"The Knitting Story," Tin House Summer Reading 2015
"She knits because it frightens her to read..."
Excerpt from "How To Lose your Virginity," from Reeling Through Life
"But it is so far away from me, up there on-screen; I want this, for absolute real, and I'm not even sure what this means..."
"List Item #10 — The Motel Room" - excerpt from The List
She shifts her weight, she's sweating, so he hears her skin peel off plastic, and he's thinking about lurid hearts, slick flesh on full, exposed view, getting that deep, and he suddenly sees the revealed, deep inside of her...."
"A Heart, Beating" - excerpt from The List"
He took her hand, kissed her little finger. Sweet, he said. Then he bit until the finger pad went white and strained. It was some kind of victory, that he still cared enough to want to cause her pain...."
They’re in Needles for the night. At least, that was the plan. But Rick had shut his cell phone off against her early in the day’s white glare, and she’d lost sight of the weaving truck after his angry cutoff on the westbound I-40, just past the Arizona border. Day’s end she spotted the heat-rippled Needles off-ramp, and the Motel 6 sign. Worth a try. She has her panting, paw-sweating little dog with her, and all Motel 6s take little dogs—it’s been their chain of choice the last three nights since leaving Des Moines..."
"He spotted her immediately from – his word – afar. The Famous
had espied her sylvan, fragile beauty at once, he tells her on their first date..."
"I discovered my parents' porn stash when I was around nine or ten, home sick from school, queasy, mildly feverish, forlorn, achy, and itching to discover something...."
"Are You Somebody?"
"I live in Los Angeles, so I live by the same rule all my single girlfriends do: Don’t date an actor. We respect the stereotype. Actors are self-involved, self-obsessed. Actors are superficial. Actors are fucked-up. Actors are trouble. An actor is a guy, Marlon Brando once said, who if you ain’t talking about him, ain’t listening. Ask an actor a question, he’ll tell you his credits, as Neil Simon says. “Even Laurence Olivier is probably vain and self-centered,” Mia Farrow says in Rosemary’s Baby, complaining about her actor-husband, who, as we soon learn, is not only vain and self-centered, but, in a career-advancing move, is actually in league with Satan himself..."
"I haven’t left the apartment in nine months. My current boyfriend Paul has tried. He’s tried to lure me outside with tickets to the Hollywood Bowl or the Greek, lobster dinners on the Santa Monica Pier, a drive to the outlet mall in Camarillo for shoes. He combs LA Weekly in search of compelling exterior events. He seeks to entice me with unmuggy, azure-sky’d days, with dove gray rain days, with his twilight-walk-on-the-beach idea of romance..."
"The Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Innocent"
...Of course, not drawing from our lives, not writing the "real" life story that draws blood, that pains us, is often what keeps it safe. The writing and the life.... But how much, as a writer, am I willing to pay for my work? How much am I willing to earn?