September 16, 2005

Near, if not Actually HOME ON, the Range

I am home!
Sort of. I am off the boat anyway. And SO grateful to celebrity guest blogger Mir (of Woulda Coulda Shoulda) who was given MOD ACCESS TO KUDZU and never ONCE abused her newfound posting powers to perpetrate a A Very Bad Word Indeed upon these hallowed and generally PG-14-Year-Old-Nephew grounds. She never even ALLUDED to Female Problems Better Not Discussed. I am proud. Most importantly, she stepped in and ran B4B single-handedly. She. Is. Pretty.

Also, big thanks to celebrity guest author Melanie Lynn Hauser (whose book, Confessions of Super Mom is garnering great reviews) and MORE thanks to the B4B entrants who have kept Kudzu metaphorically floating in quality reading material while I was floating in a more literal and Atlantic Oceanly manner. The WINNERS are in the entry right below this one, posted by her beautimous Mir-liness. I'm so out of the loop of my OWN DERN BLOG that I started reading the second half of the ORIGINAL ENTRIES today with my morning coffee. WOW am I GLAD I delegated the job of narrowing the entries down!

SO back to the being sort of mostly HOME-ISH.

I am HOME in an AMERICA sense but not in the sense of MY house: I am at my mom-n-dad's place. But I WAS home, for a minute. Day before yesterday. Then I kissed Sam 500 times until he was all, MOM OKAY I MISSED YOU TOO JEEZ, and then I snatched up Maisy and we got in the car with my dad and came over here to meet with the Tonya Terry's Book Bunch in Mongomery. I was on WSFA's morning show, and then met with their very large and VERY chatty and VERY VERY OPINIONATED group of exceptional women (and one man) last night. The interview with Tonya (she's a PISTOL!) can be seen in streaming video here.

I wish the meeting could too, quite frankly.

Let's just say that gods in Alabama ended up being a SLIGHTLY controversial choice... A large and (Thank you, Lord) very vocal segment really took to the book, and I got that satisfying sense I almost always seem to get during book club visits---that these are more than surface readers. Very few of them missed a trick, and as always the reactions and opinions varied widely. I never regret finding time to go to book clubs.

There was a (Thank you again, Lord) much smaller contingent (about four) that wanted the book banned, and one of that number thought banned didn't quite cover it. She thought that all copies of the book should be gathered into a heap and set on fire and then I should be tossed on top of the burning heap in a literary version of suttee. She hadn't made it out of Chapter 2 when she became SO enraged with Arlene's *cough* blunt vocabulary and *cough cough* frank depictions of ...let's say, "scenes of a delicate nature" that she took it BACK to the bookstore, yelled at them for CARRYING such smutly filth, and demanded her money back.

Digression: I got tickled about that, because how much do you want to bet that ALL of those booksellers have now read the book? I dare to think that most people who read it like it, And if you can get a bookseller to like it, they help it find its readership. And by "Its readership" I mean, the folks who don't stop reading two chapters in to begin the laborious process of mailing me some dead animals or bombs because of Arlene's cheerful, uncomplicated relationship with the F word, and her incredibly convoluted relationship with the act that the F word purports to represent. If you follow me.

My favorite of the nay-sayers was the woman who did not attend but sent her friend with this message:
"I think the title was very misleading. I thought it would be a religious book, but this book is so graphic that it ought to have been called "OH GOD! OH GOD! OH GOD! In Alabama."

I may disagree with her assessment (as I have said before, I DO think of gods as a "religious book...") but HA! What a GREAT line! She should write reviews. I also liked meeting Tonya's co-anchor who greeted me with, "Oh, is this the Effin' author? How the Eff are ya?" He'd read the letter from the this-is-smutly-filth-book-returner, see.

AH WELL. ONWARDS, HO! (With the Ho being Arlene, apparently.)

BUSINESS: If you have written me e-mail in the last 2 weeks, I most likely have not answered you. It cost 50 cents a minute to have web access on the boat. YARP! I am going to catch up on all that my-real-life-stuff on Monday. Today I am driving home, and Scott and I plan to spend the weekend hanging out with our kids and our cat and our newts...

I have MANY MORE boat stories to tell you, About Jacek and Nicola, and what I have named each of my five COUNT THEM ...FIVE! brand new pounds of cruise-induced butt fat and my 20 day plan to murder each of them in turn, and about Why I Will Never Have A Second Career in the British Royal Navy (alternate title: Adventures of a Puffy Pink Puker) etc etc etc, and I shall try to not let all this stuff go the way of the roller-blade socks, but you know, every day, more life keeps happening. You can't stop it. So.

