And ready them for play, because I am now finally and for really HOME. HOME! Wheee. I am so tired that my BONES feel bendable and soft. I have not gotten out of pajamas in 36 hours now. I have no plans to get out of pajamas today. I DO have to pick my kids up at school, but I feel I can drive JUST FINE in Fuzzy Monkey bedroom slippers, a 12 year old black knit maternity shirt, and my rattiest pair of fantasy pants. HUZZAH!
I have sent the BICYCLE CONTEST ENTRIES (see entry below if you have no clue what I am babbling about) on to Frank Turner Hollon to submit unto his Judgey goodness, and I will let you know who won as soon as I know. Lord, but I do not envy the man his job---many of the far-fetched TODDIAN explanations had me giggling like a loon.
In Oxford, MS, while doing a stop at a superfantastic indy called SQUARE BOOKS, I stayed over with my friend Beth Ann Fennelly. After the event and a long and lovely evening spent with the bookstore folks and writers and other long-time Oxford dwelling friends, I told Beth Ann I was STARVED, and we slipped away to grab a bite to eat. Alas, it was late, and the restaurants had closed. NO WORRIES, said BA, and said she would introduce me to â€œThe real Oxford,â€ in the form ofâ€¦Chicken on a stick.
â€œBeth Ann,â€ I said severely, â€œNothing good ever comes ON A STICK. I think on ON A STICK and I think those ersatz hydrogenated ice milk bars. I think of the roasted corn ears you get at small town carnies that get DUNKED into a vat of melted butter, curdling in the summer heat. I think of a computer game my husband and I played years ago, Ultima Underground, where our little pixilated avatar looted the bodies of orcs so he could get enough copper to buy himself some roasted RAT on a stick. I think about human heads impaled and posted in rows by terrible Huns.â€
But Beth Ann Assured me that my ANTI ON A STICK bias was about to get blown away by the wonders of CHICKEN on a stick. And then, in mid assurance, Beth Ann PULLED INTO A CHEVRON PARKING LOT.
â€œYou get Chicken on a stick A GAS STATION???â€ I squawked.
She laughed and said, â€œTrust me â€“ this is where the locals eat.â€
And sure enough, there was a LINE of folks so long it came out the door---even two lovely young women in evening wear and their suited up dates, waiting to get chicken. Chicken on a stick.
When our turn came, I was given a fat, round, long, and undeniably phallic tube of meat, battered and deep fried and not looking like any recognizable portion of hen. I had my choice of many spooky sounding dipping sauces. I tremulously picked Sweet and Sour, and the woman behind the gas station counter put my meat log in the same kind of bag sheâ€™d just tucked a previous customerâ€™s cigarettes into. I took my suspect meal with no small amount of trepidation and eased it from the bag and tried an experimental nibble.
HAND TO THE LORD, it was awesome.
Yes. I admit it freely. I ate the whole dern thing. Chicken on a stick from the Chevron in Oxford, Mississippi is AWESOME.
Allow me to say re: Beth Ann, sheâ€™s a poet of no small renown. Iâ€™ve read Beth Annâ€™s fantastic book length memoir-like object, Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother
and adored it SO that I habitually gift a copy to every friend who gets knocked up. But as for poetry? Well. Me, Iâ€™ve had a love affair going with the novel for a good decade and a half now. My novelove often stretches to the novelâ€™s close relatives--- memoir and narrative non-fic--- but I rarely read poetry, I am even less likely to read short stories, and while I love to go SEE plays and often do, I no longer read them.
That said, there was a framed signed lithograph of one of Beth Annâ€™s poems up on the bathroom wall in the guest house. It was a love poem she wrote to her husband called THE SNAKE CHARMER, and it was fierce and biting and beautiful, and I stood in the little bathroom and read it and wept like a fool.
I thought, â€œWOW. I am tired,â€ and I walked to the bed and fell over and slept like the Irish dead for 8 hours. In the morning, brushing my teeth, I found myself rereading THE SNAKE CHARMER, and then I was weeping again, choking myself on minty foam.
