To Laura, from Megan, on “The Novelist”

If you’ve read L.L. Barkat’s “The Novelist” (and if you haven’t, you should), you’ll know that Laura had a few questions for Megan. I answer them here as best I can, despite the fact that I am not a tea empress, nor did I know this project was in the works until it was almost finished. 

Yes, I like rain, and I like to walk uncovered in it. Preferably in Colorado. (We don’t get enough in Texas.) At home, I just duck. No umbrellas. No hoods.
Also, I drink my tea in mugs — all of which are precious to me, like your cup with the frog. At Christmas, I switch to cups and saucers, all from various china patterns.
I have not read every book, but I do read an awful lot. I know very little.
I’ve read your book twice. I’m sorry it took me longer than usual, but it was the first week of school, and it had more than enough drama. Anyway.
I’m still in shock. I feel like someone just gave me a check for, oh, $500,000, and I never planned for that contingency. What on earth does a person do with a gift like this? It is truly bizarre to see my name in the story, on Amazon, and to know that in some odd way, I did get you to write a novel.
My favorite sentence? “Megan had lost her mind.” I know I should pick another, but it’s true. And, “This thing with Megan was ridiculous.” And, “Megan with her crazy dreams.” And, “how unusual Megan really was.” Oh, and, “Damn that Megan.”
Of course, there are lots of other things I like, too. The recurring purple imagery. (In fifth grade, I wore purple every day. Mr. Henry, the bus driver, called me the Queen of Purple). I love Laura’s mother, who is sneaky—a word that got redeemed for me through “The Artist’s Way.” A woodsman bearing rescue tea equipment. The de-hinged screen door. The unusual poem illustrated with Kelly’s photo of sorrowful feet. The wreck. Frankenstein. Poems I recognized and poems I didn’t.
I think you are the James in the novel, both teacher and mischief-maker. You pick people out of obscurity and help them to bloom profusely. Our Galinda.
I am taking Jeff Overstreet’s fiction class at Laity. I haven’t decided what to bring, if anything. I’m mainly going because he titled his workshop “Tell it Slant.” If I ever tell my story, that’s how I’ll do it. Maybe I’ll just bring poems and freak him out.
I would like to be “happily perseverant,” but right now I’ll settle for plain ol’ perseverant. I am happy when I walk my dogs under the ever-changing moon. I am happy when I make my tea and drink it and write on my back porch. I am happy in the mysteries of Catholicism (I came into the church at Easter. One woman proudly introduced me saying, “She is doing this all by herself! She’s so strong.”)
Signing off with Earl Grey with lavender — the only way I will drink Earl Grey. Happy Labor Day, now that this labor, at least, is finished.


  1. So enjoyed this little secret glimpse . Must read the novel.

  2. Eavesdropping here, and loving it. Oh, that Megan!

    P.S. I’m in Jeff Overstreet’s class too, although I doubt I’ll ever write a word of fiction. At least we’ll have fun together 🙂

  3. I love you, Megan, your lost mind and all. 🙂

    And yes, about L.L. “You pick people out of obscurity and help them to bloom profusely.” Yep.

  4. This was fun. And beautiful. I don’t know which session I’ll be in at Laity, but I hope to drink with you of something in a mug. 🙂

  5. This certainly piques my curiosity.

  6. LOVE this – and I kept wondering if you were Megan (does she say so in the intro??) I loved Jeff’s class last year and almost signed up again – but like, Nancy, I don’t ‘do’ fiction, even when I try – it’s always about people I know.But then again, there IS “The Novelist…” isn’t there??

  7. You are both very special ladies.

    Enjoy your time at Laity. I will be going there for the first time, in October.

  8. I, for one. Am glad you cleared those things up. I think reading that little novella was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

  9. Megan.

    My stars. 🙂 This is fabulous.

  10. Oh, my amazing friend. I know I’m not in your regular group but I’m so inspired and happy to see that I’m not the only one whom you inspire…and make happy. I can’t wait to get this book!

  11. I think I’d better give you a little nudge toward writing a book, because I do love the way you take words and make something special of them.
    I am definitely going to have to read the book. I’m nearly finished with one, so it could be next on the list!
    I didn’t know you were going again this year. I’ll be there with y’all in spirit. I just couldn’t manage it this year. sigh……

  12. I don’t read much fiction. I read “The Novelist” in one sitting and loved it.

    Inside every novelist is a poet waiting to be set free. I’m glad I met L.L. first as a poet. There’s poetry all over that novella, so now I’m waiting for L.L.’s book of love poetry. After all, “Laura” has a thing about hotel rooms.

  13. She’s doing this all by herself. She’s so strong!

    I love all of this. I love the surprise. I love you. I can’t wait to see you.

  14. I tried to send a comment from my “smart” phone; it was too dumb. But want you to know because YOUR words always inspire me, I ordered L.L.’s book…. because I love fiction, have so little time, desperately need help finishing my novel, and because I want to know more about Megan Willow. Ohhhhh what a lovely pen name for you! 🙂 when you do YOUR novel.

  15. Loved your answers. Have to go read the questions now. Can’t wait!

  16. I’m nudging right alongside Linda. She’s wise, and right.