Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I am Julie, Author Stalker

We interrupt Laura Ingalls Wilder month for a new random posting series:

Julie, Author Stalker

It is much like Walker, Texas Ranger, in that Walker, Texas Ranger is an American television police drama/action show known for its moral values and use of martial arts. Julie, Author Stalker, is an American wife drama/action sideshow known for her depravity and use of domestic arts. And she frightens authors at book signings.

Chuck Norris Facts:
*The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.
*Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
*In conversation, Chuck Norris often quotes himself, and then laughs about it.

Julie, Author Stalker Facts:
* The chief export of the Author Stalker is awkwardness and fear.
* Author Stalker not only finds authors, she stares them down until she gets the information she wants.
* In conversation, Author Stalker often quotes herself, and then laughs about it.

The big difference? Chuck Norris IS security, while Author Stalker is usually led out by security.

TODAY'S STALKED AUTHOR: Marilynne Robinson

The following information was shamelessly lifted from Wikipedia:
Marilynne Robinson (born November 26, 1943) is an American author. Her 1980 novel Housekeeping (see 1980 in literature) won a Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for best first novel and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Her second novel, Gilead (see 2004 in literature), was acclaimed by critics and received the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the 2005 Ambassador Book Award. Her third novel, Home, published in 2008, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, and won the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction. Also in 2009, she held a Dwight H. Terry Lectureship at Yale University, giving a series of talks entitled Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self.

Tonight I attended a reading by Marilynne Robinson. She was lovely, as was the book "Gilead", which I read and had her sign. She is an instructor at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop and well respected in her field. During the Q&A segment of her reading, I asked her about her process in writing, and if winning a Pulitzer put any undue pressure on her. I sounded sane. She seemed okay with me, until I got in front of her.

Again, when I have too much time in line, I start thinking of weird things to say to people. Anyone who has lived with me for any length of time, which at this point would include my family of origin, my Chi Omega sorority sisters, and Current Husband and children, know that if I have too much time on my hands and am in the right mood, people could end up wrapped like a mummy in toilet paper (sorry Jen), or written on (sorry, CH), outlined like a dead body (sorry Tina), or covered in maxi pads (that was actually Barb, but I helped). Because I am THAT mature.

MR: "Hello."
ME: "Hi. I sure wish I could secret you away from here for 30 minutes and pick your brain."
MR: (Looks up, a little alarmed.)
ME: (Nervous laughter, like 'did I just say that out loud?') "But I'm sure Borders wouldn't let me take you away unwillingly, huh?"
MR: (Making mental note to have Borders employee walk her to car) "Make this out to Julie?"
ME: "SO, I thought about applying at the Iowa Writer's Workshop, but my work is more Erma Bombeck and David Sedaris's love child, if she weren't dead and he weren't gay. But I'm thinking the workshop is more literary...."
MR: "Yes. Yes, the workshop does tend to be more literary."
(Awkward silence. Fifty people in line behind me collectively grumble and sigh.)
ME: "Well, thanks! I really enjoy your books!"
MR: "Thank you." (Smiles relieved smile and turns to next person.)

Authors with restraining orders against Julie, Author Stalker in October: THREE!

1) Jen Lancaster, whom I e-mailed about missing her book signing because of David Sedaris, and actually asked her if she ever let complete strangers take her out for drinks. She sent a lovely reply saying, "Um, thanks for being a fan, but back the f**k off." Well, not exactly like that, but I have printed it, enlarged it, and put it in the Jen Lancaster shrine in my basement.

2) David Sedaris, whom my friend Judy and I insulted and then tried to make him read my blog with the eventual goal of him "discovering" me. I lost my favorite Jesus oilcloth coin purse over that. Why must I be so impulsive? After drinking just a little, tiny bit? I am enlarging his signature page, which read, "Julie, I look forward to reading your book" and putting it in the David Sedaris shrine in my basement.

3) Marilynne Robinson, who is a totally dignified Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, and is walking with a can of Mace to her car right about now. But I won't enlarge anything of hers, because I'm feeling a little guilty about threatening to kidnap her.

Stay tuned! My next scheduled author stalking is Nov. 4, when I meet Alexandra Fuller, author of "Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight". I'm going with my book club, and drinks will be served.


The Insatiable Host said...

julie, stalking is only a crime when you dont admit to could just use the "its for research" defense and I am sure that you could get off any charge. i will advise against heavily medicating yourself before going to these things, unless you are totally sober...and in that case, your doctor didn't prescribe you the right dosage, so multiply that by 2 and divide by 1.2....(i think that could be the right amt..but then again, I am no dr) you make me laugh a lot and i am glad for it becuase usually my meds keep me laughing at myself and I am trying to better myself and focus on others...

have a great day!!!

Alicia said...

I truely believe stalking, rather than imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery.
A friend of mine (a cute lady friend) met Sedaris. She was first in line, like a true obsessive, and chatted him up before the signing got started. He said to her, "Now, I can say this because I'm gay: you look FABULOUS"

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