...if I can work up the courage to say hello, that is.
Last night was one of those nights.
First, let me tell you about the event:
Two authors I admire were reading at Brookline Booksmith. Nichole Bernier is touring with her debut novel, THE UNFINISHED WORK OF ELIZABETH D., and Joshua Henkin has a second novel out this month, THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU.
I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU a few months ago and can honestly say: it's fantastic. A deep, moving story of what happens to a family after one member is killed in Iraq. Josh's style combines humor and pain in a way that keeps you turning pages, and his characters are so interesting. Grab a copy if you can...it's set over one July 4th weekend, so it's a perfect read for the extra days off.
I've met Nichole through various writing events here in Boston and she is so lovely...I'm excited to let her writing sweep me away in a story! I was planning to save THE UNFINISHED WORK OF ELIZABETH D. for my vacation next month...but after hearing Nichole read from it last night I don't want to wait, so I'm changing it's status to "read this weekend" :)
Okay, so onto my problem with saying hello...
When I walked into the bookstore (I was early, as I knew there would be a crowd), I found myself standing less than two feet away from Julia Glass, National Book Award winner & author of THE WIDOWER'S TALE, a book I've read at least six times: once as a curious reader, and the other five as a writer trying to dissect how she did such an intricate job building that story through four different points of view. The book is an architectural marvel. But do you think I said that to Julia? Of COURSE not. Because I'm a dork. I just stood there starstruck, pretending to be captivated by the books on the "New This Month" table, trying to imagine what to say and not saying anything at all.
That, my friends, is called a missed opportunity.
But I'm happy to report that I made up for it a few moments later. I never did work up the courage to talk to Julia. But when a woman sat next to me wearing the coolest orange pants I've ever seen (I'm obsessed with orange this summer...no idea why), I complimented her on them. Turns out they're from Robert Redford's store, Sundance. And the woman wearing them was novelist Vineeta Vijayaraghavan, author of MOTHERLAND. We started chatting, and five minutes later I was pleading with her to please write a memoir...she has an incredibly interesting life.
So there you have it. Four great books. Three opportunities to say hello squandered (because after I paid the cashier I had to scoot home before I could ask Nichole & Josh to sign) BUT one new friend and fellow writer with whom to share the ongoing quest to figure out what we'll write next.
Today's lesson: God will bless you, even when you're a dork :)