• blogging,  design,  modern,  writing

    Glossing Over It Has A New Home

    Glossing Over It has a new home. One more suited to the lifestyle to which she’s grown accustomed. It looks like this: Just kidding. That’s the home of fashion designer Trina Turk in Palm Springs, as photographed in Town & Country. What I really meant is that the Glossing Over It blog has a new home on the interwebs, meaning I’ve changed my blog address. So make a note of it, and change your bookmarks, blogrolls, and links.  Because my new web address is…get ready for it… If you forget and go to my old address, susangloss.com/blog, don’t fret. The door will not be slammed in your face. You’ll be…

  • books,  writing

    Packing List: Don’t Forget Books

    I’m going on a vacation soon that will involve several long flights and train rides, so I’ve packed a couple of books that I’m really excited about reading. I’ve been saving them for the trip. They’ve been sitting on my nightstand, like pretty presents, and it has taken every ounce of restraint not to crack into them before I depart. First on my list is Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, about a Midwestern American family that–if Franzen’s prior books are any indicator–is sure to be deeply dysfunctional. Reviewers have called it “the Great American Novel” to be considered “on a level with The Great Gatsby.“ My husband and I bought Freedom…

  • books,  writing

    LIT: A Life in Review

    Lit by Mary Karr My rating: 4 of 5 stars A good redemption story is hard to resist. It’s probably why the Bible is so popular. It’s also why Mary Karr, in Lit, is able to hook the reader from the very first sentence, even though it is her third memoir. Well, that and her gifted writing. Lit is a redemption story not only in the sense that it chronicles Karr’s descent into and climb out of alcoholism–it is also a story about family, forgiveness, and making peace between intellect and faith. Lit starts out fast. The reader journeys with Mary through her late teens, college, grad school, love, marriage,…

  • art,  local,  writing

    Who’s Afraid of Experimental Theater?

    When I hear the words “experimental theater” I picture this scene in David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day: I’m slicing this pineapple now, I thought. Next I’ll just rip apart these sock monkeys and pour the stuffing into this tall rubber boot. Good, that’s good. Nobody pours stuffing like you do, my friend. Now I’ll snip off of my hair with these garden shears, place the bottlecaps over my eyes, and we’re almost home…A week after my drugs ran out, I left my bed to perform at the college, deciding at the last minute to skip both the doughnut toss and the march of the headless plush toys. Instead,…

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  • books,  fiction,  writing

    12-Step Publishing Program

    “So, how’s it going with your book?” I get this question all the time. If you’re a writer, you probably do, too. So I offer you this primer on the process of getting your book out into the world the traditional way–i.e., finding a literary agent to represent your book and submit it to major publishers. (Self-publishing is a different process altogether.) Why 12 steps? Well, I just finished reading Lit by the brilliant Mary Karr, which is her moving memoir of how she started and stopped drinking, so a 12-step guide seemed appropriate. I’m no expert (I’m only on Step 5), but I hope this little glimpse into the…

  • books,  fiction,  writing

    The Franzen Fight

    For the first time in ten years, Time magazine has a living novelist on its cover.  The last time was in 2000, when Time featured Stephen King.  This time, it’s Jonathan Franzen. Given the hype over Franzen’s new novel, Freedom (out August 31), it is unsurprising that Michiko Kukatani gave it a rave review in the New York Times. (Fun fact: any of you Sex and the City fans will remember that Kakutani was the reviewer who fictitiously slammed Carrie’s book.) I have to admit that I have not yet read Freedom, but I am very much enjoying the internet wars going on over Franzen’s latest. In the interest of…

  • art,  fashion,  fiction,  vintage,  writing

    Busy Gal Barbie

    Ten years ago, a friend gave me a card with this vintage Barbie image on it and I saved it. I know Barbies are less-than-popular these days because of their sexist implications, but I love this print. I played with the plastic Mattel dolls into my early teens (I was not cool if you haven’t already figured that out). I kept up characters and complicated plots that lasted for years… and then went on to immerse myself in feminist theory and gender studies in college. Contradictory? Perhaps. I think it was good practice for fiction writing, though.

  • coffee,  desserts,  fiction,  food,  wine,  writing

    Treats for the Soul and Stomach

    Tonight I have Critique Group. I am lucky to be a part of a group of five fabulous women writers who get together every other week to weigh in on one another’s projects. We are bold: we blog and send our work out into the world for publication. We are brave: we read one another’s manuscripts without the shine of extensive revision (we put the “rough” in rough draft). And we are hungry: hungry for a place in the literary world, yes, but also physically hungry. We show up, exhausted and starving, after our various day job in the worlds of law, motherhood, sales, and office administration. Often one or…

  • fiction,  food,  vintage,  writing

    Geeking Out in Iowa City

    I spent the weekend in Iowa City at a workshop on Food Writing at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Most of the time I was geeking out in class or writing on my laptop, but I had a little time to walk around and check out the city, which reminded me a lot of Madison, but smaller. To steal a line from a friend who went to law school there, it’s “like a cultural oasis in the middle of the heartland.” Here are the highlights, in case you ever find yourself in Iowa City: Prairie Lights Bookstore. A book nerd’s dream. Signed books, author readings, works by lots…

  • art,  writing

    On Writing: Give It All, Give It Now

    American artist Sam Fink, who is in his nineties, published a gorgeous, illustrated version of Annie Dillard‘s advice to writers in a book called Give It All, Give It Now (Welcome Books, 2009). Lena Tabori recently featured some of the book’s illustrations on  The Huffington Post. I found the article so inspiring that I wanted to share some of it here.  The quotations featured in the illustrations are from Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life (Harper Perennial, 1990).