It wasnâ€™t a function of tired. Itâ€™s just that good.
I hunted google to see if her school or someone had put it up somewhere on the internets, but found only small excerpts. You have to read the whole thing. You can find it in her collection called Open House (I linked to B and N because THEY show the pub date as 1902 instead of 2002. HEE! That would make Beth Ann WELL over 100 years old, and yet sheâ€™s still lookinâ€™ mighty sexy.)
(A quick noteâ€”I have been remiss, just linking all books to the easiest thing to link to. From now on I resolve to share the love by linking to some fantastic indies and the fabulous smaller chains like Books-A-Million and David Kidd, as well as to B and N and to Amazon. Iâ€™ll do it haphazrdly, like I do everything, in a sort of ragged and random round robin. )
NOW THE CONTEST! To enter, you go read my guest-blog-entry called THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR OF THE BICYCLE over on The LIPSTICK CHRONICLES.
You write down your THEORY of what the MYSTERIOUS message MEANT.
You EMAIL your theory to the following cleverly disguised address:
My first name at symbol gmail period com
Donâ€™t put it in the comments. Email entries only please.
First Prize: Audio of THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING
Runner Up: Signed UK Edition of THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING.
You can see pictures of the prizes in the entry below this oneâ€”Scroll down.
Contest ends Monday Morning, 8 AM EST.
I will forward the entries to SPECIAL GUEST JUDGE and complete genius novelist Frank Turner Hollon.
DIGRESSION: Everyone should immediately go read either THE GOD FILE
Or A THIN DIFFERENCE which jockey about with each other for position as my favorite Hollon-novel.
Or if you like VERY black humor involving testicles, I also QUITE loved Life is a Strange Place.
Or choose any other, you canâ€™t really FIND a bad Hollon Novel.
Frank will guest judge because I suspect him of being Todd. He does not exactly DENY being Todd. We had an email conversation about it that went like this:
Me: AFTER I wrote the TODD blog entry, I went to TWO MORE BOOKSTORES in TWO DIFFERENT CITIES where booksellers told me I had phone messages.
1) "You left your hat at The Book Nut"
NO book nut on the tour. WAIT -- let me rephrase. No STORE called that. PLENTY of nuts. Most notable nut now = ME, as I got INSANE from lack of sleep.
2) (This one purporting to be from my doctor) "Tell Joshilyn the tests were positive: she must avoid shellfish at ALL costs, she is violently allergic"
This one came while I was at a LUNCH with Susan the Awesome Bookseller and I
ALMOST ordered crab cakes but swapped to a beefy and boursin sammich and when we got back the PHONE message was at the store so if I HAD eaten the crab cakes I bet Susan would have JUMPED ME and poured ipecac down my throat to try and SAVE MY LIFE ---- all based on your terrible lies!
Because, yes, I suspect YOU of being TODD. IN FACT I told everyone on my blog that YOU ARE TODD.
FTH: I don't know that I've ever used the term shellfish. In the south, we refer to the critters by their given names, crawfish, shrimp,etc. Furthermore, I've never seen you wear a hat. I will judge if you promise me a delicious cupcake.
Me: I note for the record that saying you do not use the term shellfish is not a denial.
FTH: For the sake of the mystery, I have remained coy and mysterious, however, I do not have a garage, and I am not called Todd by anyone. If anymore clues are revealed in the coming days, let me know before the judging begins. And from this point forward I will be known as Judge Frank.
Dear Cagey Lawyer Hollon,
â€œI am not named Toddâ€ smacks of â€œI did not have sex with that woman.â€ It is fancy lawyer talk, and it is STILL not a denial. Say to me:
"I absolutely did not leave those cryptic messages. I swear it upon the honor of Glittergirl."
Then I will believe you. Maybe.
FTH: I did not have sex with that woman, but I did accept her cupcake.
Me: That is STILL not an denial.
SO you see. TODD! TODD is judging.
But letâ€™s put truth aside and THEORIZE. Shall we! Entries in by Monday!
