Monday, March 31, 2008


Holly Kennedy's next book is out April 1, 2008.
This is number three. Her first one was THE TIN BOX and then her second was THE PENNY TREE (Booksence Notable) and now THE SILVER COMPASS
I thought it fitting to use a quote from my all-time favorite movie. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension
(Wherever you go? Compass. Direction? Get it?)
Why is this fitting? Why is this my favorite movie? And why should you care?
What does writing books have to do with Buckaroo Banzai? Particle Physicist...Rocket Scientist...Neurosurgeon and Rock Star? (A guy after my own heart considering my career history)?
It's this.
Each time I rave about how wonderful this movie is and play it to anyone who happens to be my best friend at the time - They hate it. They roll their eyes. They fall asleep. They decide they have to go home at 10 PM on a Saturday night and clean their bathroom or something...well not everybody...but most everybody...
I eventually decided that liking this movie would be my main criteria for selecting friends...if they understood the phrase "PENNY GET OFF THE PHONE" or "WE WILL NO LONGER BE SELLING LITHIUM ON CREDIT"
It was why I married my husband. It was his favorite movie too...

With Holly's book released and Lottery trade paperback soon to be out AND everything else going on, I thought I'd talk about a DIRTY LITTLE SECRET...
I got your attention now. You won't know anything about it until you've published your first novel. Are you ready?
Not everyone will like your book. Just like the fact that not every body loves Buckaroo Banzai.
GASP! There. I've said it.
Let me tell you I was thrown for a loop! Now REALLY!
How a single offhand comment on Goodreads calling me "full of myself" because of a required letter to the booksellers placed at the front of my ARC could send me into a dither of self analysis and straight to a couch and talking to a shrink...well maybe I exaggerate...
I did however stumble upon a vociferous online debate by readers (none of whom actually read my book) -discussing that between Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Forest Gump --we don't need any more books about people with mental challenges...especially ones who win the lottery... thankyouverymuch.
Maybe I'm a tad sensitive...maybe I am too self absorbed.
Maybe it's NOT all about me (I highly doubt this but I included it just to be on the safe side)
My friend Holly had great advice:
"Get used to it. Ignore it. And get back to writing that next book."


Now I'll get my tongue out of my cheek and my hand off your leg and stop pulling.
As a writer you can rationalize and understand intellectually that your book will not resonate with everyone.
We know this but they never tell you in new-author-school that people will have strong opinions about your book even though they haven't necessarily read it. That people will talk about your book's cover in great detail but not the content.
Too bad. Move on.
It's true.
All right. My soap box (the diatribe not the derby) is well and truly done.
I got it now.
Not everyone will enjoy my book.
There. I said it.
But like when my seventh grade teacher told me, "... everybody in the world one lives forever..."
I really thought that I would be the exception...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


At least that's what my mother always said each time a boy broke up with me...

I didn't believe her until I moved aboard ORION and discovered that yes, there ARE plenty of fish in the sea...
While I have my feet up and devour bonbons as it is SPRING BREAK I will wax philosophical.
The characters in my current novel are wildly uncooperative. They are totally unmanageable. Was it something I said? Was it something I did? Maybe I was too lax. Too permissive.
My husband said I needed to take a firmer hand with them when they were younger.
"Look at HOLLY KENNEDY'S characters!" He said "They don't act like that."
It's true.
Other author's characters are exemplary citizens. They're passing their classes. Attending good universities. Marrying excellent spouses who are doctors and lawyers.
Not mine.
Mine are spending nights going from bar to bar. Sleeping until noon. Unemployed or in the process of getting laid off.
No morals. Untrustworthy.
I know for a fact they're stealing from me. I had a twenty-dollar bill in my purse just yesterday and now it's gone.
What's a writer to do?
I've sacrificed everything for them and this is how they repay me.
I have WAY TOO much imagination today.
It's just like the fish. There are plenty of characters out there to choose from.
I think it's time to turn mine back in and pick out another batch.
What about you?
How do you punish unruly characters?

Friday, March 21, 2008


Dear EX-Mac,
It's been a week now without you. I can't help but think you will regret this decision of yours. Sure we were used to each other. Sure we started to take each other for granted but you never gave me a chance to do back up or even go for counseling...
I miss all my thesis proposal (that was a real unnecessary and petty retaliation on your part). I appreciate that you at least gave me the courtesy of allowing me to have all my manuscripts on thumb drives but losing my homework for my very last PhD class? That was below the belt.
What ever happens with the rest of your life -- I hope you are happy with your choice of the mac tech service person -- Dustin is his name? If you ask me you'll regret it.
Oh and I haven't let myself sit around and mope. No sir! I'm going out with a new guy.
Here's his photo.

