Hiding. Hiding behind love for Haiti. Behind Glow. Behind my camera. Pretty soon I’m going to kidnap Jillian Michaels and thrust her in front of me, sputtering But my FITNESS! My CHOLESTEROL! Sophomoric failure is nothing to DEATH BY SLOTHERY! I must SHRED! Hiding from the hard work of transcribing distant voices from parallel worlds through a tin-can telephone.

See, in nine months I am supposed to will submit my second manuscript to Nimbus.

The blinking, my god, the incessant blinking. I … I am …


Laundry. Groceries. Flickr. A paper for a client on social media and branding. Twitter, to share news of my third Tunnock's 1887 milk chocolate mallow tea cookie. Invoicing. Flickr. Researching root canals for preschoolers. An urge to hear Underwhelmed. Tax receipts. Flickr. Twenty abdominal crunches followed by five bicep curls and three minutes of jumping jacks. Or at least three minutes of considering it, from the couch. I've been anywhere else but here.

Missy is unimpressed. She’s not one for fussing, nor for waiting. She sees a cuff of porcupine quills on a master welder. She wants to tread on permafrost moss and crash a flying beast and engage in illegal sabotage and write to Eric on coded postcards and it’s all stuck at the bottleneck of me.

She tries to help, but I'm thick as bricks.

On a crummy it’s always the broken driveshafts. Has to be put on a flatbed. If the driveshaft breaks the whole thing drops into the mud and the wheels can’t spin. And don’t ever get stuck behind a moose. They’ll just trot along for twenty minutes in a straight line. The blackflies—they wiggle and crawl. Gotta duct-tape your sleeves and shirt collars. Bandana around your ears. You get used to it.

Gil Croteau, too. He's the Crummies' navigator. Lâche pas la patate! Tout le kit!

But how do you start? With the blink, and resigned to a soft stomach.


The other day, Penelope and I sat at a vegetarian restaurant while the peanut butter balls eyed us nervously from behind the glass. First we dealt with the housekeeping of the second edition ofThe Dread Crew. Tweaks, continuity, special features. Then I gave her the next book, or at least the verbal skeleton of it. And she nodded and interjected with questions readers will ask, because she knows how to nudge, light fires. We knocked ideas around. She told me what she saw as she listened. Then I got home and she sent me an email that said OH MY GOD JUST WRITE IT ALREADY. WRITE!

sweetsaltykate to Penelope  Giant moths instead of butterflies, maybe? Nocturnal, bumping up against windows? will think about it. I'll take a crack at the 2nd edition today, then you can. Will send you another version tomorrow, okay?

Penelope to Kate
Perfect, thanks. Tingling about moths.

Kate to Penelope
Yeah. I figured you to be that sort of girl.

Penelope to Kate
Damnit, you hacked my livejournal.

And there, just there, at that moment: I know it. I can do this. We can do this, she and I. For the first book we were foisted upon each other by fate and process, my manuscript unpolished but already complete. This time, we are collaborators. She cracks me up and I'm filled up with this... rush. It's already in there. I just need to start typing.

Every creative thing already lives inside. Every photograph, sculpture, poem, sketch, painting, story.

That's how it always is, you know, for everyone. All we need to do is find the right space, and the will, and facilitate the stretching of creative legs.

And get the heck off twitter.