Saturday, May 10, 2008

What's in a Name?

So, I had a Spoken Interludes the other night, and it was a great, fun night. On the morning of the show, I found out that Elizabeth Strout was sick, so had to cancel :( . So, I was trying to think of a writer that I could call who could jump in at the last minute and read, then suddenly I remembered that I'm a writer, and could read, so I grabbed my new book, The Safety of Secrets, that I just got from HarperCollins a few days before and took it with me to read from.
It is fun to hold the real thing in my hands. I love the cover, and the back is this really beautiful pink and green, but not preppy looking, just very beautiful. I'll get a picture of the back and put it up here. So anyway. I read first. I figured it was only polite of me to take the hardest spot. it was the first time I have read from the new book for a live crowd, so that was great fun.
Then Charles Bock read from Beautiful Children which was amazing, and hearing him read from it is every bit, if not more, wonderful than reading his words. When he finished, he did a literary trivia quiz and the prizes were two completely fab posters for his book that comic artists did for him. check one out here:
Isn't it great? The question for that one was: What book won the National Book Award in 1997? Hint, it was made into a film.
and the other question was which writer was in the movie "Drugstore Cowboy"?
That was such a fun part of the night that I am considering doing a literary jeopardy before the readings.what do y'all think??

then Jeff Gordinier read from his new book,
X Saves the World and read a section about hearing Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit which afterwards I turned to my husband and was like, okay, which song was that one? Because I love Nirvana, but never really knew what any of the songs were called. I was totally shocked when he hummed it for me. anyway. maybe I'm a bad gen X-er.
And last but very not least, AJ Jacobs took the stage, and that is the only way to describe it. Okay, this guy is hysterical. If you haven't read The Year of Living Biblically yet, get it!!
We were all double over laughing so hard. he read the section about when he has to stone an adulterer, and it is just beyond hilarious.
Okay, so quick back story, in the section that I read from my book, Fiona, the main character, is talking about her best friend's new boyfriend, Zane, who she doesn't really like, and she has this little inner monologue about him. "Zane. Whenever I hear the name of Patricia’s boyfriend of six months, I imagine some woman in a lonely rural town stuck with dusty old videos of “Shane” and “Zorro” to get her through her pregnancy, then in the delirium of her labor, naming her child Zane in deference to them. In reality, he was probably named Jim." So after AJ reads and he's talking about the year that he wrote his book, and during that year, he and his wife followed the biblical law of being fruitful and multiplying, and he say, "oh and by the way, one of my twin sons' name is Zane." So we were all laughing about that, though I did feel bad since I had just bashed it from the podium, not that he cared, and he reassured me of that in an email the next day, after I wrote him that I really did actually like the name, but how odd a coincidence is that?especially since I wasn't even supposed to read that night. and then I realized later, that another character in the book has the same name as one of Jeff's kids(and it is not a terribly common name) which didn't hit me until then. so now I'm wondering that if Charles has kids (or when if he doesn't) if one of them is destined for one of those names, too. anyway.
oh, the answer to the first is Cold Mountain and the second is William Burroughs.


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