So yesterday, when I was supposed to be writing, I got massively into this book The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson
, who was one of the writers I read with last weekend in Vermont. You can't put that thing down!! I did somehow manage to wrest myself away for a few hours last night in order to read at the GIANT LAUNDER CENTER in Williamsburg, where a large and hip crowd had gathered for two readings and some steel guitar as part of the Dirty Laundry reading series
. I read first, and it was sort of intimidating with those bright white lights and like three film cameras AND several regular cameras aimed at yours truly, not to mention me being by my lonesome after Massie succumbed to illness and my sister to work, but I bravely soldiered through and even told some laundry anecdotes and EVEN was interviewed by Reuters for TEEVEE. What TV I don't know, and I would like to never know, just as I will never never listen to any of the radio things I have done lest I faint away in pure horror. I also, by the way, will be recorded LIVE on satellite radio in the near future thanks to Ron Hogan, a task for which I shall have to be in a studio at 7 30 AM; this too is terrifying, but the way I figure is you have to do these things and then invoke the masterful dual arts of FORGETTING and DE NILE.
Still, I think I am getting better at all of this. Readings are much easier for me now, tho I was pretty nervous in Vermont last weekend, in Chester, because I not only faced 90 people and 5 other writers, all of whom I admired, but another TV camera (I think that whole reading is going on some cable or public TV in Vermont, and again I don't want to know) AND I was supposed to talk more than read. I was visibly nervous I think, but did okay. It was funny tho to follow Alex and then be followed by Kris Holloway
, who is a riveting speaker, a total firecracker--both of whom could not be more different from me, writing-wise. He's all savvy and smart and politico and then she gets up and immediately makes you feel like you're right in Africa, smelling nuts roasting and hearing the crackling of fires. The other writers, who read later in the day, were Layne Maheu plus Bruce Bauman--this amazing writer who comes off as totally hard-edged and cynical but you quickly see it's just masking gorgeousness and devastation; his writing is sublime, goes right to the gut--and Charles Davis, who is this very humble, very sweet ex U.S. Marshall who also just writes beautifully. It was really cool and this part of Vermont could not have been more picturesque. I mean, look, I even participated in snow sports (and donned a fashionable duck hunting cap)!!
(This is me with Lynne and Bill Reed from Misty Valley Books, Layne Maheu, and Kris Holloway, whose husband John took the photos.) And here is a very weird yet very officiale photo of yours truly attempting to speak into a miniscule microphone I could not figure out how to clip on:
The weekend also involved many glasses of wine in front of large fires, and much fraternizing with all these cool local peoples over dinners and crackers and cheese. We also all stayed in this lovely, charming inn where the rooms had many many many pillows with flowers sprinkled on them. On Sunday, after Chester, Layne and I drove to Brattleboro to read at Nimble Arts Trapeze and Circus School's new location at the New England Youth Theater, but first we met my friend Eliani and got to explore the environs for a bit. It's a very cool town and Eliani was an extremely generous hostess. She even helped me procure cupcakes and cider, two items I feel should be part of any reading. The reading went well, I thought, and I think about 40 people? showed up. I read first, then Cody Schreger perfomed on the trapeze, and then Layne read. After, Layne, his friend Shayne, Eliani and I went to three bars where I chastely abstained from alcohol since I had to drive back to NYC, tho I did imbibe a large gingerale with a long plastic giraffe dangling off the side. In our brief sojourn through Brattleboro we met many of Eliani's friends and then saw them a second and even third time in our wanderings. By the time we left I felt like I'd loved and lost, then loved and lost again.
Today I finished The Faithful Spy
, which would not let me out of its clutches until I was done, and now am, once again, working on my novel. And this post. Which is in no way a procrastination technique of any kind at all. The end.