I did a reading of Harry’s Our Man at the Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Massachusetts on June 6th. We had sixty people and they were warm and enthusiastic and for the first time I felt the mixture of telling and reading worked well. I’m enjoying discovering the voices of the characters.
A friend of mine told me the other night she had lost a bracelet her mother had given her fifteen years ago. She lost it in a parking lot early in the morning in Boston and had to teach all day. In the evening she went back to that parking lot that’s heavily used and there was the bracelet. She had the joy of finding something she loved. Well, that’s the way I feel about Harry’s Our Man. I’ve been at a bit of a loss as to my focus recently and I just loved bringing the book alive for the audience.
As usual someone in the audience said, “Are you going to make an audio book?” And I am!
For thirty-five years I’ve made stories and characters have fascinated me. One of the ways I bring character alive is finding their voice and so doing an audio book seems perfect.
There was a man who lives on Pill Hill at the reading and his house is only two houses away from where I imagine Harry Hutchinson, the main character of my book living. Another man in his early thirties came up saying he loved The Minister of Others’ Affairs. I could have danced. I love the story of The Minister of Others’ Affairs but I think there are probably only twelve of us around the country who really know and love that story. It’s one of my favorites and I haven’t told it in thirty years. The reading at Brookline Booksmith was filled with delightful moments like that. One woman told the audience that her son was now in the Air Force in Alaska and he had grown up with my stories. I imagine him flying a jet plane singing,
I’m Herman the Wormin’
And I like my squirmin’
And I like being close to the ground. Boom, boom!
My friend the poet, David Andrews was there and he told me later that he was watching the basketball between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. Miami Heat lost on their home court and on television you could see the players leaving and you could hear a young boy encouraging the Miami Heat saying, “Good effort, good effort!” How beautiful. How important it is to celebrate good effort.
Well I’m celebrating finding this focus, putting in the effort and thinking of Harry Hutchinson and the wonderful effort he’s making in his campaign for Congress.