Last night I had the opportunity to attend the launch party of the brand new essay anthology, BRIEFLY KNOCKED UNCONSCIOUS BY A LOW-FLYING DUCK. I know, great title, right? Full disclosure here: I have a piece in this anthology about my mom, my cat, September 11, 2001, love, loneliness, a cabin in the woods, students, black squirrels, Tom Waits, coffee. And the publisher is the publisher of THE TEMPLE OF AIR, Elephant Rock Books.
But anyway. The launch was a celebration of these essays, but also a celebration of stories, story telling, and story sharing. This anthology is a collection of 23 pieces curated from more than 300 that have been told as part of the long-running, once Chicago, now international, live story series 2nd Story. (Shout out here to Megan Stielstra and Andrew Reilly who edited the book and are part of the driving force of this story telling collective.)
So last night, there were three truly remarkable readings. Eric Charles May read “A Cautionary Tale” about an ill-fated night when he might have ended up in more than a heap of trouble just because he (a black man) happened to be with a drunken (white) woman when she did something really stupid. (That’s all I’m gonna tell you.) Molly Each read the hilarious “A Prostitute Comparison” about an expected evening in the red light district of Amsterdam. And Deb R. Lewis–well, I still find myself getting a little damp-eyed over Deb’s piece “Why I Hate Strawberries” about the very, very bad deeds of her grandfather and the lasting effect on his family.
All in all, a good night. And today? Today I am doing my best to try to help promote BKUBLFD by encouraging anyone who might be thinking about getting a copy of the book to go over to BarnesandNoble.com and buy one TODAY. (Duck Day, get it?) If we have a good showing of it, this little book put out by a lovely little publisher might just get a leg up in the world of a million titles. And speaking of a million, this morning BKUBLFD was ranked at one-million-something on the Barnes & Noble sales rankings. Right now, at 5:56 PM central time, it is ranked at something like 181. Not bad! Thanks to all of you who have already put in your orders.
What else can I tell you? Oh, I know. Quack.