So I am back in Pennsylvania now and have had a very thrilling last few days and here is why:
1. Saturday I met my lovely friend Eric for brunch at PASTIS, which makes you feel like you just whirled yourself over to some gay Paree city of lights, and even features a cocktail called La Vie en Rose, which is a "classic rose champagne cocktail w/rose water," which, tho I did not grace it with an order, happens to be my new favorite cocktail ever. Eric and I then vamoosed over to the Mac store to admire his new sexy laptop--tho arguably slightly less sexy than the new pink Sony Vaio laptop winging itself over to me from the BEST BUY warehouses even as we speak--and then we slipped in and out of a few stores and then plunked ourselves down for some coffee. During which I had long talk with Memphis boy that was nice, and wrote many gracious thank you cards. Oh and I do love NYC coffee shops that will play entire David Bowie and Magnetic Fields albums whilst you sit.
2. After, I met my new lovely friend SIGNE PIKE for an ICE CREAM COFFEE at Cafe Reggio. Signe has a book coming out next year called Faery Tale: One Woman’s Search for Magic in a Grown-Up World
and amongst other things she will be visiting all kinds of places where people claim to have seen fairies, including Cottingley she thinks, which does figure strongly into Godmother
, and I cannot wait to read about her adventures. ONE OF WHICH will involve attending Faeirieworlds this summer in Eugene, Oregon--this huge outdoor event where thousands of wing-wearing people converge..... to do fairy things I guess--with YOURS TRULY. As was decided over ice cream coffee, which is really usually how these sorts of plans come about. But I cannot help but feel that anyone who owns a pair of wings and/or plans to attend an event like Faerieworlds really ought to read my book, so I plan to go and slip some Godmother
into the water. And I MIGHT WEAR WINGS. I'm not sure. But Signe and I both pledged full commitment to the enterprise.
3. AND THEN I flitted off in possibly fairylike fashion to THE SMITH, where I met my sister and her beau and Tink and Lisa and Rob and Autumn for drinks and dinner before going to see DEVOTCHKA at Webster Hall. Now I have described Devotchka before--the romantic lead singer swigging red wine, the glamorous flower-behind-her-ear girl playing a tuba strung with Christmas lights (and then the cello), the thin man alternating between the violin and the accordion (a white accordion!), the aerialist girl who comes out near the end and does a whole silks routine to the music, the heartbreaking ecstatic gypsy music...--but man, they are just so good I had to mention them again. And Webster Hall was nice, with that giant disco ball that spins around every now and then and casts stars on the walls, and all them big red chandeliers.
4. Then Sunday I rented a car and filled it and drove with my sister over to Queens to get some stuff I'd left at Tink's and ALSO to watch the tivo'd MISS AMERICA pageant with Tink and Aoife... And it was totally fun and ridiculous and laughable until the talent portion came on and after some truly atrocious show tunes MISS HAWAII walks out all decked out in feathers and proceeds to do the most KICK ASS HULA DANCE any of us had ever seen. Tink and I even gave her a standing ovation (my sister was too lazy to get up), and we all vowed to immediately learn to learn hula, which is like bellydancing BUT WITH BIG FEATHERS. I mean really. And THEN to our astonishment Miss Hawaii was CUT OUT and I vowed then and there to write an angry op ed to the NY Times about this terrible injustice. But then I realized it was like ELVIS entering a prim little beauty pageant in the 1950s, and you know he would have totally lost.
5. Then I dropped off my lazy sister and drove to Pennsylvania. I do love driving long distances and singing loudly to CDs and stopping at places like CRACKER BARREL for dinner. Sigh. I really do think I should be a truck driver and I may yet, if this writing thing don't work out.
6. Yesterday then I had lunch with my mama and dad and then went to the local library to speak to the PENN STATE UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S CLUB about my books. It was amazing. Two and a half years ago, before Rain Village
came out, I was a nervous WRECK about public speaking, and I spent several therapy sessions trying to work through this fear and even had HYPNOSIS. Those first readings I did were terrifying for me. Ten years before that I was a TA at UCLA and just found it constantly mortifying, having to stand up and talk in front of those students. But near the end of my Rain Village
events I found I had conquered a lot of that, and then yesterday I barely prepared, had no nervousness at all, and then during my talk, where I really just presented my two books and read a page or two from each, I just felt like I was sitting across the table from a friend... there were just 40 or so of them. Back when I was preparing for RV, my father, who is a professor and who speaks around the world, told me to not think about myself at all, just think about the audience. Finally yesterday I was able to do that: just think about these 40 ladies in front of me who just want to hear something lovely, something interesting, and not worry about myself at all. And it was easy and fun and delightful and they were open and interested and engaged. So my point is: it's cool to be 37 and realize you done conquered something that has been terrifying for you your whole life.
7. Then I met the wondrous JILL GLEESON at the local coffee shop so she could interview me for a profile in State College Magazine
, and we talked for like 3 hours I think with her big tape recorder between us, and we bonded so much and were having so much fun that after the interview we went over to the CORNER ROOM, this old comfy place I love here, and had us some dinner.
8. And now today I'm finally gonna buckle down and do some w-o-r-k.