On your way to Tahiti when you got the telegram... Thanks, Dad, for going to Vietnam when you had to, and thanks for making it out.
Previously: Notes From the Field.
This week I did a strategic consultation for Gayle Brandeis. That's when I talk to someone for thirty minutes and solve all their problems, or at least assist them in dramatically reorienting their existing resources for maximal impact. Gayle has a new novel coming out, Delta Girls, and wanted some help with effective publicity.
We discussed some of the salient themes underlying the story and how she might use them to create a sense of urgency around the novel. As I always say, there are two questions to answer in the reader's mind: Why should I read this book in my lifetime? and Why should I read it now?
Delta Girls is a mother/daughter and also a love story that is set against the stage of an Olympic figure skating hopeful and it also takes place in the world of the organic farming. Some audiences that are likely to harbor DG fans, and the issues that they are passionate about: foodies, women, mothers, Californians, progressives with conscience/those interested in farmworkers/immigration.
Gayle's novel Self Storage, which fused a post-9/11 perspective with the timelessness of Walt Whitman, was a pleasure to publicize. Gayle's command of her craft, as well as her commitment to activism and teaching, recalls the heyday of public intellectuals and revives that promise for a new era.
Previously: Guest Essay: Red is the New Red.
Some friends and I are splitting a share of a local farm's harvest of vegetables, fruits and eggs this summer and fall. It's called "Community Supported Agriculture," and I've been meaning to do it for years. My father spent part of his early childhood on a farm in Red Hook, New York, until his family lost everything, and I am delighted for the opportunity to support a similar small business today and know that my contribution to something great is meaningful. Starts June 9th! Can't wait. I've been living in Manhattan for eight years this summer, and I always thought the city was good for some things (making money, opera) but then there was this whole other life that I missed –– iced tea, croquet, fireflies, fruit cobbler –– that I couldn't have. While it's true I can't run on a lawn whenever I want or go for a swim under the stars as I often did growing up, I can certainly do my best here. To that end, I elected to put off A/C as long as possible. It feels right to open all the windows and spend as much time as I can out on my balcony, which is starting to feel like a porch, and will even more when there's a pie or two cooling on it in a month or two.
Today my friend A. sent me an issue of Sassy from May 1991! With a super-sweet note. Aren't good friends the best? You can play along at home by checking out Radio Cure, a new podcast made by young pals Annelise and Emma. And talking on the phone.
Right now what I want more than anything a break in a little cottage tucked away somewhere in a little town on a coast–– which one, I have no particular preference as long as it's quiet and out of the way, an old car to cruise around in, classic and dependable, nights watching fireflies, no particular place to go.
Windowlicker - from the French for window shopping: faire du lèche-vitrine - often appears on Tuesday and Thursdays at 10am EST-ish.
That's me introducing Wrrrrock On, with my friend Eric of Two Dollar Radio fame, at Galapagos Art Space tonight. 10 publishers sponsored it, over 150 people attended, and we raised $3500 for Girls Write Now. My friend Patrick from Goodreads took this picture. I am wearing a Dries van Noten top, Pierre Hardy for Gap sandals, and a '90s Express mini. I opened with an oft-repeated story of when I was 21 in DC, a sidewalk fortune teller told me I'd be in New York, on stage, and I wanted my $5 back. Ridiculous!
Here are Care Bears on Fire and Japanther backstage after the show. They played killer sets and the energy was electric. The evening's talent also included writers Joshua Mohr and Emma Straub. One of the most beautiful and positive nights of my life.