I thought I would take a moment and answer some questions I have recently received from friends and colleagues via the miracle of e-mail. Questions you might have been wondering about yourself...
From the inimitable Shawn Box: How is the International Celebrity thing going?
Answer: Oh well, you know. Sven is peeling me a grape as I try to suffer through the ennui the pappazazzi make me feel...Honestly, there are times when I have to clear my schedule and pencil in a whole day for "Empathizing with Paris Hilton."
From Karen, also writing to deadline, about my endless five pounds war: Eh, worry about it after the holidays, I say. I tend to eat less when I'm REALLY stressed, so, by that rationale, at some point during this book-writing process I should be thoroughly emaciated. Does it work like that for you?
Answer: No. I frickin' eat MORE when stressed. So. By that rationale, at some point during this book-writing process I will smash myself into the earth and wipe out all the dinosaurs.
And this final question, from three different people in the last three days. Yes. Really. The universe wants me to answer this question: How are you so productive with two kids?
Answer: Oh well, I just, you know, lock them in the old refrigerator I keep down in the basement. Then they have to be still and quiet to preserve oxygen.
If you are dangerously mentally ill and reading this, allow me to say: THAT WAS A JOKE. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. I ACTUALLY lock them into a wooden box with many air holes and a Jumbo Hamster-Water delivery system.
SPEAKING OF E-MAIL...I got a note from Sheila Curran, author of the rawwwwwther fantastic Diana Lively is Falling Down a comedy of manners I found to be JUST so charming and entertaining and the writing blew me away. It was one of those books that made me want to kidnap the author and tie them to a chair and make them read MY book, but really, The Author's Guild frowns on that sort of thing. But then in this weird coincidence, she JOINED THE GCC (my little group of fellow scribes that cross blogs and cross pollinates) and I managed to mention to her in casual passing (without throwing up on myself or slavering) that I had truly enjoyed her book. And SHE, that darling, read mine and wrote me the most lovely and gracious letter back, which is ---
BEEP!BEEP!BEEP! We interrupt this blog for a cheery little dollop of prostitution:
On December 4th, I am heading to one of my very most favorite INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES, the Alabama Booksmith, to sign pre-ordered copies of GODS IN ALABAMA and inscribe them for Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa gifts. And BY THE WAY, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution just listed gods in Alabama as one of the best books of the year in their big best books round-up (which I STILL have not seen because I accidentally recycled the paper before reading it, HEH) So Yay, and if you are giving a book as a present, shouldn't it be one that a major newspaper has just ASSURED you is one of the best books of the year? (hint: Yes.)
gods in Alabama retails for $19.95 and can be shipped by Priority Mail for $8.00 but there is PLENTY of time to get it shipped Media Mail rate which usually runs about $2.00 per copy. Signed first editions are a fantastic gift for the readers and/or book collectors in your life, and you'll ALSO be supporting, well, me. (We have to keep Maisy in 100 dollar Dance costumes, and uh-oh, here comes a digression: CAN YOU FREAKING BELIEVE??? 100 bucks for a THREE YEAR OLD'S BALLET COSTUME, due the same month as, gee, CHRISTMAS? Are you KIDDING ME???...As I was saying,...) You'll get a great gift for someone, and you'll literally be supporting me and a fantastic independent bookstore, AND Book Sense because gods was a Number One Book Sense pick! Which means it isn't JUST win-win, it's win-win-win-WIN. Heck, it's win-win--win-WIN in a 100 dollar Tutu that dern well BETTER come with a hat or some gold bullion.
Call the Alabama Booksmith BEFORE December 4th to get your order in:
GO on, do it today, before you forget. They open in about FIFTEEN MINUTES! If you call NOW, I bet they will throw in some GINSU KNIVES or a fridge magnet. HECK, get two. They are small.
OH and when you call, be sure to tell them how you want it inscribed! ("Merry Christmas, Genny," for example, or perhaps something more personal, like, "For Peter, who was a complete testicle to his sister when they were children, but has grown up to be almost decent." Hey, whatever best says HOLIDAY CHEER to YOU, you know?)
We now return you to your regularly scheduled mindless prattle-slash-shennanigans:
---psychologically very important to me. I have this weird thing where, when I like someone's book, I so want them to like my book BACK. And Sheila Curran's book read to me like the book that would happen if Rachel Cusk's books had a baby with The Three Junes, so she was high on my "please read me back" list. I am sure this fits under some sort of pre-established and labelled co-dependent frippery mental illness umbrella, but I feel the phenomenon needs its own psycho-babble buzzword that catches the MEAT of the syndrome: how the anxiety and desire increases exponentially. In other words, the more I like a book, the more I want the writer to read mine, and the more important it is to me that they like it. It's the literary equivelent of passing that dork-note from eighth grade. You know the one:
DO YOU LIKE MY BOOK? PLEASE CHECK ONE: ___YES ___MAYBE ___WELL, IT'S NOT KING LEAR.
*sigh* Anyway. She liked it. SO THERE.