Today, I’m honored to have a personal essay featured on SignatureReads. I smile a lot these days, and I’m cooking up a storm, but I went through a difficult time in my life several years ago when that wasn’t the case. I was not a victim then, nor am I now. But I had to trudge through that miserable valley and learn to reconnect with the things that brought me joy all along, one of which was learning to love cooking again, even if it meant making dinner on lonely nights for just me.
If you’re in a dark place like this, please know that even when things feel bleak, you are not alone. There is hope and joy and love ahead. Forgive yourself. Forgive the ones who’ve hurt you. And go make yourself a fabulous dinner.
ALWAYS is my eighth novel in the US, and ninth in the world, and today I’m making room for my newest story, in hardcover, in my Seattle bookcase–in Doc Martens, of course (which I haven’t worn since the nineties!).
In 1993, when my novel begins, I was a 16-year-old in Seattle, with a diary and a lot of dreams. I was dating a boy with a mohawk who was the lead singer of a punk rock band. When I close my eyes and let my heart go back to those years, it’s all there–ferries, thrift-shop shopping, cafe living, shows, guitar, bad poetry, young love.
There are a lot of those old ghosts in this new novel, and some new ones. I’m excited to share this story with the world on February 7!
My love, Brandon, is, very generously, throwing me a book launch party this month. It will be at an awesome spot in Pioneer Square (where ALWAYS is set), with all of our favorite people, and where a special musician will be playing songs from the novel, including a cover from Mazzy Star. It will be such a full circle moment for me–celebrating the old and the new.
Thank you, Seattle Magazine for featuring me and ALWAYS in your February issue! I shall forever love the headline “Grunge Lover.”
An inspiring photographer friend of mine, Michelle Moore, decided to pick an aspirational word for the New Year. She chose the word “elevate,” which I really loved–both the word and the idea. I thought a long time about what word I’d choose. Lots of words rose to the top, but the one that resonated most is: grace.
I don’t always feel that graceful. In fact, a lot of my life is about rushing and worrying and clumsily getting from point A to point B. Snapping when I should speak in a kind voice. Criticizing myself, sometimes cruelly. I don’t always show myself grace, and, even worse, sometimes I don’t give others the grace I should give them either.
I’ve always loved Grace Kelly, above; her life seemed to embody her name. I’d love to write about her someday. Maybe.
For now, here’s to a grace-filled 2017!
One of the most memorable moments for an author is the moment a box arrives in the mail from your editor/publisher with finished copies of your novel! Seriously, after nine books, published in (I think) 30 countries, this never gets old.
Yesterday, a few boxes of my eighth novel in the US, and my ninth novel in the world, ALWAYS, arrived! I was so excited to see them, and also a little shy about the ENORMOUS photo of my face on the back. Eeks! What do you think? I’m so excited to be working with the BEST publishing team in the U.S., Random House/Ballantine, to release the first of three new novels of mine in the U.S.
Have you preordered your copy yet? I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of this story.
Lots of love from Seattle!