Retreat Day 4: Writing is Glam!

Yesterday, after suffering odd morning-dreams about people destroying my friend’s apartment with sledge hammers, I awoke to three strange men wielding power tools (TSMWPT). They were replacing my friend’s oven which, as I learned, is an all-day operation. They also took over the entire kitchen, forcing me across the street for coffee and a bagel. I love toasted everything bagels with cream cheese and tomatoes, so that was cool, except for the part where New York City is like out of tomatoes on account of salmonella or something. The guy looked at me like, lady, don’t you read the papers?

Newspapers? Newspapers! Damn it, Bagel Guy, I’m a writer, not a reader!

Anyway, after the oven ordeal, which included an big hole in the office wall with lots of wires and metal things poking out that I was ordered not to touch (right, and I was just thinking, “what do these wires do? What would happen if I twisted them together with my fork while blow-drying my hair and standing in a wash-basin full of water?”), I was finally rid of the TSMWPTs and ready to cook a nice dinner.

Ok, this next part is really gross and embarrassing so we’re going ESPN extreme highlights on this one.

*Begin movie guy announcer voice*

In a world where solitary writers go too long without contact from the outside…

  • Me: La la la, I’m making yummy dinner, la la la. I’m going to—wait, what the f*** was that?
  • CR: *Scampers across kitchen floor.* No, no scampers is the wrong word. Saunters is better. *Saunters across the kitchen floor.*
  • Me: What the f***?!!!! *Jumps on one foot repeatedly to reduce surface area of body touching its potential path*
  • CR: Hi! I’m the world’s biggest cockroach. And I am here to f*** you up. Booooo!
  • Me: What the f***?!!! OMG are you talking to me?
  • CR: Yes! And now is the part where I stalk you! *Stalk stalk stalk*
  • Me: Are you following me? Ewwwwww! Arhhhhhhhh! Why are you so big? Get away from me you f***ing many-legged exo-skeletal freak!
  • CR: You can run, but you can’t hide! *Stalk stalk stalk*
  • Me: *Has nervous breakdown, complete with full body sweat, the shakes, heart palpitations, crying, calling husband*
  • Alex: Bims, I’m seriously worried about you. *Offers complex kill strategy involving trapping, mushing, and scraping*
  • CR: Let’s see what happens if I go over here. *Saunter saunter saunter*
  • Me: It’s chasing me! Ewwwww ewww ewww it’s going to mate and multiply and crawl all over me in my sleep!
  • CR: Boo! Hahahah! I am going to eat you.
  • Alex: Just get a newspaper and—
  • Me: Arhhhhhh!!!! Ewwww! *Hangs up on Alex. Dials Pook, who is playing pool around the corner.*
  • Pook: What up? You wanna meet for a drink?
  • Me: Okay okay okay I know I’m crazy but you have to get here like right now oh my god f*** just get here okay f***ing now please?
  • Pook: What happened? Are you all right?
  • Me: There’s this giant crawly thing and he’s brown and shiny and stalking me and—
  • Pook: Are you f***ing serious?
  • CR: Wow, you really are ridiculous. Boo! *Stalk stalk stalk*
  • Me: Get here! I’m hyperventilating!
  • Pook: Hahahahaha okay, be right over (and by the way, sack up, you whiny bitch).

So, um, ya, my brother had to leave his pool game to come and do a perimeter sweep, which was sadly unsuccessful, and I was so creeped out that I couldn’t eat my dinner until like 2 hours later, and it’s all because the TSMWPT displaced this giant South American poisonous hissing cockroach when they put in the new oven. By the time I could go to sleep without freaking out about the bug, the sun was up and I then convinced myself that someone was in the apartment and I actually dialed 9-1-1 and had my finger hovering over the SEND button because I just knew that when I opened the door I’d see a murderer, a rapist, and a giant cockroach, and the roach would laugh and turn to the others and say, “See? I told you she was here all alone.”

When I told my agent parts of this story today, he just nodded and smiled looked at me in his patient, understanding, I’m-used-to-dealing-with-fruitloops-all-day way and said, “You’ve become Jack Nicholson in The Shining.”

