(It was an incredible day. More pictures via Picasa!)
Over the past several days, I’ve listened to ‘Do You Remember’ non-stop. (The days have also thrown in a bit of Keyshia Cole and Kesha and the Pussycat Dolls, but only in small doses.) If you’re not familiar…
Generally speaking, I’m moving backward to move forward – remembering and reconnecting the past in order to get into the future. Even typing it seems trite and childish, but by my scout’s honor, it’s working. And enabling me to take some big(ger) risks in the near future.
And an update on Molly: the scenes are still disconnected, but streaming rather than droplets. This is improvement.
And a shout-out for the weekend: book launch, signing & party on Sunday, 2-6pm, Into the Glass, Grapevine, Texas. Don’t want to come to Grapevine =just= for the book signing? Experience Thomas the Train with the kids, the Chocolate Extravaganza at the Palace Theater, and more! Something for everyone, even if you’d just like to drop in, grab a book, get a signature, nosh some appetizers, enjoy a little wine…
New Book from Anne Hollander: Book Launch & Signing in Grapevine, Texas
|Anne Hollander will sign copies and celebrate the launch of “Sunday’s Child: Tales of Love, Loss & Redemption in a Texas Wine Bar” on March 14, 2010 from 2-6pm at Into the Glass, Grapevine, Texas.|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Sunday’s Child” (www.annehollander.com/sundayschild/) chronicles a small town stuck between history and progress, its citizens caught between local parades and international events, and an intimate setting to discover the true facets of love, loss and redemption.
These seven short stories share the joys and pains of life and death, love and loss, politics and culture, all within the walls of a blues cafe and wine bar. Enjoy the laughter, tears, indignation, daily struggles, and interactions between the illuminating folks bellying up to a bar in effort to experience something new, something old, borrowed time, and the blues.
“Sunday’s Child” has already sold more than four thousand copies, a strong showing for first-time author, Anne Hollander.
Date & Time: March 14, 2010, 2-6pm
Where: Into the Glass, Grapevine, Texas (www.intotheglass.com)
Location: 322 Main Street, Grapevine, Texas 76051
Anne Hollander (www.annehollander.com) is a freelance writer and social marketing consultant in Dallas, Texas. Ms. Hollander graduated in 2004 from Smith College and regularly travels the world in search of stories and characters.
Title: Sunday’s Child: Tales of Love, Loss & Redemption in a Texas Wine Bar
Author: Anne Hollander
Publisher: Anne Hollander
More details soon, but save the date!
(And PS – it’s about six weeks away, a perfect amount of time to get this bod back into good health, good shape, and good spirits!)
Glory be this fine Sunday morning – Sunday’s Child has hit the presses and is available in BOTH print AND electronic format through Lulu.com:
And when you’re done, let me know what you think! I’ll be sure to get word back to the characters and provide updates from the wine bar on occasion.
“Now you’ll never see what you’ve done to me
You can take back your memories – they’re no good to me
And here’s all your lies,
You can look me in the eyes
With that sad sad look you wear so well”
And I hope it gives you hell.
It’s said the pen is mightier than the sword. Physicality may have intimidated me over the past couple weeks, if not several months, but no longer. The spell is broken, the magic gone, and the trust no longer there. When it came to blows, it confused me – how could there exist such hatred for me, for my work.
Turns out the nighthawks fear the sunshine, the best disinfectant.
And so I sit here on this conference call, listening to options, interjecting an opinion every now and again. I’ve held off on signing all the contracts, unsure if it was really what I wanted to do. I’ve had the luxury of time, and last night I laid down and read it through word by word, page by page. Made a few changes to characters, mostly to accentuate particular personality traits. Changed the ending yet again. Added an eviscerating afterword. Where I had feared digging too deep, now I cut straight to the bone without a second thought.
And the best change: it’s now mine, not theirs.
Now to decide if sharp-edged exposure or languished obscurity is a better choice.
I just told them I’d know by Monday. Monday, Monday, Monday.
This little heart of mine – I’m gonna let it shine.
Last night was a fascinating display of courage and cowardice. I don’t intend to be scientific about it, nor dramatic, nor anything more than a simple statement: it’s surprising who ended up where.
I woke up this morning on my balcony, wine glass empty, and a brief moment of sunshine and a humid dew on my face. I’d seen daybreak, writing furiously following an evening of forced conviviality. It was cowardly of me not to stand up, tell him off – cowardly of me to instead shrink away, display a muted fear, and quite literally hold my breath in my passive monitoring of the situation.
Where my courage shined through was with strangers in a local breakfast shop, all of us brought together for so many different reasons. I love the coffee, was in need of a waffle, and most importantly, to talk with people so different from myself. It rights me, puts it all back into perspective. I’d missed my opportunities for participation all evening long if only because I didn’t want him part of it.
Except that I did. A little, but not in front of the circus. Just an opportunity to talk like we used to, alone in the night, just until daybreak when we part ways.
I don’t know what I expected, but I’m let down for the last time. There is no apology; I won’t put myself through the fear, the hurt, the betrayal – not again. And in a stunning display of callousness, I told him so with a harsh tone deserved only from a father. Then poured myself a glass of wine, turned my headphones to Mahler, and sat outside on my balcony to watch the world awake to Saturday morning, furiously frustrated.
I’m looking over everything now, and it’s all stained with mascara, blurred with salty tears, and somehow it’s the best capture of a moment I’ve ever done.
I don’t know what to do with it. Except chalk it up to daybreak.
“Yeah, but what was so special about the place?” He asked genuinely, honestly, looking plainly at me, awaiting response.
