Monday, September 13, 2010

Skylight Books, Tara Maya, and I'm a grumpypants when I'm nervous

Happy Monday, everyone!

This weekend I attended a book release party for the Strange Cargo anthology at the great Skylight Books. I was one of the "lucky" ones that got to read their contribution to the anthology, which meant that I was mean and grumpy to all of my friends and family and co-workers all day Saturday and part of Sunday. Sorry. And, Marytza Rubio, if you read this, thanks for calming me down.

...imagine this place crammed with people and me being mean to all of them...

I also realized that I really suck at signing books. Not only did I have difficulty thinking of things to say, but I couldn't even decide what page to sign on or what name to use. Such is my identity during this transition period.

Oh, and thanks to the internet and my non-code name, my brother found out about the reading and showed up without telling me. Don't get me wrong, it was totally cool that he came to support me, but I get even more nervous when I know people in the audience. (For those of you who care, my brother's students often compliment him on how good he looks with his shirt off. And, for those of you who care, he doesn't teach history, and taking his shirt off during class isn't such an inappropriate thing.)

Double oh, someone else really cool showed up! Tara Maya--who I only recently found out lives in LA--was able to make it to the book store with her beautiful family. Tara, thanks so much for stopping by and talking to me! You're the first person I've met in person after first blog-meeting them. It was groovy. If you've got pictures, send one over to me, will you? I didn't tell this to you at the time, but you looked really familiar to me. I feel like we've met before, so maybe we have a mutual friend or something? Is it possible? Quick, list everyone you know. Then go finish your thesis.

Lady Glam, Mr. Bailey and I are busily sorting through the Notes From Underground contest entries. We'll be making the big announcement on Wednesday, the 15th (, is it really Wednesday? We need to take care of this, you two). One thing I'm realizing right away is that my votes feel much more arbitrary than they did for Genre Wars. In other words, if you aren't chosen, it could be due so many factors out of your control.


  1. SO EXCITED for you!!! I'm extremely jealous you got to meet Tara, and I've made it my next big goal to make it out there to see you and her and Scott and some other friends I know on the coast. And the Redwoods. Need to see those again. Sounds like a 2-week trip. :)

    You didn't seem grumpy when I talked to you yesterday, and I'll bet your reading was fabulous.

    As far as entries go, I'll be working on the rest today. This has been a very interesting judging session. Very. :)

  2. Oh, and is there a place to buy the book online?

  3. Speaking of grumpy when nervous.

    Stop talking about the contest!! Waaaaahhh!! I'm doing a good job not thinking about it until one of you yahoos goes and talks about it.

    Okay, I'm going to go crawl into a deep, dark cave for the next couple of days.

  4. You're fully entitled to be a grumpypants at your first book signing! Look at it this way: all those eager readers probably saw it as simply "artistic temperament" and I think a sensitive artistic temperament is a plus for a writer! :)

  5. You post made me smile. It almost sounds as if your wrote it while still on your hyper high.

    I can see you now: "Which page, what page, all right this one." Starts signing with a Big D. "Darn, what's my name....Argghhh!" D-followed-by- chicken-scratch Malasarn. Big smile of relief interpreted by fan as big friendly smile.

    Congrats on your book and getting over your first book signing in one piece!
    (You weren't worried that your brother would, in the middle of a book signing, take off his shirt, were you? I've heard of some creative ways siblings can embarrass one another or steal limelight, but this, this would be bizarre. )

  6. Gentle Readers, don't be fooled. I stalked Domey for some time, and observed him being extremely warm and friendly to everyone. Ok, I didn't see his brother, but I have a brother, so I understand. I don't think he usually takes his shirt off at work, but I bet he would if there weren't explicit rules against scientists revealing their pecs.

  7. I meant my brother, not Domey. LOL

  8. C'mon, Wednesday!! Wednesday! Wednesday! Is it Wednesday yet?

  9. Oh, and don't sweat it, Big D. You are a writer. You are expected to be rude and crude, moody and snooty. So enjoy it!

  10. Michelle, Meeting Tara was definitely cool. We are all waiting for you to come on by! (Or I'll come to you someday.) I just talked to the organizer and she said she's "working on" making it available online.

    Nevets, If there was any chance of us finishing the judging early we might be able to announce it early. But, there is NO CHANCE that we will finish judging early.

    Judy, I'm pretty sure everyone either thought I was nervous or mean. :)

    Yat-Yee, You were fairly accurate in your description! And, yes I did write the post while I was still on my high. My brother was very well-behaved... now don't give him any ideas.

    Tara Maya, you had the benefit of meeting me AFTER the reading. Things were much better AFTER the reading.

    Chuck H. Please don't make Wednesday come any faster. We're scrambling enough as it is. We're actually working on getting superman to make the earth rotate the other way and take us back in time. He says maybe.

  11. Domey,

    Wow, it sounds like you had a great time! I hadn't even thought about specific ways to sign, that totally would have thrown me for a loop, too! (Though I'm sure the lucky ones able to get your signature were excited regardless, and didn't care what you ended up doing.)

    And the contest, the results are really in two days? Huh. I had completely forgotten all about it. Thanks for the reminder! (<--- total lie)

  12. Oh wait, I forgot. I'm a professional.

    Contest? What contest? Oh that, yes. I look forwarded with cool-headed optimism to seeing the results and congratulating the winners, whoever they may be.

  13. When I went to Mary Miller's reading in Seattle last fall, I had her sign my copy of "Big World." She opened the book to the title page, signed her name and handed the book back to me. "I never know what to write," she said. Her name was enough, you know.

    Jon Evison was also at that reading. We picked up a copy of his first book, "All About Lulu." Jon signed the book and then added about 500 words (remarking on the bar, the reading, the weather and God knows what else).

    So whatever you write is likely fine!

  14. Domey M: I have heard you read before (@ LA TIMES Festival of Books) and you are great! I would be very nervous in front of a crowd, too, but you carry it off very well. I heard from mutual friends that you were one of the BEST readers at Skylight on Sun! Congrats on inclusion in the anthology (edited by Janet Fitch no less!)

    Maybe you should organize a reading from the new contest winners! Then everyone else could feel your pain.

  15. I don't usually need an excuse to be a grumpypants. I find it's better if you're consistently a jerk. That way no one knows the real reason you're being mean to them.


  16. That's cool about your reading. I'm glad you were able to keep up that image of the curmudgeonly author. :) Good luck to all of you getting all the entries judged.


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