I’m over-the-moon about being part of the New York City Story Collider show, My Love Affair with Science, on Tuesday, February 5th at Caveat. I’ll be talking about my long and winding road of a relationship with science and how we got to where we are today. Tickets on sale now: https://www.storycollider.org/shows/2019/2/5/new-york-ny-my-love-affair-with-science
My book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, is almost 1 year old. A year ago today I launched the trailer. What a year it’s been! I can’t wait to share the next leg of her journey with you in Book 2. You can grab a copy of Book 1 here: emersonpage.com/shop
You’ve always wanted to be in a secret society, right? These skeleton keys are your way in and I’m saving one just for you. To claim it, grab a ticket to New York City’s Secrets & Lies storytelling show at Caveat on October 9th w/ Zak Martellucci, Alex Taylor, Michele Carlo, Erin Leafe, and Julie Gaines. Tickets are available here: https://www.caveat.nyc/event/new-york-city’s-secrets-and-lies-10-9-2018. See you there!
Like everyone else I know, I am riveted and inspired by Hannah Gadsby’s show, Nanette. (If you haven’t seen it, go to Netflix immediately. I will not at all be offended that you stop reading this blog post because she is genius.) Her words about storytelling are the ones that really got me, and they are powerful advice and wisdom for all of us, and particularly those of us who tell stories in any way, shape, or form.
“I think I have to quit comedy. Because there’s a difference between stories and jokes. Stories have 3 parts: a beginning, middle, and end. Jokes have 2: beginning and middle. You learn from the part of the story you focus on. I need to tell my story. My story has value. I will not allow my story to be destroyed. Stories are our cure.”
“The most daring thing to do is create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” ~Kurt Vonnegut
Storytelling is a kind of medicine that heals by generating understanding, compassion, and curiosity. Listen to the stories of others and share yours. We are in this together.
This week, I got some very exciting news today about my storytelling dinner with New York City secret history, all inspired by my time in Ireland: my #1 choice for a museum partner is very interested! Friends, swing for those fences and make ’em high. You never know what you can do until you try.
What do rent control, an underground world in Brooklyn, a lady real estate mogul, women’s suffrage, and wild New York City teenagers have in common? They’re all a part of the NYC’s Secrets & Lies lineup at Caveat! Our storytelling show on Monday, June 18th at 7pm, features 4 wild but true stories about New York City history and 1 big lie. Guess the lie correctly, and you might just be the lucky winner of our amazing prize courtesy of our friends at Untapped Cities. I hope to see you there! Grab your tickets at http://caveat.nyc/event/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-3/.
I’m thinking a lot about how stories we tell ourselves affect our paths. What we say are our strengths and weaknesses, gifts and shortcomings, triumphs and regrets. If we change our stories, we can change our minds. And if we change our minds, we change our hearts. And if we change our hearts, then we can change everything.
I’m so insanely excited about the storytelling show NYC’s Secrets and Lies tonight at Caveat. I’ll be hosting a slate of incredible storytellers who have dug up some incredible NYC secrets all hidden in plain sight that we walk by every single day. The show is capped off with trivia by Madame Morbid and a fantastic prize from our pals at Untapped Cities. Doors open at 6:30pm, show starts at 7:00pm. Tickets available at http://caveat.nyc/event/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-2/. See you there!
I want to talk to you about shitty first drafts, in particular my shitty first drafts. Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, my book that launched this week and that I first drafted during NaNoWriMo 2014, is not the draft I started to write three years ago. It’s not even close. The book that was published has been polished and spit-shined to the hilt. My first draft wasn’t even a diamond in the rough. It was just rough. Period. End of sentence.
I’m writing Emerson’s second book during NaNoWriMo this month. In two days, I’ve got about 4,000 words. And they’re awful. Messy plot lines and self-indulgent dialogue abound despite my intense outlining. And you know what? It doesn’t matter at all. I’m just writing like no one’s watching because no one is. No one is ever going to see this draft. Actually, I take that back. If I ever win a prestigious writing award for my novels, I’ll release this shitty first draft and auction it off for charity. You have my word on that.
If you have a book inside you, a story begging to be told, I want you sit down and get it all out there on the screen or paper. Don’t pay any mind to what it looks like. Just write it down. It’s not doing anyone any good inside your mind. And if you don’t write that story, no one ever will. It dies with you. That’s just about the saddest thing I can think of. You don’t know what your words and ideas are going to do for someone else someday. They could be what literally saves someone. And wouldn’t it be nice to save someone?
I’ll make you a deal—you write your story, I’ll write mine, and then we’ll toast each other’s efforts. Okay? 50,000 words by November 30th. Go!