Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jamaica Kincaid, pub day and Angela Davis

Jamaica Kincaid was fabulous! She spoke about her experience as a gardener and read from the book I linked to before, Among Flowers, which is about her trip to Nepal to collect plants and seeds. Unfortunately, I didn't take the best notes (more on that in a minute), but a couple of quotes:
"There's no place I feel so much like myself as I do in the garden."

"All cruelty should be confined to the garden." Said in reference to how gardeners fall out of love with a plant and get rid of it.

So, Jamaica Kincaid spoke on my pub date, as you may know. And this is how pub date went: Got up at 6 and read all your wonderful comments and emails! Thank you all so much!!!

At 9 I met my good friend Maryann for breakfast at a Greek diner and then we went over to Tattered Cover (the Colfax store) to witness the miracle of my novel actually being on the shelf. It was so much fun. The booksellers there are excited and handselling, and putting my book in nice displays. Thank you Tattered Cover!

After that, I went to Target and Borders, where I didn't yet see my book (or Theresa's). Then I came home and read and reread the Essence review about five million times. :)

After that, I met my good friends Elizabeth and Heather for a 3 p.m. happy hour of champagne and tempura (they also had sushi). Which turned into 3 happy hours of eating, drinking and gabbing.

After that, I hopped in the car and over to the Botanic Gardens to hear Ms. Kincaid. My good friends Lois (owner of West Side Books) and Karen were there, so I showed off Orange Mint and Honey and Essence and got a few other people excited about the book.

Then, Ms. Kincaid went to the podium and they turned down the lights. She has a beautiful British accent and was very charming and wonderful. Except...I'd been drinking champagne for 3 hours. And they turned down the lights. And I'd been up since 6 a.m. So you know what happened, right? I didn't go all the way to sleep, but I spent most of her talk mentally slapping myself to stay awake. Hence the bad notes.

Yesterday, I did see my book (along with Therese's and Patry's) at Target.

Yesterday, I also received an invitation to go hear Angela Davis speak about "radical social justice." Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend. But here's the details:

Place and time: The Regis University Student Center Cafeteria at 8 p.m. on February 21st.
Background: Through activism and scholarship Angela Davis has been deeply involved in our nation’s quest for social justice. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender equality. Email for more information.

It was in the 60s yesterday. Today, snow. But that's ok because girlfriend has to get some writing done!


Barrie said...

Love the garden quotes. And, while I'm not this amazing gardener, I do know what she means about feeling at peace in the garden. And I can grow a mean tomato!

How very fun to see your very own book at Target too!

Lisa said...

I mean it -- I have to learn how to garden this spring! Congratulations on all the beautiful and wonderful things that are happening -- I hope the snow is giving you a cuddly, cozy writing day today :)

Seth Fleisher said...

Hey Carleen, mucho congratulations. Looking forward to reading the book!

Carleen Brice said...

Barrie, hey, if you can grow a tomato, you're an amazing gardener!

Lisa, Finally getting some writing done this afternoon. For somebody who's "off the grid" you sure are comment-y. :) Are you in DC?

Seth, Cool avatar. Thanks!

Lisa said...

Nope -- I'm back home and then leaving for Estes Park tomorrow -- home Monday and down to San Antonio Tuesday. You know I can't stay off the grid long ;)

Larramie said...

Sounds as though yesterday was wonderful, Carleen, and hope that today was a Happy Valentine's Day too!

P.S. Just love that book shelf picture with you, Therese and Patry literally sharing the spotlight.

Sherry said...

It was in the 60s?!? NOTE: Everything else you talked about and I zero in on the warm temp!!! Does that tell you my tush is frozen to this chair?!?!

You are looking fab and I love seeing your book on the shelves!!

Sounds like you had a champagne filled day -- busy!! And I envisioned your slipping down in your chair while Jamaica Kincaid was speaking and mentally slapping yourself awake!! You got too much goin' on -- good thing for the up coming snow -- you need it!

