Archives For For Sale By Owner

1. Let’s get straight to it. The number one highlight of the Southern Kentucky Book Fest was this:

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That’s right, I got to hang out with two of my favorite people and authors: Molly McCaffrey (left) and David Bell (right).

2. And I might have gotten to meet this guy:

(He’s standing next to the tall girl in red above. The tall girl makes everyone look shorter than they are. The tall girl apologizes to The Fonz.)

Seriously, Henry Winkler was super friendly and charming. He hugged my friend Molly and told her how much he loves her personality. We bonded over New York / New Jersey connections.

3. I met three overeducated country boys who brew some damn fine IPA over at Country Boy Brewing:

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(Seriously, these guys make great beer, and they majored in things like English and History. They have Master’s Degrees! Yes.)

4. I was assigned an awesome boothmate: Sharon Short

downloadSharon’s new book is My One Square Inch of Alaska, and I’m excited to read my new copy! She also agreed to participate in my interview series, so more about Sharon to come…

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5. Dinner and gossip with the amazing Eric Goodman and Lee Martin, authors of these awesome books that I just bought:

BONUS HIGHLIGHTS:

I sold some books! My attention has been on my forthcoming book, Liliane’s Balcony, due out in the fall, so it was great to talk to people about For Sale By Owner again.

As I drove home I passed a trucker who honked at me. This has not happened to me for years, so I looked in my rearview mirror and saw that he was holding up a sign in his front window that said, “M O M.” I thought, “Geez, how did you know? Is it that obvious?” But when I glanced back again, he had turned the sign over. It now said: “W O W.”
(Oh my!)

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This morning my daughter called out to me from the kitchen: “Josie* says she just heard your name on the radio.”

[*daughter’s BFF. not her real name.]

“Huh, what?” said I. “Why?”

A few minutes later she got the report back from her friend: “Your book was a finalist for the Best Books of Indiana or something.”

So I googled it, and indeed my book WAS a finalist for the Best Books of Indiana! The best book was a murder mystery, but my almost-best book was in really good company with fellow-finalist, Michael Martone.

Parker cvr frnt

The almost-best book of Indiana.

I went to Des Moines, Iowa last week to give a reading at Drake University for the Writer’s Harvest Writers + Critics + Artists Event, at the Wesley House Gallery. I think it was my first time actually going to the state of Iowa. I know I’ve been through it (how else would I have made it from Cincinnati to Nebraska or Minnesota for my teenage soccer tournaments?), but I don’t think I’ve ever actually stopped and looked around.

I can now officially say that I am a huge fan of Des Moines, of Iowa, and of Drake University and all its wonderful people!

sculpture park in downtown des moines

I’m also a major a fan of the food (I had sushi for lunch and scalloped yumminess for dinner) and the Belgian beer. I sampled pretty much all the different varieties of Belgian beer while mustachioed Shakespeare watched over me.

In between eating and drinking, I did do some reading:

I’m the tall one.

Many thanks to Jennifer Perrine, Amy Letter, Kelsey Leppard, the Belgian Beer bartender, and everyone else who made my visit so fun!

This will not be my last trip to Iowa, as it is home of my favorite Pickers:

I’m reading Zadie Smith on “Rereading Barthes and Nabokov,” and her essay leads with this:

The novels we know best have an architecture. Not only a door going in and another leading out, but rooms, hallways, stairs, little gardens front and back, trapdoors, hidden passageways, et cetera.

Which reminded me of what I was trying to say here when I talked about Fallingwater and fiction (and about writing a fiction set at Fallingwater):

Wright leads you through space and sounds and organic substances that you’ve never experienced in a house. (And isn’t that akin to what writers aspire to with fiction: leading readers through narrative space?)

Frank Lloyd Wright (Photo: Canoe Communications)

And the next thing I knew Zadie Smith was talking about Wright and comparing him to Nabokov. In response to Roland Barthes’s claim that the Author is dead, that only the text is important, Smith says:

I think of [Nabokov] as one of the last, great twentieth-century believers in the autonomy of the Author, as Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the last believers in the Architect. They both specialized in theatrical interviews, struck self-regarding and self-mythologizing poses, all of which would mean nothing (the Author being dead, you don’t have to listen to his self-descriptions) if it weren’t for the fact that they wove the restrictions and privileges of authorship into the very fabric of the things they built.