Posted by joshilyn at September 16, 2005 7:28 AM

The chapter two woman? Too, too funny! And I applaud how well you are taking it. I would probably cry. Because she didn't like me! Which is why I will probably never be a published writer, because I am much too much of a baby. :)

Posted by: Jensgalore at September 16, 2005 8:00 AM

Joss - Welcome the eff home. I have said this before, and I will say it again many are absolutely effin' brilliant and my very favourite effin' new author and when I am 50, you may very well be my very favourite effin' old author, provided that I forget C.S. Lewis ever existed. The effin' you know what in Montgomery and all off the other effin' you know whats who effin' don't even have the effin' courtesy to finish your effin' book before they effin' malign it AND my beloved Arlene (who, by the way, is my new best effin' imaginary friend) can kiss my effin' you know what. And I believe that I can say with some pretty dern effin' conviction that I speak for the vast effin' majority of all of the effin' folks that read this blog and are chewing their effin' bottom lips off in effin' anticipation of your next effin' book.

God bless!

Posted by: Angela at September 16, 2005 8:08 AM

Welcome back, Tulip! I MISSED you! I can't wait to hear about all of your international adventures.
About the eff-lady: What kind of person who becomes THAT upset about language in their reading material doesn't check the book carefully BEFORE buying it? It's not like you held her down and FORCED her to read it. SHEESH. What a moron.
Anyway, so glad you're (sort of) home!!

Posted by: Amy-GO at September 16, 2005 8:44 AM

Damn, if you'd called it OH GOD! OH GOD! OH GOD! in Alabama, I probably would've moved there immediately....

Posted by: Mir at September 16, 2005 8:51 AM

Welcome home, oh avid traveller(s). Glad you got to do the cruise, though I lament your, um, unfortunate, dispeptic episodes. Kudos on the kudos from the book club! Two nay-sayers out of a whole club is two thumbs way up, girl. And I must concur. That OH GOD, OH GOD, OH GOD line could sell the book all by itself! So, after you've snuffled kinderhairs and caught up on your email and stuff, are ya gonna please tell us when Between, Georgia is due out? Hmmm? Again, welcome home.

Posted by: David at September 16, 2005 10:19 AM

It was very fun to see the interview. You sound southern! :-)

I love the suggested new title of the book. I think you should suggest it for all future reprints and dedicate it to the woman who sent in the comment. Wouldn't she just love that?

I want to tell the Chapter Two woman to shut the eff up and go read some Grace Livingston Hill.

Posted by: DebR at September 16, 2005 11:06 AM

Welcome almost home. I think you did quite well on the cruise exchange rate into real pounds. They say most cruisers get away with seven cruise pounds, you only five -- well you've never been one to fall mid way in the pack. You'll set a whole new way to cruise the Atlantic.

You really should reserve Oh God, Oh God, Oh God in Alabama as the title of your next - work in the queue - I'd have bought it for the title alone, had I not read you before. Now I have to be honest it is you that brings me back.

Imagine being affronted by one little efin word in this day and age? What's that about?

Posted by: Cele at September 16, 2005 11:12 AM

I watched the video! So THAT's your voice! Not nearly as twangy as I expected. And your dimples! Very pretty.

I'm starting to question my own "cheerful, uncomplicated relationship with the F word" because I haven't really noticed it being excessive.

Welcome Home!

Posted by: Em at September 16, 2005 12:46 PM

Welcome home, Joss! I love the new title... hehehehehe.

Posted by: Martha O'Connor at September 16, 2005 1:03 PM

Welcome home!!

I feel your pain--I gained 4 lbs from my cruise :X

And that clinches it, I'm reading your book next ;)

Posted by: Angel at September 16, 2005 3:13 PM

The socks! Tell us about the socks!

Posted by: kate q at September 16, 2005 4:49 PM

But, if they did burn your book, you would be in some very good company- Twain, Bradbury, Vonnegut, and the like:) Hey, people could march around town carrying signs, creating a huge hubbub and all kinds of publicity (isn't all publicity good?). Hhmm, I can see sales starting to rise in AL :)
Welcome home, mate, glad you enjoyed the trip.

Posted by: chris at September 16, 2005 5:01 PM

Yay! Bon apres-voyage and quasi-homecoming... Your video does not like my Mac, which makes me sad. GREAT new title! GREAT old title!

Posted by: Cornelia Read at September 16, 2005 7:32 PM

Joss, I missed you! And, I am about to watch your interview. And, next week, I do my first day on the book side, where I can directed everyone to YOUR BOOK!

Posted by: Heather at September 16, 2005 9:14 PM

PS Does that make me pretty too?

Posted by: Heather at September 16, 2005 9:15 PM

How many comments can I make in one day? Hmmm...

You signed in the AUM bookstore!? I went to school there! My fave professor, ever, is there. William Blake Gerard. English of course. And his mom had no idea William Blake was a poet. LOL!

Posted by: Heather at September 16, 2005 9:21 PM

I'm lovin' the naysayers. They could be a book unto themselves ;) Effin-A!

Posted by: poopie at September 17, 2005 12:30 PM

Now see, I recently finished your book and when reading about the Chapter Two Woman I was thinking... hmmm... did we read the same book? But yes, I look again and see that perhaps there was some language. Now I wonder if I shouldn't raise my ... um... standards? I mean, what does it say about me that I could read the entire book and not really notice that Arlene was such a potty-mouth?

Loved the book, by the way. Thanks.

Posted by: Tracy at September 17, 2005 3:30 PM