Friday, December 11, 2009

Odds and Sods for Friday, December 11, 2009

Okay, lots of amazing news and excitement this morning!

Like, there's this new book coming out, published by HarperCollins:

Here's the synopsis over at their website:

"It All Changed in an Instant
More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure
By Larry Smith, Rachel Fershleiser

Price: $12.00
On Sale: 1/5/2010 PRE-ORDER HERE!

“A perfect distraction and inspiration, and a collection that begs to be shared. Be warned, though. If you plan to lend out your copy, start out with two. Once it leaves your hands you’ll never see it again.”

—Denver Post (on Not Quite What I Was Planning)

The editors of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning are back with its much-anticipated sequel, It All Changed in an Instant. With contributions from acclaimed authors like Malcolm Gladwell, Frank McCourt, Wally Lamb, Isabel Allende, Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, and James Frey, and celebrities like Sarah Silverman, Suze Orman, Marlee Matlin, Neil Patrick Harris, Ann Coulter, and Chelsea Handler, It All Changed in an Instant presents a thousand more glimpses of humanity. . . six words at a time. In the vein of the popular Post Secret books, It All Changed in an Instant, in the words of Vanity Fair, “will thrill minimalists and inspire maximalists.”

Book Description
Funny and bittersweet, witty and wild, or downright tragic, these addictive life stories are both monumental and miniscule. Six-word memoirs have become a global phenomenon, offering anyone and everyone a telling peek at humanity and a chance to find the writer within."

And the reason I am so excited?

"Dear Robin Slick, Six-Word Memoirist extraordinaire,

Congratulations! Your Six-Word Memoir, "xxx" from SMITH Magazine is being published in the new book, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure, on sale January 5th. (But available for pre-order now!) Thank you and welcome!

This book is as much yours as it is ours, and in the coming weeks, we hope to include you all in the process of hyping, buzzing, promoting, publicizing, proselytizing, and singing the six-word gospel to the high heavens. And, you know, invite you to parties.

Thing 1: We can't wait to send you your very own author copy!

Thing 2: Book tour!
We're bringing the Six-Word Love train to New York, Milwaukee, Austin, San Francisco, and Seattle.
The full schedule is here:
Will you be in town? Let us know if you'd like to appear in a reading. If not, let your friends know we're a-coming.

Thing 3: Spread the word!

Feel free to write back with any questions, concerns, ideas or inspirations. There will be more news soon. For now, we're just so excited to join you in sharing stories and spreading the joy of six.

Rachel Fershleiser ("Morning: national television. Afternoon: bookstore bathrooms.")
Larry Smith ("Now I obsessively count the words")

Ahem. What is this you speak of? Parties? Book tours? (Okay, for me that means a reading in New York, but still!)

Someone please pinch me, I'm in a book with Amy freaking Tan and Sarah freaking Silverman? (I am going to overlook the Ann Coulter factor. What the hell were her six words? "Well, Jews are good with money"?) And more importantly, will Sarah and Amy be at the parties? Ha ha, just kidding, who cares, I already know more than anyone that it's better to NEVER meet your heroes, but hey hey I'm on a roll with Smith which is way cool because I love, love, love everything about that magazine. In fact, I thought I already had my fifteen minutes of fame with them on Thanksgiving when I was the Six Word Memoir of the Day and then on Tuesday they shocked me altogether by mentioning me in a new six word competition they are having in conjunction with New Year resolutions for 2010. I mean, how thrilled was I to see this on their website!

"Contest: Six-Word Resolutions (and a chance to be on “Lopate”)

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
By Larry Smith

We have a new Six-Word Challenge and an especially cool prize. The challenge: your Six-Word Resolutions. Tell us your plans, hopes, dreams, motivations and mistakes you hope not to repeat in 2010 in just six words. The Prize: Six people will win an advance copy of our newest book, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. We’ll also invite some of our favorite resolution writers to talk about their six words live on The Leonard Lopate Show on Tuesday December 29 at 12pm.

To be considered to go on air, you must submit your Six-Word Resolution by December 22 at Here at SMITH, we’ll keep submissions open to win the book until December 28. Please head over to the Six-Word Resolutions project to submit on SMITH.

