Article In The New York Times

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 3:55 pm on Tuesday, October 30, 2018

I’m so happy to have my first piece in The New York Times. I retraced Eugene O’Neill’s footsteps around San Francisco, where he raced to complete his best works before he lost his ability to write.

It ran in the travel section, but you can also read it here.

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Greece Trip 2018

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 3:47 pm on Thursday, October 25, 2018

This October, we went to Greece! It was a sensational trip. (Good word, sensational.)

Here are pictures. If you want more, Follow Me On Instagram.

We visited the Acropolis in Athens:

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And saw where the Oracle of Delphi used to sit:

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And ate tons of food:

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Especially olives:

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And visited ruins of theaters where important Greek plays were first performed:

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And wondered at the strange reality of Greek mythology:

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And swam in the Mediterranean:

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And ran a race in the original Olympic stadium:

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And found Greek mythology relevant in light of the Kavanaugh hearings:

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And stayed on a Greek island full of cats and donkeys:

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And stayed in a medieval castle built upon a giant rock:

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And saw Mycenae, the world’s first literary site:

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And really, Greek mythology is so interesting:

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Sensational, I tell you.

Everywhere We Went In Our Camper Van

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 2:28 pm on Saturday, October 20, 2018

Oh hello. It has been awhile. Well, we’ve been busy. For one thing, we’ve been driving around the country in our camper van. Here are the places we went:

Yosemite

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Bryce Canyon

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Dinosaur National Monument in Utah

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The Rocky Mountains

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The Oregon Coast

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If you want more pictures, you can Follow Me On Instagram.

What have you been up to?

Essay in Ploughshares: Student Debt and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 10:13 am on Friday, October 19, 2018

Betty Smith

I wrote an essay for Ploughshares on Student Debt and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the novel written by Betty Smith. It looks at the difficulty of paying for school, both now, and in Smith’s time. Things have changed, but not enough.

Article in Longreads: Ghost Writer: The Story of Patience Worth, the Posthumous Writer

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 10:06 am on Friday, October 19, 2018

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I wrote an article for Longreads. Check out Ghost Writer: The Story of Patience Worth, the Posthumous Writer.

One day in 1913, a housewife named Pearl Curran sat down with her friend Emily Grant Hutchings at a Ouija board. Curran’s father had died the year before, and Hutchings was hoping to contact him. While they’d had some success with earlier sessions, Curran had grown tired of the game and had to be coaxed to play. This time, a message came over the board. It said: “Many moons ago I lived. Again I come — Patience Worth my name.”

This moment was the start of a national phenomenon that would turn Curran into a celebrity. Patience Worth, the ghost who’d contacted them, said she was a Puritan who immigrated to America in the late 1600s. Through Curran, she would dictate an astounding 4 million words between 1913 and 1937, including six novels, two poetry collections, several plays, and volumes of witty repartee.

We Bought A Camper Van

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 9:01 am on Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Kyle’s dream has come true. We bought a camper van.

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It’s a 1996 Roadtrek Popular 170. Here’s the inside:

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Essay In The Washington Post

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:18 am on Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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I wrote an essay for The Washington Post! It’s about how becoming a mother has made me a better writer. A sample:

Throughout my pregnancy, I weathered comments about how difficult writing would soon become, all while obsessing about how I would juggle caring for a baby and finding time to write.

I shouldn’t have worried. In the five years since my son’s birth, I’ve written two novels, won grants and residencies and broken into many national publications. Before becoming a mother, it took me 10 years to write a novel. I never won grants or residencies pre-birth, because I rarely applied for them and, despite my skills and experience, I was intimidated to approach national magazines. Now I don’t have time for any of that angst because the babysitter is leaving in an hour.

Read I thought having a baby would hurt my career. I was wrong.

Learn To Write From The Movies: Kill Your Darlings

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:12 am on Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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I have a new Learn To Write From The Movies up at Barrelhouse. It’s about Kill Your Darlings, a movie about Allen Ginsberg starring Daniel Radcliffe. A sample:

Lesson 4: Do Weird 1940s Drugs.

Naturally, Burroughs suggests they do drugs. He’s William S. Burroughs. But it’s the 1940s, so drugs are limited and strange. They settle on Benzedrine, which Hollywood studios forced Judy Garland take when she was a child. It contains amphetamine. They take it by squeezing a white substance that looks like butt medication into coffee.

It turns out that Benzedrine is productive to art. In a creative frenzy, the men rip up Burrough’s books and tape them to the wall. When I imagined the invention of the cut-up technique before, I didn’t picture it happening in a cracked-out meth den. Who knew?

Read the rest here.

Cabin In Mt Tamalpais

Filed under: Personal — Administrator at 7:56 am on Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A couple of weeks, friends invited us to spend the night in a cabin in Mt Tamalpais. Can you believe the view off the balcony?

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We had a great time: lots of hiking, board games, listening to people playing music, and seriously, check out this view.

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And at night:

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And in the morning:

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Poetry Foundation: Bohemian Tragedy

Filed under: Joy's Work — Administrator at 8:17 am on Monday, March 19, 2018

george-sterling

I wrote an essay for the Poetry Foundation on the poet George Sterling and the Carmel artist colony. It’s a crazy story about artistic utopia, California Bohemians, scandals, affairs, and a suicide pact. Jack London, Upton Sinclair, and HL Mencken were all involved.

Read the essay here.

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