Tomorrow check back HERE for the very odd contest that will happen based on The Mysterious Affair of the Bycicle. You could win an AUDIO copy of THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING.
And you knowâ€¦ I JUST got my copies of the UK version of TGWSS with itâ€™s fab, black cover. Maybe weâ€™ll do a second prize of one of those?
I am SICK in BOSTON and one of my FAVORITE authors, Frank Turner Hollon, May Very Well Be Evil. BUMBAH!
Hereâ€™s the thing---I have a mystery going on right now on tour â€“ a VERY MYSTERIOUS MYSTERY. The details of which will be explained on Tuesday as I guest blog on THE LIPSTICK CHRONICLES.
Then on WEDNESDAY, I will ask YOU to SOLVE the mystery, or at any rate you can do the Hercule Poirot thing where you gather us all around and tell us your fantastique ---and yet strangely plausible --- explanation for all the facts that fit the case, and if YOUR explanation sounds truthi-est, you can win an AUDIO copy of THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING, which People Magazine said is â€œa treat,â€ so yay.
Because I have friends and relations and longtime beloved who may want to play, and because I might not be objective, I will get some famous person to judge it, perhaps even Frank Turner Hollon, because I feel he will be amenable to pointing the finger at ANY culprit other than himself. He needs a good scapegoat, because I feel QUITE sure the enigmatic tourly shenanigans that are ensuing are of HIS doing. I am saving the MYSTERY itself for TUESDAY, but Frankâ€™s propensity for devilment against touring writers is well documented, and I forthwith and hereby present one of MANY POSSIBLE bits of evidence against him.
As a lawyer Frank would probably bounce in right about here and say prior bad acts are not admissible blahblahblah, and I would say they ARE TOO if it SHOWS A PATTERN because while Frank is an actual LAWYER, I have read REALLY a lot of legal thrillers, so there.
(PS SOCK ME NO PINK SOCKS! The Lipstick Chronicles Mystery Blog is already WRITTEN and TURNED OVER TO THEM, so you see, it WILL happen. On Tuesday.
PRIOR BAD ACTS: When Sonny Brewer was touring for The Poet of Tolstoy Park
at the very first bookstore he visited, the staff was gathered as he came in, and they were smiling slyly, and as he opened the door they burst into a ROUSING chorus of THE HAPPY BIRTHDAY SONG and they had a BIRTHDAY cake there that said HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY SONNY even though 1) Sonny is YEARS away from 70 and 2) It was nowhere NEAR his birthday.
He just smiled and thanked them and blew out the candles. Because what else do you do. And he decided the y must have been googling around and come upon false information and were trying to be lovely to him. And he kept right on thinking that until the next night, when the NEXT bookstore greeted him with a HAPPY 70th cake ad songs. And then the same thing happened at the next bookstore. AND THE NEXT, at which point he caught an unmistakable whiff of Mr. Hollonâ€™s pungent mischief.
He called Frank and said, â€œDid you call ahead to every bookstore on the tour and tell them I was turning SEVENTY on the day their event?â€
And Frank said, â€œNo.â€
And Sonny said, YOU WILL CEASE! YOU WILL DESIST! I AM NOT 70! STOP IT!â€
And Frank said, â€œOkay,â€ in his most amiable way.
At the next bookstore Sonny stepped tentatively inside and was pleased as all punch to find things business as usualâ€¦No cake. No songs. No one saying WOW YOU LOOK GREAT! I CANâ€™T BELIEVE YOU ARE 70! He breathed a sigh of relief and did his signing unmolested until the bookstore owner came over, her face BRIGHT red, with a piece of paper that had come rolling off the fax machine. It was an official looking stationary page from a Doctorâ€™s office in Sonnyâ€™s own hometown, and it said, in BIG FAT HIGHLY READABLE AT A GLANCE LETTERS:
You are not answering your cell and I did not know another way to contact you. The test came back and you MUST go pick up the ointment I called in immediately. That rash is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS!â€
After the event was over, Sony called Frank again and said, â€œLetâ€™s go back to the cakes.â€
I rest my case.
