Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Two brief shining moments

I caucused last night. What a madhouse. In 2004, 15,000 Colorado Democrats caucused. Last night, over 100,000 did! Lines were out the door and down the block at my caucus site. Caucus workers were told to plan for 600. Several thousand showed up. I heard at least a dozen people say "This is a zoo!" as they wove in and out of lines trying to get to the line for their precint. It was crazy.

Mayor Hickenlooper was at the same site (we live in the same district, but not the same precinct.) He said something that summed up the evening for me, "Democracy is messy." If the caucus here and the caucuses and primaries around the country are any indication, get ready for a very messy election.

But what better reason to be "messy" than to be passionate about making your voice heard? I was thrilled to see many of my neighbors, and I was proud to be part of the process. Others obviously were too: they brought their children from infants to teenagers to show them what it was like to speak out about how you want your country to be led. Also, the sense that we were participating in a historic event was palpable.

In funny coincidences, my precinct was crowded into a tiny middle-school classroom in which writing is taught. On the board was a reminder for students to give themselves permission to write "badly." And the Obama precinct leader was Charlene Porter, author of Boldfaced Lies.

In other news, for this brief shining moment, Orange Mint and Honey is #24 on the Amazon list of best-sellers about mothers & children. Therese Fowler's Souvenir is #21. The Amazon numbers fluctuate wildly and mean next to nothing, but, for now, it sure feels good!

16 comments:

Rebecca Hickman: said...

What a wonderful turnout. Congrats on your book sales. Can't wait to read it.

Shauna Roberts said...

I'm getting very impatient for your book, which Amazon says it won't ship until March 5. (I signed up for Super Saver Shipping, and one book in the order hasn't been released yet.) Congratulations on the many people ordering your book today.

When we lived in Iowa, I participated in one presidential caucus. It was indeed a messy process and took all evening. I much prefer the simple walk up, cast your vote, and go back home approach of the states I've lived in since then.

Carleen Brice said...

Thanks Rebecca!

Shauna, As much as I'd love to think "many people" are ordering my book today, the truth is it doesn't take many to make a change on the Amazon list. It's my understanding that some of the numbers can hinge on pretty small sales. But at least someone is ordering, and I'm happy about that! Thank YOU for ordering!

Lisa said...

I am so proud of you and I am so proud of Colorado!

Eisa said...

Congratulations on your novel!

And, you participated in a caucus! Wowsa. Such respect for that process. Here in NY, we just pull a lever. You guys really sit face-to-face and discuss the candidates. Quite elegant.

Therese said...

Numbers-watching already, huh? Not like I'd ever do that. For example, I have no knowledge of my unabridged audiobook now being BOT's #14. :)

You're right that the numbers mean very little (except when viewed as trends over time) but ALL pre-orders are good news!

I love that you attended your caucus ("caucased" is a verb? Who knew?). Good job!

Democracy IS messy, which is what makes it exciting, when people bother to pay attention.

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Yea! to you Carleen--for the caucus and the book.

Carleen Brice said...

Lisa, I'm proud of Colorado too! You should have seen all the Obama supporters there--everybody was so excited!

Eisa, We didn't discuss much at all. In my district (as in the state) Obama was going to sweep. So we just raised our hands and then waited while they figured this convulated math to tell us what we could see: from my precinct Obama got 6 delegates and Clinton got 1.

Therese, Are you saying I'm obsessive? :) Actually, I stumbled on the ranking on that particular list, but once I noticed it I have been shall we say paying attention. I'm so excited to be on any list I'll take it!!

Thanks Judy and see you next month at VA Book!

Ello said...

How cool was that?

ANd so exciting about your book! I can't wait to read it!

Lafreya said...

Congradulation on book sales. I can't wait to get my hands on my copy.

Wow how wonderful that you got to caucus. I'm from Michigan where our delegates were disqualified because Michigan went early. The only thing I could vote was uncommitted if I didn't want to vote for Hillary. Although there is a rumor we might get to do a do a caucus type do over in order to try to help settle the nomination.

Sustenance Scout said...

Jumping up and down for many reasons, Carleen!! What a great way to start February. K.

Sherry said...

The Amazon list doesn't have to "mean" anything -- it "means" that your book is moving and will keep moving up and up and up -- I predict!!!

I was checking your book tour places and dates...oh how I wish you were coming to Toronto!!! We would LOVE to have you here!!

Sherry said...

My copy is on pre-order...I hope it gets here SOON!!!

Carleen Brice said...

Sherry, I would LOVE to go to Toronto! Sadly, I've never been to Canada. But touring these days just isn't worth it unless you can expect a big turnout. How big is your family, anyway? :)

Sherry said...

LOL Carleen!!! OMG -- we are SO small...I could host you in my living room and feed you and talk with you...BUT I've got LOTS of friends!!! :)

Carleen Brice said...

Sherry, How about a call-in thing? You bring your friends together and let me know when and I'll call in? You can be in your pajamas there and I'll be in my pajamas here and we'll have a pajama party?!