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.