Thursday, December 05, 2013

Warm Last Night

It was strangely warm last night. Here we are on the balcony of the City Grocery Bar: Dr. Theresa, Bill Boyle, Megan Abbott, me (creeping around in the background as usual), and Ace Atkins. We were there to mark various milestones. One of the happiest is Bill's debut novel GRAVESEND, which is finally out in physical form. We all got one. You should get one too! GRAVESEND by William Boyle. Look for it wherever fine books are sold, and tell 'em "Bloggy" the "Blog" Mascot sent you! Ace and Bill rightly smoked big fat cigars to celebrate. It took us a while to nab a spot on the balcony: at first it was occupied completely by an Elaine Stritch convention! Ha ha, they didn't really look exactly like Elaine Stritch circa Stephen Sondheim's COMPANY, but a distinct "Ladies Who Lunch" vibe was coming off the balcony. The first time Dr. Theresa and Ace went to scope out the situation, one of the Elaine Stritches grabbed the lone empty chair on the balcony and pulled it slowly toward herself with forbidding proprietary certitude. Much in the spirit of the feisty Elaine Stritch! Before stepping over to the bar I bought so many books at Square Books I don't even want to tell you. (Look: you can see the overstuffed, wrinkled brown paper bag of books right there on the table.) My eye fell upon George Singleton's recent story collection STRAY DECORUM, for example, and what could I do but get it, especially after the one-two punch of that great interview with George in LENT MAGAZINE? But what sealed the deal was opening it at random and seeing my new favorite short-story title. George also came up with my former favorite short-story title, "This Itches, Y'all." And here is the new winner: "I Think I Have What Sharon's Got."