April 17, 2005

The Perfect Signing AND The 2005 AIM BALL World Championship Charity Tourney to Benefit Imperiled Inchworms

The Montgomery Signing was just TEXTBOOK what you hope for....seriously. The Adviser ran a FABULOUS article about the book, and the reporter who interviewed me showed up to the event. NEAT guy, good writer, and he LIKES MY BOOK, so. Very pretty, he is. And the bookstore's owners and their assistant manager had read and loved the book, and Capitol Book and News is a wonderful store---a community store. They've spent years gathering and nuturing a LARGE PONDFUL of total book junkies and since I am a card carrying member of the book junkie tribe myself I had a GREAT time. People were excited about the book -- before I arrived they had to STOP TAKING PHONE ORDERS because they were afraid that they would run out at the actual event. WE SOLD A SLEW!!!!!! Maybe even TWO slews. And some friends and relations of mine came too, always fun, and and and. It was good. Neat people.

You know how eclectically I read -- I asked the owner for a good read, no hardbacks, no trade, something portable, maybe with COPS in it because 1) my carry-on was already clinically obese and 2) I like a big scoop of plot with my plane-rides, THANKS. I bought the first two mysteries in a series...IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER, the first one is called, and it should NOT be called that, because who wants to read somethign bleak? NO ONE ON A PLANE. But it is UN-Bleak, it is the working opposite of bleak, it is warm and human, VERY well-written, with likeable, layered characters who are caught in a smart, twisty plot that has distracted me from my SUFFERING as I sit sulking and hating airport chairs with a black and bitter hate. The title comes from a hymn, and that makes sense because the protag is an Episcopal Priestwho gets embroiled in a murder investigation with a Cop.

AND let me say... wow. TITLE and COVER can REALLY make a difference, isn't that awful? Looking at the cover (bleak) and the title (bleakitty bleak bleak bleak) I would never have bought this book if a hand-seller (GOD BLESS THEM, EVERY ONE) hadn't put it in my hands and said, YEAH I KNOW THE COVER IS NOT PERFECT...BUT READ THE FIRST SENTENCE. So I did and BOOM, hooked. The sentence:

"It was one hell of a night to throw away a baby."

You have to admit, that's pretty good-n-hooky, Especially when the back jacket copy makes it plain that 1) IT IS NOT A DEAD BABY NOR IS IT A BABY WHO DIES. Because NO ONE wants a dead baby on page one of their plane book. SO. It is an alive perfectly fine but abandoned baby. And 2) a dead body who is NOT a baby will be along in chapter two to liven, or deaden, or whateveren things up.

NOW off to Arkansas for the literary festival. WHEE. BUT OH WAIT! FIRST! I have to explain AIM BALL to alla y'all who asked....

Scott and I used to play Tennis. But it was very boring. It went like this:

Scott serves...Ace. Scott Serves...Ace . Scott serves...Ace. Scott Serves...Ace for Game.
I Serve, Scott returns, love-15. I serve, Scott Returns, Love-30. I serve, Scott returns, Love 45. I Serve, Scott returns...SKUNK.

Got very boring. Part of it is he has DEADLY hand-eye co-ordination (This is a guy who used to win pool tourneys)Part of it is that I am just...BAD. I forget to look at the ball and I hit too hard and I trip over dust motes. SO I invented AIM BALL. The rules are as follows:

ALL Players must have an international AIM BALL superstar name. (as I told you yesterday, we are Envoy Flippert and Svetlinka Muppineska).
Points are awarded thusly:
Scott has to aim the ball and try to hit it right to me. If it goes far from me and I can't return it, I get a point.
If the ball comes right to me or close enough for me to get it, and I return it, and it lands ANYWHERE on or near his half of the court, and he cannot return it directly to me, I get a point.
The only dumb rule is the one about if he hits it directly to me and I can't return it at all, or return it to a neighboring court or to the back lawn over the fence, then he stupidly gets a point which is dumb.

THE SAD THING: He STILL almost always wins. He certainy kicked my butt in THIS tourney. The crowd was very disappointed, as Svetlinka Muppineska is a HUGE favorite. After losing a hotly contested volley, I had to look up at the hissing, enraged (and um somewhat imaginary) crowd and shake my fist and yell, "STOP BOOING HIM! HE IS NICE! REALLY! NO! NO DO NOT THROW MONKEY FECES AT HIM...PLEASE..."

I contend that I only lost because my concentration was broken by the 5 THOUSAND inchworms, snails, and woolly worms who were trying to commit SUICIDE VIA BAKING by crawling out onto the 400 degree clay court. I would see them out of the corner of my eye and have to stop the game and pluck them up and tote them to safety. It played HELL with my concentration, but Svetlinka is known world wide for being Bugmanitarian. WHAT HEART! You can see why Svetlinka is SO popular! POOR FLIPPERT! Even when he wins, he loses.

I better go get him a baby wipe for that monkey feces...

Posted by joshilyn at April 17, 2005 12:26 PM

1. Well this is one of those weird synchronicity things, because I have had thoughts running through my head all morning about how much difference, if any, cover and title make to a book's success. I was thinking about blogging about it this afternoon (and still may) and there you are talking about this very thing. One of us is obviously psychic.

2. Where can one buy an official Svetlana Muppineska t-shirt or tote bag?

Posted by: DebR at April 17, 2005 2:03 PM

OOps...I meant Svetlinka of course. I grovel in most abject abjectivity.

Posted by: DebR at April 17, 2005 2:05 PM

I love everything about Aim Ball. I want to be Peppy O'Malley.

Posted by: Amy at April 18, 2005 10:37 AM

I am glad Montgomery loved on you. I have never even heard of that bookstore. We actually lived about 25 minutes outside of Montgomery, so I did very little exploring there. I spent my class breaks in BAM, b/c it was across the street from AUM.

Tiff called yesterday to discuss going to your signing. :) So, can we totally hold up the line for lots of Momwriter pictures and salivating over your awesome shoes?

Posted by: Heather at April 18, 2005 4:12 PM

I have read all three of the Clare Fergusson mysteries and absolutely loved them. Wonderful recommendation from what sounds like a kickass bookstore.

My only complaint is that every time I see the title of the first book, the version of "In the Bleak Midwinter" that immediately earworms me is the Chrissie Hynde/Richard Thompson one from the Blind Boys of Alabama's "Go Tell it on the Mountain". Great rendition, but waaaaay outta season for April on the coast of Carolina.

Posted by: terrilynn at April 23, 2005 9:21 PM