CRAZIEST PERSON (so far)
Goes to Blonde Lady in the back row at an indy outside San Francisco. Bless her heart and may God walk her carefully across all streets, because she was NOT okay. I could SMELL hot waves of electric crazy crisping the air around her.
She had pulled on a bright yellow terry cloth beach dress. You know the strapless kind with the elastic band around the top and at the waist? But UNDER the beach dress, she had on a long sleeved button down shirt with a couple of layers of T shirts under that, and a pair of jeans. She had long scraggles of witchy-poo hair half tamed by a sun visor. Her eyes rolled around loose and angry in her head, and while I did my little thing, I kept a kind but careful eye on her.
When I asked if there were any questions, she piped up immediately, growling, â€œYou should tell that OPRAH about your book.â€
â€œYes,â€ I said gravely. â€œYes, I should.â€ And took another question.
As soon as I was finished, she BOUNDED to the front like a gazelle, leaping in front of folks who wanted to get their book signed.
â€œIâ€™m blind!â€ she trumpeted. â€œI canâ€™t read your book! But I am going to help you with your speech you make by giving you my best joke! Are you READY?â€
I intimated that I was ready, and she said, â€œHow can you tell that you are kissing an Avon lady?â€
And I said, â€œI do not know.â€
And she said, â€œBecause her lip STICKS. See? SEE? SEE HOW THAT IS?â€
I said, â€œYes. I see. Thank you.â€
I feel terrible for being so LEERY of her, because she was harmless (I think) and trying to be kind (I think) but I have to admit, when she left without putting a fork in my eye or spontaneously combusting, I felt a frisson of relief and called it a WIN for all involved.
BEST BLASPHEMOUS CARTOON BY PERSON UNDER 6
Goes to Maisy. At church yesterday, doing the little â€œKeep kids busy so you may actually get to hear 1/4th of the sermonâ€ worksheet, she had a dot to dot that was SUPPOSED to make a cross. But she felt the whole thing was sketchy and incomplete. Here is MAISYâ€™s version of the dot to dot:
I especially like the CHEERFULNESS. Everyone who has a face seems QUITE pleased about witnessing an execution, and, indeed, Jesus himself seems pretty chipper. I think the TEENY one on the right may be Maisy, time traveling.
MORE AWARDS LATER, I hope--- right now I have to go catch a plane.
MOST UNSTOPPABLE TRAVEL FILM
Yes, congrats to Enchanted, which I saw in the theatre, and saw again on the flight to Seattle, and am seeing again right NOW on the train to Portland, and which I will see AGAIN three days hence on the flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta. I saw it iwith Maisy the first time, and I loved it, and I STILL love it, but I am beginning to experience perkiness-overload. Even hardcore fans will generally admit it is heavy on the dewy sincerity. And in the same way that even the BEST chocolates, taken in bulk, will make you long for the taste of spinach and poached chicken, I am getting hungry for some irony.
That said, the musical numbers still absolutely enthrall me â€“ I just forgot I was typing this blog entry as my wayward eyes were charmed by the irrepressible Amy Adams and I found myself gazing slack-mouthed upon a big happy DANCINESS settling like Body Snatchers into the carcasses of Cynical Central Park New Yorkers and making them make googoo eyes at each other and dandle their feet over bridges and sway and warble. Delightful.
BIGGEST PROGRESS IMPEDING TRAVEL INDUSTRY BUTTHEAD
Power Mad Steward! CONGRATS!
THIS tour, so far, he was the only NOMINEE. I think it speaks well for Delta and Amtrak and Unitedâ€™s customer service that Power Mad Steward will sweep the category unopposed.
