Hey guys. WHat’s going on? I’m listening to this song by Okkervil River. Each fall, I rediscover Okkervil River.

It’s at Soundfix which is a place I hung out at all the time in Brooklyn. I made my very first Brooklyn friend there–Angela. She was the bartender. Now she’s married and pregnant. I always said I would have a child at thirty, she texted me a couple of months ago.  Me too…so I have four more years I said.

If I write another book, which I may or may not do (I’m scared to commit to stuff) it will say this:

What picks you up from down, unless it’s tricks, man? When I’ve been fixed I am convinced that I will not get so broke up again.

–Unless It Kicks by Will Sheff, Okkervil River

I had fun at the Literary Mixtape. Here’s a photo of Peyton Marshall, Micheal Heald and I. Michaels book of essays GOODBYE TO NERVOUS APPREHENSION (book titles look too angry that way) let me do it correctly: Goodbye To Nervous Apprehension will be out in November. I’ve read a couple of the essays and really like them. At Mixtape I read Elizabeth Berg, Gregory Sherl, and my dear friend, Mary Miller.

At Literary Arts last week

What else? I’m collecting books faster than I can read them. On my bed right now is How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley and Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles. On the desk is My Heart Is An Idiot by Davy Rothbart and under the desk is Valencia by Michelle tea. Here’s an excerpt from that book that I really like.

On Valencia Street I discovered coffee. Life became expansive, it grew outward.  My insides bubbled over onto the Mission streets I walked, high on my new beverage.  I hadn’t known it was a drug, that you didn’t drink it so much as you did it.  I had always thought it another bitter beverage that adults drank, like alcohol, only I understood the purpose of liquor, while coffee was a hot, dark mystery, a nasty stew.  I don’t know why I started drinking it except that there were so many coffeehouses in San Francisco and it seemed right to sip the stuff while sitting there, hunched over my papers like all the scruffy students and poets, each at our own round tables with warm cups and purpose.  Then bing wham zip, my blood became charged, became something else, and I was smarter, my brain some kind of cornucopia of thought.  And I was happier.  Not that I had been depressed, but you can always take a good mood a little further.  I felt joyful, and excited, very excited, as if the sidewalk outside the café were about to erupt into some magnificent carnival and I was on the edge of my seat brimming with thought, sinking into my notebook quick before life bumped up against me like a big animal and took me in its jaws.  It is a fact that people who drink coffee are less likely to commit suicide. A study somehow came to this conclusion.  But Willa was trying to get me to quit my new friend Coffee.  She said it made my eyes get all buggy like I was on drugs for real.  I tried not drinking any coffee because she promised that once you got past the first three days of coffee you could wake up in the morning and drink a glass of orange juice and have all this energy and inspiration and it was great.  I’d been drinking orange juice off and on my whole life, without coffee, and had never experiences any druglike sensation from it, but since Willa actually started to avoid me during the earlier part of the day, when the effects of the caffeine were stronger, I figured why not give it a try.

That excerpt is great. My mom always tells me I act crazy when I drink coffee but she’s my mom, so she’s exaggerating.

I feel like I’ve been going out a lot. I saw the FOUND magazine/Davy Rothbart event at Powell’s last week. It was wonderful. I got my book signed.

Last night I went to the Tinhouse event at Holocene last night and saw Lisa Ciccarello and Jon Raymond read. Earlier in the day I read at Powell’s as a surprise Wordstock thing. Here’s the awesome Wordstock people.

Yesterday at Powell’s

Oh and speaking of Wordstock, it’s this Saturday and Sunday. I think I’m going at least for a little while both days. I’m reading at 4pm on Sunday with Kevin Sampsell. Here’s the list to all the readings and workshops.

 This essay by Erika Kleinman is really great. Tell me some essays you love in the comments or via email:

Here’s an essay about writing about moms  in the New York Times and, just for fun, here’s a photo of my mom and I looking like we’re saying our vows.

I’ll leave you with this video of Cheryl Strayed at Back Fence PDX. She tells a tale of body image, her photo shoot with VOGUE and Grease, the musical.

One last thing: I’m reading at The Funhouse at 8pm on Monday for a new reading series called Truth or Fiction.



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