July 11, 2007

Beach Babble 2

I left the beach and drove over to Foley last night for a library event…SO super fun. They made BETWEEN the county-wide read for the adult summer program, and so this was a party with chicken salad finger sandwiches and cookies and drawings for door prizes. Foley library has a new events room, but they gave out free tickets for the event to make sure we would fit…and we didn’t. They finally printed up more tickets and moved us next door to the civic center. It was REALLY cool.

I was HOPING to get to see my devil friend, Frank Turner Hollon. Alas, when he is not writing mindblowingly excellent books, he’s the prosecutor for ..I think WALTON county? And yesterday was a court day, when, I assume, he prosecuted ALL the crime that happened in Walton from February 11th, 2003 to the present. That took up most of the afternoon. He came over to the Foley Library on his dinner break, but before I arrived he had to go back for the evening session to try and put away Walton’s lone prostitute.

When he got to the library, he saw this parked outside:


So, being HIM, he went in and told the librarians that this van had been seen at my events before---that this radical group often showed up to protest my heathenism and rampant potty mouth. By the time I arrived, the librarians had the police on speed dial and were ready to rumble. I went up to the podium to speak and saw his business card sitting there with a note on the back that said, “I bet now you wish you’d worn a bra.”

But my favorite devil.

Another neat thing---this woman (we’ll let her remain anonymous but she had a GORGEOUS Welsh name) came up and got BETWEEN and I signed it for her and she seemed kinda --- quiet or…she wouldn’t meet my eyes. It was a slightly odd vibe. She had a hardback copy of gods in Alabama in her hands that she had brought from home, but she didn’t give it to me to sign. I meant to ask her if she wanted me to, but there was a bit of a crush and right after I signed Between for her, she left the table. Fast.

After the crowd died down, she came back, blushing, and held out the copy of gods to me and said, “My husband says I have to get you to sign this one, too, even though I didn’t get it here. Is that okay?’

“Of course!” I said.

“It’s funny --- I wanted to check one of your books out of the library because you were coming, but because of the county wide read program they’ve all been checked out and there’s a wait list for them. But I was not going to buy your books. I was so sure I would completely hate them. Then I saw this one at the Salvation Army for 50 cents so I got it, and once I started I couldn’t stop reading it until I was finished. I loved it.”

I started giggling – that’s JUST so COOL, and now, see she has Between and it just made me feel good down to my shoes. I wanted to ask her why she thought she would hate them, but once again she escaped almost immediately.

It was a neat moment, though.

so far this beach week I have read and heartily recommend:
Keeping Faith Jodi Picoult

Everything's Eventual by Stephen King

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Posted by joshilyn at July 11, 2007 10:41 AM

Oh, I love the story about the Salvation Army! That's great! And now she has Between too.

Must go buy new books. Thanks for the recommendations!

Posted by: Aimee at July 11, 2007 10:52 AM

Did you get to see the librarians rumble? How cool!

You mob attracting troublemaker-- yay you!

Posted by: Elizabeth at July 11, 2007 11:30 AM

Wow, that's the way to blow the doors off the place. Thank heavens the swat team didn't have to show up with you wearing no bra! Good thing he didn't have a big sign

Posted by: Cele at July 11, 2007 11:32 AM

and here i thought i had the market on the word whoremonger (i used it back in 2001 or '02 when i had the big bad e-mail fiasco and the e-mail went to an entire group instead of to just one small bunch...lydia knows all about it)...but now i see, not so much. heh heh.

and what a cool story about the lovely lady with gods AND Between!

Posted by: kristen at July 11, 2007 1:07 PM

Great story. But I wanted to know who drives the van and what do they want from you? A human sacrifice? That is all so....Southern.

Posted by: linda at July 11, 2007 1:30 PM

hehe, you whoremonger, you. But wait . . . the man in the van is a county prosecutor??? At first, I just thought it was some nut job. Now he seems like a more dangerous nut job like with power and stuff. And he shows up because of a book? Don't they have enough whoremongers in Walton that he shouldn't have to harass the visiting folk?

Love the beaches down there. Best ever. Well, I'm biased, because I'm going to support my Gulf Coast every chance I get. There is a REALLY cool kids park in Gulf Shores and one in Orange beach that we just found because it's set off in a neighborhood.

Posted by: Michelle at July 11, 2007 1:35 PM

Too funny. Love the Salvation Army thing.
You know, I'm sure she's an FTK person, right? That's why you didn't name her? But we love her still.
At least she isn't the one driving the Whoremonger van. How cool is that thing? Very cool. I'd drive it just to see the looks on people's faces.

Posted by: dee at July 11, 2007 3:18 PM

Ok, that van is making me a little wary of going down South anytime soon. I've already been told that I'm going to burn in hell--right in front of my kids, even--because I go to a Unitarian Universalist church. Sigh.

But GO YOU! What a great event! With converts (to your books, I mean) and everything!!

I haven't read Keeping the Faith, and I thought I'd gotten to most every Jodi Picoult. I recently finished Nineteen Minutes. Still has me thinking.

Posted by: amy at July 11, 2007 4:04 PM

All you folks who are worried over that van are obviously Yankees. Don't you see those good Christians are just trying to share the love? In a smack-you-upside-the-head-with-the-love kind of way? *Ducking* ;)
And Joss, I think that devil needs a coffee mug. You know what I'm sayin'? ;)

Posted by: Amy-Go at July 11, 2007 4:10 PM

Amy, I understand they have UU's in the south too ;) - and they certainly have people who drive vehicles like that in the north...they just aren't usually professionally painted. I'd love to share pictures of our local Jesus Bus if I could find them. Funny he doesn't bother our UU church...guess we are a hopeless cause.