Here’s one we love already, from Robin Slick of Philadelphia:

“I promise to tolerate one hipster.”

And for whatever reason, the same blurb also appears on The Hired Guns.

Understandably, I was over the moon when my usual vain, obnoxious Google vanity search revealed that one!

Haha, but guess who also vanity googles himself? Ralph Fiennes! He was on my blog a couple of times this week, reading the excerpt of my new novel, Bitten to the Core! Don't ask me how I know this, but trust me, it's true, and Ralph, if you are reading this today, rest assured that said excerpt is the only place you appear in the was just your alleged sex appeal which launched the opening scene.

So are you all busy reading Bitten to the Core, too?

If you haven't purchased it yet, the links are below, but even better, if you own a Kindle, it is now available over at Amazon.

In music world, Julie has been in Woodstock, New York since Monday and she has sworn me to secrecy on what she's up to. All I'm allowed to tell you is that she's been staying at John Medeski's house this week working with a musician from England and she had a beer with Tony Levin Wednesday night.

Gah! I hate not being able to blab stuff.

But enough whining out of me because I am really psyched about tonight -- Paper Cat and Cheers Elephant are sharing a bill over at the Khyber!

Now that is the nice poster I started to make for Paper Cat but I say "started" because that's as much as I could figure out how to do...when it came to adding text, I totally screwed up because I am embarrased to say I've never learned how to use Photoshop properly...but it's cool, no one asked me to make a poster, anyway, I was just sitting here bored while taking a writing break and was all impressed with what I accomplished without knowing what the hell I was doing...but whatever, here's the offical and much cooler advert:

Paper Cat should go on around 10:00 p.m. and Cheers Elephant some time after that so I will be drinking a pot of coffee around six to stay awake (hopeless, I know) and can't wait to see this band play! I am not sure if the new EP is ready or not; I am guessing "not" because Julie stayed in Woodstock longer than anticipated and I don't know when she had time to work on it but we all know Julie is SUPERWOMAN so who knows...maybe she'll have something new ready; if not, I know there are copies of their debut CD, Paper Cat Live at John and Peters, still available so maybe that will make an appearance at the show. I guess we'll all find out together.

There was some discussion of Paper Cat over at the Adrian Belew Yahoo Group and here's what "Scott" had to say in reply to "Geoff", who must have noticed the band on line somewhere (like here, maybe? Ha!):

"My copy of this is signed by Julie and Eric.

This rivals e in its adventure. Everyone should give it a try
. - S."

--- In AdrianBelew@ yahoogroups. com, "Geoff" ..> wrote:

Robbie "Seahag" Mangano - guitar
Julie Slick - bass
Eric Slick - drums

http://robbieseahag .blogspot. com/
http://papercat. bandcamp. com/

So yeah, I like the comparison of Paper Cat's debut CD to "e"...not too shabby, huh!

Eric signed on with artist data so here's the official links from them to the Khyber show as well as something else pretty special:

"New show announced in Philadelphia, PA at Khyber on December 11, 2009 - Paper Cat and Cheers Elephant - buy tickets here!"

"New show announced in Philadelphia, PA at Johnny Brenda's on December 15, 2009 - Ape School (with Eric Slick on drums)".

So obviously Eric is finally getting his physical and mental health back after all of 2009's insane touring, and no one was happier than me to see him tweet this yesterday "@mrericslick is finally starting to feel normal. playing at the khyber, 10PM tomorrow night. i'm gonna make it through!"

(I downplayed it, but I have been sick with worry, utterly destroyed, over Eric's health for the past two months. His symptoms were so fucking scary; he looked horrible, sounded horrible, and I could not stay away from WedMD where I diagnosed him myself and walked around frozen in fear while we waited for his blood work results...only to have them lost, then delayed by the Thanksgiving holiday...then another long wait until we finally got the "I dunno, it must have been a virus" from the doctor. I mean, the kid had night sweats, fevers that came and went, terrible headaches, horrible, deep coughing, and absolutely no energy. Google those symptoms and then you'll know what I was thinking and I don't think anything in my life terrified me as much. The other possibility was that he had mono but now it's out of his system, which is my theory, too, because I had mono myself many years ago and I looked and felt pretty much like he did but of course I didn't think of that whilst on WebMD where they had much, much scarier scenarios. Oh, the joys of motherhood. I thought once they grew up the worrying would stop but ho ho ho, guess what, it gets way worse.)

