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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Champagne and telescopes!


Birthday sparklers, a surprise from Ailbhe. I am awfully fond of metaphors.


TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spiffy, right? I am so in love with this new site, and so grateful to LeahCreates for designing it for me. I really wanted something clean and fresh and simple, and this is perfect. (I would like to cut and stitch my own handmade header at some point—I can see it so clearly in my head—but for now this is just right.)

Now I suppose the most obvious question is, what is a comet party? (And as a part-two to that question: why “comet party” instead of my own name? As an author, don’t I kinda need to put my name all over this site?)

The phrase “comet party” had been appearing again and again in my notebooks over the past few years. I knew it was important—a message from my subconscious, or whatever you want to call it—but I also knew that it wasn’t meant to be a book title. I loved the idea of a bunch of astronomy geeks in tuxes and ball gowns getting together to drink champagne and watch a comet hurtle across the night sky.

Over the past year or so, the comet metaphor has grown into a way of life for me. I want to live a bright and celebratory and deeply meaningful life, and I want to help other people figure out how to do the same. That’s why I became a vegan lifestyle coach in June, and why I want to offer content to inspire readers to explore their creativity on a much deeper level. Like, scary deep. Awesome deep.

As for why “Comet Party” instead of (The original URL will redirect, by the way. I just need to finish transferring some files before I take down the old site.) I could certainly go on writing novels, eventually find a cushy teaching gig at a suburban liberal arts college, and live a happy life—but I’ll be a great deal happier if I keep following the same instinct that led me to build this new site. I don’t want to live a comfortable, complacent life. I want to be more than a writer. I feel the impulse to share what I’ve learned, and it would be wrong not to honor that.

Over the past five years I’ve had several conversations with my sister about becoming the sort of blogger who, you know, gets comments from people she doesn’t know in real life; and Kate pointed out that bloggers who focus on one subject will naturally have an easier time attracting readers. I know she’s right, but I’m interested in so many things—and could you imagine my starting a bunch of separate blogs for each subject?! A miscellany has always made the most sense to me, so I’m sticking to it.

The ongoing spam issue and having to turn off comments only amplified the feeling that I was talking to an empty room. But the real issue, for me, is a matter of blogging as a form of community building, and that’s something I really want to work on through Comet Party. This will be our shindig, mine and yours.

Writing-wise, travel-wise, vegan-wise, any-wise, if there’s something in particular you’d like me to blog about, please do leave me a comment. And in the future I’ll do a better job of asking for your input. I’m also going to adopt a proper blogging schedule so that if you’re only really interested in, say, posts on books and writing, you can just check in with me on Mondays and leave it at that. I’ll still be happy to have you.

Of course, I hope everyone will be interested in Where We Make, my new weekly feature on artists’ workspaces. Read this post for all the whys and wherefores. Here’s the blogging schedule, by the way:

Mondays: The literary stuff. Book appreciations, my writing process, and suchlike.

Tuesdays: Either travel stories or something on a more directly spiritual topic. (Yes, this is new for me. I’m going to get way more honest with you.)

Wednesdays: Vegan is love, baby! Recipes. The philosophy. General lifestyle goodies (like where to find shoes that aren’t made of plastic.)

Thursdays: All things arty and crafty. Fine art, knitting, sewing, embroidery, etc.

Fridays: Where We Make! The first entry (mine!) goes up at the end of this week.

What else is new? What else do I have planned?