Sassy Sistah said...

Hi Carleen! Many, many congratulations to you!

I went to the local Target and to B&N yesterday looking for the book. WELL! Neither of them had it - yet. I spoke to the Manager at each place and they told me to check back in a few days and they would have it. We'll see. They had better have it.

I do know how to pitch an old fashioned hissy fit.

Rebecca Burgess said...

Love the pics. Too funny about the Champagne--it has the exact same effect on me. I've got your wonderful book sitting right next to me.


Sustenance Scout said...

I was here and then jumped over to RingShout (very cool, thanks for the link) and forgot to comment, Carleen. Love your orange top, btw! And so jealous you got to see Jamaica Kincaid after all. Sounds like the big day was indeed a huge success; thanks for sharing the photos. I'm looking forward to a long weekend of reading OMAH, which I picked up from the Highlands Ranch TCover this morning, along with Souvenir!! K.

Patry Francis said...

I love snowy days for the same reason. Listening to Jamaica Kincaid was the perfect contrast, a reminder that secret gardens are growing even in the snow.

p.s. I've got to say we sure look good together on that shelf.

Ello said...

I've been to two Barnes and Nobles looking for Orange Mint and HOney. No luck! You need to tell your publisher! But my local Barnes and NObles is ordering it for me! Can't wait to read it!

Congratulations to your wonderful book release!

Carleen Brice said...

Larramie, Thanks for the good wishes. I love that picture too!

Sherry, You got that right, but it's going to get worse before it gets better. Or at least crazier before it calms down. My goal is to enjoy the insanity!

Sassy, Thanks for checking up on it for me!

Rebecca, Yay! You found it! Glad somebody did! Thank you!!!

SS, Whoo hoo! That TC is beautiful, but too far away for the likes of me. Thanks for picking it up!

Patry, Don't we though??

Ello, Thanks for your troubles! B&N here didn't have it either, but the one in Therese's town did--and on a front table no less. Go figure!

Sustenance Scout said...

Carleen, I finished your book this morning! Wow, what a page-turner! Congratulations on a fantastic debut novel. It's killing me that I can't make your signing on the 26th so I'm going to try to work something out. I'll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, the Super Target in Parker had tags for OMAH and Souvenir so I bugged a guy to look up both titles and he said they were sold out. Could be a good thing, depending on how many copies they originally had. I'll be at the STarget in Lone Tree in a few minutes (forgot a few things yesterday; Super Target is my second home some weeks) so I'll check out the book section there too.

My only gripe with OMAH: Why no author photo?? I want to point to it and tell everyone I KNOW this soon-to-be-famous author! K.

Carleen Brice said...

Karen, I sure do love you guys! Seriously...without my blogging buddies it would just be me (& my very supportive family) out here trying to scrounge up some interest. So smooches to the blogosphere!!!

I think each Target only displays a few at a time, so it's a very good sign that they're out of OMAH & Souvenir!

Re the photo: my publisher decided to use the space for blurbs...and I'm totally ok with that!

Sherry said...

Gosh, Karen is FAST!!! I'm hopefully having my copy delivered this week !! And then I'll be going into the local Chapters to ask if they have it on the shelves and if not, why not and to ask them to stock it!!

naysue said...

Oh, man! What a feeling that must be. Congratulations. I definitely have to check the book out. What month was the Essence review?

Sustenance Scout said...

Sherry, you're going to love it! And yes, it's a quick read though I'm looking forward to rereading it slowly some day. There's so much going on in this book, so many layers of relationships and emotions and revelations. Kudos, Carleen! K.

Carleen Brice said...

Naysue, It's the March issue of Essence. On stands now! Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer said...

I just finished reading the book and want you to know that I enjoyed it immensely. Thanks for including the titles of the Nina Simone songs.

Carleen Brice said...

Thanks Jennifer! Very sweet of you to let me know! Thanks for stopping by my blog.