Tuesday, January 24, 2006


There I was again, looking cool at the Barnes & Noble cafe, sipping a latte and working on my mystery novel, when this tall, elegant redhead and entourage came in and sat at the table right next to mine. They're yapping away, and I think oh great, I won't be able to hear myself think, let alone try to write.

Then I glance over, and the beautiful woman is autographing her book. Of course, I ask to see a copy. It's the newly-released paperback edition of The Glass Castle, and I see by the cover that it's a New York Times bestseller by Jeannette Walls. I ask her what it's about, and she tells me it is a memoir about her childhood with an abusive, alcoholic father and a spaced-out, neglectful mother.

We talked a little while about our "exciting" childhoods and the fact that when we were growing up, we thought we were having normal lives because no one talked about child abuse back then. We also kept it secret throughout our early adulthood. It is only now that we're older that we can talk about it. She said she's amazed by the number of people who have told her that they had similar backgrounds.

I asked her if writing it all down was cathartic, and she said definitely! The more she wrote, the more she remembered and was able to process. I told her my therapist had recommended that I keep a journal for the same reason.

Naturally, I bought a copy of the book, and she wrote in it: "To Candace, a kindred spirit."

Well, I didn't want to monopolize her time, so I went back to what I was doing and she went back to autographing books and chatting with her publicist and the Barnes & Nobel representative. (Notice I say "chatting" now, not "yapping.")

Jeannette is a warm, upbeat person. And the book is riveting!

Just look at this review by the Chicago Tribune:

"On the eighth day, when God was handing out whining privileges, he came upon Jeannette Walls and said, 'For you, an unlimited lifetime supply.' Apparently, Walls declined His kind offer."

And this, by Dominick Dunne:

"Just read the first pages of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and I defy you not to go on. It's funny and sad and quirky and loving. I was incredibly touched by it."

In case you're wondering, no, I was not crass enough to say, oh, I'm working on my own book, would you like to read it? I can just imagine how many times the woman must have run up against that!

But I did give her my blogspot address. :)

Have a great day, bloggers!