Posted by: Ei at July 11, 2007 4:20 PM

Girl! You know how to draw a crowd!

I do not want to know what goes on or what is kept in the back of that van. Tinted windows and all, and who-knows-what.

Posted by: Stephanie at July 11, 2007 4:29 PM

I'm always embarrassed to tell an author if I bought their books used, or got them from the library (and me a librarian, yet). But that is such a great story that it may have cured me for good.

Posted by: elswhere at July 11, 2007 7:44 PM

Ei, I was told I was going to burn in hell in my own (very Yankee) town. So not saying north or south is better or worse...just thinking, if that van and I cross paths, I'm probably done for. :-)

Posted by: amy at July 11, 2007 8:58 PM

The Van...There used to be a billboard outside of Boaz, AL with the same, uh, message. My husband insisted that we take a little road trip to photograph the message to add to his collection of rural Southern culture.
Thank goodness for speed dial, bless their hearts!

Posted by: lynn at July 11, 2007 9:42 PM

It's not that I'm not enjoying my painting.... okay - "enjoying" might not be the right word. Or rather, I'm enjoying the progress I'm making more than the actually painting itself. But ANYWAY, my point here is, I can't find much time to read at the moment and so the idea of a week of beach and books - sounds sublime.

Posted by: Laume at July 12, 2007 5:23 AM

I'm glad you liked Never Let Me Go. I gave it a plug on my blog last summer (??) and I never thought it got enough press.

Glad all is going well in LA.

Anne Glamore

Posted by: Anne Glamore at July 12, 2007 9:01 AM

That van scares me - why I on earth would someone go around in that. Keep your nasty venom religion inside folks. Those are crazy PRIVATE thoughts.

Anyway, I think you are lovely. When a reader's copy of gods was placed in my hand when I was a bookseller, I knew I would love it. Immediately. I pimped it all year; although I think I called you JoSHilyn, like it's spelled. Oops.

[Great recommendations too.] Be well.

Posted by: Lisa Milton at July 12, 2007 9:55 AM

I love (ahem) the fact that whoever painted the van only put "murderers" in small black letters, but "whoremongers" got the big red letters.

I also love (no ahem) the Salvation Army book-buying story!

Posted by: DebR at July 12, 2007 10:45 AM

Thank you for the book recommendations. I picked up Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen after you mentioned her on your site and I am still reeling from the deliciousness of it.

Posted by: Jennilynn at July 12, 2007 11:11 AM

Thank you for the book recommendations. I picked up Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen after you mentioned her on your site and I am still reeling from the deliciousness of it.

Posted by: Jennilynn at July 12, 2007 11:12 AM

Ok, everytime I hear the word "rumble" used in this context I immediately think of West Side Story. You know the whole Jets and Sharks thing.

So now I have this image playing in my head of librarians walking around snapping and saying "Dewey...POW....Decimal...BAM." HEHE!

Love the stpry of the Salvation Army book too. I've discovered some great authors by picking up a book cheap at a thrift shop or library sale. That's how I first discovered Jodi Picoult and Silas House.

Posted by: Patti D. at July 12, 2007 11:57 AM

I have to de-lurk for this one because I really liked Never Let Me Go as well and was thrilled to see you recommend it. Also, I would totally PAY to see our local librarians rumble but, that is neither here nor there.

Posted by: Chelle at July 12, 2007 1:35 PM

Some of my local librarians DO rumble. One of them is on the local roller derby team -- I think her name is Miss Behavin'. I haven't seen them play (roll?) yet, but it sounds awesome.

Thanks for the new book recommendations. I've slowly been making my way through your bookshelf photo from a couple of months back. Some selfish person is keeping Water for Elephants checked out WAYYY too long. Dude, it should not take this long to finish a book!

Posted by: Leandra at July 12, 2007 4:35 PM

Great story, scary van.

It's vans like that, keep Lillian and I out of the South. We're easily frightened.

Posted by: Fran at July 13, 2007 1:19 AM

Is that Burn in Hell van sitting next to a car with a La Leche League sticker in the back window? Weird company, that.

Posted by: Heather Cook at July 14, 2007 1:40 AM

Vans like that sure make you think twice before heading to church on Sundays, don't they?

And we're not the only ones, as evidenced by this ::koff:: Really Official News Story ::snicker:: inspired by the militant Fundies' attack on a Hindu chaplain in the Senate earlier this week:


Posted by: ray at July 14, 2007 9:59 AM

I live near Foley...and I've never seen that particular van before. I'm kind of disappointed...you can have so much fun with those people!

I grew up Catholic in a fundamentalist town, complete with screeching preachers on the main intersections. One Saturday afternoon, I came upon a street-corner preacher with a sign that said "There's no hope in the pope!" Just as the light changed, I rolled down the window and told him, "I'm on my way to Mass now...I'll be sure to pray for your soul."

Poor guy...I think he had an apoplexy. But if you can't take it, don't dish it out!!

Posted by: Mrs. Who at July 14, 2007 1:42 PM

I love your new author pic, Joss. No one would ever suspect all that heathening and whoremongering from such a sweet, Southern, girl-next-door pose. Also? I'm so looking forward to TGWSS.

Posted by: David at July 14, 2007 5:50 PM