Small Thoughts Before I Return to Revising

Boreas, John William Waterhouse (1903)

Last night, I skipped work and watched four movies on television—the first two starred Will Ferrell, the second two starred Vincent Cassel. Spectrum opposites, but I believe a life should have balance. I like Elf a little more every time I see it, and I like Vincent Cassel a little more every time I see him.

This morning, I continued playing hooky and read an entire book of poetry in bed. Francesca Lia Block's How to (Un)Cage a Girl. She's such an extraordinary, beautiful, heartbreaking, vibrant writer. One of my absolute favorites. (I read Weetzie Bat at least once a year.) I was startled and delighted to discover a poem about Sofia Coppola inside.

Sometimes I like to pretend that I am a Coppola.

Breakfast was taken at noon—a red velvet cupcake and a cup of Earl Grey. The cupcake was a gift from my friend Sara, and the tea ball was shaped like a yellow submarine. A gift from my sister. There were pinky red roses on my table. A gift from my friends at the library.

I am lucky.

Writing is not going well these days. Lola, my ever petulant novel-child, continues her reign of exhaustion. She is due soon. She is stubbornly dragging her heels and flailing her arms, but at least she's providing distraction from that other Book Thing happening right now. The Book Thing ricocheting between wonderful and terrifying, day and night, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

I want to watch another Christmas movie, another French thriller. I want to gorge on cupcakes and tea until I get a sugar caffeine headache that can only be cured by a return to bed and poetry.

I do not want to write.

But I do want to be a writer.

So I will go back to my document. I will open it up. I will try to calm down my child. I will praise her and send her into a beautiful boy's arms and tell her I love her for who she is. I will hope that she listens to me this time. I will keep trying.

I am lucky to have this opportunity to keep trying.


  1. I do not want to write.

    But I do want to be a writer.

    Yes, this. I totally know what you mean.

  2. The naughty novel strikes again!

    I don't have any wise words, only this: I got an email this morning saying that *my* copy of ANNA has been dispatched and is en-route to Oz. I squeed.
    I'm pretty sure I'll be just as excited to get my LOLA email next year.

    Good luck!

    On a totally different topic, I have a book recommendation for you: Grafitti Moon by Cath Cowley. It's Aussie. It has characters called Shadow and Poet. It's about art. It's about love. It's AWESOME!

  3. Mindi — *big hug*

    Jade — Naughty novel, indeed. But I'm so happy Anna is on her way! (And I hope you like it after all this time!) And now I REALLY want to read Graffiti Moon, but it's not available here except on Kindle. I'll have to research other ways...

  4. I love Elf, I have to watch it every Christmas. I have started my Christmas movie watching this week. My family watched Home Alone, it was fun to see my nephew crack up & remember watching it as a kid.

  5. Connie — My favorite line in Elf: "Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?" Home Alone is a GREAT holiday movie. I'm so glad to hear that it's crossing generations! Other favorites = Love Actually and (hee hee) The Muppet Christmas Carol.

  6. Aw, I'm sorry writing isn't going well...I know exactly how you feel about not wanting to write but wanting to be a writer. I think every writer feels that way at some point. I'm sure you'll cross this barrier soon enough. :)

    I love Elf!



  7. TRA — Your comments always brighten my day! Merci. <I:) (Elf smiley face!)

  8. Damn, I didn't think about it not being available in the States. Did you try the Book Depository? It's my favourite on-line site because they have FREE DELIVERY!! In fact, I just placed an order for 23 YA books! That means I've bought 45 YA books in the last month.


    And I know I'm going to love ANNA so don't worry.

  9. Jade — Sold out at the Book Depository. L'horreur! Also, 45? I LIKE YOUR STYLE.

  10. Love your description of the sometimes (too often) illusive Pimpernel ... oops, wrong analogy there ... writing hiccups.

    Good luck!

  11. YES about the not wanting to write but wanting to be a writer! *sending lots of cupcake sprinkles to help with Lola*

  12. Hi Stephanie,
    I'm a big fan of Sofia C too, can't wait to see Somewhere, and I can't wait to read your first book! I love what I keep hearing about it.
    Sorry the current book is causing such pain but it probably just means you are creating something awesome. :)

  13. I've just spent the afternoon watching While You Were Sleeping. I am now too busy swooning over Bill Pullman to write anything!

  14. That Lola. Problem child :-) But all the brilliant ones are, right? And Lola is DEFINITELY brilliant, as I am privileged to know! You can do it!

    What Vincent Cassels movies? Have you seen the Viggo Mortensen Russian gangster one? Good! How about Le Pacte des Loupes? Good! He is one creepy dude. Can't WAIT for Black Swan!!!!


  15. "Have you seen these toilets? They're GINORMOUS!"
    I also watched Love Actually, big surprise here but Colin Firth & Hugh Grant's stories are my favorite.
    The part with the American girls asking the brit to say bottle, staw and so on always makes me laugh. But also hits a little to close to home as I am a brit-o-phile.

  16. Aw ((HUGS)) Hang in there. I know you will whip LOLA into shape and we will all fall in love with her as much as Anna. And I can't WAIT to go buy copies of ANNA for everyone I know.

    Also, Elf is made of win. I watched it this weekend too!

  17. Oh, big hug for you! It sucks when you don't want to write. I think actually the only cure for it is a little wallowing in Christmas movies and sipping of tea, and then. Then you can at least sit down and try.

    I think it's all connected to that other terrifying wonderful thing. How can you really focus on something else when Anna is out there, on her way to college, and there is nothing you can do but imagine everything that could and will happen to her, and receive text messages and brief phone calls every now and then?

    By the way - do not forget that those messages and calls are EXTREMELY FANTASTICALLY positive.

    Which is part of the problem, I know, because how can the next child do equally well when her math is not near as good as her sister's? But don't worry. Lola has other talents, maybe even better ones. I bet she'll be a drama major and star inn all the plays.

    December 2nd is SO CLOSE and you deserve to rest your head a little! Now, have some more tea <3

  18. My favorite line: "I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite."

    Best of luck with Lola! My MC is Alanna, and she's been digging her heels in for a couple weeks now. But maybe we're both due for a breakthrough!

  19. I do not want to write.

    But I want to be a writer.

    Now entered in my list of fave writing quotes ever.