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I just got notice from my publisher (who happens to be me) that $37.08 in royalties have been direct deposited to my bank account.

I would tell myself to not spend it all in one place, but it’s a little late for that.

And lest you think I’m disappointed in this number, I should clarify that I’d rather make $37.08 on a high-quality book that came straight from my (tattooed) heart than make $3708.00 writing something awful (imagine being Todd Akin‘s press secretary!).

It’s all good.

Doesn’t Everyone Do These Things?

One thing that’s confused and challenged me about people’s reactions to The Tattooed Heart is that many of my friends, people who I feel “at one with,” find Gracie to be sort of… other. In a sermon that draws on The Tattooed Heart; a book on Christianity by Diana Butler Bass; and 1 Thessalonians 5: […]

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Keeping the Spirit in Spiritual: A Sermon on The Tattooed Heart

NOTE:  This beautiful sermon, based on 1 Thessalonians 5: 19 “Do not quench the spirit” and The Tattooed Heart was delivered on June 10, 2012 by The Rev. Dr. June Goudey, Pastor of the United Church of Christ, in Simi Valley, California. Vacations are good for many things, among them restoring one’s energy and quenching […]

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Arts Patronage, Anyone?

There’s a reason why most artists hate marketing their own work, and this is it: You can create, or you can market, but unless you’re a very rare person indeed, you’re going to have trouble doing both at once. And unless you’re a very rich person indeed, you’re going to be doing your creating and […]

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Two Books a Year Aren’t Enough??

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This is the first news that’s made me feel glad I’m not a best-selling author:  Last week, the NY Times reported that Lee Childs, Lisa Scottoline, and other A-list genre writers are now expected to crank out two books a year instead of one, because we, their avid readers, can’t wait a whole 11 months […]

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Arghhhh, I Forgot to Mention My Novel!

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Last week, I was invited to read at the 6th Annual Edgy Moms Event, part of the acclaimed Brooklyn Reading Works series. This pre-Mother’s Day jam drew more than 50 people to hear six short stories written by local author moms—and the last person up was me, reading my 1994 opus, “How I Learned to […]

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Is Gracie, Heroine of The Tattooed Heart, Really Me?

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At one of Ellen Greenfield‘s and my recent book launch parties I told this story during Q&A: My husband was working in Europe (he’s a musician), and before he left, I asked him to read The Tattooed Heart. (Since he’s not a novel reader, I’d never asked him to do this before, but hey, since […]

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After the Launch Party’s Over

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After not one but two book launch parties in a ten-day period, I feel like Cinderella surveying the wreckage of the ball. It’s not so much that I miss the excitement, the attention, the kudos, and the champagne (though I do!).  It’s that—once the guests have left with their autographed copies—I’m faced with the next […]

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Writing Those Disturbing Parts

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It’s no secret that there are some unsettling scenes in The Tattooed Heart. and my sister Judy, who’s a diversity consultant up in Rhode Island, called today to ask how on earth I’d managed to write them. In fact, I just followed the axiom attributed to Red Smith, that “Writing is easy.  You sit down […]

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Is Having a Baby Like Birthing a Book?

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The last time I gave birth was 23 years ago.  When the nurse at Methodist Hospital put Laurika into my arms, I was almost too exhausted and full of demerol to care.  (There was also the mild distraction of my soft-spoken Korean OB-GYN running out into the hallway to scream bloody murder over the mismatched […]

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17 Minutes a Day

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It seems like ancient history now, but the first draft of The Tattooed Heart (ultimately, there were 4) was done in 17 minutes a day over a period of 10 months. At the time I had a young child and was working 80-100 hours a week writing corporate speeches and stage shows.  There was never […]

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What the New Tat Says

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And here’s how it happened.

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The Tattooed Arm (Mine)

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Well, it “had to” happen eventually, and after 32 years, it did:  My second tattoo. In The Tattooed Heart, the heroine’s best friend Blondell mentions being tattooed by the legendary Carol “Smokey” Nightingale, in his shop behind the Greyhound bus station in Washington, D.C. I was actually the person who got tattooed by Smokey, back […]

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Science Ink

Some of the erudite and witty tattoos in Carl Zimmer’s new book on tattoos of the “science obsessed” are also gorgeous. Do you have to be a scientist to get a science-oriented tattoo? Do you have to know something about science? Anything??  

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Another Tattoo?

I’m not really a tattoo person — obviously, since I only have one.  But I’ve been thinking lately that it would be good, or cool, or whatever, to get another one before The Tattooed Heart comes out in April.  Which means getting it soon because, if I remember correctly, they take about six weeks to […]

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Hearts and Drops of Blood

What do you do when your lover has died?  If you’re Gracie, heroine of The Tattooed Heart, you hit the road looking for salvation.  In 6 weeks, you’ll find out if she finds it…

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How Gracie Got on the Road

When I was in my early 20s, I briefly sang backup for a kick-ass Latin band called Estrella Negra (Black Star), in San Francisco.  Unfortunately, I don’t speak Spanish and never got the hang of rolling the r’s in the band’s name, so, with regrets, they fired me. I was heartbroken.  My friend Michael, the […]

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It Was Easier to Write the Book

OK, maybe not! Writing the book actually took about 10 years (or rather, took place over a period of 10 years), and there wasn’t anything easy about it at the time.  But writing a novel is a terrible compulsion, so most of the time you’re acting compulsively.  You’re not relying on discipline to get you […]

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