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a pretty good week

A most convivial week here at Hotel Chateau Riverside, as various friends came into town for the AWP Conference (where Delia is even now signing copies of Interfictions). Weds night, not long after Gavin & Kelly arrived with the van, Titi came by for dinner - I'd thought she was coming Thurs (my bad: I knew she was coming on the 30th, but was mystically convinced the 30th was a Thursday) - we'd been planning to cook her something nice, but instead we just added another order to the Indian take-out, introduced our friends to each other, and all had a wonderful time. She played us some songs, showing off her new pretty little nylon string guitar (G&K said she reminded them of Eddi Reader, whom she'd never heard); then I took out my big steel string, and showed her some dropped D runs I learned when I was a teenager, and we played for a bit, then talked about Life. It was so nice having music in the livingroom!

Thurs afternoon, Dora Goss arrived, just about 5 minutes before Sara Berg came by for our bi-weekly appointment to talk about Bone Chandelier revisions. I gave Dora tea, and then (since I'm working on the new story instead of the play) I mostly regaled Sara with tales of the Dumas Tower of Evil reading we heard Monday at TFANA - it was sublime! 19c melodrama at its finest, done by actors so good that they they didn't crack up until the final scene, [SPOILER]
when the lascivious Queen Margaret, repenting of the fact that she has slept with or murdered justabout everyone (usually both), thanks a merciful Heaven that she never actually gave herself to her court favorite, the Captain of the Guard (incidentally her long-lost son), "So he can still call me Mother!" Michael Feingold, who did the translation & was there, said when I asked that they called it "Tower of Evil" because in French it is "Tour de Nesle" and he knew that it would be pronounced "Tower of Nestle (as in Chocolate)" This does not explain why in the play everyone kept saying "the Tower of NEEL" when it should have been "Tower of NELL" . . . oh, waitaminute. Maybe it does.

Sara went home, the AWP people came back, and we all ate leftovers and talked about books together in our diningroom - a ridiculously large (for a NY apt) and ornate room which only makes sense when it is full of such guests and such conversation; as Delia put it, "Ah! This is what we thought it would be like!" She then showed us the fabulous sweatercoat she had bought on sale at Anthropologie - but she was just trying to get one up on me, since I brought back about 5 things from the sale the day before. Little things, mostly - but I am very happy about this jacket.

Yesterday had lunch with Kelly at our local "Pan Asian" sushi joint - the trick with such places is to find out where the chef actually comes from; here, he's Thai, so we skipped the sushi in favor of some celestial green curry. We discussed whether or not I had enough short stories to make an anthology. In terms of pure word count I probably do, but I don't feel like a have a solid short fiction Opus yet, really. Delia does, but I've been dilatory. I'm working on it. Kelly went shopping, I went home, Dora came back from the conference, Veronica dropped by, Kelly returned with pastries from Silver Moon, we ate them and talked about books and life and more books - Delia returned for the end of this, I dropped out, typed some, then started the baked potatoes because we'd invited Cassie & Josh for dinner at the last minute, and they made it, through the driving rain. Fueled mostly by strong tea (and some very good salmon cooked as only Delia knows how), we had a hilarious dinner, which included the realization that all great romantic heroes can be divided into Werwolves (Heathclifff) and Vampires (Mr. Darcy, and justabout anyone played by Leslie Howard), prompting Josh to suggest the new self-help bestseller, Women are from Venus; Men are Undead Damned Souls, followed by a round of hot new titles including Look Homeward, Vampire and Little Vampire on the Prairie . . . .

It's Saturday morning now. Everyone is at the Conference. It's awfully quiet around here.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Feb. 2nd, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
A Kushner Collection? Awesome! ditto a Sherman same.

Sounds like excellent fun.
ellen_kushner
Feb. 3rd, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
Wish you were here!
la_marquise_de_
Feb. 2nd, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
I was lucky enough to see a production (in English) of La Tour de Nesle in London some years ago. (Adrian Dunbar and, I think, Sinead Cusack.) They treated it with respect and it worked just fine in that wonderfully melodramatic Romantic way.
ellen_kushner
Feb. 3rd, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
Much envy of you!
ladyuranus
Feb. 2nd, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
It sounds like you come from one of those 19th century writing households where a salon is held everyday, as are good meals, and the writing happens during the bits in between.

I like the vampire and werewolves idea-- I concur.
ellen_kushner
Feb. 3rd, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Ohhhhhh, god, I wish I wish I wish!!! Unfortunately, we are double-cast as the chief cook, butler (you should see my on my knees in front of the wine rack), bottlewasher, and everything in between. (And it's a long damned way from the enchanting diningroom to the dark little kitchen down the narrow hall.) It does tend to slow down production. It would be just heaven to have Staff.

And it's not an everyday occurrence; that's why I blogged it so thorougly. But you're right; it's as if we occasionally enter a space where we are as close to such a household (without staff) as we might be, for a week or two each year. It must be because we read teh right books. And it is delicious, pantry notwithstanding.
gwynnega
Feb. 3rd, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
the realization that all great romantic heroes can be divided into Werwolves (Heathclifff) and Vampires (Mr. Darcy, and justabout anyone played by Leslie Howard)

This is genius. And so true (especially the Leslie Howard bit)! :-)
ellen_kushner
Feb. 3rd, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
Oh, ha!! Brilliant icon.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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