Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Institutionalized gratitude

People in general should give thanks from time to time, just to
remind ourselves that, after all, it could be worse. It just so
happens that here in the United States, we have such an occasion
institutionalized, using the excuse of our ancestors having lived
through their first year in an unfamiliar place. (The fact that their
having lived through that first year meant that they managed to doom
the locals who gave them a helping hand is only recently being
acknowledged.) So in the grand tradition of being grateful for what
we've got, I give thanks that (among other things):

I know elsewhere in these United States, the weather is horrible. I
know tomorrow, the forecast is for cold, nasty weather here. But for
right now, it's a little brisk and it's sunny and the sky is blue.
I'll remember this relatively balmy weather when I'm standing out in
the rain, waiting for the bus, because I know the sun will be out
again, if not tomorrow, then surely another day in the near future.

I know others aren't as fortunate, but I have a roof over my head
that's intact (especially since it was replaced the year before last)
and working gutters (especially since they were replaced last year)
and the basement hasn't leaked since, so I'm assuming it was all

I know others haven't had this kind of luck, but I have a splendid
The Hub, who is amazingly patient considering I am not known for such.

I know others get despondent, but I know that for every
disappointment, there is a bright spot, and all I have to do is reach
for it.

And I am thankful for all that. Happy Thanksgiving!

Eilis Flynn
INTRODUCING SONIKA, on sale 12/13/07

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Darn, I should have lost weight when I had the chance

I had a fun experience recently. I gave an interview to a local
alternative newspaper, <i>The Seattle Weekly,</i> one person among a
number the reporter talked to about the changing face of romance
fiction. A few days later, I got email from the art director, asking
if I'd be willing to participate in a photo shoot. Not being the most
photogenic person (I tend to look either slightly deranged or
constipated, sometimes both), I hesitated for all of a few seconds.
Sure, I wrote back, because how often does an opportunity like this
come about?

I didn't hear anything else for a few days. I'd told the art director
that the only advance warning I needed was a few hours, because the
photographer she was considering was a bus ride away of a couple
hours (don't get me started on the mass transit in this town). Then
she dropped me another line that they went with another photographer,
one in my neck of the woods. Great! Not necessarily for the other
people involved in the shoot, I thought. It wasn't until later that I
found out that they didn't mean a group shoot, they wanted to get
three individual photo shoots of three local writers to consider for
the cover. Not only that, the photographer was someone I knew --
years ago, The Hub and I frequented a local restaurant, where the
photographer had often been our server!

The photo shoot was a strange but amusing experience. The
photographer, David Belisle (, had discussed
several ideas with the art director. He set up mine in the display
window of a local furniture store, Murphy's Furniture -- you have to
see this place to believe it, a combination of kitsch and collectible
-- and the background was the modern variation of the Barbara
Cartland look, complete with white Apple laptop, with me chewing on
my reading glasses now smeared with lots of red lipstick, sitting on
a flowery settee and half-covered with a fuchsia sari, with fake
flowers and a giant ceramic greyhound in the background. If you
remember an episode of <i>Friends</i> in which Joey gets his own
high-priced apartment and fills it with giant ceramic animals, you'll
get the idea of the kind of ceramic greyhound.

Let me add here that everyone I've told this story to looks at me as
if I've gone mad and asks, "He DID know that's not you at all,
right?" And no, that's not me at all. Possibly the crazed look in my
eye, but that wasn't anything David asked for, that was just natural.
But the shoot was like one of my stories -- fiction, with a grain of
reality (admittedly, a very small grain).

The shoot was quick and painless, and David made it a fun experience
overall. As of next week, he's a full-time freelance photographer --
he does a lot of work for SubPop Records, the president of which is
flying him to Mexico and putting him up when the guy gets married.
And I can say I knew the photographer when he was a young'un!
(, if you want to see what else he's done.) Is it
a sad thing that my first thought was, "Thank goodness I'll have
something to blog about"?

As it turned out, the Weekly went with one of the other writers for
the cover and a new focus, but it was still fun, and publicity's
still publicity (and I have a new book coming on next month)!

Check out the article here:

Eilis Flynn,
INTRODUCING SONIKA, available 12/13/07 at