Sunday, May 23, 2004

I heard from my Spanish translator for the first time last week, and I have to share the list of questions he had about my book. It's very cool to see what translates directly and what doesn't. I had no idea the word "glitter" was so present in the book! The email has been making me smile for days. Here it is:

I've been entrusted by Alfaguara with the Spanish translation of
your Book of Dead Birds, and I'm close to ending it. There are some
queries which I hope you can devote a small amount of time to. It's
been a real pleasure to work on your novel, believe me. I wish you a
great success. Here goes the list. I thank you in advance.

page 1: 'midnight bullets'. Did they fly through the 'hood as a
regular (per year) basis? Or something happened on that particular
page 4(top): 'pilly bedspread'.
pg 14(bottom): 'red bean buns'
pg 28(and more): egg-blowing. Can you explain to this dumb translator
the actual procedure?
pg 33(1st p): 'gooseneck lamp'
pg 59: Can you describe an 'airboat' please?
pg 64(top): 'a handful of glitter in the air.'
pg 66(2nd p): 'baggies', meaning condoms?
pg 67: What is a 'salt taffy'?
pg 74: Now here I'm lost: 'Tomato Adjuster'
pg 82(1st p): 'a nubby beige shade.'
pg 95: 'you dive my skin', suggesting penetration?
pg 109(mid): 'What's the damage?'
pg 114(bott): 'booty'
pg 117(2nd p): 'foil flavour packet' / Ramen: just a brand? thin,
short noodles?
pg 126: 'hostess stand' / baby-doll just any doll representing an
infant boy or girl? / what's 'tiki'?
pg 135: 'pacifier', what one gives babies to suck on? I'm afraid I
should've asked some rave's raver!
pg 136: 'glitter' --I hope it just means a long (and wide) shimmering
pg 138: 'bird song.' Songs about birds? Songs emulating bird voices?
pg 142: 'glitter' Really lost, again
pg 154: What's the deal with 'Sam and Ella (or Janet) Eeeeevening'?
pg 211(top): 'princess sleeve' / rosebud underwear (somewhat pink?)
pg 218: Foley person
pg 236(2nd p): these broken... people

Thursday, May 20, 2004

I had a fabulous visit with the Southern California Writers Association last week. Thanks to all who attended--you were wonderful! Have all of you started your blogs yet? :)

The paperback publicity machine is about to really start rolling. Hope to see some of you on my journeys. Here are the details of my upcoming events (click on the links for addresses):

This Friday, 3/21, I'll be participating in a Writing Moms reading at Every Picture Tells a Story in Santa Monica at 7:30pm.

Sunday, 3/23, I'll be at Skylight Books in LA (Los Feliz) at 5:30pm. This is one of my favorite bookstores (and it's on one of my favorite streets in LA.)

Monday, 3/24, I'm going to be a guest on Connie Martinson Talks Books, a tv show which is on a few cable stations around the country and is also broadcast online. It's broadcast at 3pm PST. I had my hair straightened for the first time in my life yesterday (I barely recognize myself!), and am trying to decide if I should go straight haired or let my hair go back to its normal Medusa self for the interview.

Wednesday, 3/26, I'll be reading at The Tattered Cover in Denver at 7:30pm. This will be a bittersweet event. I was supposed to do an event here last year, but my stepfather-in-law Jack died that day, and I flew home to be with my family. I can't believe he's been gone for almost a year. I've dedicated my novel-in-progress to him, and feel a real responsibility to do his memory proud.

Thursday, 3/27, I'll be reading at Women and Children First in Chicago at 7:30pm.

I can't wait to be back in my home town. I want to sit and stare at Lake Michigan for a long, long, time. For those of you who will be attending Book Expo America, I'll be autographing on Friday, 6/4 from 10:30-11 in the traditional autographing area. I am very much looking forward to BEA--tons of free books, tons of people who care about books. What could be better?