"This and a cup of coffee" is what my grandmother used to say when delighting in a good meal, or sweets, and needing nothing else in the world. The saying was adopted by my parents and their group of friends, and now I've found myself uttering it. It's how I feel about the Girlfriends Book Club. Every morning I tune in to another author musing and think to myself, "this and a cup of coffee...." as in, "what more do I need to start a perfect day?"
My name is Melissa Clark and I am the author of "Swimming Upstream, Slowly," a book about a woman who becomes pregnant although she hasn't had sex in over two years. She's diagnosed as harboring a 'lazy sperm' and must revisit her past loves to figure out who the father is. My second novel, "Imperfect" is on submission and looking for a home, and I just completed my third novel, "Bear in Mind" about the aftermath of a kidnapping in a small town - a far cry tonally from the first novel.
While the summer was spent writing "Bear in Mind", I also indulged in many happy hours of reading. Some favorites included "Year of Fog" by Michelle Richmond and "The Mercy Papers" by Robin Romm. I'm excited to dig in to Franzen's "Freedom," Vendela Vida's "The Lovers," and "Welcome to the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan next.
Meanwhile, I'm teaching a weekend workshop in October called "Quiet Please: Silencing the Inner Critic" at the magical Esalen Institute in Big Sur. If you are interested in finding out more information please click here. There are a few spots available and if you've never been to Esalen this is a good excuse to go. I guarantee that you'll sit in the natural hot springs overlooking the Pacific ocean and think, "this and a cup of coffee!"
Melissa Clark is the author of "Swimming Upstream, Slowly," the creator of "Braceface," an animated television series which aired on ABC Family, and an instructor of Literature and Creative Writing at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. You can follow her on her blog, Connections Clark.