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The Road to a Good Blog…

...begins with acknowledging I've never written one.

Hi, I'm Laura Dave, author of a novel called London Is the Best City in America.

Can a blog start with an introduction? I'm not sure.

I've never written one. But I read them a lot. Some of my favorites include Gawker, Gothamist, Galleycat, — mostly because they called me pretty — and the recent addition of (I'm both embarrassed and proud to say it) The Grey's Anatomy Blog.

What do all these have in common? Good, old-fashioned gossip. Which makes me think I better put some into mine. So we get off to a good start.

I am writing this blog from my hotel room in Taos, New Mexico and I hear that the band playing in the hotel bar last night was the same band who played at Julia Roberts's wedding.

Can I confirm this? Unclear. What I know for sure is that they were great. And from the second they took the stage, there was a dance-floor full of people two-stepping. (People stretching so that they could ensure they were doing their best at two-stepping.)

Not me though. Except under the table.

Gossip piece #2: I spent most of today at a bar near the Taos Plaza, watching the World Cup. And the crowd — the very large crowd, especially for a noon on a Sunday — was rooting for Italy. In fact, when Zinedine Zidane (of France) kicked a penalty shot — which looked like it didn't make it, but did — there was chaos. Boos, unhappiness. One lone-Italy fan sitting behind me, throws down his nachos in disgust. Okay, one nacho. But he was pissed.

Here comes the gossip part: I heard that France's Coach is such a believer in astrology that he refuses to have any Scorpio players on his roster.

And only one Leo, who he is skeptical of.

* Confession, I write for ESPN the Magazine — so my interest in the World Cup should not be motivated by a coach's interest in astrology. But — as I am mostly interested in writing about love/relationships/family — I can't help thinking that the coach has come to his findings because some Scorpio broke his heart, and he swore the whole lot off. World Cup be damned.

But I chose to keep that theory to myself, and away from the good people of Taos. The nacho-thrower was looking ready to make throw #2.

This is my third time in Taos. The first time was years ago when I came to attend a writers' conference. I quit my job in order to come — a decision that felt radical at the time, but turned out to be a standard of my entire working life. I've been lousy at pretty much every job I've had — production Assistant, Banana Republic employee, chauffeur— but excellent at finding reasons to leave them.

The one job I never left was writing my novel. Unfortunately, it left me. Two hundred pages into it. My computer crashed and died — and my novel died with it.

I was left in the precarious position of starting over or giving up.

I started over.

Which is why I'm back in Taos, this time as a guest of the writers conference, where I gave a reading from London Is the Best City In America, last night, and, where, tomorrow, I'll participate on a publishing panel.

The first piece of advice I'm offering: Back up your files. (And while you're at it, can you back up mine?)

The second piece of advice I'm offering. Go fishing. I am spending tomorrow morning at a reservoir called Abiquiu, which arguably (gossip #3) has the best fishing anywhere in New Mexico or the entire Southwest.

We are driving out there and — while I have limited experience with the sea world — I expect I'll have several fish catches to report.

Please don't take my word on that.

The only other time I went fishing was in southern Rhode Island — and while I was out to sea for twelve hours, I caught only one fish. Okay, someone else caught him. But I did name him (Johnnie Catfish) and threw him back in. No one's munching on Johnnie Catfish. Not on this angler's watch.

Which brings me to a quote from Beatrice Cook's 1949 book, Till Fish Do Us Part. (Has there ever been a better title of a book? Really, send me some titles contenders. I'd like to see.)

Bea says: "All fishermen are liars... it's an occupational disease like housemaid's knee or editor's ulcers."

Housemaid's knee. Weird.

Even weirder? For those of you keeping score — despite a crumbly last period and an overtime period dominated by Astro-Friendly France — Italy pulled the win out during the shoot-out to become the World Cup champions.

I can't help but wonder if France's coach is going to blame the Lone Leo that things fell apart.

I also can't help but go now and look up the astrological sign of the player on France (#20), David Trezeguet, who missed the key penalty shot.

I'll let you know tomorrow...

÷ ÷ ÷

Laura Dave is a novelist and journalist. In addition to writing for such diverse publications as the New York Times and ESPN Magazine, she is the author of the acclaimed novels London Is the Best City in America and The Divorce Party. Her third novel is The First Husband.

Books mentioned in this post

Laura Dave is the author of The Divorce Party

4 Responses to "The Road to a Good Blog…"

    e July 10th, 2006 at 11:58 am

    Laura - You had me at hello! This blog post was good enough to make me want to read your novel (I haven't already). You need to set up a blog.

    Hayley July 10th, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    I wholeheartedly second the first comment. Cheers!

    Will Dub July 11th, 2006 at 9:22 am

    Laura, Galleycat was right. But stay humble, now. And as for titles, what about "The Lake, The River and the Other Lake?" What about "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City?" Keep up the good stuff.

    Laura July 13th, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks so much, E and Hayley! Maybe I will set one up. It's been a fun week. cheers, L.

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