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Elizabeth Scott

the purse: window to the soul, or pack rat heaven?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I was reading Vogue yesterday and noticed that enormous purses seem to be popular. Or at least that designers want to sell them. This makes me happy as I am unable to carry a small bag. I've tried (oh, how I've tried!) and I've got about a dozen cute little purses that sit gathering dust because they simply aren't large enough to hold all my crud

For instance, right now my purse (I actually used a gigantic leather messenger bag for years, until I got my first advance and decided to buy something that didn't look like it had been repeatedly run over by a truck) holds the following:

a cell phone. It drops calls like crazy, and the battery drains to nothing when I turn the dratted thing on, but I'm too lazy to replace it.

three notebooks. Two I actually use, and usually end up scribbling bits of stories when I'm stuck in traffic. I don't know why I carry two around, but I do. The third one is the very first notebook I dropped in my bag, back when I started writing in 1999, and although it's full of bits of scrawled nonsense (by which I mean CRAP), I keep it around because it reminds me of how it felt to discover that I could write stuff that wasn't grocery lists or papers. And also because reading over how bad my writing used to be makes me feel marginally better about how it is now.

one monster-sized wallet. A relative gave it to me a while ago (okay, I was seventeen, so it was um, a long while ago) and even though it's too big to put in a regular purse (every once in a while, I try to replace it, but there isn't anything big enough to hold all the junk I carry around in it) I love it. It holds all my library cards and bookstore cards and extra allergy medicine and the dollar bill ring my husband made for me when we were dating and he told me he knew that we were going to get married (Yes, I really am sappy enough to keep that sort of thing!) It also holds other things like my checkbook and license, but to be honest, the things that get used most often are related to book purchasing or borrowing.

a book. Currently it's Dani Shaprio's Slow Motion, which I just started last night. Usually I carry whatever I'm reading, although if the book is really heavy (like The Glass Book of the Dream Eaters, which I read a little while ago), I'll drop in something else instead. I mean, even I draw the line at lugging around an eight hundred page hardcover.

a inhaler. Just in case my allergies act up.

two EpiPens. Again, just in case. (food allergies REALLY suck)

a Nintendo Gameboy Advance. Okay, this one is pretty embarrassing, but I figure if I can lug it around, I might as well admit to it. If I finish reading the book I'm carrying and have nothing else to do, I play really old games. I'm especially fond of Donkey Kong Country, probably because it's the one video game I have ever finished.

a teeny tiny coin purse somebody who got tired of me never being able to find change gave me in the hopes I'd actually keep change in it. It holds eye drops so I can blink without feeling my contact lenses rub against my eyes like sandpaper and subway cards from various cities (some of which are still valid!) Occasionally, this will also yield the stray penny. (Or dime!)

pens. Always at least two, and usually three, because I seem to gravitate toward using ones that are almost out of ink

my name badge from the SCBWI conference I went to where I met the editor who ended up buying Stealing Heaven (my second book)

one, two, or all of the following: something I need to mail to someone, dvds I've borrowed or am loaning someone, and/or several pieces of paper with either book titles or author names written on them (because you never know when you might find yourself in/near a library or bookstore)

If you actually read through all of this, you deserve a medal. But since that's the one thing I actually don't carry in my bag, here are some links to things that are far more interesting than my purse...

http://www.absolutewrite.com/freelance_writing/publishing_purgatory.htm -- Robin Friedman on how selling a book (or two, or twenty) doesn't mean your writing career is set for life.

Roxanne Longstreet Conrad's (aka Rachel Caine, author of the very successful Weather Warden series, as well as a new YA series that's just started with the book Glass Houses) career timeline. Honest and funny, as well as inspirational.

A New York Times profile of Naomi Novik, author of the popular Temeraire series, which was recently optioned by Peter Jackson. It's a nice profile, but the thing I can't get over? Novik writes 6,000 words a day. A DAY!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, E.
My jaw also dropped when I saw the 6,000 words. Jeez. Perhaps that's on a very productive day, eh?

Your purse sounds like my purse, except instead of epi pens and inhalers I have migraine medications! Hooray for Bloom being listed on Amazon!


October 15, 2006 12:49 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Scott said...

6,000 words a day is the kind of thing that sends you (okay, me) reeling. And then feeling like a slacker. But then I remembered reading that Stephen King writes 2,000 words a day, so she even makes him look like a slacker. And then I felt better.

It is pretty exciting to have Bloom listed on Amazon!

October 16, 2006 9:32 AM  

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