I was sitting at the gate waiting to ---what is the opposite of DEPlane? UNdeplane? PRE-plane? Plane myself? Become planed? Plane-mount? No, that sounds like it relates to the mile high club---letâ€™s go with Become Planed. I was sitting at the gate, waiting to become planed on a flight being run by an un-named and utterly horrific airline (No, I wonâ€™t tell you what airlineâ€¦but. Hrm. Itâ€™s Darkside Jedi Knight name would probably be â€œBorth Snesternâ€ letâ€™s just sayâ€¦.) and I had my PURSE and my laptop bag. So. Thatâ€™s one bag and one personal item â€œlike a laptop,â€ just like the rules say.
At the door to the plane, Power Mad Steward stopped me.
PMS: You canâ€™t get on here with two bags.
Me: But this is my purse.
PMS: You canâ€™t get on my plane with two bags.
Me: Okay---but this is my la---
PMS: If you can fit that one bag in the other I can let you on.
Me: My purse will not fit in with my la---
PMS: Then you have to gate check that bag *points to laptop*
I go back and get a green tag and take my laptop to the little pile of gate checked bags and get BACK in line and wait til it is once again my turn to board.
PMS: Wait. Is that a laptop you just checked?
Me; Yes thatâ€™s my laptop. I was trying to te-
PMS: *exasperated* Maâ€™am you cannot check a laptop, we will not be responsible for any damage incurred and we asked outside that you not check them.
Me: Yes, I --- okay.
I go back and retrieve my laptop bag and remove the check tags.
I get back in line.
I try to move through the door for the third time.
PMS: Maâ€™am. I TOLD you, you cannot get on my plane with two bags.
Me: But Iâ€¦okay. So what do I do.
PMS: Take your laptop out of the laptop bag, put your purse inside the laptop bag, and then I can let you carry that bag and you can hold your laptop as a sepearte piece.
PMS: Maâ€™am I do not make these rules, I only enforce them.
SO. I have to squat like a savage off to the side in the freezing cold aisle and take OUT my laptop, STUFF my purse in the laptop slot, and of COURSE it does not fit and the bag wonâ€™t CLOSE.
Me: Sir, if I put this in the overhead bin with the top hanging open, my wallet and checkbook and makeup and stuff will fall out and get all in the binâ€¦.this case fits on its SIDE and it wonâ€™t close with my purse in it.
PMS: That is not my problem. My problem is, I can;t let you on the plane with two bags.
SO! I went to my seat hauling this bag with the guts of my purse poking out the top, my naked laptop in my other hand, and got to my seat. THEN, I Pulled my purse out. Put the laptop in. Closed the bag. And tucked them both under my seat where they nestled perfectly AS THEY ALWAYS HAVE ALWAYS WILL WORLD WITHOUT END AMEN. And watched as the last 30 people got on the plane, SEVERAL OF WHOM were carrying two bags, and ONE lady had a purse, her laptop case and a simply ENORMOUS SHOPPING BAG with a HUGE PICNIC in it, and these people all boarded COMPLETELY unimpeded by PMS. AND YES I do see that is initials usually mean somethign else, and YES, I do think that's fitting.
I got off and ran for my connection, and I went to the front and said to a different NON-power mad nice steward â€œCan I take both my purse and laptop on the plane?â€ And he looked at me like I was INSANE and said, â€œOf courseâ€¦â€
BEST THING EATEN SO FAR:
Franâ€™s Chocolate. Itâ€™s a Seattle thing. And it makes me want to MOVE to Seattle in spite of the deep seated screaming horrors that the very IDEA of Earthquakes awaken in my bosom. I am blasÃ© about hurricanes, sanguine about funnel storms and even a volcano belching out molten goo and ash causes me only a frisson of vague unease. But THE EARTH SHOULD NOT SHAKE ABOUT as if it were trying to fling one off.
That said, Franâ€™s Dark Chocolate Caramel Filled Easter Chickie is the food of the gods.
OMW to Portland today. BY TRAIN! WHich I have never done, so that will be cool.
OH Yeah, I DID forget to tell you who won the virtual signing.
Scott will be mailing the prizes out this week. They went to Clayton M. in DENVER and Pam S. in---I forget. Scott has the addies. HEH. But I think there was only ONE Pam with a last initial S who entered so she should know I DO mean her. I will add her city in a little when Scott is home and can tell me.
