Tag Archives: I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel

The House Rules

Spring on Penn Cove

Mom and girls having “fun” on Penn Cove.

House rules:  Whenever my daughters want to invite a friend over I insist on these rules.

Kaya & Kasia

Kaya & Kasia disobeying the rules

1.  No smiling!

2.  No laughing!

3.  No fun!

4.  Only speak Chinese!

Fair. But what do you think happens as soon as I lay down the wall? That’s right, girls start laughing, having fun, and filling the house with English.

Movie News:  Our film, I Think You’re Totally Wrong, w/James Franco, David Shields, and I, played 3 times in Seattle (May 30, 31, June 1), and was written up by The Stranger.

Video of Gia the Gymnast:

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Married to a Writer and Reptile Night

Kaya enjoying a fine summer day in January

Kaya basking on a fine summer day in January

Ava the Crocodile Head

Ava the Crocodile Head

Married to Reptile Night?  Is my wife also married to reptile night? No, that’s just a writer’s blip. Grandpa Jim invited the gang over to his club to check out some snakes, lizards, turtles, and other cold-blooded critters, a show put on courtesy of the Reptile Zoo in nearby Monroe.

Married to a writer:  This month saw the launch of I Think You’re Totally Wrong:  A Quarrel, and this sent me to Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, the first time my wife’s stayed home. So what’s it like for her supporting a stay-at-home father/writer?

Gai and the snake

Gia and the snake

Glass half-full:  I like riffing on glass half full/empty analogies. Take the way my wife looks at my writing career. My wife sees writing as a half full glass – namely, half empty, half full of piss. Or she sees a half full glass as ninety percent empty. She’s had to put up with my distractions and absent-mindedness as I focus on writing, sometimes at the expense of family, so I’ll give her that. Writing can be empty.

Sorry Sanjay, but it looks like Tracy's found a more handsome reptile

Move over Sanjay, Tracy’s found a more handsome reptile

The Profits of Writing:  Over the last five plus years my biggest writing victories have been publication in the small press. When I get something accepted, my wife often asks, “How much do they pay?” And I say, “Well, I’ll get a couple contributor copies, maybe a subscription, and a discount on additional copies.” My wife says, “So let’s see, when you go to the supermarket and fill up your basket with food and check out, what does the clerk say when you hand him contributor copies?”

A Page Half Full:  Okay, so I can’t say I have a literary career yet, but we do have a movie premiering this spring (more later).

Preview Video:  From the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Gettin' ready for reptiles

Gettin’ ready for reptiles

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The Orcas of Whidbey Island

Orca Fin

Orcas – July 16, 2013

Little Whale Watchers

Little Whale Watchers

Little Swimmers

Little Swimmers

Killer Whales:  My sister and nephew, Sarah and Nikolai, are home for the summer, and I took the girls up to Whidbey Island to hang with them at the parents house and for swim lessons at Ft. Casey. At seven a.m. Sarah rousts everyone outside because she spotted whales breeching. Ava, Gia, Kaya, Nikolai and I rushed down in time to see three huffing and puffing, jumping and splashing. Sarah and I were busy grabbing cameras.

Aunt Tracy and gang on Penn Cove

Aunt Tracy and gang on Penn Cove

Unfortunately, Sarah used my father’s camera, which had been set to night speed, and none of her pictures came out. I failed to a great picture air, but at least I got one, poor as it is. As they passed I ended up in the kayak trying to follow, but I could never close the gap and eventually returned. My parents bought our house in 1972, and in all our years we have seen deer, seal, otter, eagles, but never whales.

Ferry to Whidbey

Ferry to Whidbey

Children vs. Art:  Alice Walker, when asked whether writers should have children, said, “They should have children—assuming this is of interest to them—but only one.” In our forthcoming book, I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel, David Shields and I discuss parenting. Specifically, having children, how many, and how this can detract or enhance the literary career. I have three children, David has one.

Little Golfers

Little Golfers

Zadie Smith vs. Lauren Sandler:  The Walker quote comes from an article Lauren Sandler wrote at The Atlantic“The Secret to Being Both a Successful Writer and a Mother:  Have Just One Kid.” British author Zadie Smith countered in The Guardian with, “I have two children. Dickens had 10 – I think Tolstoy did, too. Did anyone for one moment worry that those men were becoming too fatherish to be writeresque? Does the fact that Heidi Julavits, Nikita Lalwani, Nicole Krauss, Jhumpa Lahiri, Vendela Vida, Curtis Sittenfeld, Marilynne Robinson, Toni Morrison and so on and so forth (I could really go on all day with that list) have multiple children make them lesser writers?”

Myself?  Despite my glaring lack of a literary C.V., I think you can have both.

Grandfather/Father & Daughter/Mother

Grandfather/Father & Daughter/Mother


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