READING: This IS a BookBlog, dammit!

I read so you don’t have to. And so I stay sane. Sort of. I have been told that my blog is too wide-ranging, unfocused, that one cannot land here and know what to expect. I have been told that my blog is too personal. That I over-share. That my dysthymic and bipolar ups and downs are too extreme and sometimes frightening. I have been told that there are lots of people who don’t want to come to my blog and run into posts featuring half-naked men or penis. I’ve been warned that I am too screedy and harridan-like about GLBT issues and politics. I have been told that I have too many personalities. I have been told I make people sad. I make people angry. I think too much and so make others think too much. Or that my thinking makes them feel guilty for not thinking enough, or for not wanting to think, or for not having thought or seen the things I see that upset me. I have been told my writing makes people feel judged. I have been told . . .  and told . . .  and told . . . and warned, “If you want to [FILL IN THE BLANK: Make money / Get an agent / Have more regular readers / Get a job / Get a lover / Keep friends / etc] you are going to have to [FILL IN THE BLANK WITH WHATEVER ADVICE YOU CAN IMAGINE TELLING ME WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME AND HOW I SHOULD HIDE OR FIX IT]. I thank you all for the advice and the help, but, I am who I am.

And, honestly, people, REAL readers of REAL books WANT to be challenged and expanded and surprised and GROWN. And, so, no, I don’t talk about BOOKS every day, every entry. BUT IT IS MY READING THAT HAS MADE ME THIS WIDE RANGING, UNRELIABLE NARRATOR, UNPREDICTABLE TYPE – and so, in essence and in truth and at its foundation, ALL of what I write is about having read – and the reading I am doing every day. So, please, I beg you – in this rather LONGEST EVER intro – READ ME. SHARE ME. FOLLOW ME. LOVE ME.

  • And, if every so often (or, well, you know, often) there is dick and swearing and politics and ranting and anger and INSANITY and witness to my decline involved – hey, that’s what friends (and readers) are for. And now, on to today’s entry . . .

headmasters_wifeYesterday was Tuesday, which – to me – means NEW BOOK RELEASE DAY! So, as I do every Tuesday, I headed to one of my very favorite places in the entire world, THE CURIOUS IGUANA (click here to visit their site) and did one of my very favorite things, perused the books. I came home with The Headmaster’s Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene, (CLICK HERE FOR THE U.S.MACMILLAN/ST.MARTIN’S PRESS PAGE FOR THE BOOK) for which I have been waiting, and I started it last night. I stayed up way too late, rapt, hypnotized, and I will share at length once I have completed it. I must note NOW that it is published under the St. Martin’s Press aegis, and that has ALWAYS been one of the houses I dreamed would publish my novel. Still dreaming. Still waiting to snag an agent.

In the meantime, turns out that the owners of The Curious Iguana, Marlene and Tom England, are hosting a – well – here, read for yourself:

By now you’ve probably noticed the phrase “Get to know your world” on our front window, on our business cards, and so on.

Before we opened Curious Iguana, we labored over this five-word tagline. We wanted just the right phrase to express our big dreams for our little bookstore…a place where people could discover books that open windows to the wider world, a place that could help broaden the definition of “community.” 

This Saturday, March 8, at 7 pm, we are hosting a very special event that rings true to our “Get to know your world” objective. Please join us for Inspiring Change – Microfinance, Fonkoze, and Women with Fonkoze USA executive director Leigh Carter and film producer/director Rob Rooy.

There’s not enough room in this email to describe all the wonderful work that Fonkoze, Haiti’s largest microfinance institution, is undertaking “shoulder to shoulder” with women in Haiti. Please take a few moments to read about Fonkoze here.

At our March 8 event, Leigh will share extraordinary stories of how Fonkoze is serving 250,000 Haitians–not only with micro-loans and other financial services, but with comprehensive education and health programs as well. Rob will show clips from Going the Distance, his powerful documentary on Fonkoze’s role in helping Haitians rise above poverty. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and to hear Rob and Leigh’s firsthand encounters with Haitian women who are overcoming tremendous challenges to achieve their dreams.

The March 8 event is free, and you will not be asked to make a donation (we promise!). Just come, bring a friend, listen and learn, and be inspired by what’s happening in a country that rarely makes the news these days. Please know that if you decide to shop at the Iguana this Saturday, or any day this month, a percentage of your purchase will support Fonkoze.

We hope to see you this Saturday!

Tom and Marlene England

Amazing, right? Not only are they booklovers, they are worldlovers. Truthlovers. And, as fate would have it, I know Rob Rooy! His daughter, Andrea, was one of my ALL-TIME-FAVORITE students EVER! I still have the fondest of memories of her singing I Am So Easily Assimilated from Candide. She is now a tenure-track professor AND a member of Cirque Du Soleil. IN CHINA. Yeah. That’s right. Two kinds of genius. Oh, and she has a HILARIOUS Twitter feed as well. Small world, right?

And Mr. Rooy, like the Englands, has always listened to my UNRELIABLE NARRATOR self with patience and seeming amusement. You know, like I asked all of you to do in today’s intro? The world needs more people like Rooy and the Englands, who not only let others be who they are, but welcome and encourage their explorations.

Anyway, this IS a BookBlog, dammit. It’s just a really discursive, meandering, rambling – some might even say PROLIX – one. Check out yesterday’s entry (CLICK HERE) – it was all about books. And my sad love-life. Because, people, we ALL read in a context. We read to inform (and escape – which is a way of informing) our world. So, come on. LOVE ME. Because I am feeling a little . . . well, let me let Jessica explain for me . . .

Lange Horror Monsters

But, dealing with my current demons . . . has left me . . .

Lange Horror ANcient

And I may need some assistance . . . DB, get ready, the end is nigh.

Lange Paulson Horror Hiding

I know you’ll come looking for me . . . right? RIGHT? HEY, IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?

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