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Posts Tagged ‘Jamestown’

  1. Okay Insomnia, You Win

    July 2, 2012 by Dan

    Is it insomnia when your daughter wakes you up at 2:30 am to pee and you can’t go back to sleep because you find yourself obsessing about pressing matters like: the very likely possibility that you will paint the walls of your new apartment in startlingly ugly colors because you are drawn to these colors in life and in clothing and you don’t understand that they will look bad on walls, the pathetic nature of your Twitter feed, whether or not there will be any more judicial threats to the future of affordable health care in America (Roberts, you surprised me!), and the fact that you haven’t blogged in a while.

    Sounds like insomnia, doesn’t it?  So I guess it’s also an excuse to write a short blog post.  Sorry to those of you I emailed at 4 am.

    What have I been up to?

    Well, I went on a short upstate New York book tour (see photos) to Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca, New York, Off the Beaten Path in Jamestown, New York and the James Prendergast Library, also in Jamestown.  I went with my wonderful friend Madeleine George, playwright and author of the YAs Looks and The Difference Between You and Me.  Matt and Malka came too.  Our car broke down a lot (twice in one week actually and as I type this it’s newly broken down).   I got to see a lot of old friends and that was my favorite part.  My childhood friend Doris Malarkey came to see me at the library and had plenty of smart things to say about stalking and Facebook.  The backs of our houses faced each other and we used to signal to each other using our porch lights.  Two long blinks meant, I made it home through my fear of the yard at night!!  One short blink meant, Do you want to come over?  I learned how babies are made at Doris’ house and her family let me eat anything I wanted.  She also had the biggest board game collection of anyone I knew.  My first love’s parents came to the library too, Jeffrey and Michele Victor!!  I think I screamed a little when they walked in from the shock of seeing them.  They used to rattle the door of their son’s bedroom while we were making out in there, you know, just to make it more fun.  My grandma, Marilyn Spear, came to see me at Off the Beaten Path.  My mom went to everything (thanks Mom!).  My step-mom came.  I met a dear man named Gary who told me about some of the books he’d like to write, but can’t because his wife thinks they are stupid.  Go Gary!  I saw my friend Sandra Chu from graduate school and met her little daughter Pace, who is now four.  Pace spent the reading quietly coloring.  Impressive.  An excited man in Ithaca asked me, “What would stalking look like in 1950?”  Of course, I made some shit up.  I saw Bill Martin, Catherine Taylor, and Stephen Cope.  I talked so much about Prometheus to Catherine’s son, Emrys, that I think he decided not to see it.  Spoiler alert:  You will not recover from the robot machine stomach surgery scene.  I’m sorry, but you won’t.  This is extra true if you have a uterus.  My mom’s friends Freda, Judy, and Sylvia came to say hello.  Finally, and best of all, actual teenage readers came to hear me read from the book (there was even a teenage boy at the library event).  Yay!!!  Fun!!!




  2. On Cemeteries

    February 4, 2012 by Carley

    Okay, so maybe there’s something inherently random about writing your first blog post.  I’ve spent a couple of days wondering how to begin, and well, I’ve decided to just jump right in by, um, writing about cemeteries. Weird?  Maybe.  Maudlin? Perhaps.  But I was emo before it was even called that.

    What you should know about cemeteries and me:

    1. When I was ten, I went to a week-long day camp for history nerds.  We walked around my small upstate New York town, noticing architectural features on old houses and mooning around Lakeview Cemetery.  On the last day, our counselors gave us giant sheets of newsprint and charcoal to that we could conduct gravestone rubbings.  I loved transferring the ornate script of headstones onto paper that I could later hang up on my refrigerator.
    2. My second young adult novel, Cemetery Gates, is partially set in that same cemetery.  Its most famous feature is the grave of young woman by the name of Grace Galloway.  Her family memorialized her by building a life-size statue in her likeness and encasing it in glass.  Oh, and I think Lucille Ball is buried there too.
    3.  I grew up fascinated by the rumors and myths surrounding this young woman’s death.  We called her “the lady in the glass case.”  According to cemetery lore, she wandered the grounds at night, having escaped from her glass case.
    4. On a recent trip to Canada, my husband and I found this little Episcopalion cemetery across from our hotel.  We had a quiet walk on a misty morning.  I thought about the stories and secrets each grave holds.
    5. Stuff I’ve done in cemeteries: made out, played hide and seek, got lost, had a picnic, visited my grandmother, conducted a séance, and taught a class.
    6. My best friend Rosa and I often spent time after school walking around the cemetery.  We found it calming—a good place to hash out the torments of high school.
    7. For many years, my favorite Smiths song was “Cemetery Gates” (see number 2).