Congrats to them both!
I am GUEST BLOGGING at Seattle Mystery Bookshop today
Here is the blog,
And here is he PIC that goes with the blog:
And HERE is the interview I did with Powellâ€™s about my fabulous middle school career as a puppeteer. < --- true. And other things.
SO crazy. Also, I am GEOGRAPHICALLY INCOMPETENT, which layer that on top of sososo crazy and you get conversations like these:
Karen: Are you going to Milwaukee tomorrow?
Me: No, I think I am going to Wisconsin.
Karen: â€¦.I am going to pause for a moment and let you think that one through.
Me: â€¦ HEH! YES! I MEAN YES! Because Milwaukee is IN Wisconsin!
Karen: Dude. You just FAILED fourth grade.
SUNDAY the time changed. Which means my 6 am flight was a 5 am flight which means when I dragged my carcass out of bed, the clock may have SAID it 3:30, but my carcass knew it was 2:30. My carcass was singularly un-amused. LUCKILY all my stuff yesterday was daytime, so I was tucked in my hotelâ€™s bed by 5 pm with a big ceasar salad and a glass of shiraz, ordering Juno on the pay-per-view. Juno ended 97 minutes later, and at 98 minutes, weeping my guts out, I was back on the phone with Karen:
Me: *weeping* KAREN?????
Karen: ZOMGAH wha happen?
Me: KAREN? I am going to ask you a question, and I want you to think REALLY CAREFULLY before you answer because our WHOLE FRIENDSHIP HANGS IN THE BALANCE.
Karen: Are you crying? What happened? What question?
Me: Did you just LOVE Juno?
Karen: â€¦ Juno?
Me: THE MOVIE THAT MOVIE JUNO, DID YOU LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT SO MUCH YOU ALMOST DIED BECAUSE IF YOU DID NOT YOU HAVE NO SOUL AND I CAN NEVER BE YOUR FRIEND ANY MORE.
Karen: Dude, I am going to kill you. I thought you were like, in a car wreck. I am trying to watch the last ep of the wire at Gilbertâ€™s house and---
Me KAREN DIDYOULOVELOVELOVEJUNOORNOTDIDYOUDIDYOU?
Karen: â€¦It was a great movie, bunny. Why donâ€™t you maybe go to sleep now?
At about 101 minutes post-getting-in-the-bed, I realized I needed to confirm times with my Chicago friend Renee who is meeting up with me today. I figured Karen had had JUST about enough of me for one day, so I called Sara:
Me: Hey. So. I need Reneeâ€™s CELL number because I forgot to program that number into my new cell and on WHAT PLANET do I not have that number with me and Sara? I donâ€™t know if you KNOW this or anything, like if it is on PURPOSE or anything, but on your answering machine the WOMAN talks, that robot computer person and she says whatever her canned message is and then you have a SPACE to say your name and when you say your name you sound VERY suspicious and tight mouthed, like you are tentative about putting your name in there because you are worried that the someone calling is me and you do not want to talk to me because I am clinically insane and on tour. Did you re-do the recorded name on your message? Specifically to scare me away until I am mentally well? Also, what did you think about JUNO? That move, Juno, did you just LOVE it? Call me back and tell me you loved it SO mu---
That sound was the machine hanging up on me.
Yes. I took it personally. Stupid judgmental machine!
At 105 minutes post-getting-in-the-bed, I was mercifully asleep.
THE GOOD NEWS IS I am saving a solid 97% of the crazy for phone calls to friends and over-the-top reactions to warm hearted sleeper hit movies. The BOOK parts of the tour are going super great. People are coming out, even on Snowy Wisconsin Sundays, to talk about reading and writing and TGWSS, and Iâ€™m meeting some very cool new booksellers I have not run across before, the book is getting some spectacular reviews and coverage, and so there isnâ€™t much more I could ask for.
Except you all have to love Juno. Thatâ€™s non-negotiable.
