This post was originally sent to my TinyLetter subscribers.
UPDATE TIME, UPDATE TIME, NUMBER THE UPDATES ONE THROUGH NINE:
1. I have a new website! It’s technically still nicoledieker.com, but it looks way different now! You should go check it out after you finish reading the eight other updates!
2. My favorite part of my new website is the part where I clarify my social media boundaries:
Look at that. It’s so simple. This is what I do on Tumblr, this is what I do on Twitter, this is what I do on Instagram. I don’t have to tweet my grams, because Instagram photos don’t look as good on Twitter (plus the conversation on Twitter right now is very different from the conversation on Instagram). I don’t have to get Facebook involved at all.
I already feel so much better about social media, just by defining what I want to do with it and what you’ll get if you follow me.
3. My readings at Another Read Through in Portland and Fact & Fiction in Missoula went great. Thanks to everyone who came, and thanks to Kayla Cagan, Marian Call, and Seth Boyer for making the Missoula reading a jam-packed (LITERALLY, PUN INTENDED, IT HAD MUSIC) event.
4. My next appearance will be at Readerfest in Seattle on Saturday, September 9. I’ll be part of some panels on self-publishing and literary fiction, and I’ll be doing a book signing. Readerfest is a brand-new book festival, which means that everyone who shows up the first year will help shape what this festival becomes over the next few years. In other words: I hope to see you there.
5. I want to share an excerpt from one of Biographies Vol. 1’s Goodreads reviews, because I love the way readers have been responding to this book, and this particular review touches on one of the reasons I thought this story needed to exist:
I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that there are things that don’t happen in The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1. There is no adultery or divorce. There are no surprise love children or long-buried family secrets coming to light. There are some tough financial times, but no bankruptcy or ruin. There is death, but no murder.
I think I was nearly done reading the book before I realized that I was still half-holding my breath and waiting for any of the above things to happen. A sweeping family saga that tells the story from multiple characters’ perspectives must, at the very least, involve one or two extramarital affairs—right?
That’s what I’ve been conditioned to believe, but The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1upended my expectations in the most pleasant of ways. Nicole Dieker (who, full disclosure, has edited my articles for The Billfold at times) has written an engrossing story without falling back on any bombshell plot moves.
There is actually a divorce in the book, but it’s mostly finalized before we’re introduced to the characters. But yeah, I didn’t put a big secret or mystery or threat at the center of the story because life usually isn’t about solving the big problem that’s at the center of everything. It’s about the smaller conflicts and the everyday mysteries of who we are and what we want and how we can love each other.
(I just wrote that, by the way, with the understanding that right now we really DO have a big problem that’s at the center of everything, and we’re all kinda struggling with the fact that we can’t three-act-structure solve it.)
6. I’m going to be teaching a class at Seattle’s Hugo House on Saturday, October 7: How to Manage—and Grow—Your Freelance Income. Signups open on August 22. My previous Hugo House classes have hit capacity, so if you want to be part of this one, sign up soon.
7. Yes, I just added a piece of news that wasn’t related to The Biographies of Ordinary People. I’d like to expand this TinyLetter to include updates related to my teaching and writing work. How do you feel about that? I don’t plan on sending a gob of emails, but I do want to tell you when I’m doing stuff like conventions or classes. (And, of course, whatever novel I end up writing after Biographies Vol. 2.)
Is that… something you might appreciate, or do you just want all Biographies all the time?
9. The best podcast episode I heard in the past week was Lucy Bellwood’s conversation with Abby Kraai—they discuss practice, and boundaries, and being the kind of creative person who wants to share as much as possible while also keeping part of themselves just for themselves. (That last bit is #1 thing I am dealing with right now, besides OUR CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION.)
Lucy Bellwood’s podcast is Patreon-locked, so if you want something else to listen to I’ll recommend the newest Friendshipping Podcast episode: “Sucky Eel Friends and Midwestern Dads.”
Thanks for reading. ❤️