ten months to go.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 6.17.28 PM

The final pass of my second book arrived in the mail yesterday, in a crinkled and oversized manilla envelope that I swung back and forth on the way to my car. It’s been stiflingly hot in Santa Monica, in the high eighties every day, and I’ve gotten accustomed to not doing my hair, to sweating in weird places, to taking two quick showers a day.

The lead up to this book is, in every single way, different than that of my first. We’re still ten months out, still a long long ways away, but I feel a pressure on this book that I didn’t feel on Half Life. You have to live up to expectations! I would tell this almost-totally-done manuscript, if I could mash it into human form and bring it out to dinner. You have to exceed! You have to excel! You have to be really fucking good, OK?

Different in other ways: I remember writing my first book. I remember ten hours of work in a row, breaking for coffee and food, Milo sleeping on the back of my grey armchair. I remember the thrill of literary agents answering my emails, I remember the phone call in a Michaels in Valencia from the fierce lady who would eventually be so important to me. I remember the kitchen floor where I sank to my knees thinking damn, this moment is just like a movie, when she told me that they wanted it and that they wanted another one, too, OK, can you do that?

It took me a while to write The Lost & Found. It took moving across the country and quitting a terrible job. It took car accidents and fainting spells and hospital visits and heatwaves and true love and true heartbreak and everything in between. But when I look back on the actual writing of it, the actual pen-to-paper job of getting each word down, I draw a huge and total blank.

When did I write this book?

OK, summer of 2014. A three month period of almost solitary confinement. A shitty moment in time marked by this huge thing emerging from the tail end of it. A book! I wrote a book! But the thing is… I can’t really remember doing it.

I have one image only: of me sitting in my bed in the early morning (or maybe afternoon? Or maybe night?) with my laptop and a cup of coffee (or water? Or wine?). And writing.

Because of that lapse in memory, maybe, the creation of The Lost & Found can’t help but feel a little mysterious. And that’s fitting, I think, because the book itself is a little mysterious. There’s a teensy bit of magic. There’s a too-big coincidence. There are things that don’t quite fit.

Ten months to go, sheesh, but I think, when it’s time, you’re really gonna like this one.

lost roll.

The happiest accident in the world is misplacing a roll of film and finding it two and a half years later. A first trip to London. A first trip to Joshua Tree. A first trip to Ojai. A world in black and white and light leaks. A roll devoid of another human, so it looks a little bit like I left one side of the earth for another side of the earth and managed to do so without running into a single soul.














photographs taken in London, Ojai, and Joshua Tree National Park

east coast birthday.



I always forget just how much I like photographing my family (especially the young ones) until we’re all together and I’m following them around with my camera. I have years and years of photos, their entire childhoods captured as I see them. Sometimes they cooperate, sometimes they don’t—both scenarios offer equally interesting shots. There’s absolutely nothing I like more about photography than these documentations. The people I love, year after year, getting older but also preserved, perfectly, in time.























new new york.


An impromptu trip to New York in June (it feels like this summer is nothing except one impromptu trip to the East Coast) to visit my farthest-away niece. Family photographs and familiar places made unfamiliar with the passing of time. New museums and old museums in the span of a few quick days. At the end of this week I’ll make the trip again, this time to the farthest point, from one water to another, and not one niece this time but two.

This summer’s slipped away and lasted forever. It’s been the most productive block of time I’ve had in years. It’s been everything a summer should be. I feel the pieces falling into place—all the pieces I’ve been struggling to catch! All finally within my grasp!—and I’m trying to just to let them go where they will. I’m trying not to catch every one before it falls, examine it to death, overthink it until it’s meaningless.

An email from a friend overseas:

Do you think part of your anxiety might be panicking that everything’s so good, it feels like you’ve got a lot to lose?

I repeated this to myself that night, the next morning, all through the following week. I wrote it down and wondered how much truth there was to it. I wrapped birthday presents and tied bows and photographed a baby shower in the hills of Studio City and all the while her words bounced around in my brain until they settled down and made sense.

I haven’t written her back yet, but I will soon, and I’ll say: Yes. Yes, I think that’s exactly right. I think you’re exactly right. Thank you for putting it into words.

















what comes next.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 12.08.21 PM

Yesterday my car was struck in a hit & run, two weeks ago my cat had surgery from which he may or may not recover, and today I finished a read-through of a first draft of a new book and sent it to my agent.

It’s weird, isn’t it, the patterns of anxiety, the slow creep of stress. Sometimes you dodge it and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you have a pretty good Greek salad for lunch and you think, OK. I can do this. I can handle this and whatever else.

Sometimes you just know you’ll be fine in a little while. Give or take whatever may come next.

one year since.




Last year today we were going out to dinner to celebrate the release of my first book, The Half Life of Molly Pierce and today the morning is grey and I am working on a new book, one without a title, one almost done after weeks of doing nothing else but writing- until I feel like my brain is filled with sludge.

