Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

I thought I'd try this weekly meme because I've been struggling with what to write in this space. I always want to be here, writing posts, sharing thoughts, but then I find myself at a terrible loss, staring at the blank screen. As a result, as a default, as you've probably noticed, melancholy Melissa comes out to play on the blog.  As in, everyone is skipping and patty-caking, and I'm all, look at the dead bird.

So. Let's try this. Shall we?

What I'm Reading

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. This book is fascinating. I've lived a good, long, life wondering why I feel uncomfortable in many social situations and, the more I read, the more I understand what's behind a lot of this discomfort: an extrovert ideal, a shift that took place in the 1920's and has permeated society since. Now, I understand why the stimulus of Toy Fair sends me into a panic. I know the psychology behind my coping mechanism at cocktail parties.  I get why I can not thrive in office brainstorms. All of these 'shortcomings' have really upset me in the past and now the awkward puzzle pieces finally fit. I've been forced to fit my personality into an ideal that doesn't suit who I am. Major. Enlightenment. I'm going to have a lot to say about this book when I finish.

What I'm Writing

I'm working on revisions with my agent for RABBIT ISLAND to prepare for submission (!)  I've begun research for, what shall be known from here on out as, The Oyster Book.

What Inspires Me Right Now

Let's see...the power of introverts, oysters, friends who live their dreams, the complexity of sky, rediscovering Amy Winehouse's Back to Black Album, the lyric I'm a tiny penny rolling up the walls inside.  And as always, New York City, its two rivers, my writing tree in bloom, mornings on the subway rattling, bunched up, next to, near a stranger.

What Else I've Been Up To

I traveled briefly to sunny Florida and wandered through a professional golf tournament this past weekend. I read and have been inspired by the manuscripts of friends. I received deliveries and library alerts of books by women I admire.  I've gone to work each day. I look for new work. There have been dinners with friends, first birthday parties. Our first anniversary approaches, soon to reflect on a year as wife.

Well. Look at that. I liked doing this meme very much.

What's up with you this Wednesday?

For more What's Up Wednesday, check it out: here.


  1. So happy you joined us this week! I heard about that Power of Introverts book a couple months ago and have been meaning to check it out. It sounds like a great book.

    Don't you love researching for a new project? I think the planning stage is one of the most fun parts of writing, but I'm also kind of partial to revisions. (Yes, I'm crazy. ;-)) Sounds like you've been doing a lot of great things lately. This time of year just always feels full of great things which is why I love it so much. :-)

  2. You made me laugh out loud (after which several people looked at me; I'm at the library) with "I'm all, look at the dead bird."

    I read Quiet last year when it first came out, and it was life-changing for me. Oh, to be validated for all the things I thought were wrong with me... I just can't even tell you how much I loved that book. I've since given it to family and friends and have had amazing conversations about it. I think every teacher, and for that matter, anyone who works with children or is raising children, should be required to read it, don't you?

    I like the idea of the meme. I may copy it because I struggle too, despite always wanting to post something.

    And you have a writing tree? How inspiring! Happy Wednesday, Melissa. :)

  3. I've been wanting to read the Susan Cain book for about a year sounds great. I've come to understand and accept myself as an introvert, but growing up with two extrovert parents it was sometimes hard to distinguish between characteristics and failings. Still, I think it helped prepare me for being a mother: I have one EXTREME extrovert child (considering that my husband and I are both introverts, we usually stare at her in shock :) and one introvert child (and one who's too soon to call ;), but it really helps knowing that the two of them have very different needs and comfort zones.
    I like the idea of the weekly meme! It's nice to see what you're up to in general.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful book and love the way it has helped you.

  5. I need to read QUIET. I feel like now that I'm turning into an adult, learning about introverts v. extroverts, and discovering how perfectly normal it is to be one, I want to go back and relive my childhood with all that knowledge. I wonder how different an experience it would be...

    Revisions are fun (and tough) but fun, too! It's so great to get that improved story at the end. And yours will be going out on sub, how exciting! Wishing you all the good luck on that :)

  6. I love that you have a writing tree! I should really go out in my yard and try writing under my trees sometime. The Oyster Book sounds very intriguing. Hope your revisions are going well and that you enjoy diving into this new project! Oh, and I'm glad you decided to join our meme! :)

  7. "As in, everyone is skipping and patty-caking, and I'm all, look at the dead bird." I love that line so much. And I don't know what it is for me either, how I shift in and out of really struggling about what to write on my blog. I suppose I just get depleted and need some time to fill up. And I imagine, if you're revising your novel, with an agent, and you've determined that it's just really hard... that's got to be draining. But I still love that you show up and give us honesty.

  8. The dead that. I like your meme and it reminded me I need to post about the Susan Cain book - fabuloso. The Oyster Book - already sounds tasty! Have a great Wednesday!

  9. I've had similar blogger's block--thanks Erin and Jaime! :)

    I'm an introvert, too, and I've heard so many things about Cain's book! I've read snippets here and there, but not the whole thing. I'm interested to hear more of your thoughts!

    Also, as a fellow introvert, I really feel that brainstorms are the WORST. Seriously the worst.

  10. This is fun -- I like the new meme (and the little button that goes with it is so pretty). :D And I am excited to read more about oysters. I am already fascinated.

    Happy almost-first anniversary. I can't believe it's been a year since your wedding! *jaw drops*

  11. Good luck going out on submission! How exciiiiiting!

  12. Congratulations on being close to going out on submissions. I can't wait to buy a copy of the finished product. It's a great feeling when you get to read your peers work and you've had a sneak peek in the process of it becoming a book.

    I'm always telling my daughter to "act" when she is in social situations. She is great on stage, but needs to know how to pull that skill into a real life skill. I do it all the time.


  13. Big congrats for edging closer to submissions!

    On Wednesday, I picked up gr-daughters from school and we went to DQ for ice cream. They told me everything about their day in 1st and 3rd grades.

  14. I read that book as well, Melissa. I am an introvert for sure. Altho many people misunderstand this whole introvert/extrovert thing and they doubt me, saying "but you're not shy at all." No, I'm not. But I am recharged and refueled in spending time alone, and get pretty drained from being around a lot of people. I wonder if most writers are introverts? It's such an introspective endeavor that required so much alone time. I'd think a strong extrovert might struggle if put in that situation a lot...