April 17, 2015

This Is 40

Today is my birthday. I've missed my chance to appear on a best-under-40 list, but I can now take as long as I like to claim the questionable title of late-blooming writer.

I kicked off the festivities Wednesday evening with a great event at Kepler's Books. Kirstin Valdez Quade, whose excellent story collection NIGHT AT THE FIESTAS I recommended in my previous post, appeared along with Skip Horack, whose new novel THE OTHER JOSEPH I'm looking forward to reading. Their conversation was a ton of fun, and I'm glad I made the effort to get myself off the couch on a weeknight in order to attend.

Last night, I had a few friends over to test my first two attempts at cake. The baking results were delicious, and the company was lovely. The weekend will include more friends, and of course plenty more delicious food.

A birthday obviously requires new books. Two that I'm really looking forward to will be out in the next few weeks, so I've placed pre-orders as a birthday gift to myself. I can't wait to read OF NOBLE FAMILY, the final installment in Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist Histories, and A GOD IN RUINS, Kate Atkinson's companion to the incredible LIFE AFTER LIFE.

Before I head off to continue my birthday celebrations, I'll allow myself the indulgence of letting you know how amazing I am. Actually, I'll let the fabulous Book Fight podcast tell you how amazing I am. As a thank-you gift to donors who support the podcast, the Book Fighters write custom blurbs that they read on the show. My blurb appeared recently in episode 82, starting at 30:30, and it's awesome and strange. The general idea is to describe donors in the ridiculous way that books are sometimes described, but the blurbs have grown quite abstract and elaborate.

Here's the text of my blurb, composed by Tom McAllister: "Lisa Eckstein is a treasure chest once owned by the Visigoths and then lost in a raid and eventually passed through the possession of the likes of Genghis Khan, the Ottoman Empire, Wild Bill Hickok, the Yakuza, Johnnie Cochran, and Clifford the Big Red Dog before disappearing. Thousands of people have died trying to unearth the treasure of Lisa Eckstein, wars have been waged, coups have been staged, and yet nobody can tell you where it is. Nobody knows what's contained inside, but everybody wants it, and so treasure hunters across the globe are drawing maps and digging, spelunking, climbing, giving it the whole Carmen Sandiego treatment really, because whatever it is this treasure chest contains, it must be invaluable, something remarkable and irreplaceable, like the secret to eternal life, or a phone that allows you to communicate with God, or the formula for nuclear fusion, or a sugar substitute that has no calories but also doesn't make you feel like shit. The point is, Lisa Eckstein exists as much as a concept as a reality, as a hope for a better future, the solution to all worldly problems, something to aspire to. She is the Holy Grail and the Maltese Falcon and the Stanley Cup wrapped in one package, and before you try to find her, understand this: once you go down that path, you will never come back."

You may hereafter refer to me as Treasure Chest.


laurenhat said...

Eeeeeee! I haven't yet listened to that Book Fight episode, but that's excellent. :) Happy, happy birthday, and may 40 be one of the best years of reading, writing, and revising (and blogging) yet!

Tiger Spot said...

Oh my gosh, what a great blurb! Happy Birthday, Treasure Chest!

Henri Picciotto said...

Happy round number birthday!

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