topamax 75

October, 2012

  1. Going Too Far Together

    October 28, 2012 by Carley

    So how do you get a hundred twelve and thirteen year-old girls to write together on a Friday afternoon at 1:30?  Well, you start by going to The Hewitt School, which already has in place a writing-based curriculum and a commitment to hosting writers of all kinds (thank you amazing Hewitt English teachers! and thank you to my friend and colleague, Maureen Burgess Chalfen, who is the Dean of Teaching and Learning in Humanities and the Chair of English Department at Hewitt and has worked so hard to bring writing-to-learn strategies from Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking to her school!).

    And then, I guess, you try to ask them a question they can’t resist answering.  More on that in a second.

    First, I want to say that I had a great time on Friday talking with Hewitt students about The Stalker Chronicles.  I shared some stalker-related images, I read two different scenes from the book, we wrote together and shared some of that writing, and we had a lively Q and A.  Hewitt students are excited, informed, and so supportive of one another!  I was impressed by how hard they worked and also how much fun we had together.  But it’s true, my favorite part of my two-hour visit was well, the writing.

    SPOILER ALERT!  After I read a scene from The Stalker Chronicles–the one in which my protagonist Cammie Bliss goes through her crush’s garbage–I asked students to “tell the story of a time when you or a character went too far.”  We freewrote (trying not to censor and or do much editing) for about ten minutes and then we each bracketed off a sentence or two to share with the larger group.  Check out the pictures above of students sitting on the floor of the gym and using their chairs as writing desks!

    The students wrote great pieces (both fictional and autobiographical) about girls who are curious, who want to take leaps, and who follow boys, friends, and teachers because they have questions they can’t get answered.  They wrote about girls who are brave, who are freaked out, and who’s bodies move through spaces and landscapes that don’t always fit.

    Thanks for writing with me Hewitt!



  2. Groupies!

    October 19, 2012 by Carley

    This new book I’m working on has got me thinking about groupies–their special tricks, how they used to look in the late 80s, their devotion, their role in rock and roll literature, and how they are a kind of expert stalker.  In some sense their over-the-top behavior is socially sanctioned, or at least expected.  I think the craziest groupie behavior I’ve read about has been in Motley Crue: The Dirt (forgive me Crue fans and Germans I cannot get my keyboard to make an umlaut and I kind of don’t care enough to do a help search on that shit).  My friend, Dave Smith, aka, Smoota, a rock god in his own right, told me to read this because it’s real and raw.  And it is–not surprisingly these guys are terrible pigs and the stuff women do for and with them sometimes breaks my tender feminist heart.  But I keep reading, you know, for the research.  Everyone (except of course for their billions of fans) hates these guys and they hate each other, and yet there are so many groupies doing just about anything with them in hot tubs, closets, and cars.

    The interweb tells me that a groupie is “a person who seeks sexual and/or emotional intimacy with a celebrity or other authority figure.”  Okay, that sounds about right.  I think it’s easy to overlook the emotional intimacy part and to focus on the sex.  I guess, because the sex part is, well, sexier.  I should probably say something here about Penny Lane, the groupie in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous who helped us see the more complicated, emotional role that groupies can play in the lives of bands.  I think she (Kate Hudson) even has a little monologue about this, but I haven’t seen the movie in a while and I’m a little scared to watch it because people keep saying, “Oh it’s like Almost Famous,” when I tell them about my book.  “No, it’s totally different!” I shout at them in my head, where things are always very emphatic or lately, I just say, “Yeah, it’s Almost Famous but for women.”  See, I’m ready to go to pitch meeting.

    I wasted a good hour of writing time yesterday looking at images of groupies online, and so now I will share them with you so that you can waste some of your precious time.  I’m especially partial to the one of Cynthia Plaster Caster staring lovingly (maniacally?) at one of her penis casts.  Check out the devotion of those Kiss groupies (the one in the middle is not actually naked) and also the sly looks of those 60s girls.