Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm Not F*cking Kidding

Reader, buckle yourself into your chair and grab some pie. It's time for some Serious Announcements.

*Real Talk!*

R.Kelly? What are YOU doing here??
What's that, R. Kelly? You magically show up whenever shit is about to get real? Huh. Thanks, R. I mean, Mr. Kelly. Or whatever.


Shhh, R., please. I've got Serious Business to take care of. Oh? You're trying to help? By reminding everyone that this is Real and I am Talking? Well, okay. Just try not to pee on anything.

Anyway. Let's get serious and make a list!

List of Serious Announcements:

1. I will no longer refer to my husband as Husband on this blog
Why? Well, way back in November, I gave you an intimate glimpse into our personal lives, involving twin beds and full length turtleneck nightgowns in matching calico patterns. And somehow after that, I started referring to Curt as "Husband" because it made me laugh. But you know, his name is Curt. I could be all coy and give him a better nickname but why? His name is Curt, my name is Jennifer. These are facts. I'm a writer, not a spy (alas). Let's move on, shall we?

2. I did not finish Chapter 5 last week because I went to see Neil Gaiman instead
It's true. Instead of finishing my revision of the chapter, I drove four hours to Portsmouth, New Hampshire (and back again in the same night) to see Neil Gaiman at the beautiful Music Hall with my twin sister Melissa and her husband Mike and some of their friends.

It was wonderful to see Neil in such a small, intimate space. Alas, I did not actually get to MEET him (if you can really consider standing in front of someone while they scribble your name in a book to be "meeting"). So I could consider this to be When I Almost Met Neil Gaiman Part IV. Here are Parts I, II and III for a refresher. The books, you see, were pre-signed.

One aspect of the event that made me laugh was the way in which Neil was introduced. They described him as a post-modern writer only. Fantasy was not mentioned until they began listing his awards. It was a wink wink, nudge nudge sort of moment. Clearly this was meant to appeal to a more literary crowd. Oh literary world, you irritate me with your snobbish ways and your obsessive need to label things and wrap them in plastic and keep them contained.

How was the interview itself? Okay...Neil was as charming as ever, which is saying something considering his flight was delayed and then his limo got lost on its way to the Music Hall, and then he spent the rest of the afternoon signing mountains of books. The interviewer Virginia Prescott of NPR made me cringe once or twice, like when she told Neil she imagined him writing, "surrounded by cups of coffee" when every Neil fan knows he is crazy for tea. Listen to the interview and decide for yourself. Of course hearing Neil read was a treat. He has a brief summary of the event on his own blog as well as a hilarious video for The Onion, from which the title of this post was taken.

3. Curt and I are moving to Maine
This is exciting news, though I tend to tell people in a sad voice that dips slightly even when I don't want it to. Leaving Vermont will be bittersweet. We have only lived here for a year and a half and have had so many wonderful experiences. We've met some incredibly nice, talented people. We have made lifelong friends. I will miss auditing the Bread Loaf Writers Conference again this year. I might have even applied. I will miss working at Otter Creek Used Books--sadly unless I find another used book store in which to work, my Tales From the Used Book Store posts will be no longer.

I don't really like change. I just don't. Blame this on a childhood in which almost all of my relatives lived either in the same town as me, or the town across the river. Both sets of grandparents lived in the same houses where my parents spent the majority of their childhoods--up the street from each other. We always vacationed in the same place. And when my family moved, we moved up the street. Change and moving were not things I had to deal with when I was growing up, for which I am grateful.

However it does mean that now when I am writing, I find my concentration drifting as I begin to plot out our packing, as I mentally sort our things, as I wonder where we are going to live, and as I grapple with that feminist quandary of feeling like I am once again following my husband somewhere. But that is the life of a writer, isn't it? Oh well. My insides are in turmoil. It's not an excuse for writer's block, but it does explain why I haven't been sleeping.

Here ends my Big and Serious Announcements. And if you have no idea what the *Real Talk* was about, you should watch the video--unless you are an impressionable youth or my Mother-in-Law, in which case please don't as it contains cuss words.

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