Heeeeeeeere’s Sarah!

Just another day in the glamorous life of a writer in New York.

NYC Writers Retreat, Day 2

The view from last year’s Grand Lake retreat:

Grand Lake Docks


The view from this year’s NYC retreat:

Plip Plip Plop


Not the most pleasant retreat weather here in New York today, but the storms are working hard to keep me inside and writing. I love listening to the rain on the street, the shush of the cars, the occasional laughing scream as someone who forgot her umbrella runs for cover. The thunder rattles the windows, and though I have to keep my computer unplugged during the lightning show, I do love hearing the sky fall.

Last night, I had the A/C on in the bedroom and started hearing noises. I know it was probably rain and thunder, but in the moment, I was pretty sure someone was trying to break in (despite the fact that this is a doorman building and someone would basically have to scale the wall and smash a window to enter without my permission). You know how it is when you’re staying in a new place—you have to readjust to all the new creaks, moans, groans, thumps, and rattles that differ in every home and don’t seem to show themselves until the late evening. I was jolted awake in two-minute intervals until about 5:30 this morning, so I’m getting a late start today. But I’m expecting the writing to go well and my sleep to come a bit easier later.

Better than being stuck out there, cold and umbrella-less!

Month in Review: A Pictorial Essay

This week marks 5 since we arrived back home in April. In some ways it feels like we never left. In others, it’s like we’re still here on vacation, time ticking toward the day we head back to Denver. I’m not sure when it’s going to finally hit us that we’ve traded in all that space and comfortable cost of living and sunshine and distance from family drama to come back, but when it does, I think I’ll be ready.


In the mean time, enjoy a few photo highlights from our month in New York so far…

It’s Spring! Speaking of getting sprung… I hate seeing flowers locked up like this. So unnatural.

Daffodil Delinquents

View outside of Seaside Johnny’s in Rye, where we tried to eat but had to move inside ten minutes into it because it was like 40 degrees and windy. Kind of like it is right now. Anyway, it’s the first time I’ve seen the ocean since a trip to Acadia in 2003, so it was cool. Like the beach, ‘cept different.

Seaside Johnny's

Cherry blossoms on West 4th Street after downing a few margaritas outside in the Village. It was 70 degrees that day. Unlike today. But anyway.

Cherry Blossoms

Speaking of cherry blossoms and happy times, I got to meet a few fellow YA authors from the 2009 Debs group at Candle 79 this weekend. Writing is such a lonely, crazy pursuit—it’s nice to take a break and hook up with people who are equally lonely and crazy. I mean, in the writing sense. Not that they’re crazy. Just—oh, never mind. It was a great time! Thanks, Neesha, for the pic.

*Waves to Debs!*

2009 Debs Brunch

Fun with my brother, Pook, at the Museum of the City of New York (don’t blink, or you’ll miss it) and a stroll through Central Park, followed by too many drinks and therapy at Wicker Park. Fortunately there’s no photographic evidence of that. Really, this isn’t a theme with me, it’s just been a month of celebrating our triumphant return!


Museum of the City of New York

Central Park

A little pigeon PDA right outside my window. Some people don’t like these birds, but I do. They make cool sounds. I’m trying to develop a way to communicate with them, but unlike my multi-talented husband, I can’t get the warble quite right and I usually scare them away.

Pigeon PDA

Speaking of love… Mother’s Day post-brunch at the Chocolate Room in Park Slope. I’m going to stalk the building every day until the tenants in the apartment above give up, and let me move in, so I will never be more than 10 steps away from this decadent dessert den.

Chocolate Room

Butterscotch Custard Love

Finally, me and Mom at the old Irish pub Alex and I used to frequent when we lived in Woodside. This picture was taken the day after we moved back, but since I didn’t get to see Mom for Ma’s Day, she can look at this and pretend that we had brunch together on Sunday. But really I was at the Chocolate Room, as you know. Which was way better. But anyway.

Me & Mom

Happy Spring, Happy Mother’s Day, Happy *insert favorite thing here* Day!