It’s been an absolute joy to be back in this place again, this swamp of writing, pulling weeds up to find a spot of dry land firm enough to sit down with my computer. That is exactly what it feels like. I’ve been moody, tired, sleepless, messy, unkempt. I’ve been inspired by something I have yet to name. I’ve been dreaming of a vacation in the middle of the desert when I’m done, a reward, just me and the first read-through after the first draft, which can reveal so many things. Oh, this is good! or Oh my, what was I thinking.

My two year anniversary of moving to Los Angeles passed recently and of course now I love it here, of course now when I leave and come back, my plane dipping over neighborhoods spreading and multiplying for miles and miles, I feel relaxed. I feel at home. I feel like all the decisions I made, so long ago and so far away, were the right ones.

My next book will come out in one year, give or take. The Lost & Found. I wrote it here, at this desk, on this blue chair, with this stained coffee mug next to my laptop. I wrote it in one summer, a summer where everything changed rapidly and I felt truly depressed again for the first time in years. It comes and goes like it’s always come and gone, a sense of hopelessness and whatthefuckamidoing and why why why whywhy.

I’ve written 36,000 words in fourteen days. I can’t remember the last time I felt this tired. Or this happy. Or this tired.






great room.



Sometimes, waking early before the others, wandering the rooms wrapped in a blanket or drinking my tea in the empty kitchen, I had that most rare of feelings, the sense that the world, so consistently overwhelming and incomprehensible, in fact has an order, oblique as it may seem, and I a place within it. 



photographs taken in Long Beach, California

text from Great Room by Nicole Krauss

new headshot.

new headshot, new book, new ‘tude.

I worked so hard on my second book (a new standalone) and couldn’t be happier that it’s been accepted for publication. Summer ’16! Many more details to come, but for now here’s my new headshot. Feels good to have a little update. Photo cred: Jaimee Dormer



old friends.



I forgot how nice it is to know someone for so long that you can’t really remember a time you didn’t know them. My ninth birthday party, on video, me with hair so long it reached my butt, perpetually uncombed and snarled and hers matching in every respect except for how much darker it was. Constantly searching for the portal to Narnia on her parents’ expansive acreage, choking on oversized Valentine’s Day candy, always being just a little too terrified to feed carrots to the horses in her grandparents’ stables. Losing touch for no reason but reconnecting unexpectedly, my third college and the one I would stick to, albeit begrudgingly. A ten year mystery solved and her calling me on the phone to tell me everything. Her first trip to California and the three of us—her husband, her, me—drove through Mulholland and walked aimlessly around Runyon Canyon and ended up at the Getty, peering through the telescope to see Jupiter, the last ones let in for the night. Disneyland and Point Dume and a beach filled with dead sea lions, babies and adults, some half-decomposed and some that could have been sleeping. A trio of dolphins and a grey whale that followed us half a mile along the shore, coming up every few minutes to breathe.

When they left Tuesday night I was exhausted and suddenly alone. I spent hours on S’s couch playing Mario Brothers and drinking our new favorite wine, bought by the case and stacked neatly next to the TV. I was ready for bed by 9 and I slept late the next day, waking up to skin sun burned and tingling, hair messy and full of salt. I worked yesterday from my bed, cross-legged and chugging water, finally feeling more settled with the work I’m doing. Finally feeling more settled with a lot of things, probably.

Yesterday S hid a cheese plate in an empty cardboard box and we drank martinis and he put a record on and we tried to stay awake to watch Letterman’s final show but couldn’t. I woke up to a city cold and grey—Los Angeles’s two months of resolute gloom—and a welcome email from my agent. Clean sheets and laundry hanging to dry and my apartment still just a little too small and a little too messy. But mine, anyway, and empty, and quiet, and nice.
















So many things new. New job. Old friends newly relocated to my city. New book approved for publication (book 2!). New, cold air. New rain. New pain. A new (old) cherry red suitcase and a new (old) map of a city I’ve never been. A new decade entered into with more and more certainty, more and more confidence. A new (old) hobby picked up again and new (old) places to explore.

The other week Jaimee and I went to the Huntington Library and spent four brutally hot hours in the sun, burning the tops of our feet and hiding under our almost-identical straw hats. I shot photographs for Jaimee’s vintage store and we took turns arguing who was sweating the most under the desert sky. I bought two waters and held one in each hand as we wandered around, lost for quite a while until we found the koi pond.

I’ve been making presents: my nieces’ upcoming first birthdays, my best friend’s thirtieth, my father’s birthday, Mother’s Day. Making them by hand, hours spent quiet and still. I’ve watched a lot of old movies I always said I’d watch, making my way through them one after the other in rapid succession. I’ve been writing something new, something fragile and too big to comprehend.

On Sunday I’ll drive up to San Francisco, almost welcoming the six hours on the road, the quiet, the hypnosis. That, too, will be new: I’ve never done the drive by myself before and my time in cars lately has been limited to twenty minutes there, twenty minutes here.

But it will be fine. I think all the newness is doing me good.











Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 277 other followers