It’s raining now. Good work weather.
Some of my friends had a house party for me on Sunday. I got to read from the book outside in the sun while people I love beamed or worried about how to handle logistics if it rained and people I didn’t know well let me see their faces listening. I love that. There were Sally’s beautiful cookies –heath bar and oatmeal, both -- and party platters (I’ve been eating leftovers for lunch) and two kinds of really scrumptious quiche made by my friend Vahram. Different people brought plates and napkins and drinks (Elissa smashing ice!), and Angela teased me for wheedling the use of their beautiful house out of them (in truth, it didn’t take any wheedling at all), and Carolyn Cushing praised my book and my bus conversation skills, and Linda Stout talked about how some cities in Europe have twice the arts budget as the entire NEA funding. People readily and generously and gracefully gave money to support my work. Lisa, pregnant and on call at the hospital, came all the way from Boston and brought her lovely friends. Lynn drove me there, drove me home, and worked the whole time – setting up chairs, taking care of books, cleaning up, and talked about it all with me afterwards, tired as she was. James, whose idea the whole thing was and who made sure it happened, brought food and looked relaxed and happy.
There were a few wasps and the neighbors were circling in green go-carts while I read, but, oh my, it was generally miraculous. The quiche melted in my mouth. Elissa brought me a plastic cup of champagne. Lynn bumped foreheads with me when it was all over, and Arthur, a baby I had just met, played with the skirt of my yellow flowered dress. I got to see him eat his first cookie – oatmeal. The books were there, beautiful. People wanted to hear me read my stories – the new book, and a bit from the book after that. Oh. So good. Nothing, nothing like that listening. Unless it’s reading, and then sending something back – looks, more words, cookies, questions, response, love.
And gifts keep coming in online from the button at the Fund for Women Artists
Some of them, I don’t know who they’re from, but I know that some of them are from you, sweet lj readers. Thank you. I promise you, promise myself, that I’ll keep working hard and give this book all the momentum I can and move persistently more deeply into the writing and come up with something good and true.
And there’s the first bookstore reading on May 5 in Northampton, and then the traveling starts. So much.