April 1, 2005

Yes, I am Spoiled (now with a HOLY CRAP addendum)

I am HOMEHOMEHOME from Birmingham. I had to DRIVE MYSELF! Oh, the humanity! Usually Scott drives me (SPOILED! TOTALLY SPOILED ROTTON!) and I spend the ENTIRE TRIP reading so I LIKE travelling, but UGH. With no book on tape, DERNIT, I was forced to be a danger to myself and others by spending the entire two hour trip yacking on the cell phone JUST LIKE all those LAWYERS and whatnots who are so busy and important as they bark intensely into their cell phones that they run me off the road into the kudzu. I always feel irked as I plummet to my death because of them, except now I am more tolerant because I think perhaps they are not so much busy and important as they are WILLING TO DIE (and kill others) because highway driving is SO FREAKING BORING. I know I was perfectly willing to die by the time I hit intersate 20, and so I called everyone I knew and made them talk to me in shifts until I got home.

AND the truly irritating thing is when I got home, my author copies of the AUDIO VERSION of gods in Alabama were there, waiting for me! I'd been dying to hear it, and it would have been PERFECT and MUCH SAFER to have in the car. Alas! At any rate, I barricaded myself in my office and stuck the first CD in...The actor reading it is Catherine Taber, she's a Georgia native who has done ALL KINDS OF TINGS here in Atlanta, very young, very cute, right at the beginning of her career out in LA. I had never seen her or heard her speak and I was a little bit nervous. Listening to her read the book I wrote was a VERY strange experience...I am trying to figure out a way to explain it.

OKAY! GOT IT. You all know I am a great big geek, so how surprising is it that I read The Fellowship of the Ring 945 times, starting when I was about ten. SO, a few years ago, when the movie came out, I of course went to see it in the theatre. And I was sitting there watching it, and we got to the part where the four hobbits are crouched off the road, underneath this canopy of roots, and one of the Nazgul is there, leaning over, craning, SNIFFING these horrifying deep sniffs and the hobbits' backs are pressed hard onto the earth ...watching it, I got DIZZY. I got this weird feeling of deja vous, and I knew I had seen this EXACT THING before, in detail, perfectly, just exactly like this. And I could not place the scene for a few seconds, and it was making me crazy, WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS??? And then I realized... I had seen it exactly the way it looked on screen in my BRAIN, every time I read that scene in my childhood. Tolkien is an EXTREMELY visual writer and Peter Jackson NAILED that image.

Listening to Taber read gods was EXACTLY that way. Vertigo. The accent is perfect---a southern girl who has been out of the south for a bit, so it's distinct but light, never hokey or overblown, her inflections, the tone, the pitch, she sounds INTENSE and the voice sounds like it is coming from a small frame. GREAT comic timing...She's Arlene. She is perfectly and absolutely Arlene JUST like I heard Arlene in my head when I was WRTING this book. It gives me the shivers. And she has NAILED the secondary characters. One of my favorite characters in the book is Arlene's bitter, tough-as-nails Aunt Florence, and when I do readings, I always CLIP the ends of Flo's words, so she sounds hard and terse but still SO alabama -- Taber got it PERFECTLY.

I am half-inclined to leap into my car and drive out to L.A. and find her and kiss on the mouth, but I think that would only end in a protective order and arrest for murder in multiple states because Lord only knows how many unsuspecting folks would get run off the road and killed before my cell phone battery gave out.

HOLY CRAP ADDENDUM: A Faithful Reader ordered the book from Amazon, AND he just e'mailed me to tell me...IT SHIPPED TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by joshilyn at April 1, 2005 10:57 AM

You know I've tried to explain the whole movie screen in the head thing before, and been stared at like an alien. Some people don't have the movie screen! It's like they're broken.

Posted by: Bonnie Ann at April 1, 2005 11:52 AM

Does she sound like you? Because your voice is what I hear in my head when I read Arlene. I can't wait to listen to it! Less than two weeks! *squealing like a little girl*

Posted by: Amy at April 1, 2005 1:32 PM

Dang! You had me all hot and bothered, but I just checked Amazon, and my copy's not scheduled to ship until April 14.

How the heck did your (other) Faithful Reader get so lucky??!!

Oh, well. I guess it's a heads-up to finish Elizabeth Buchan, so my plate'll be empty.

Posted by: Katrina Stonoff at April 1, 2005 2:05 PM

Ok, that Holy Crap Addendum really got my hopes up. But no. No copy of "gods" on the way to Kentucky yet. Sigh.

It's ok. I don't mind being sad. :-D

Posted by: DebR at April 1, 2005 4:07 PM

I just got a call from my local bookseller, The Raven, in Lawrence, Kansas and MY COPY OF "GODS IN ALABAMA", WHICH I JUST ORDERED ON WEDNESDAY, IS ALREADY THERE! Yes! It's in the store and waiting for me! Unfortunately, I have to wait until Monday, since I don't work again until Monday and that's where I work (Lawrence). But still. I have my copy practically in my hand. BEFORE IT GETS TO BORDERS. Borders is down the block from The Raven and yet The Raven perseveres. AND THEY GOT ME MY COPY REALLY FAST! I love them. I am SO ready to read this book. It's good, right?

Leslie, in Hiawatha

Posted by: Leslie Noo at April 1, 2005 5:03 PM

Wait, is the book out now?? josh, email me so we can talk ipod talk and have a good cyber toast! Wendi

Posted by: The Happy Booker at April 1, 2005 5:34 PM

I spoke too soon. Got a ship notice this evening. YES!

Posted by: DebR at April 1, 2005 10:24 PM

OMG LESLIE! I live in Lenexa! I'm only half an hour from Lawrence! Where is the Raven and how do I get there?!

Posted by: Amy at April 1, 2005 10:58 PM

Books are in Corte Madera, CA... and looking fabulous... xxoo

Posted by: Martha O'Connor at April 2, 2005 1:36 AM

Okay, tell me honestly: Does it make me a bad mother that "When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs" shipped but "gods" has not, yet, and I'm PISSED???

Posted by: Mir at April 2, 2005 10:33 AM

Mine shipped today, yay!

Posted by: KarenB at April 3, 2005 6:35 PM

Mine's waiting for me at my indy bookstore. I'm going to get it tomorrow unless I break down and skip work today. ;)

Posted by: Linda Sherwood at April 4, 2005 9:05 AM