The Queen of Crafts herself, Martha Stewart, and I have the same birthday. I prefer to think it's the glue-gun wielding, perfect-tart-producing Martha and not the copper pan-throwing, jail-going Martha. But I suppose if I am going to share a calendar square with some of Martha, I have to share it with all of Martha.
The reason that war is such a fascinating subject for writers is because it's a revealer. Put a bunch of people in an adrenaline-fuelled, life-or-death situation and their fundamental behaviours are exposed, the scrim is taken away and the motivations behind each personality come out to play.
When I was nine years old, I wrote a short story called 'How to Build a Snowman,' from which no practical snowperson-crafting techniques could be gleaned. The story was an assignment for class and it featured a series of careful but meaningless instructions. Of course, the building of the snowman was a red herring.
In New York and L.A., there is sort of that silent competition to be on the cutting edge of something. You end up having a conversation with how the world receives your work, especially if you are writing narrative, not fiction. Sometimes it is an awkward conversation. It's like group therapy.
I thought I was going to write fiction but I fell backwards into non-fiction. It started when I got locked out of two apartments in one day and I told the story to some friends, one of whom worked in the 'Village Voice' and asked me to turn it into an essay.
They say it's not the snoring itself but those anxiety-packed moments in between snorts. It's the waiting for the nasal passages of the person lying beside you to strike again. And strike it always does. In the dark, almost against your will, you produce that special glare reserved for people who cannot control their own behaviour.
As most doctors will tell you, cleansing is ridiculous. You know what's been around longer than that state-of-the-art juicer? Your kidneys. And your liver. Still, the cleanse has recalibrated my definition of a splurge.