...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...