(Letâ€™s begin with a digression.) The last VIRTUAL SIGNING reminder was confusingâ€”I got a couple of emails about it. SO! To clarify, I meant that it was the last time I would REMIND you about the virtual signing, but of course you can still participate until this Friday, when it happens. Once it happens, you have missed it. Until it happens, you have not. You can go here to get the scoop and participate and see the prizes
Last night was the launch party at Margaret Mitchell House. I was feeling that weird floaty blend of terror and hope that comes with a launch, coupled by HORRID nerves because I am not yet USED to speaking about TGWSS, but I THINK it went well. It is all a little blurry because I may have been hyperventilating most of the night and my brain got a little oxygen starved.
THINGS I REMEMBER
1) I I felt SUPERGREAT about my shoes. And I should have â€“ they were GORGEOUS and I got several compliments on them. I was AWFUL about it, too. One lady said, â€œOh what lovely shoes,â€ and I said â€œI KNOW, right?!?!â€
Dear Shoe Complimenting Lady,
If you are by chance reading this, what I MEANT to say was, â€œThank you.â€
Princess Foot-Ego, who was raised by wolves in the mannerless kingdom.
In my defenseâ€¦. LOOK AT THE SHOES!!!!
Hawt, nes câ€™est pas? They are also nothing I EVER would have bought for myself, unless they were last season and on HUGE sale, because they are Cynthia Vincent which is a fashion forward (< ---I WATCH PROJECT RUNWAY! SEE ME USE LINGO!!!) sort of brand, very spendy. My PUBLISHING HOUSE, with my tricky editor at the helm, sussed out my shoe size without alerting me, and sent me these shoes.
I have never heard of such. I think that SINCE the TGWSS launch coincided with my 40th birthday, and SINCE I was not taking the birthday well, they decided a pair of so-gorgeous-it-constitutes-a-reason-to-live-slingbacks would be a better idea than the usual sort of book launch YAY object, like fresh flowers or a muffin basket, and they were right, OH LORD were they right. But as a result, I am sure I was UNBEARABLE as I shamelessly preened my feet around and kept finding excuses to peek coyly down at my own toes.
A warning: Grand Central Publishing needs to know, since they decided to spoil me thusly, then in ten years, when I turn fifty, I FULLY expect that they will send me a pony.
2) At the signing part, a nice lady came and said, out of the blue, â€œYou are very lucky.â€
When someone says I am lucky, it usually means they have met Mr. Husband. I said, â€œHeâ€™s the real thing, isnâ€™t he?â€ and nodded to where Scott was taking down the ficfacts quilt. She sad, â€œHow did you know I meant your husband when I said you were lucky?â€ she asked, and I just smiled because every other good thing in my life is a peapod compared to that man. Then she said, â€œI watched him while you were talking, and he was listening to you, even though he must have heard these stories a thousand times, and he was SO proud he was grinning like a possum.â€
Hee. I love that. Grinning like a possum. Itâ€™s so Georgia.
3) Here is the worst thing that happened all night: I wore a black, belted top and a black and white silk chiffon bubble skirt. One of my crit partners, a phenomenal novelist named Anna who ALSO makes jewelry because no one gave her the memo about people only being allowed one talent, made me a bracelet with these antique yellow sugar beads in it that that tied the whole thing together. AND THEN! AFTER SHE WAS PERFECTLY GLORIOUS TO ME, during my speech, because of questions from the audience, and because of things the introducing people said, I basically thanked and acknowledged ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE present that has EVER in ANY WAY helped me with revisions. Except Anna.
It was like if the guy who won an Oscar for E.T. got up and thanked everyone but, you know, Spielberg. I felt HORRID and LOW about it later, especially since she NOT ONLY helped get TGWSS ready for publication with her invaluable critical eye, but she came with her WHOLE JEWELRY KIT and basically made me jewelry on the spot to go with my shoes and was justâ€¦her normal kind and amazing self. I wrote an email to her, basically an ABJECT apology the second I got home, but man. How suck am *I*? Answer: SO suck. She isnâ€™t mad because thatâ€™s how she is â€“ just a big person, but WOW. SO SUCK AM I.