Getting back to the now healthy Eric, I think he also has a couple of interesting gigs coming up but I do not have links yet - he's playing a warehouse gig in Fishtown on December 13 (I am willing to bet it's this because they are all Eric's pals but if I'm wrong, I'm sure Eric will let me know. Also, I think he has a gig on December 23 where he's special guesting with someone major but I don't want to jinx things until I know for sure it's happening...I mean, I found the link, I found the gig, I see the "players", but I just want to confirm with Eric for sure that he's part of this..

Back to Julie. So yeah, she's still in Woodstock but it's only a four hour ride from there to Philly so I guess she'll be home by this afternoon, just in time to get ready for tonight's Khyber gig. Then...and I'm really excited about this...on Sunday I'm going to her place armed with pounds of butter, sugar, nuts, and imported chocolate and yep, we will be making boatloads of our famous Christmas cookies, known as "JEMS" (Julie, Eric, Mom "Slick"), which are the only cookie Gary does not bake...they are the Russian tea cookies we roll around a chunk of most excellent chocolate and double dip in confectioners sugar...and yep, the cookies will start going out via UPS this coming Monday to our friends all over the universe because whilst Julie and I are baking at her apartment, Gary will be doing the same here - his shortbread, almond cookies, Reese's peanut butter confections (you don't even want to know how many calories are in those!), sour cream chocolate tarts, lemon bars, macaroons, and this year, for me, because I'm not supposed to eat butter, an assortment of meringues. So far we are looking at brown sugar pecan and chocolate chip walnut...but I guess we'll do some without nuts as well for people with allergies. Then, and I haven't told Julie this yet nor Eric so I hope it's cool, but after our baking marathon, I figured we'd come back here and trim the Christmas tree Sunday night but d'oh, I just realized I posted a link for Eric and he's got a gig...but in a perfect world, he will still be able to somehow make it. Hey, I'm flexible - I don't mind tree trimming at midnight.

Okay, I'm lying. I'll be long passed out by midnight, especially if I'm going to Julie's house (snort), but we'll figure something out. Tree trimming here still manages to be a family affair despite the fact that we're empty nesters...we have traditions like, we always play all of the Beatle Christmas music while we decorate the tree and not the canned ones - Gary was a member of the Beatle Fan Club back in the sixties when he was a little baby hippie and has all of the original Christmas albums sent to said fan club members in pristine condition and why oh why do things like that no longer exist?

Stupid internet. I remember how exciting it was to actually receive things in the mail that you could read without a magnifying glass.

And the anticipation of waiting for a new album by a band you loved and having to save your babysitting or newspaper delivery money to buy it as a kid...bah...don't even get me started. This world sucks now.

Okay, yes, stupid internet I know...but what the fuck would I do without it? It's how I've met all of you!

And how would I have found this? Yes, once again, here's another urgent article that every musician should read and get through their thick heads: "Getting Past The 'But Artists Should Just Be Artists' Myth". Here's one key sentence: "if artists just want to be artists then they need to do one of two things: either not expect to make much money or partner with someone who can focus on the business model and social networking side of things."

Yeah, no shit. And that's all I'm going to say on the subject. I'm blue in the face trying to get through to people on this, and yes, it certainly applies to writers today as well. Why do you think I am so active here, on Facebook, Twitter....and you guys don't even know the half of it. Because thousands and thousands of books are published each year, and unless you get out there and promote, promote, promote, no one is ever going to know said book is out there and the only people who will buy it are your handful of close friends and fans who are savvy enough to keep an eye on you. But most fans are not that motivated, trust me.

This goes triple...for musicians.

And it's no fun playing empty clubs, just like it's no fun reading to empty rooms.

Ah well, bitchfest over. This is the GOOD NEWS POST, DAMN IT!

So. Everyone put on their Santa hats, literally or figuratively, and get in great moods for the rest of the holiday season...and if you can make it to the Khyber tonight to see the Philadelphia debut of Paper Cat, well, I'll see you there!