The Spawn has just headed to her sorority’s semi-formal, accompanied by a nice young man I taught a couple of semesters back. I’ve settled into my usual downstairs spot, where in a few minutes, I’ll put down another chunk of Gradeapalooza’s first wave. But until then, here are some bits of this and that.
I spent mostof this afternoon at the college’s gymnasium, watching basketball. Alas, it wasn’t a great day for Mondoville, as we were swept, in each case by a significant margin. Still, I like going, both because I like college basketball and because I like for the kids to know that I’m interested in what they do beyond the classroom as well as within it — after all, that’s one reason I aimed for a career at a small college.
The fans were spirited — particularly at the women’s game, where a particularly vociferous Mondoville fan was given the boot for jeering one of the refs. What was especially impressive about this is that the fan in question — a woman around my age — wasn’t working blue, or even directly abusive. She simply (and repeatedly) wondered why the ref in question wasn’t calling fouls on a rather physical player for our opponents. It would appear the ref had a case of rabbit ears (def. 2), as she had the fan ejected at the halftime break. I have to admit, it was kind of funny seeing one of Mondoville’s finest escort the lady from the stands. She (the fan) got a fair amount of teasing after she returned for the men’s game, but as I said, it didn’t help us that much. But we’ll get another doubleheader in a couple of weeks, once the semester break starts.
In Sunlight or In Shadow officially comes out on Tuesday, but the advance reviews have been quite strong. Amazon has named it one of their “Best Books of the Month”, and positive reviews have shown up at Harper’s Bazaar, Kirkus, Booklist, Bustle, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Buffalo News, Playboy, Publishers Weekly, and San Diego Magazine. There is also coverage pending at USA Today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Richmond Times Dispatch, the Tampa Bay Times, and LitHub. Obviously, most of the reviews focus on “brand-name” contributors like Stephen King, Megan Abbott, Lee Child, Joyce Carol Oates, and our illustrious editor. However, my little story gets mentioned now and then as well, and that’s a nice feeling.
Because one never knows how many bites at the apple one will get, and because the administration at Newberry College has generously chosen to fund me (Thanks, Timothy!), I’ll be heading to New York on Monday for a couple of events, which I’ll let Mr. Block explain:
Monday, December 5, we’ll be launching In Sunlight or in Shadowat the Whitney Museum at 99 Gansevoort Street in Greenwich Village. The Whitney has the world’s finest collection of Hopper’s work, and is home to several of the paintings reproduced in ISOIS. I’ll be there, along with Megan Abbott, Lee Child, Nicholas Christopher, Gail Levin, Jill Block, Jonathan Santlofer, and Warren Moore.
Now that I’ve told you that, I have to add this, newly posted on the museum’s website: “Please note: This event has reached registration capacity. A limited number of standby tickets may be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. The standby line will open one hour prior to the program’s start time.” Start time for the program is 7pm, so I guess you’d need to line up at 6.
Tuesday, December 6, we’ll be at the Mysterious Bookshop at 58 Warren Street, NY NY 10007. We’ll mix and mingle starting at 6:30, with the program commencing at 7, and the cast will be slightly different: Lee Child, Gail Levin, Joyce Carol Oates, Jill Block, Warren Moore, and Jonathan Santlofer [who also discusses the book over at his place — Prof. M] —with one or two other contributors possibly on tap for a surprise appearance. You don’t need to pre-register, or worry about getting in—although we do expect a crowd.
Well, I’m worried about getting in. I live in Lost Elephant, Montana.
How the hell did you manage to lose an elephant? Never mind. I’m sure life there has its compensations. I’m aware, though, that most of y’all can’t get to the Whitney or the Mysterious, but you can certainly buy the book—and get a copy signed by all the attending contributors. Best way to manage this is to phone the bookshop at 212-587-1011 and have them set aside a book for you. (Or several books, so you can put a checkmark next to a batch of names on your Christmas list.) And may I suggest you do this sooner rather than later? In fact, if you want to make the call right now, that’s cool. I’ll wait.
And so will I. I’ll also try to get a post or two in this week, talking about my first ever trip to New York City, some background on my story, and other stuff that happens to wander into my head. So basically, the usual stuff one encounters at this blog. But if you happen to be in the area and can catch either event, I’d love to see you. Thanks for accompanying me on this series of Pinocchio moments.
The Berries took a break during the month of November, but we’ll be getting back to work once the semester wraps up, and we’ll be back in Greenville in January, so I’ll try to keep you posted on doings on that front as well.
And speaking of music, I seem to have run out of other stuff to discuss, so I’ll close with a tune or two. This first one is from Peterborough, England’s The Contrast. I discovered these guys in my Ball State days, when they were on the late, lamented Rainbow Quartz label. I heard this song and I knew I had to get their album. Since then, I’ve picked up several more. But here’s a (sadly edited) version of the song that got my attention back in Muncie.
Another band I discovered through Rainbow Quartz was Holon, Israel’s Rockfour. Here’s a nifty little blast of psychedelia with elements of Byrds, Beatles, Beach Boys, Barrett, and any other appropriate musicians that start with B. It’s called “Oranges.”
See you soon!