Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Don't You Forget About Me . . .

If you know what that is a reference to, you should probably get my book into your cart and take the plunge.

Here's some book stuff . . .

My book is at Changing Hands Bookstore. Shockingly, my other two books were there too!

Odetter Bakker at my reading. A friend just sent me this shot, and I love Odette. She's in the Acknowledgments. She really doesn't know why. But I know . . .

This was a great review with major spoilers, but it was special. A 21-year-old wrote it, and her youth touched me, frankly. Plus, she liked some of my own favorite parts. SPOILERS, though. Here's the link for the full review: https://waywardmusingsblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/more-than-a-feeling-book-review-of-and-so-we-die-having-first-slept/?fbclid=IwAR1w18L4MBrx9hREJw0krjgyfEfq-1F1WVVLyeaSW237ESyiLJpm1vrg3fg

I have a box of books in my car, so you can buy one from me if we run into each other! This is a stash for emergency stops at Little Libraries.

The two photos above are from a reader, and I'm loving that "paper cut in my heart" imagery.

Who is Pentok, my friend?

I'll be there! And I'm reading (free) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.!

Chhayal! My dear, uber-supportive friend who reads books! She's hosting me for a book event, which reminds me to tell you: I'LL COME TO YOUR BOOK CLUB, IN PERSON OR ON FACETIME! I'LL LEAVE EARLY OR READ A LITTLE OR TAKE QUESTIONS!

Julie took my first novel to the beach. The beach! February!!!! It's deceptively not a beach read, but she can handle it.

Bosco went down a few years ago. I loved him dearly. We recently had to put down another guy. This is our only cat  (for the moment), Story. I do have a thing for orange cats. I love this guy, but Bosco was so fabulous.

PS If you made it this far, I'll tell you some other stuff. I'll be at the Tucson Book Festival in early March. I'll be at the Associated Writing Conferences in Portland in late March. I just happily committed to a trip to the South, and I'm excited because I've never been there. More info soon. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Brave Theater: Mel in 2019

I just had the opportunity to see Fountain Hills Theater’s production of Mel Brooks’ Broadway hit, The Producers. This was a reunion of sorts, the second time around. Fountain Hills has done this one before, and they brought it back with three of the original  showstoppers, including Scott Hyder as Max Bialystock. I saw it before, and I saw it this time—because I wanted my kids to experience it. More on that later. But the show is a must-see, a brave piece of Art, racy and raunchy and timely and true. New dates have been added. Go now.

Before I get all review-ish on you, let me tell you my theatric credentials. None. I am a writer, though. Like a real one. And I saw Hamilton on tour. I see a few plays a year. I used to live in Manhattan where I frequently got discounted tickets at the TKTS box office that used to be in the World Trade Center—and I’m comforted by knowing that it was actually closed on September 11. That’s it. I am, however, and this is a biggie in connection to The Producers, a believer in the power of the Arts.

First, this is Mel Brooks. Can you believe that Mel is ninety-two? I can’t either. I think an underlying fact needs to be known as one ponders The Producers. His family—his immediate family—consisted of Jewish people from Germany and Kiev, people stung bitterly by Hitler. This is a kind of pain that never goes away. Not ever. Brooks’ musical begs a question. What does one do with the pain? It begs another question: How does one deal with the hate?

So let me suggest this, cautiously. The cliché is true, and laughter is the best medicine. This is—quite honestly—a kind of revenge. Turn Hitler into a joke. In this whip-smart script, Brooks has champions of Hitler sing rousing songs, lead actors don Swastikas, and tiny weird mustaches fill the stage. In 2019—under the shadow of anti-Semitism on streets and shootings in churches and violence in Charlottesville—it seems like Brooks might be edging pretty close to the line. I have to admit it: I got a little nervous when Bialystock and Bloom put on those armbands . . .

But I went with it. And I watched. And I listened.

Here is a triumph. Turning a madman into an absurdity.

Still, The Producers balances upon a delicate line in a #metoo-age. I would argue that good Art is subversive and risky. Good Art flirts with danger.

And, yes, I took my children. You may or may not want to do this. My kids have a writer-mom, who frequently philosophizes on Art and Its Horrors. Plus, I cuss a lot and love Jewish humor. So we dealt with it as a family.

I’m not providing a plot summary, but let me sing the praises of this fabulous cast (all of them!) and terrific production (what a set!). With Scott Hyder as Max Bialystock (the best!) and Michael C. Stewart as Leo Bloom, the audience is assured of a good time. Erin Ryan’s Ulla is adorable. Matt McDonald returns as the writer of the Nazi-loving production—and he’s still fabulous. And Roger (played by Patrick Russo) and Carmen (played by Stephan Linder) shine on stage. Oh, but I loved Bloom and his blankie (he’s reprising the role, as is Hyder).

Scott Hyder is amazing. I found his timing, humor, and presence so top-notch. At one point, he “breaks the fourth wall,” and subtly tells the audience that he knows that they’re thinking that Nathan Lane played Bialystock better. I—theatre-happy, Brooks-charged—might beg to differ. Hyder obviously gets the power of this fine piece of Art.

Fountain Hills Theater has put on a brave production.

(And here’s the link to my new book!)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Changing Hands Bookstore on Feb 2, 2019!

In the words of Pink Floyd (I was actually more of a Led Zep kind of gal), "Wish you were here." There.

I had the honor of reading from my new novel, And So We Die, Having First Slept, on Feb 2, 2019. I had the further honor of Matt Bell's calming, professional, he's-done-this-before presence. I'll tell you a few tidbits and show you the photos . . .

  1. I thought I'd read twenty minutes. I read too long. Though it was good stuff.
  2. Jackie Cowsill filmed video, so there will be clips. Most of us are horrified about this, but I have come to believe that Jackie knows insider info that I don't.
  3. I did not get photos of A LOT of special people--including my own spouse and that glamor couple, Anthony (cover artist) and Adrienn Vasquez (True Story: First time I saw them, I turned to my husband and said, "THAT is a good-looking couple."
  4. I was happy to discuss Sappho because sweet Shauna Morales asked about her. DO NOT FEEL BAD IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHO SAPPHO IS, BUT PLEASE LOOK HER UP.

    But thank you for coming, friends. And I always need to reiterate that point Matt brought up: This is the book I wanted to write. 

Matt Bell

See that big, huge mocha on the table? If you read, you get a free drink from the First Draft Book Bar!

Jenifer Anseth. I think I've known her for my whole life. She spells our name with one "n." I'm still dealing.

Jill and Lara! Jill is one of those full-of-life people. Lara Smith (right) is, um, my better half of Snotty Literati

Juliana: she has beautiful eyes

Ruth and I were seriously in Yuma Hall at the U. of AZ together. She showed, and I'm really touched.

Susan Huber is one of my best friends ever. Hello, Sam!
Jackie Cowsill. I. Can't. Even.

Kate and her rock n' roll husband: Kate is a beautiful Renaissance woman. I learn things from her.

Look at these great women: Jessica (fab hair ALWAYS), Adeline (I truly adore her), and Laysa (I admitted to Laysa that I still don't know how to pronounce her name even though I've thought she's cool for about six or seven years). Some of my favorite women are MIA from here.
Odette and Sara! Too much backstory, another book! 

Chhayal and Sara! Chhayal is chic, friends.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Book Happenings

So here are some photos from my January 11 reading at {9} The Gallery:

Also, I've been asked a number of times about the artist who did my book cover. "Ten Thousand Memories" was painted by Anthony Vasquez, and it was a gift for his wife, Adrienn. They kindly let me use it, and I get so many amazing comments about it. I love it every time I see it! Here's Anthony: