Saturday Six

Here’s what’s happening this week in my world…keep reading for how to enter a giveaway for an ITunes gift card!

1. Fact or Fiction? Today I’m on Writer Unboxed with a post called Gender Bias: Fact or Fiction about three things that got me thinking about whether men have an edge over women in the publishing and writing world. Here’s the beginning:

 Lest you think I’m a ‘man-hating feminist,’ let me assure you I am not. In fact, I like to think that in my day-to-day life mine is a pretty equal world—all things considered. But when I hear things that make me think that women aren’t equal (for whatever reason), I pay attention…

A huge thank you to my wonderful daughter for taking time (on very, extremely short notice) from her busy job to give me her insight and help in editing this piece.

2. Diary of the Fall. This week I also had my first post on the Great New Books blog! I wrote about Diary of the Fall by Michel Laub and translated by Margaret Jull Costa. It’s about three generations of diarists, and it’s an interesting book on many levels—for me it was most interesting in its structure: nonlinear in nature and very short chapters. I hope you’ll take a look at the post, here’s an excerpt.

Lately I’ve been fascinated with nonlinear stories—in fact I’ve been searching them out. That’s how I stumbled onto Diary of the Fall written by Michel Laub and translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

This story of three generations of men—all diarists—is told through the eyes of a single narrator: a forty-something (unnamed) man, who relives and retells the story of a dangerous prank he and other Jewish thirteen-year-olds at an elite school in Brazil play on their one non-Jewish classmate, João. At João’s thirteenth birthday party, the boys decide as a group to drop João during a ceremonial “13-bumps” tradition, and João is seriously injured in “the fall.”

3. That giveaway. I’m putting together a new play list for the WIP I’ll write during NaNoWriMo. If anyone can guess what I’m writing about based on this playlist, you’ll win a $10 gift card from ITunes. Here’s a screenshot of the songs I’m listening to in repeat while I’m in planning mode.

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 6.42.20 AM

click to enlarge

Not that this will necessarily help you with your guess, but my favorite song so far is “Cool Kids” by EchoSmith. (I never was one of the cool kids, by the way, maybe that’s why.) Seriously, leave a comment and if you guess correctly (or even close!), I’ll send you that gift card.

4. It just goes on and on. We’re still in the midst of one of the most prolonged and beautiful falls I can remember. In fact, we’re just about “at peak.” The colors are dazzling and distracting and stunning…I can’t think of enough descriptors, so how about another photo?


This sugar maple next to a neighbor’s house is what I’m talking about…dazzling right?

5. King Tide. I missed the lunar eclipse but caught the “King Tide,” the year’s highest astronomical tide, and it was something. I stood on the tiny piece of remaining shore on Cousins Island Beach and let the water wash over my sandaled feet. Yes, it’s still been that warm here…in Maine…in October. It’s amazing and wonderful.


This is all that was left of the beach during King Tide!

6. Can’t break the habit! MEH (My Engineer Husband) and I gave up cable TV a few years ago—actually right around when I first started blogging. Now, instead, we binge watch TV. (No, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me either, except that we no longer have a cable TV bill.) We’ve gone through Rescue Me, The Guardian, The Mentalist, Castle, The Mindy Project, and now we’re about to wind up Chuck. Any suggestions on what we should start next would be greatly appreciated. Clearly we like an eclectic mix but tend to like quirky and shows that have (at least some) humor and a lot of mystery.

How are things in your corner of the world? What are you writing and watching and listening to? Don’t forget to guess what my new WIP is about, and you could win that ITunes gift card.




  1. Julia — Another non-linear book you may want to check out is “February” by Lisa Moore. It takes place in the beautifully harsh landscape (and surrounding sea) of Newfoundland.

    As to your WIP… perhaps it’s about a kid who definitely takes his lumps during the growing-up years, but comes out the other side none the worse for wear. If that’s the case, you may want to add “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.

    Avid readers, we haven’t owned a television for over 34-years so I can’t make any type of suggestions there.

    • Thanks so much for the book recommendation, Laurie! I’ll definitely check out February. And thanks for your guess on my WIP — but I’m sorry to say you’re incorrect. I love the idea, however, and maybe it will be next 😉

  2. Nancy Fernandez says:

    I read your article in Writers Unboxed. What on earth do you mean by “man-hating feminist”? Are you beating that tired old drum of feminist = man-hater? It’s so stereotyped, so incorrect.

    When my intellectual daughter was six, she asked me, “What is feminism?” Here’s how I explained it to her: Imagine you’re a grown woman and you’re treated like a child. This is what feminism says is wrong. She said through clenched teeth, “It’s bad enough when you really are a child.” She understood. Please try to understand this yourself.

    And BTW, “guys” is not a proper appellation for everyone. It’s a strictly male word and a pejorative word in a way. Any male can be a “guy”; it takes a male person of substance to be a man.

    • Hi Nancy, Thanks so much for finding me on my blog. I appreciate your comments, and want to assure you that I put “man-hating feminist” in quotes to point out that it is a construct developed by other women/men who don’t understand that feminism is important (I do). Nice to meet you and hear your thoughts! So glad you found me on Writer Unboxed, thanks for reading. Best, Julia

  3. Nina says:

    I think you’re writing a young adult novel!?? Am I right?

    And I LOVE The Mindy Project. I find her so refreshing.

    • Actually it IS a young adult novel!!!! If you can narrow it down a little more, you may be the winner of that card! (Yes, The Mindy Project is so so funny and refreshing. I love her supporting cast of characters, too).

  4. Fun! Right now my hubby and I are watching The Office, which is way better than I expected and very funny. As to the WIP… Is it a romance/relationship book about a teen? With time travel involved? I’m thinking it’s either that or a teen who brings back a dead parent? My goodness, that doesn’t sound like something you’d write. I might be way off the cuff here, haha.

    • Well, you are VERY good at this game. Yes, time travel (of sorts, magical realism) is indeed involved, and although a dead parent is not brought back, dead parents and grandparents are involved (not brought back except in memory/travels)!! Pretty impressive! You are the winner of an ITunes gift card!

  5. NaNoWriMo edges ever closer! Good luck, Julia! I know if anyone can get to 50,000 words in a month, you can.

    I love the idea of a playlist to keep up the motivation. Do you select songs that you think your characters would listen to, or songs that remind you of the plot in a general way? When I was writing my novel set in the 1940s I listened to a lot of Big Band music, but as I write my WIP which is set in France, I’ve been listening to Edith Piaf. 🙂

    • Thank you for rooting me on, Jackie!! I’m feeling apprehensive this year (to be honest) so I need all the cheering on I can get! You ask such an interesting question. With my last WIP (set in the 1960s), just like with your novel set in the 1940s, most of the songs were ones that the characters would/could listen to. This playlist is primarily made up of songs that remind me of the plot — or even fuel certain feelings that “take me” to the characters emotionally. As for Edith… I had to go and look her up but once I heard her voice in “Non, Je ne regrette rien” I immediately remembered her. So cool that she’s your “channel.” What’s your favorite of hers?