4) The coolest thing that happened all night: We got to Margaret Mitchell House early because there was no traffic *boggle* and so we went to this upscale little furniture shop across the street to browse and kill time. I walked in and the man behind the counter looked at me and said, â€œHey did you write that book I was just reading about? Girl who stopped swimming?â€ And I said, â€œHEE! YES!â€ and he said, â€œI keep seeing that everywhere. The universe must be telling me this is the next book I need to get.â€
And this was cool in several ways, I meanâ€¦firstly, GO UNIVERSE! Tell MORE people that, Pretty Universe! But also, writers NEVER get recognized, so it was very gratifying and I felt al STARLET-y and like a big old fluffy Someone in my Someone Shoes. I will get over the big head today, pinky swearsies, but last night, it was nice. It was really nice.
Lent is over. I can tell by the fact that I am about to drink a vat of wine.
I was freaking out about the book launching tomorrow, you know, just very busy working up a whopping case of pre-launch stress hives, when my daughter took pity on me. She decided to distract me from my hopeful terror by falling down a flight of stairs on the way out to the car after school. On the way down, she smacked her pretty face into the banister.
She shattered --- SHATTERED---one of her front teeth in the process (a baby tooth, thank God) and knocked some chunks of it right out of her head, and she was bleeding and puffing up and wailing. I rushed her to the pediatric dentist, and they said it was so borked and so little remained that the only option was to REMOVE the remains of tooth. SO.
I held her down while she screamed, NO MOMMY NO MAKE THEM STOP IT HURTS IT IS HURTING ME MOMMY MOMMY MAKE THEM STOP and I SOMEHOW managed to not let go of her and murder the dentists to make them stop hurting my child. Instead I somehow forced myself to HELP them hurt my child, CONSPIRED with them as they extracted the shattered remains of the tooth and it was awful and she wept and wept and Lent is over. Pass the wine and ALL the chocolate.
Of course NOW she is now prancing about the house lisping little songs out of her newly GAPPY smiling face wondering what the tooth fairy will bring and inviting me to play Wii with her. Tralalala. Meanwhile, I am a quivering mass of weepy jelly. Hey! Guess what! LENT IS OVER! EASTER HAS COME! Amen and Hallelujah.
1) My email is fixed. Heh. So. You can email me again at the real one.
2) Last time I will tell you this one, as the ACTUAL part of the virtual signing takes place in FOUR DAYS. If you want to be eligible for the drawing and get a hot, tasty fresh TGWSS signed and whatnot while supporting a fantastic indie bookstore, now is the time â€“the LAST TIME!!! â€“ to get in on the VIRTUAL SIGNING!
3) I am not going to roll about in an orgy of self love and blog EVERY good review TGWSS gets, but there have been some exceptionally good ones right here at the start. The AJC review was awesome, and on the TGWSS page is a LINK TO REVIEWS if you care to see â€˜e as they come in. I also must mention in passing, just casually, you understand, that ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY may have reviewed my book and said, â€œA ghost story, family psychodrama, and murder mystery all in one, Jackson's latest is a vivid, smartly calibrated achievement.... Jackson manages Girl's disparate elements with grace, wit, and surprising humor. A-â€œ
WHEEEE! EW, they are not so very free with the A grades, and I am SO tattooing that on my forehead. Twice, once regular, for everyone I meet to see, and once backwards, for me to read every time I brush my teeth in front of the bathroom mirror.
5) If you are an Atlanta Beloved, come to Margaret Mitchell House Tomorrow for the launchâ€¦ We will have fun, promise.
If you are NOT in Atlanta, please, check the schedule â€“ I may well be coming to a town near you!
5) I canâ€™t blog anymore because I have to go drink wine and eat chocolate rabbits until my hands stop shaking. BUT, dee has an INTERVIEW up here if you want to go take a peek.