He's a LOT YOUNGER THAN YOU!!!! And has MORE THAN ENOUGH GIGS to satisfy me. His cord is MUCH MUCH longer than yours but you know what they's not the length of the cord -- it's the energy that goes through it and he has plenty for me.
I want you to know that I have no hard feelings...really...other than I hope you rot forever in a pile of used computer parts I will try to be amicable as we did produce several wonderful projects together.
By the way LOTTERY will not be speaking to you ever again. He is really more my child than yours no matter what I can always depend on HIS support.
Good bye forever,
(oh and no matter what you say I KNOW it wasn't a power surge that lost me your love -- I remember those advertisements for Mac-Made-Easy that you left laying around. I should have been suspicious then but I thought you would NEVER EVER crash on me.
I was SO wrong.
Good bye and Aloha,
You can send all correspondence through my agent Dorian Karchmar of William Morris Agency. I WON'T be returning your calls.
Patricia Wood

My therapist thinks writing this letter will help me cope. I feel better already. For any of you bloggers who think I may have lost your emails please DO email me at
Sympathy cards can be sent to me care of William Morris Agency.
And a huge HUGE congratulations to all those who were long listed for the ORANGE PRIZE for fiction:

Anita Amirrezvani The Blood of Flowers
Stella Duffy The Room of Lost Things
Jennifer Egan The Keep
Anne Enright The Gathering
Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs
Tessa Hadley The Master Bedroom
Nancy Huston Fault Lines
Gail Jones Sorry
Sadie Jones The Outcast
Lauren Liebenberg The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam
Charlotte Mendelson When We Were Bad
Deborah Moggach In The Dark
Anita Nair Mistress
Heather O'Neill Lullabies for Little Criminals
Elif Shafak The Bastard of Istanbul
Dalia Sofer The Septembers of Shiraz
Scarlett Thomas The End of Mr Y
Carol Topolski Monster Love
Rose Tremain The Road Home
Patricia Wood Lottery

Monday, March 17, 2008



Sarah Michelle Gellar has bought the film option to LOTTERY
I am SO much a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
And that folks is just another Tuesday on ORION...

Thursday, March 13, 2008


According to Native American mythology these sandstone pillars were malevolent monsters turned to stone. Holly Kennedy says they are called Hoodoos. She is most likely lying.
I on the other hand considered them another opportunity to jump up and down in the front seat and beg Holly to stop the truck.

Then there were the Three Sisters we saw in Canmore. I had to pull the key out of the ignition here.

Which was another opportunity to insist that Holly pull over to the side of the road. She didn't slap me hard.
And then?
We had a book club discussion in Silver Tip.
It took a bit to get the crowd to settle down. They were really into rough housing.

During the reading they were quiet.Holly really knows how to get a group paying attention.

When we finished they didn't have any questions and left without buying any books...
what a rip off.
Holly apologized for driving off and forgetting me. I was lucky it was only three miles to the closest Starbucks...
How far would YOU walk for a skinny venti latte?

Monday, March 10, 2008



This is Elbow Falls where Holly will go with her dog, sit on a bench and edit. How can you not be inspired to write here?
I loved it so much I wanted a photo of myself in front of the falls.

This is just before Holly accidentally dropped her sunglasses over the edge. It only took me three trys to retrieve them. I totally understand why Holly had me ride back home on the roof. I was pretty wet.
The Doctor says I should regain feeling in my fingers and toes soon.
Thanks to Chumplet for the advice about the leafs. Too late. I bought a shirt on sale at the Calgary Airport. I figured showing my love of hockey would be a good thing...Although I didn't know Toronto wasn't in Aberta.
Hmmm...maybe THAT'S why I was attacked and wrestled to the ground in the parking lot at 7-11...

Sunday, March 09, 2008


10:20 pm and 46 degrees. Yes. That's right. FORTY-SIX.

I had to take the photos of the horses at the Calgary Airport.

Before I left Seattle I had an amazing discussion with the Northwest Airlines book club. Good food. Good conversation. Good questions. These ladies totally ROCK!

Okay now I'm in Canada. I had to go through customs. As soon as I saw the dogs I got a little nervous. I mean really... what if tooloose got the bright idea to sneak a little contraband catnip in my suitcase?
Customs lady: Why are you here in Canada?
Me:'m visiting.
Customs lady: Why are you visiting.
Me:'m visiting my author uh...I like her?
Customs lady. What is your friend's name.
NOTE* The customs lady is looking at me very sternly and motioning the dog over.
Me: (hopefully)Her name is Holly Kennedy. I'm an author too.
Customs lady: Did you bring your books?
NOTE* customs lady is frowning and I start sweating. She is OBVIOUSLY not a reader.
Me: one give her for like...uh a present you know...Doesn't anybody give you presents? Ha ha. (Laughs weakly)
Customs lady: (Not laughing)where does your friend live?

(Okay readers I have to say that I COMPLETELY had a black out temporary loss of memory)
I said um and er and gee and then took a guess.
Me: She lives in Calgary? (I figured since that's where I landed it would be a good guess.)
Well she let me go but I could tell she was reluctant...
Stay tuned for MORE adventures in Canada. Oh and I am really lucky Holly picked me up as I never took Canadian in school. Holly speaks fluent Canadian.
I'm learning.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Physics problem number one:
If it's 4 pm and 78 degrees in cold is it in Calgary and when will train A's path intersect with train B's.
And which DID come first? The chicken? Or the Egg?

Creature of the week:
The Sea Urchin. This is an unusual one. I think it's called the roughened sea urchin. It looks how I feel. All prickly.
I catch a plane in...5 hours and 3 minutes...
I get to visit my sister in Gig Harbor and sign some books for the Borders there and then I am ACTUALLY GOING TO EXPERIENCE WINTER.
Yes. It's true. I am going to Calgary, Canada. The land of the very cold people. I will sign some books and be entertained by Holly's family. I can hardly wait.
Holly promised me warm clothes.Boots. A warm bed. Food to eat. And two young children to torture. She also said I could play in the snow.
What could be better than that?
I will blog on the road.
Maybe Holly and I can having dueling blogs.
You'll find out what authors talk about when they get together...
So. My suit case is ALMOST packed.
What should I be sure to bring? And what should I bring back?