxford, MS, which I’ve loved for ages, and Interabang Books in Dallas, TX, which is a wonderful new discovery. Next week I have an event at Midtown Reader in Tallahassee, and they have a donut shop upstairs!
About those six threads I was working on to see which one might be the new novel…I could never eliminate any so guess what? One morning, with my candle lit and my mug full of coffee, I discovered that ALL six are a part of this new thing. But I’m trying not to think too much about it and just to write. That’s how I discover the story. I’m also trying to not get attached to anything and to pay close attention to what appears on the page. And a light touch. I want a light touch as I nudge the story forward.
Last week I finished Alan Michael Parker’s Christmas in July, which gave me another marriage quote…
"Hello. This is your mother. Your father says that second marriages are happier than first marriages—I think he means when the first marriage isn’t happy, don’t you? But then, one of my ladies told me that third marriages are the happiest. Like we can just keep trying, and then we get it right."

On the airplane today, over and over again, the same song from last month, “When It Don’t Come Easy” by Patty Griffin. Does anyone else LOVE this song? When the trumpet comes in, it lifts me up up up. Patty is a singer-songwriter who plays piano and guitar, born in Maine and now living in Texas. Here she is on NPR.
Emily Arnason Casey was the featured writer for February. We were both at Vermont College together, and her first book, the essay collection Made Holy, was published a week before mine. I loved it. These twenty essays tell the stories of Emily’s family and their struggles with addiction, but she doesn’t leave us there. She starts close in and lifts us up and out wide. And you will want to follow her there. Emily and I share obsessions–things, houses, self or selves, leaving, and the passing of time. Or perhaps there’s so much in these essays that each of us will find shared obsessions inside her sentences.
Here’s an excerpt from Emily’s day.

In everything I write, the land speaks to me, existing as a character that embodies the emotional fabric of my narratives. Terry Tempest Williams writes, “Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from,” and this understanding becomes a practice for me—where am I connected rather than separate? I look for this in the landscapes I inhabit, and here, the little graveyard is something I feel connected to—to the dead who also lived in this field, walked these woods, followed the path down to the pond.…  [read more]
I know some of you are wishing for blue skies and yellow daffodils when that is still far off. What will help you make it through these gray days that I love? Singing by yourself in the car, tea in the tub, a book in front of the fire. Each day, why not plan a lovely moment and head toward it.  
And how will you spend your extra day this year? I will spend mine in Provincetown : )
With this newsletter, I wish you moments that will lift you up up up each day.
This is an email from me to you so you can write me back. Let me know how you’re spending your days.

Happy last days of February and thanks for reading.
Peace out,

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Issue #9 February 2020
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