Vladimir Nabokov (Photo: Guardian UK)

Smith continues:

For it’s true that each time I enter Pnin I feel its author controlling (via an obsessive specificity) all my reactions, just as, in Wright’s Unity Temple, one enters through a small, low side door, forced to approach the magnificence of the interior by way of a series of of awkward right angled turns.

Wright’s Unity Temple (Photo: uuworld.org)

And all of this makes me pensive and happy as I return to Fallingwater this weekend . . .

While I absolutely loved giving away copies of Anne Germanacos’ books, I was terrified to give away copies of my own. Mostly because I was afraid no one would enter the contest.

But my blog followers and especially my Facebook friends took mercy on me and supported this little endeavor and made it into a really fun, really gratifying event. Each comment that I read from followers, friends, friends of friends, relatives of friends, and friends of relatives made me well up with gratitude, and I keep thinking of a phrase I learned from my Norwegian relatives, “Tusen tak!” A thousand thanks.

In fact, I’m so thankful that I’ve decided to give away a third copy of my book. (I’d give away more, but I only have three copies of my book right now.)

So without further ado, congratulations to these THREE winners of the book giveaway! Each winner receives a signed copy of my book, For Sale By Owner.

First Winner: GARY LEISING, Comment #25


Second Winner: MRUMIS, Comment #64


Third Winner: KSCHWENKMEYER, Comment #7

[It seems that WordPress doesn’t allow for Random Number Generators to be coded onto their blog posts, so I’ve taken screenshots of the winning results.]

I’ll contact each of you individually about getting your mailing information. Or you can send me your info directly through the CONTACT widget on the right-hand side of the blog. It comes directly to my email address. Or, you know, message me on Facebook.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. A new interview posts tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to having more book giveaways here soon!

And a Happy Bloomsday to all…

yes I said yes I will yes

I’m giving away TWO signed copies of my book, For Sale By Owner. Starting…now! Contest runs from 12 noon today to 12 noon tomorrow (eastern time, June 15-16). You’ve got 24 hours to enter by posting a comment. Please post a comment. It’ll be embarrassing if no one wants a free copy of my book. Especially if all you have to do is post a comment.

Why am I giving away my book? No, it’s not because no one will buy it. Anne Germanacos and I were so excited to have our interview, “How Anne Germanacos Became a Writer,” featured on Freshly Pressed that we decided to celebrate by giving away signed copies of our books. Anne gave away FIVE signed copies of her gorgeous story collection, In the Time of the Girls. The contest was here, and the winners were announced here.

This is me a couple weeks ago in Ohiopyle, PA visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house. Where are you traveling?

HOW TO ENTER

Update 6/16/12: Contest closed. Thanks so much for entering! Results posted here.

Post a comment on this post before Saturday, June 16 at 12:00 noon (Eastern time). That is in 24 hours from now. (Don’t know what to say in a comment? Tell me where you have traveled, will travel, want to travel this year.)

Your comment number will be your entry number. A Random Number Generator will select the TWO winners. If only one person enters, that person gets both books. If no one enters, I will read both copies of my book, alone, with a bottle of wine. When the bottle is empty, I will fill it with my tears.

One comment per person, please. With one exception: If you reblog this post or mention it on your blog, your pingback counts as an eligible second entry.

ABOUT For Sale By Owner

In Kelcey Parker’s tales of twisted domesticity, a woman gives her family up for Lent; a mother finds redemption at Chuck E. Cheese; a former best-friend-forever wreaks baby shower havoc; a bride swallows a housefly at the altar; and a suburbanite’s obsession with memory books puts her family in jeopardy. These stories offer a contemporary and dryly funny view of marriage, parenting and loss. Fans of Lorrie Moore and Aimee Bender will find kinship in Parker’s wit, her generosity of spirit and the confidence of her voice. This debut collection marks the appearance of a writer with a blunt and beautiful perspective on family, home, and an evolving American subculture.

I’m giving two readings in two states in 21 hours. Tonight I’m giving a reading hosted by the South Bend branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and tomorrow I go back to my alma mater, the University of Cincinnati, for a reading in the Elliston Poetry Room, where I have had the pleasure of attending readings by so many amazing writers.

Tonight:

Tomorrow:

Fiction Reading: Kelcey Parker

Friday, April 13 at 4:00 p.m.

Elliston Poetry Room, 646 Langsam Library