It was a Tuesday, no, Wednesday morning now, cooking dinner together. I, as usual, offered nothing but the best emotional support in the affairs of the stomach.
“I’m sorry, did you miss the part where I wrote a book about the place?”
He turned away from the stove, his blue eyes smiling at me. “Sweet girl, I didn’t ask the effect – just the cause.”
This caught me off-guard.
“Well, I guess,” as I stumbled through my words and thoughts, “its something about the people who inhabit the place, frequent the place. Though it’s the walls too. I spent two hundred pages trying to figure out just what, exactly, made it special. Remarkable really.”
He continued to saute with one hand as I fumbled the question. I knew the answer, but didn’t want to give up the punch line. Not yet.
It was his long look, blue-eyed bullets into the cerebellum that told him better. Silence choked the kitchen as I sat squirming on a bar stool, toes tapping the underside of the bar. I took a short swig of beer straight from the bottle, disregarding his insistent gaze.
“It’s…they saved me,” as my throat cleared through the beer, static and sultry air between us.
“Yeah, they saved me. Just let me be me. Didn’t have to figure me out, didn’t ask about my story, just let me be. Me.”
“So its a love story with heroes.”
“Maybe. No. Not really. I mean, they didn’t know they were heroes nor would anyone ever consider them as such. It was the first place I got to be a writer. First place to accept – though not agree with – my radical ideas about life.”
He stepped toward me fully his time, his frame lumbering over mine, the saute pan abandoned, and pulled my beer away from me, setting it well out of reach. “How old are you?”
“Old enough to drink beer. Give it back.”
“No, not with the way you’re talking.” With a half step he was back at the stove, my beer warming in the heat of the summer stove, far away from the comfort of my hands.
“What.” My voice raised a bit, wavered, but never hit questionable status.
“It’s a bar. There are bars everywhere. They serve the same things – ”
“But not the same people – ”
“And you could have gone anywhere for the same result. Created whatever you wanted to create.”
“Darling,” rolling my eyes in high fashion, “that’s simply false. Lemme have my beer.”
“No. Why are you emotionally attached to this place.”
“You’re bordering on cruelty to both of us.”
He laughed loudly, booming pressing through the thin apartment walls. “Answer the question.”
I was running out of defensive maneuvers. “Why are you emotionally attached to me?”
“Because you have an amazing ass and a great vocabulary. And,” said pointedly, “you know who Helen Thomas is,” his lips twitching against one another. “Don’t avoid the question.”
“State secret. Matters of national security. Fifth Amendment.”
“A criminal affair then.”
“Some might say.”
Again, my eyes rolled, this time nearly emptying the sockets. “What restaurant or bar do you know of to keep things fully on the up and up? Mister “I have twenty-five years experience” and you want to tell me there was nothing criminal going on under your ever-growing nose?”
“Objection: relevance. And you’re avoiding the question, counselor.”
He had pushed the final button in the nuclear sequence.
I took a deep breath, annoyance across my face, both elbows on the counter as I leaned over the sink. “Look. When I came back, I didn’t think I could love or be loved.” I continued quickly, feeling the laser scope of his eyes on my forehead. “I’ve lost everyone I’d loved, whether by accident, purpose, genetics, god’s will – whatever reason people come up with to comfort themselves. Really, I’ve heard it all. I thought I was completely tapped out, unable to open my heart ever again. In a figurative sense,” I added as an afterthought.
“And so when I came back, I slept for nearly two weeks, came to the realization that maybe I just didn’t know what it was. So I surrounded myself with it. In times of loss, some go through self-destructive streaks, and I had several moments of brilliance there. Some isolate themselves, and I had plenty of quiet time to reflect in the face of sterile hospital rooms. Still others wither away with whatever grief they have to overcome. There was some of that as well. But instead of burying everything inside of me, I wanted to find my reflection in everyone else’s love, hate, pain, hope, fear – whatever it was they were carrying deep inside, just like me. That isn’t found everywhere – how many blithering idiots have walked into your restaurants, unable to see beyond the shell of their own ignorance? Now give me my damn beer back.”
He wanted to smirk, his dimples desiring to dance. Silently, he handed back the bottle. Stepping back in front of the stove, his voice dripping with sarcasm, he remarked “the Robert Frost of love. I’m dating ‘the road less traveled by’.”
“And that makes all the difference – ’cause I found lots of things. Love, hate, jealousy, lust, gluttony, some of it in me, some directed to me, some in my presence, some just in the old stories.” The beer had warmed considerably, moreso now that it was locked in my palm, fingers wrapped completely around.
He wasn’t convinced. “Heroes because of it?”
“Ordinary people doing extraordinary things?”
“Here we are again: what was so extraordinary.”
Finally, a flash of light in the dark night. I stood up, leaving skin from the back of my legs on the seat of the stool, walking over to the little red backpack I always carried with me, rifling through it. “Find out for yourself,” tossing the manuscript across the counter. “It’s an easy read, you’ll be done by daybreak. Then I’ll take you there, you can see it for yourself, see if I’ve got it right.” I kept my voice even and airy, almost prancing, willing him to take the bait.
He snorted, feigning disinterest. But he couldn’t let the opportunity go to waste. A unique chance to find the way to my young sutured heart and into my reticent mind wouldn’t be passed up. He switched off the gas, transferring the pan to a cool burner. “Serve yourself then. We’ll eat on the balcony, I’ll read until I get bored.” I simply nodded, my turn to hide a smile.
We didn’t go to bed that night. Nor did we speak a word once he was reading.
At daybreak I went for coffee, and on my return, a wry smile and bright eyes met me. “Amazing, my love. When are we going?”