Monday, June 2, 2008

What A Great Party. What A Great Life.

Now that I think about it, the 75th Book Party took approximately as much energy as all 75 books put together. You sit down, you turn on the computer, you write a book. Nice and easy. But parties, parties are tough. But wonderful.

Before I show you all the pictures, I want to say in the middle of the Nightmare That Was Saturday (which made the great whitefish crisis of 2008 look like the happiness parade), I finished reading White Cargo. What a fascinating book. Remember my old favorite fact, that if an indentured woman servant got pregnant, she had two years added to her time of servitude, even if her master was the father? Well, it turns out if an indentured servant man fathered a child, he had three years added to his term of servitude.

I apologize to all who suffered from indenture, but I find that kind of funny. I keep picturing all those indentured guys singing "Billie Jean."

Back to the party. I'll spare all of us a recap of the Nightmare That Was Saturday, and tell you instead that I couldn't possibly have managed without the incredible help of Marci, her husband Bill, and my friend Bonnie. They set things up for me and then did the cleaning afterwards. I must have been doing something while they did all the work, but, fortunately for me, I have amnesia.

I know thirty people came to the party (myself included) because I made thirty party favor bags and got to keep the last one. The bags included M and Ms that said 75 Books and June 1, 2008, so I'm never going to eat mine. I hope M and Ms don't get moldy.

My friend Cynthia made a notebook for people to inscribe and people wrote such nice things in it. Oh, and my sister-in-law Esther made lattes for people, which were a major high point. Also there was enough food to feed five armies, and my friend Christy who told me I'd need four dozen bagels is personally responsible for my brand new 15 Bagels A Day Diet. I figure any food that has a hole in the middle can't possibly have calories.

Onto the pictures. It's amazing how unflattering the pictures are, which is why I'm so glad I didn't take any of myself. But one of the things people kept saying at the party was how glad they were to be able to put faces to names (it's been a while since I had a party). The same may be true for you.
On the right is Carol Pierpoint and Marci Hanners to whom Life As We Knew It is dedicated. They take full credit for its success. Marci is really a lot prettier than that picture would indicate, and Carol's smile looks a tad insincere.
Right below is Janet Carlson, inscribing in the notebook. The dead and the gone is dedicated to her. In the right hand corner is Bonnie. She's a town judge and has run a marathon.

Below is the Pfeffer family, my sister-in-law Esther, my mother (who sat in the same little chair for the entire party, and let people come to her, like a queen) and my brother Alan. It's not a bad picture of Alan, but my camera does no justice to Esther.

Carrying the purple plant is Todd Strasser. My camera is as cruel to guys as to women.

Marci and Carol gave me a window box for my patio. Carol selected the flowers and did the planting.

My friend Linda did the embroidery. This is not a gift you can find just anywhere.
And my friend Tom attended my talk at Middletown Thrall Library, where I explained the movie Meteor got me thinking about what it would be like for a teenager to live through a worldwide catastrophe. The next day he found a video of Meteor and saved it for the party. The little flowers with the bow are from my goddaughter, Allison, who couldn't get to the party.The big vase of flowers is from Randy, a librarian, who told another guest that LAWKI was "huge."

I told you it was a great party!


todd said...

M&Ms? I thought the light blue things were Viagra!

Janet said...

Susan--You didn't say anything about the FIVE (5) fabulous cakes! It was a truly great party.


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Todd and Janet, two beloved friends-

Todd, M&Ms are Viagra for women. Use them wisely, my son.

And Janet (to whom d&g is dedicated)- all my best pictures were of the five cakes. Bonnie took pictures as well, and she also took one of each cake.

I took one gigantic piece of the marble cake home with me (I wanted a piece with the yellow flower). Bonnie and Marci took the leftover cakes home with them. And now, at 8:46 AM two days later, I'm kind of sorry I don't have any left here.

Oh well. I certainly have enough bagels to last a lifetime!

Victoria J said...

Hello Susan,

I hope you don't mind a random comment on your blog, but I'm a reader halfway through 'Life as We Knew It' and am totally engrossed (having picked it up last night, ahem). Had a quick google during my coffee break this morning to find out what else you've written and - blimey - there are another 74 out there! Your party looks great fun, many congratulations, and I'm looking forward to reading TDATG. I quickly realised, though, that I shouldn't scroll down your blog any further given that you're thinking out loud about the third book...

Many thanks for such a page-turner as LAWKI.

Kindest wishes,
Victoria J.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Victoria J and welcome to the blog-

I'm glad you're enjoying Life As We Knew It, and I hope you'll continue on and read The Dead And The Gone.

I do think out loud about the third book, almost definitely to be called The World We Live In, since my editor likes that title. I think privately about the book as well (kind of obsessively the past couple of days), and since the plot shifts around minute by minute, won't be the same when I actually write it, and won't see the light of day for over two years, even if everything goes perfectly, I think you could safely continue to visit my blog.

But whether you do or not, I'm glad you dropped in to say hello.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on #75!!!

What an accomplishment!

When you mention your editor loves the title, did they say they are interested in the third book?


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Glen-

Yes, Harcourt is officially interested in seeing a third book. That doesn't mean they'll accept it, but they're willing to give it a look.

I've been hard at work on plotting. It's still at the fluid stage, but at least I've started writing notes, including long lists of things I don't know yet but will have to figure out before I begin writing.

I'm hoping in a week or so to be ready to write an actual outline, and once that's done, I'll write some sample sections, and send them off to my editor.

Victoria J said...

Hullo Susan,

how lovely to hear a response! And I see from your reply to Glen that what you're recording on this blog is more brainstorming than scripting TWWLI line-by-line, so I'll stop worrying about spoilers. I might watch you from the sidelines as it all develops - how fascinating!

I see from your profile that you're interested in figure skating, and from the sounds of it you were a clever girl who found her vocation early - which makes me wonder how much of you is in Miranda?

Or is that the kind of question authors really, really hate?


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello again Victoria J (and welcome fulltime to the blog)-

I'd like to think I've been brainstorming about The World We Live In, but this morning I came up with a very good plot idea, and then four hours later couldn't remember how it worked. So I don't think my brain has survived the storm.

My guess is all my viewpoint characters have bits and pieces of me in them. I gave Miranda the interest in figure skating because that's a sport I know, but Miranda skated, and I never have (Miranda's whole family is considerably more athletic than I am, since I figured jocks would be stronger and have a better chance at survival).

Even Alex, in the dead & the gone, who is almost nothing like me, has a moment towards the end of the book where he tries to "allocate blame" so he can blame one sister for the actions of the other. When I was skimming through the book and saw that, I laughed out loud, because that's just what I would do. Writing it came naturally to me, because that little bit of Alex is a little bit like me.

However Alex is informed on more than one occasion that he is not a saint, and as all the readers of this blog know, I certainly am one!

Marci said...

That is officially the most hideous picture ever taken of me.

Carol looks great (just like she always does.) I may have Alice take a photo of me and force you to post it.

This one is 10 times worse than my driver's license or my Sam's Club card.

But it was a GREAT party!