Archive for August, 2009

Shimmer Update – Book Clubs, Tulsa & Thacker Mountain Radio

August 29th, 2009 Comments off
Thacker Mountain Radio In some ways things have quieted down, but then I look up and realize they haven’t. I’m doing Thacker Mountain Radio at Off Square Books this Thursday at 6 pm, go to Tulsa for Tulsa BookSmart soon, and on it goes. I sent an update to some people on things that have happened and are happening for Shimmer. Here it is: A quick update on the book, book tour, reviews and the first day of school. Thanks to everyone who’s been at readings and signings, everyone’s who’s bought the book, and everyone who has simply put up with all these endless updates. Publisher’s Weekly, the trade publication for publishers, editors and agents, reviewed Shimmer: “Case’s slow but accelerating downward spiral drives the narrative…. The corporate intrigue should hook anyone fascinated by the collapse of Wall Street and the crimes of Bernie Madoff.”Publisher’s Weekly So did The Commercial Appeal, the metro paper here in Memphis: “…a sheen of elegance and terror; one is reminded, in Barnes’ language and locution, of Don Delillo’s scalpel-sharp delineation of American corporate culture and paranoia, and of David Foster Wallace’s penetration into the heart of the relationship between human consciousness and rapidly changing technologies.”Fredric Koeppel, The Commercial Appeal Southern Living reviewed the book: “[T]his page turner isn’t for techno geeks only. Bottom Line: Even the computer challenged reader will be wired into the intrigue.” — Wanda McKinney, Southern Living (I think it will be in the September print edition.) And there are more reviews of the book here: There’s a new interview with me, this one at Author Magazine: I’ll be interviewed on BookTalk soon (on radio and the Internet): (FM 89.3 in Memphis, or look for the podcast afterward at the link above.) I’ll be on Thacker Mountain Radio, courtesy of Square Books, on September 3 (on the radio and the Internet): Other interviews here: I’ll be at BookSmart Tulsa on Sept 15: A number of people have been nice enough to invite me speak at their book clubs lately, so thanks to them all. I can’t tell you how nice it is of them. Last week, I was at the local chapter of MENSA. Really. As if to prove it, they have a logic test on their site. “If two typists can type two pages in two minutes, how many typists will it take to type 18 pages in six minutes? ” 3, 4, 6, 12, or 36 Photos of the book tour so far are here: Either now, last week or next week, the book is, was or will be on that front table that you almost trip over every time you enter a Barnes & Noble. Which is great. (Inside baseball comment: I’ve learned a lot about book publishing in the last year and one thing I’ve learned is that books don’t just happen to be on that front table. The publisher pays to have the book put there. Go figure. Another thing I’ve learned: The front table is called “The Octagon.” As in, “This week, your book is on the octagon.” Which, of course, makes me think that I’ve not only finally published a book, I’ve finally made it as a professional wrestler. The wait was worth it.) And then I’ve been blogging, which is overly self-important and vaguely risky on a number of levels. But here they are: – Book Tour Secrets & Other Updates: – The First Day of School: Thanks. — Eric Barnes
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The First Day of School

August 17th, 2009 Comments off
Perfekt Boy

Perfekt Boy

It’s the first day of school for most of our kids on Tuesday. All of the kids go to a great, truly remarkably school called Grace St. Luke’s here in Memphis. One of the kids has moved on to another school now, but GSL has shaped so much of our lives and the kids’ lives. It’s a sweet, smart, deeply goofy, nicely imperfect-in-a-very-genuinely-human-way-sort-of-way place. I can’t ever thank the people there enough. Because it’s about to be the first day of school, some friends of ours who have a child much younger than our kids were invited to a pre-school parent party for new parents this weekend. Somehow they mentioned this to me during what was, for me, a moment of clarity. They’re new parents, with their first child, a son, just days away from entering this new phase of his — and their — life. And so, based on many years at GSL and many nights and days at new parent parties, I sent them these suggestions on how best to act at the new parent party.

1. Always get drunk before you go, preferably in a smoky bar so that you can arrive smelling like cigarettes and Tequila. A bar with many smokers of clove cigarettes is, always, a plus.

2. Talk loudly about how exceptionally great your child is and how much smarter and nicer and stronger he has always been than all the other kids in the Montessori program he’s attended since he was 8 weeks old.

3. Make just enough jokes about your kid getting a free ride courtesy of the headmaster to make people question whether, in fact, you did get a free ride courtesy of the headmaster, at which point you should proclaim loudly that, of course, your child didn’t get a free ride courtesy of the headmaster. Then be oddly quiet for a full 30 minutes.

4. Complain about the vegetable platters “which were probably picked up in the discount aisle of the grocery store or something, I mean really, can you eat this?”

5. Tell the host their house is nice and everything but you’ve been walking around and you really are realizing how nice your own house is and how you’ve decided, tonight, that you really don’t need or want to sell your house. (Details on differences should be ad-libbed in context, with a special emphasis on paint colors, kitchen counters and bathroom lighting.)

6. [Can’t be repeated publicly. Sorry. But you’ll thank me some day.]

7. Emphasize your child’s many food allergies, even if he doesn’t have any.

8. Start a loud, confident, deeply self-assured monologue about how “teaching preschool” is pretty much “just babysitting” and how your child is “probably able to teach this class himself” because he already knows his colors and is “real good with adding.” This will absolutely, positively endear you (and your family and most of all your child) to all the teachers.

9. Bring your child to the party, even though children weren’t invited. And then have him start counting to 50. In French. Then, when it’s late and he gets cranky, demand that the host put a movie on for him.

10. Talk trash about Eric Carle. “I mean, it’s not like there’s much of a vocabulary to the books. And the pictures, I mean, I could draw those pictures. God knows my son could. I mean, he’s already an artist.”

Enjoy your first day.
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