In 1996 I was volunteering with the National Black Arts Festival in their literary department. I had just been laid off from my job and qualified for the maximum amount of unemployment. Since the summer Olympics was coming in less than a month, I knew it would be impossible to find a job with the city overrun with European tourists....so I didn't even try. One of my many duties (and non-paid workers have lots more duties than the paid ones) was to set up the rooms for the lectures, booksignings and film showings. Fortunately, I didn't have to work the evening events (my paid superiors did that so they could stay up late and drink and then sleep in the next morning while I run across the Peachtree Road Race to get the festival bookstore open...but I digress), and I had a pass to get into some events for free. So one evening I had to choose between a lecture with Walter Mosley or a performance and discussion with Gwendolyn Brooks and Sweet Honey in the Rock. The ladies won out. After setting up the room for Mr. Mosley, I let him know that I had read his latest book and could he please tell me if Mouse was really dead. He told me that if I stayed for the lecture he would tell me. I explained that I couldn't, it was Gwendolyn Brooks and Sweet Honey in the Rock! He stood firm and I had to wait a few years for the next book to answer my question. After reading Blonde Faith (due to be published in October), the latest installment in the Easy Rawlins series, I need to speak with Mr. Mosley again. "Sir, is _______________ really dead?" Oh, and I loved the book.
by Elizabeth Gilbert started 7/27/07 finished 8/8/07
I am a cultural and religious enthusiast. I believe that cultures that existed before the founding of America are way more interesting than the hodgepodge we have created here. I believe that religions and spiritual belief systems practiced before Christianity and outside of Europe represent a much purer concept of God than anything practiced currently in the West. So, despite its long run on the bestseller lists (which is a kiss of death to me), I picked up Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth Gilbert took a year to travel to Italy (to eat and learn Italian), India (to pray while living in the ashram started by her guru), & Indonesia (to study with an Indonesian healer and maybe find love). The decision to make this trip came after surviving a harrowing divorce (after concluding that she & her husband had different goals for the marriage) and the subsequent rebound romance (which found her clinging to a man who could only handle her good times and not the bad). She spends the next year traveling alone and learning more about herself than she had in the first 30 years of her life. There are a lot of self-help books out there to help you cope with situations from inside the box; just do a little extra work and things will be okay. Eat, Pray, Love shows us that sometimes we have to totally remove ourselves completely from what we know in order to truly live.
Yes, I am going to read this. The relationship between Terry McMillan & Jonathan Plummer fascinates me. In fact, all relationships where one of the people is gay fascinate me. As an outsider I wonder how you miss certain clues. I almost want to date a closeted gay man to test my relationship gaydar. I met Jonathan Plummer once when he accompanied Terry McMillan to a booksigning at a store I was managing. Initially I thought is was her son, but then I remembered that this was her new husband. At the time I thought he was a little effeminate, but I wrote it off to his being young.
Anyway, this book (releasing in September) is a fictional tale about a love triangle between a young man, his older female boss, and a male colleague. It has the potential to be fabulously bad, but unfortunately with Karen Hunter (a real writer) co-authoring, it will probably be just fabulous.
Now, if we could just get Nicole Murphy & Mel B. to collaborate on a book....
When I take a shortcut through the parking garage to get to the Marta station, I always look at the license plates of the cars. Just to see if I can spot an interesting state. Last week I saw a car with a vanity plate on the front. Not the kind that you get from the DMV, but the kind you get airbrushed at the flea market (swap meet for you left coasters). And in between the airbrushed roses was the presumed name of the owner, in beautiful script letters: