The Sirenland Writers Conference: Before I Depart for Italy

sirenlandBG1The countdown is finally over.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Italy. First, I’m off to Rome to see some of the sights and meet up with some fellow workshoppers, and then we’re traveling via Naples down to Positano for the Sirenland Writers Conference. I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be working with Meg Wolitzer at the workshop. I submitted the first three chapters of my novel, The 13th Continuum. It will be interesting to see how they fare in the light of day, not just sequestered on my laptop, or zipping from my agent to various publishing entities.

Now this trip comes not without it’s hiccups. Our airline—of course THE ONE airline we chose to book—has decided to go on strike and cancelled our original flights. That left us scrambling with our travel agent to find new ones. As I write this post, our brand new tickets on a different airline are hopefully being issued. Oh, and my BRAND NEW iPhone melted down yesterday, requiring an emergency trip to the Apple Store for a new one.

I’m saying goodbye to Ryker, my trusty pooch, this morning. I was supposed to have him for another day since we had a later flight, but now we have to leave early in the AM. He’s off to his doggie place, which is a bit like doggie camp. I think it’s harder on me than him. The pet taxi is due to arrive at any moment. I’ll miss the little fur ball.

Through all this bumps and scrambling I’m just trying to hold the vision in my mind of Italy and Prosecco and Calamari and the Amalfi Coast and working with tremendous writers. Writing can feel like such a solitary task, but we benefit from stepping away from our desks, shutting our laptops, and interacting with other human beings. That’s why attending this conference was so important to me. In addition to Meg, there will be other amazing writers in the house, including Dani Shapiro and Andre Dubus.

I’ll try to check in from the road, but if not I’ll write a recap right here!


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Harvardwood Publishing Announcement

harvardwood_ 2I’m excited to announce that I’m the new Associate Director of Harvardwood Publishing! You can follow us on Twitter—@HarvardwoodPub.

We’re relaunching our imprint this spring with a variety of exciting new events. Harvardwood Publishing has teamed with the Harvard Review, and we are bringing out a joint anthology in late March, which will feature the work of Joyce Carol Oates, John Ashbury, David Foster Wallace, Seamus Heaney and many other major writers who have contributed to the Harvard Review. Over the course of this year, we will be publishing other anthologies, featuring new writers and with an emphasis on writing from the West Coast.

Also, we’re launching a series of literary workshops in Los Angeles this spring on a variety of topics (including one coming up that I’ll be teaching):

Please visit the Harvardwood Literary Workshop page for more information.

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Happy Love Day!


I think Valentine’s Day needs to be rebranded into Love Day!

Enough with this couples-only corporate holiday with mandated prix fixe overpriced dinner out… just spread the love today. Love who you are. Love what you do. Love those around you.

So happy Love Day!

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Today’s Inspiration—Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”

We are stardust.
Billion year old carbon.
We are golden.
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.

—Joni Mitchell, Woodstock (from Ladies of the Canyon)

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My Personal Essay in xoJane—How I Got Over My Obsession with Having a Picture Perfect Engagement

Jennifer Brody Wedding Picture

I published a personal essay in xoJane, one of my favorite websites. It’s spurred a lot of views and comments (over 500 so far and counting). Clearly I hit a nerve.

How I Got Over My Obsession with Having a Picture Perfect Engagement

Even after ten years in a happy relationship, my boyfriend showed zero interest in popping the question — so I took matters into my own hands.

Click here to read the essay on xoJane!

I also want to announce that I’ve been accepted to Sirenland Writers Conference in Italy, founded by Dani Shapiro. In addition to Dani Shapiro, the instructors this year include Meg Wolitzer and Andre Dubus. I’ll be in a ten person workshop with one of them. I’m thrilled to be one of the lucky attendees.

So raise a glass to a…

Happy New Year & Great Writing in 2014

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