Frank will be on NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon tomorrow (Saturday, June 19) morning! He’ll be discussing World Cup soccer—its drama and theatricality. It airs from 8-10 am in New York City. Click here for local listings:
Last night we celebrated with Tweeple who came to Lillie's Bar on E. 17th st., New York City, and the people who came there tweeted their friends to say where they were. (see David Goodwin's photographs). The big disappointment? Nobody among my Tweeple in the bar tweeted me (@fdbytheword) to tell me that they were there with me. Had they done so, I'd have tweeted back to say, "Yes, I'm here with you, one and a half feet away tweeting about the fact that I'm here with you, one and a half feet away." Do you remember those boxes where you see a picture of the box on the side of the box, and that picture has a picture of the box, and so on, until the box image stretches down, down into tiny infinity? Or Russian dolls? That's what our close-at-hand tweeting felt like! But I loved it - and we had fun. And I can report that Tweeters and Bloggers are real - they have faces and hands and feet and they smile, and it was a delight to meet them. And I thank them for turning out in the rain.
Tweeting each other at the bar. (@nasuyaki, @acc73, @leahpaulos)
© David Goodwin
Frank and his tweeps, @booksnyc and @leahpaulos
© Ben Goodwin
@fdbytheword and @tarastra
© David Goodwin
The English language contains two words superior to all others - “THE” and “END.”
I can attest to their beauty because I’ve just typed them – I’ve delivered to my publishers a new novel, The Matchmaker of Kenmare; it’ll be on sale in February, 2011.
They speak volumes, those two darling words. They tell me that the light peeping through the tunnel wasn’t an oncoming train. They tell me – no more waking up and grabbing a notebook at four in the morning because, Oh, God! there’s a contradiction in a major characterization. No more worry that such-and-such a scene stinks (and that there’s major alliteration running riot). And no more shrieks of profanity as my fatigued memory asks: Haven’t you repeated a passage verbatim somewhere?
Yes, it’s lovely, the relief of “THE” and “END”; an adorable feeling of, “Well, I finished it. Despite all the hopping and trotting – I finished it.” But then I had to hit “send” in order to transmit it to Mark Tavani, my editor at Random House - and that's not totally a nice feeling.
It’s not unlike the moment that you take your oldest child to school for the first time. For three or four or five years, you’ve been able to regulate how the world sees him, and therefore you can control how he reflects the work you’ve put into his upbringing, but now you walk him into the school, with his little cap and his knee-socks – and, yep, there he goes, on his own! But now they can say what they like about him. Your only consolation is that you tried as hard as you could, and given the limited access you have to him now, you’ll continue to make such improvements as you can.
Am I being cheesy? Oh, yes. Do I exaggerate? Of course – and quite a lot, especially as I’m too grizzled now to feel unfettered anguish. But would I have held it back if I could? And re-written it? Indeed I would. And there are perhaps only two words in the entire book that I wouldn’t change – and you’ve guessed what they are: “THE” and “END.”
FOOTNOTE: I’m going to do a little reading aloud from it in New York on Wednesday afternoon around 6. Join me at Lillies from 5:30 to 7 or so!.