  •  To celebrate the new site, I’ll be offering some giveaways in the next couple of weeks—copies of the Petty Magic audiobook and a dessert out of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking! Yes, I am actually going to bake and send you a box of cookies (or cake, or macaroons, or whatever; your choice!) Watch this space daily, because I am a really good baker if I do say so myself. I gotta spread the word that vegan baked goods can be thoroughly delicious, because everyone seems to have a story about a vegan brownie they bought in some random coffee shop that tasted like cocoa-flavored sidewalk chalk.
  • In keeping with my new tagline, “experiments in incandescent living” (you can read more here about the concept of “an incandescent mind”), I’ll be throwing myself into fun new ongoing projects and documenting them on the blog. The first is veganizing a series of recipes out of Cookery and Pastry, Susanna MacIver’s 18th-century Scottish cookbook (you can read her recipe for “fairy butter” in one of my Hawthornden write-ups); and the second is vegan chocolatiering. I want to learn how make my own gourmet chocolates SO BAD, and once I have the basics down I want to make fancy stuff like the violet cremes you can find at Hope & Greenwood, that most magical of London candy shops. (There’s more, but these two are plenty to start. And realistically, both will have to wait until 2014.)
  • More Q&As with my favorite writers, artists, and vegan luminaries. My first Q&A is with McCormick Templeman, it’s REALLY juicy (for you guys who love to read and talk about the joys and mysteries of the creative process), and it’s going up next Monday! I’ll also be interviewing crafty friends from Squam, new friends from Main Street Vegan Academy, and my unbelievably talented audiobook narrator, Kelley Hazen.
  • Some Q&As will feature giveaways of brand-new books. (Rachel Cantor! More McCormick Templeman, because you can never get enough McCormick Templeman! And if you have other suggestions for cool folks to interview, I’m all ears. And fingers.)
  • In keeping with my new role as a vegan lifestyle coach and educator, there’s brand-new content on this site for the veg-curious: check out my resources page and the Vegan Q&A. I know most of you aren’t vegan yet, and some of you have next to zero interest in the subject, but the information is there for you if you ever change your mind.

And finally, can I just tell you how PSYCHED I am to be using WordPress, which means you can comment whenever you feel like it? I really want to hear from you. Tell me if anything I’ve said here has prompted some sort of reaction in you—if you’re also feeling this same desire to shrug off your own limiting beliefs about who you are, what you’re capable of, and what you’re really meant to be doing with your life.

Tell me what you’d like me to write about.

And tell me if you’d like to contribute to the new site in some way—whether on Where We Make or a Q&A.

Thanks so much for all your friendship and support. I’m over-the-moon excited for this…as if you couldn’t tell!

10 Comments to Champagne and telescopes!

  1. September 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    love this, love you! so excited to follow along!! xo

  2. September 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Scary deep! Violet cremes! Rachel Cantor! Bring it on!

    Congrats, my dear. So happy for you, and proud of you always. Even if this is a comment from someone you know IRL. 🙂

  3. Ailbhe Slevin's Gravatar Ailbhe Slevin
    September 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Delighted and honoured to make an appearance on the front page of your new website! Wishing you all the luck in the world with it, I will be following closely xxx.

  4. September 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    SO SO SO SO fabulous! congrats all around. it is gorgeous and it is going to bring such goodness to the community it nurtures! LOVE LOVE LOVE, e

  5. September 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Yay! Congratulations on the new site. It feels perfectly matched for the bright outlook you have on what you plan to do on the site.

    Boo to all spam!

    By the way, as having been on the receiving end of your yummy baked goodies, I can attest to how good a baker you really are!

    Wishing you lots of love and light!

  6. September 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Spiffy indeed and HOORAY for comments! 🙂 The love and hard work you have put into the thoughtful creation of this space is evident with each click. Well done and congratulations!

  7. September 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Looking good, Camille! The site is so you and so easily navigable. (Wait, that made you sound easily navigable. Which is good. Anyway.)

    One suggestion for an author interview is – I just finished her new book Unthinkable and really enjoyed it.

  8. September 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    EEEE! Camille!! I LOVE IT. I love every last speck of it! I can’t wait to be a part of your community. AND I’m already vegan and to those who aren’t? COME TO THE LIGHT SIDE. We ALSO have cookies, and not only are they delicious, if you make ’em right, they don’t have to make your ass huge!

    I can vouch for Camille’s baking BTW. Lemon bars are still a fave around here.

  9. Mamacita,'s Gravatar Mamacita,
    September 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I love the site and am looking forward to following it and keeping in tune with such a creative, loving and beautiful person! xoxo

  10. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    September 24, 2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    I’m so excited for the new site (especially Tuesdays!)!!! Congrats big sis!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.