Breeze

The wind blows like crazy against my office window whenever the seasons are in transition or the temperature changes quickly. Wind Of Change, why must you be so literal as you rattle the stupid windows?

But I guess there is a corresponding truth, because stuff is starting to happen, especially with the book. For the past twenty months The Wilder Life’s life has progressed at the glacial pace of my writing, so it’s a little stunning to have things going so quickly now over the past few weeks: copyedits, design, page proofs, the metadata going out into the universe and getting sucked up into the pneumatic tubes of all the retail websites. And even though I spend every day at work bringing books into existence, this whole process still feels mystifying from the other end. Like I’ve found myself looking at the line on the Amazon page that says “Shipping Weight: 1 pounds” and wonder how anyone could know that at this point. Even when I know perfectly well how it’s possible, because I know there are production managers and purchase orders and specs and templates and cartons and I have to sit in meetings about this stuff every day, but never mind, it’s still sort of magic when it’s your book.

So now there it is—the book writing part was so huge and lonely, it’s hard to get used to the way things are now, with the book stuff just bubbling along on its own in one corner of my life.  Between now and the pub date in April things will be intermittently frenzied: for two weekends in October I’ll be flying out to bookseller trade shows where I’ll meet a whole lot of indie bookstore folks at these speed-date-type dinner events. I still can’t believe that I get to think about other things.

Such as: remember how Chris and I decided that in exchange for his accompanying me to LauraPalooza I would go with him to see all the movies in the Cremaster Cycle? I mean I knew I would do it, but I guess I was counting on being able to make a funny-cute joke about the whole thing for a while before the films showed up at an art house somewhere. But ha, only six weeks after our return from Mankato, there they were at the Music Box! It turns out it’s really hard to casually describe the Cremaster films to people. You tell them that it’s an eight-hour conceptual epic made by Björk’s husband, and it’s about Masons and Mormons and Houdini and the Chrysler Building and bees, and that it has Norman Mailer and opera and the drummer from Slayer and a lot of things made from Vaseline in it, but when you get started trying to explain nobody really wants to meet you halfway. But for three nights straight we went to the theater, and it was fun (in its way). It was also by far the least Laura-Ingalls-Wilder thing I’ve ever done.

But you probably want to see another picture of me with a Little House on the Prairie TV show cast member, don’t you? Well, here you go:

That is none other than Alison Arngrim, aka NELLIE OLESON!!!, who did her one-woman show, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, at Davenport’s last weekend. And if it wasn’t obvious from this review I wrote, I thought her book was great even by non-celebrity-memoir standards.  Her show was full of anecdotes about playing Nellie but also about growing up in Hollywood in the 60s and 70s. The audience was invited to write questions on index cards for her to answer at the end, and SOMEONE, I’m not saying who, asked her if the guy who played Doc Baker was as sexy in real life as he was on the small screen. (Answer: yes, but apparently a lot more people are still hot for Albert after all these years.) Anyway, If she comes to LauraPalooza 2012 they’ll really need to leave room in the schedule for her to discuss things like Dance Fever and Eartha Kitt. Also, she was very cool in person, and I hope that after all those camera flashes she didn’t wind up like Mary Ingalls.

While I do not have awesome stories about Deney Terrio, I will nonetheless be reading funny stuff here in Chicago next week, at Funny Ha-Ha at the Hideout on the 28th, and next month, at Witty Women Writers at the Book Cellar on October 29th. I’ll probably be trying out some stuff from the book, but hey, if you have any requests, let me know. (As long as you come to the show, too.)

Happy first day of fall! When will it be corduroy weather? Come on!

(cross-posted at wendymcclure.net, just to be redundant.)