January 23, 2005


I wrote this yesterday, very sleep deprived, and it is a little bit rambley and whatnot -- I am in Birmingham, popping in on a superlative Indy Bookstore (The Alabama Booksmith) to get a signed copy of Cassandra King's new book, and I can't get e-mail and BLAH BLAH BLAH, so this was written in the car as I TRAVELLED AGAIN. I will post again as soon as I spend a good 14 hours facedown on a pillow, drooling. Which is the SUM TOTAL of my plans for this evening.


Except in Spanish. SPAIN bought gods in Alabama, and we LIKE Spain now. A long time ago, very long, when I was a FETUS, practically, I went on a school trip to GREECE, and on the flight over Jimmy Carter decided no one could go to Greece because of terrorism, so we were deferred in mid-air to Spain and I spent the time I SHOULD have been cruising the Greek isles in Madrid instead. Madrid is GORGEOUS, actually, so it all worked out.

Here is everything I have to say about Spain:
1) There was a little bakery by the hotel that sold these very thin, faintly sweet BUNS (they were papery and layered and may have actually been considered cookies) of which I was RIDICULOUSLY fond.
2) I will never get that Hemingway thing about bulls. Never.
3) I took a bus out of the city into Rural Spain Proper, so I could go horse-back riding. I had to negotiate the hire of the horses with the 10 year old daughter of the barn's owner. I spoke no Spanish, they spoke no English, but the girl and I both had had 2 years of German, so we worked it out in VERY VERY FORMAL hyper polite German, with terribly FORMAL verbs.
4) The money seemed fake to me. It wasn’t like spending actual money. It was so, OUTSIZE and MULTICOLORED. I couldn’t take it seriously. It is a LOVELY way to feel on vacation---very FREEing.
5) VERY LATER, I went to Italy where I got a pair of TO DIE FOR chocolate brown pumps with rounded, 40's toes and high High HIGH black heels with inlaid gold cats CLIMBING them. OH my they were sassy and if I had understood what I was paying for them in ACTUAL AMERICAN DOLLARS I would NEVER have bought them. I kept them FOREVER, tenderly caring for them so they remained practically IMMACULATE, and then ten years later I got pregnant and my feet GREW AN ENTIRE SIZE, and they never SHRUNK back down to what I still consider to be their true and spiritual size! And of all the shoes I gave away when Sam was twpo and I at last admitted they were permanently LARGER feet, those italian leather pumps were the only ones CRIED to lose. BUT that's not Spain, That's Italy.and Italy has NOT bought my book (yet! Yet! there is hope for your nation still, Italy!) but until they do I refuse to endorse their REMARKABLE ICE CREAM and all the other stuff I REALLY liked there, like, the seeing the pope, and the fact that they have no legal drinking age and, you know, Venice.

But meanwhile, SPAIN BOUGHT GODS! And, this is my first foreign language sale, because the UK and Australia can’t really be counted as a foreign language sale, although, there are thoise in Great Britain who might say AMERICVAN is not really the same thing as English….and they might have a point. BUT HERE IS A COOL THING ABOUT SPAIN: I BET THEY WILL CHANGE THE TITLE! Because it only makes sense. Alabama isn’t a terribly well-known state in Continental Europe. I would change the title, if *I* were Spain So I am DYING to see the cover and what the new title will be. Because, yes, I am a monstrous dork. But you knew that.

Posted by joshilyn at January 23, 2005 10:40 AM

But you are OUR monstrous dork. :)

Posted by: Mir at January 23, 2005 10:50 AM

Congratulations on Spain buying! (I always feel creepy leaving a first post when I've been lurking.) I lived in Spain in college and one thing that stands out in my mind from their bookstores and movie theaters is that they seemed to take their titles very seriously. They'd either be waaaaay to literal (i.e., when I was there, the Austin Powers movie The Spy Who Shagged Me was out and it was translated to The Spy Who F-worded Me, yikes, imagine your children seeing that on a billboard) or they'd just get crazy with making it something totally unexpected...your new title may translate to something like Reminder of Our Ephemeral, Earthly Presence in a Land Whose Climate is Temperate.

Posted by: Sarah at January 23, 2005 11:10 AM

Time I came out of the lurker closet too. I've been reading for awhile. I love your blog. I want to be you! Well, actually, I want to be me but with your fabulous life and boots.

Speaking of boots, I cried a little myself for your lost Italian leather cat boots. I hope you were able to find a good home for them.

I bought a pair of sandals last summer in Italy. Three skinny rhine-stoney straps. Two of them are what you'd expect, but the third (the one at the ankle) is only attached on one end and is wired. You wrap it around your ankle, going up your leg. The end of it is a little silver snake head.

I would cry to lose them. So I guess I won't be having any more babies.

Posted by: Katrina at January 23, 2005 11:39 AM

Congrats! Now you are truly an international author!!!

Btw, I thought I was the only one who drooled on the pillow when I went into a coma-sleep! Nice to know we have something in common, just wish it would have been your talent! LOL

take care,

Posted by: dee at January 23, 2005 11:51 AM

Heck. I am excited too. I tell hubby I live vicariously through you. Do you have a pic of these boots?

I am still up for the assistant job if ya need me. *snicker*

Posted by: Heather at January 23, 2005 12:01 PM

I went to Madrid once too! And was CHASED through my hotel by a group of teenage boys who were screaming unintelligible things at me and scared the willies out of me! Until LATER, when I found out that they weren't interested in robbing or harming me, but only wanted to pet my HAIR, which I guess is kind of a weird color, for Spain. So, maybe suggest that Lena's hair be strawberry blonde, on the Spanish cover. They'll fly off the shelves!
Congratulations on the international sale!!

Posted by: Amy at January 23, 2005 6:11 PM

I do so much enjoy your Blog pages. Also congrats on the Spain Deal. A super way to start a day, I might add.
I am awaiting the DEBUT of your book. So proud of you! aunt mern
Loved the COLOR picture!!!!

Posted by: Aunt Mern at January 29, 2005 11:38 AM