Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk!

Monday, April 27, 2009

So, Hollywood is remaking the Three Stooges with Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benecio del Toro.

I guess I should be thrilled that Zac Efron, Shia Leboeuf and Mario Lopez weren't cast, but I'm not.

This news officially means I'm old.

This should have been readily apparent long ago, of course, when all my beloved childhood shows -- like The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, Scooby-Doo -- were remade. It should have even been apparent recently, when shows from my young adulthood (like Beverly Hills 90210) were redone.

And chances are very good these will all be remade yet again in my lifetime.

I don't mean to sound like a curmudgeon. I'm no Walter Matthau.

When 1980s fashion returned, I happily wore topsiders with no sock and doubled up my polos -- layering a pink one over a white one -- just like I'd done in high school. I even dug up my old jelly bracelets.

And when rap sampled all my favorite old-school disco songs, I gleefully danced to them all again in clubs.

But there are some things that are sacrosanct, and the Three Stooges is one of them. I grew up with Larry, Mo and Curly, watching the Stooges on an old Zenith with my father.

In fact, it was one of the first things to bond this gay man to his father, despite the fact I slapped my dad and then poked him in the eyes one night while eating a meatloaf dinner.

It's not that I believe the Stooges remake will be bad -- though it most likely will -- it's just that such originality can never be recreated.

For years, my mother and I have tried to recreate my grandmother's lemon meringue pie. We even have her original recipe, written on an index card whose words still show the smear marks from her aging palm as it dragged against the wet ink.

We've made that pie hundreds of times now, squeezing lemons, slow-cooking the filling, beating the meringue, just as my grandma had done.

But every time I taste it, something's missing.

My grandma.

She perfected the pie.

And the Stooges perfected the pie in the face.

And the newer versions -- no matter how many times we try and recreate them -- will never taste the same.

Tour Dates!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The tour for AT LEAST IN THE CITY SOMEONE WOULD HEAR ME SCREAM is being finalized ... for full details, you can go to Appearances.

I will be heading to all points in the Midwest, including Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and about a zillion spots in Michigan (including Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and loads of great resort towns)!

The book is perfect for readings ... and I can't wait to ingest a quad shot latte and start babbling.

My events are kind of like a verbal Cirque de Soleil ... I read, I babble, I joke, I segue, I take questions. I hug. And I Purel. I've even been known to toss in an impromptu interpretive dance, such as "Ode to Summer."

I love book tours ... honestly. While I like my quiet time and seclusion to work, I look forward to hitting the road, reading, laughing, meeting my fans. It seems that so many of my events end in a party ... people heading out for cosmos, or beers, or margaritas. And, when others buy, it's a win-win.

The hardest part for me is packing ... considering my penchant for clothes coupled with the fact that it's summer in the upper Midwest, it could be 100 degrees, or 50. Meaning, I need shorts, jeans, he-capri's, slides, sandals, shoes, tank-tini's, jackets, hats, caps, pashminas, vests ... basically, I pack a steamer trunk, which makes it very difficult on poor Gary and the poor hotel staff. I tend not to be organized when I get to a hotel room, either ... I just grab and go, toss and throw.

I also have a thing about taking my own blow dryer. Gary thinks they are a space waster, but I have one of those blow driers that has about a hundred different heat and blow settings. The hotel blow dryers always seem to either be melt-your-head hot or briskly cold. And they have two wind speeds: Typhoon and Natural Disaster. I always end up looking like Shirley Temple when I'm done, and that does not make for a good book event.

But the best things about book tours are exploring cities to which I've never traveled, finding the great hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and, mostly, meeting the people.

Book tours prove just how meaningful indy bookstores are to a community ... they serve as resource centers, communal gathering spots, havens for readers.

If you don't see your city listed under appearances, e-mail me ... or better yet, e-mail Random House (randomhouse.com ... enter Wade Rouse) and let them know to send me to your hometown.

I hope to see you this June at one of my book signings ... and, if you're lucky, I'll forget my blow dryer, and will end up looking like Shirley Temple. You can take a picture, and I'll interpretive dance while singing, "On the Good Ship Lollipop" ... complete with "Boop-Boop-Be-Doo!" ending.

And then you can buy a book or two, and me a cosmo, or two.

Paperback Push!

Friday, April 3, 2009

While I will always love, adore and support my indy bookstores, I must also give a huge and hearty shout-out to Barnes & Noble, which has selected the paperback of CONFESSIONS OF A PREP SCHOOL MOMMY HANDLER as one of its "Buy 2 Get the 3rd Free!" promotions.

What this means is that CONFESSIONS has entered its fourth printing in paperback, and will be prominently featured on a center table in every B&N nationwide, visibility that an author just cannot buy. CONFESSIONS will appear alongside such notables (and some of my faves) as Joan Didion's THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING, Nora Ephron's I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK, and Anne LaMott's TRAVELING MERCIES.

I couldn't be prouder ... and all of this attention comes at a great time, leading directly into the June 2 hardcover launch of my next memoir, AT LEAST IN THE CITY SOMEONE WOULD HEAR ME SCREAM: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life.

Publishing these days is a wild ride, for everyone involved: Authors, publishers, booksellers, reviewers. I've gripped so tightly the past couple of years that my nails make me resemble the assistant to a crack whore (which, btw, is waaaay worse than the lead job, because they have to do all the clean-up). But I wouldn't trade it for anything ... because, slowly but surely, people begin to read and recognize your work ... and that gets the snowball moving down that hill.

So, if you happen to be in B&N, pick up a paperback of CONFESSIONS and let me know what you think. And, if you happen to be in your local bookstore, do the same.

For those online shoppers (calling all QVC junkies!), here's the link:


Keep writing ... and dreaming,