Blogging Mary Bowser

September 22, 2014

Quirky Portland Alert

Quirky Portland Alert:

The Oregonian (Portland's newspaper) ran a lengthy interview with me yesterday, making me seem very Portlandish.

Oregonian Interview

But here's the most Portland part:

when I went to New Seasons, our locally-owned grocery store chain, to buy the paper, they were out. But Janne, the woman at the customer service desk, said she's already read her copy, so maybe I'd like to walk over to her house and get it.

Off we went, around the corner and down the block, and found her husband sitting on the back porch (she did poke her head around first to make sure he was fully dressed).

"Does she bring a lot of customers over, to give them stuff they are out of at the store?" I asked.

"Don't ask him that!" she said, which I suspect means yes.

She wondered if I needed any other sections of the paper -- "Coupons, maybe?" Because you know, I can use those at New Seasons.

Then we discussed baking recipes as we headed back to the store (I'm more pie, she's more cobbler).

THAT is customer service, Portland style.

BTW, you can read the interview online here, in case you didn't have time to pick up a copy before they ran out at New Seasons and Janne's house.
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September 21, 2014

Upon Her Balcony

How popular is Romeo and Juliet?

Let's just say half a million people a year visit Verona, Italy, mostly to see sites associated with the play.

Loosely associated.

Because nearly everything you see in Verona regarding Juliet or Romeo, well, let's just say it's fun for tourist but it doesn't rank to high on the historical-accuracy-ometer.

The most popular, and most clearly contrived, of these sites is the balcony at Juliet's house.

Lois on Juliet's Balcony

Which was actually slapped onto the building in the early 20th century, precisely so tourists could visit it.

Which I did.

Which was totally fun.

I also did some real research while I was in Verona. More on that to come, under the history section of this website.
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September 20, 2014

Penned In, or Out

Just bought new pens for signing JULIET'S NURSE.

Because this is the sort of thing an obsessive lunatic does in the days before her first bookstore readings.


They are pretty!

Don't you want your name and mine written in such lovely color? Come to one of my events . . . or order through Broadway Books or Powell's, and tell them you want a signed copy.
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September 19, 2014

Thanks, Guy(s)

I just realized that I'd be holding my breath waiting to see what male reviewers think of Juliet’s Nurse.

One of the blurbs on the jacket is from a guy -- actually a professor who specializes in Shakespeare studies, so that's quite a coup -- but still I've wondered whether men can fall for a story about a wet-nurse.

Apparently, the answer is YES. ""Both convincing and intimate . . . Juliet’s Nurse makes for very shrewd and intelligent reading." So says Steve Donoghue of Open Letters Monthly.

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September 18, 2014

Glamorous NPR Taping Session

I just taped an 85-second segment for Author's Corner, which airs on various NPR stations. It's me reading an excerpt from JULIET'S NURSE. A very short excerpt. For those of you who love public radio, this is how it happens . . .


My pal Deena Prichep does a lot of pieces for NPR, so she volunteered to record me. At her house. This is her in her gear.

Me in Deena's Closet

This is me in her closet, where we both stood for the actual taping. Because clothes are a great way to deaden ambient sound.

Editing sound file

All those squiggly lines on Deena's screen are me, reading. It's true what they told you in Physics class, sound comes in waves. And now in .WAVs

The segment will air sometime in October. I'll post it when it does.
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