People

Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Writers’ Block Party creator and author Amy Krouse Rosenthal answers the ten questions, explaining how she found some joy in a sock.

DOB: 4/29/65

Occupational title(s): Writer, creator of stuff

Websites: Writers’ Block Party and Mommy Mommy

Favorite book(s): Paul Auster’s I Thought My Father Was God or Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book or David Shields’ Remote or Malcom Gladwell’s Tipping Point or Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America or her Self Help or Leonard Koren’s 13 Books or William Steig’s Sylvester and The Magic Pebble. I can’t decide.

Heroes: My mom

What makes you laugh: A white sock somehow became affixed to our garage door the other day and every time the garage door went up, so did the little white sock. This cracked me up, every single time. I began to look forward to watching that sock rise up, and rise down; it was an odd, funny, 100 percent cotton daily beacon of joy. And while I knew the sock would ultimately—inevitably—unattach itself, when that day came, and no sock rose up with the garage door, I was sad.

Recent gaffe: Ordering the “perfect pancake maker” from an infomercial with the kids one recent saturday morning—they wanted to get it as a surprise for their pancake-making dad. It finally came. The pancakes it produces are so not perfect.

Next three places you hope to visit: My favorite local coffeehouse (“Katerina’s”) where I do most of my writing. Yoga class. Home.

Charity worth giving to: JUF

Worst advice you’ve received on writing: I don’t have a “formal” writing background so I didn’t get much advice either way to tell you the truth. But I can tell you the BEST advice I ever received, and I can’t remember where I learned this: “Don’t worry so much about being the absolute best at what you do (there’s always going to be someone ‘better’) but rather try and be the only one who is doing what you do.” I like that. Kinda gives you persmission to experiment, be true to your own voice, and suck a bit if you have to.

AND U.N.RELATED TO ANYTHING: I recently noticed that the word “bestseller” is visually similar to “be stellar.” Don’t know what that means exactly, but I was intrigued.

Five words that sound great: They lived happily ever after.

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Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. He is the author of three books, including his latest novel The Last Kid Left (NPR’s Best Books of the Year). His nonfiction appears in a variety of magazines, mostly GQ. More information can be found at rosecransbaldwin.com. More by Rosecrans Baldwin