I haven’t been posting lately because I am eyeball-deep in my Romanian collective unconscious document (I should have a complete draft in a few days which will be something like 18,000 words, or about 65 pages). It’s a whole lot of dreamlike WTF, and after I am done I will have an underlying structure on top of which I will start overlaying the main plot of In the Red. But–I had to briefly emerge from my blogging moratorium to share with you guys the most fantabulous review in the history of ever, courtesy of Simon Schama at The Financial Times. I so, so hope that this review is blurbed on the softcover edition of my book. Actually, here–please vote on which blurb should be prominently featured on the next edition of 13 rue Thérèse:
Happy International Women’s Day! Although, you’d think that given that we rend our bodies to propagate the human race, we’d get more than a day. But hey, let’s take what we can get? Find a woman in your life who kicks ass, and tell her she is awesome. I just did this with my agent. Quote my latest e-mail to her:
Of course publishing a book changed my life! I might not be on Oprah and/or snorting caviar off a geisha’s boobs anytime soon but I don’t think I would have been invited to this monster fund raising thingy for Sacramento libraries last weekend in my capacity as a grad student… If it weren’t for publishing this thing, I would be waking up every morning to torture myself writing a book I don’t really give a shit about (a dissertation), which is already an amazing privilege. As things stand I get to wake up every morning to torture myself writing a book I’m investing my soul into (this weird Romanian thing), which is an UNFATHOMABLE privilege. Bonnie, seriously, you beat the crap out of Santa Claus: all he ever got me were some random toys I don’t even remember but you gave physical form to this thing that ate my dreams. You are awesome, and thank you.
The fund raising thingy last weekend was Sacramento Authors on the Move, and we raised around 70K for Sacramento Libraries. Very impressive. It is a pretty surreal and fabulous experience to move from table to table to be witty at different sets of people. I think I acquitted myself of my charge reasonably well. This Thursday evening, I have a reading at Stanford, so do come say hello if you’re around!
I was on live radio Monday of last week. It was a bit intimidating but pretty fun. The best part was when I flustered the hell out of my husband, who came with me because it was President’s Day so he had off work. The host, Denny Smithson, asked me something about who I was writing the book to and I said my husband. Denny observed that he was in the studio with me, and I pointed the mike at him and said, “wanna say hi?” My poor baby just about died. Turned a high shade of crimson and shook his head no. Who knew he was this shy?
Then I had a couple of readings, one on home turf at Davis and a luncheon thingy in Pleasanton. Both were thoroughly awesome and made me miss teaching terribly. (When I mentioned how much I missed teaching, a friend who is currently eyeball-deep in a pile of grading asked me what the hell is wrong with you? It’s true, I don’t miss the grading part. I just miss goofing around with a bunch of curious young sparks chatting about books and how irredeemably fucked up human nature is.) I have another reading tomorrow night! It’s at 7 at Diesel Bookstore in Oakland. Come say hi if you’re around.
I’ve also been busy collating the collective unconscious for In the Red. It’s just been me blasting my neurons with Romanian history and folk tales. So, in the past week, I have pumped a few rounds into Nicolae Ceaucescu’s chest as he sang L’Internationale and I whacked a wood nymph who dared give a prince “a flower from her girdle” (wink wink nudge nudge) and I galloped across a snowy wasteland with an exiled Phanariot voivode and I had Dracula drink blood from one of his impaled victims in what was basically the Holy Grail and it’s all been very busy in my braincase lately. It’s just been Allegory Explosion around here. Last night I had this incredibly vivid dream about a dark pond filled with alligators over which fluttered a big cluster of panicked parakeets. I remember so well the flapping sounds of their tiny wings and all the pretty jewel tones of their varied plumage. The ridges of hard, wet, gleaming scales on the long sinewy backs of the alligators. How fast they were when they lunged out of the water for the parakeets and snap–one swift bite and a bird was gone. The birds being swallowed one by one out of the air before even having a chance to squeak–I woke up totally traumatized. Poor little birdies!
Then I got up and wrote about trees haunted by the restless spirits of murdered babies. Really.
Also, somebody reached my blog today by googling “what does a cheez doodle look like.” Here, let me help you out: