Sunday, June 07, 2009

fun! i like fun!

I'm still on a high from Friday night, thanks to all of you folks who came or encouraged me in myriad ways. I think you're even responsible for the fact that links to me and my site actually come up when you Google "Cheryl Klein." Take that, Harry Potter book editor Cheryl Klein!

As loyal Bread and Bread readers know, the path to Lilac Mines becoming an actual book has been as rocky as the mountains it's set it. (Um, it's not actually set in the Rocky Mountains, but the Sierras are rocky too, right?) And as of Friday at 6:45 p.m., I had yet to physically see a copy of the book.

But there it was waiting for me at Skylight, looking quite lovely--no upside-down cover, no obvious typos on the back or the first few pages (I have yet to check beyond that). And, just as importantly, there was Noel, corralling the four of us writers and performers into the upstairs office at the bookstore and reminding us that we were there to have fun and support our community.

Oh yeah, I remembered, fun! I like fun! And this whole damn book, like everything I write more or less, is about the search for community. Maybe I could take a lesson.

Scott Turner Schofield (whose Highways show I'm now inspired to check out next weekend) asked us what the tone of our pieces was. Raquel said that hers was moody and poetic. So even though Scott, who went right before her, performed pieces that were mostly incredibly funny, he ended with one that was moody and poetic, saving Raquel from the unpleasant task (one I think most readers on multi-person bills have encountered) of having to make a sharp left turn in the tone of the evening.

I was like, Scott is the most thoughtful guy ever, and a pretty bad-ass performer to even be able to improvise like that. I was going to read the piece I'd practiced nine times and nothing else.

After the reading, which went pretty well thanks to practicing nine times, we migrated over to the Dresden Room, where AK had surprised me by reserving a space and bringing my favorite tres leches cake from Andy's Bakery. It occurred to me for like the 12th time that night that I have amazing people in my life and that I couldn't be the kind of writer I want to be (and on certain special nights feel like I am) without them.

Even my dad stayed out until 11 and had a second piece of cake. If you know my dad at all, both of these acts essentially amount to pigs flying. But hey, it was a night of flying.


Claire said...

Awesome! I'm glad it went well.

I find the very idea of reading what I've written in front of people rather daunting, so kudos to you!

Kat said...

Cheryl, it was a wonderful evening, and I got such a thrill seeing you with a long line of people wanting you to sign your book! I started re-reading it on Saturday and loved getting immersed in the Lilac Mines world again. As Claire said above, kudos to you!

wasabi press said...

I can't believe you had to force a second piece of Tres Leches cake on your dad. But seriously, I am so pleased to know that your book launch went swimmingly, Cheryl! I noticed that Lilac Mines was listed on the Manic D Press forthcoming titles on the BEA catalog!

Cheryl said...

C: I am a ham trapped in the body of an introvert, at least if early videos of my childhood are to be believed.

K: Thanks, Kathy! Sorry I didn't get to say hi to you and John at the reading, but I'm glad you had fun.

WP: My dad is a sweets addict trapped in a health nut's body.

Laura and the family said...

Congrats for another round book! Without a doubt, your dad and I, as a cousin are really proud of your accomplishment.

Knowing that our past generation currently are looking down and smiling at you for what you had done!

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Laura!

Una said...

Cherly, I am happy to read about your book reading gig on Friday night. I look forward to reading your book. In fact, it will be one of the first that I recommend to the book club that I am going to form once we arrive in Chicago. Perhaps you can fly out for a visit and a book reading? ;-)

El Changuito said...

I was so proud to see you reading at Skylight Books while I held a copy of your book in my hands! Felicidades!

The tres leches cake was really damn good. Your health nutty father didn't stand a chance. :D