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LitPark will re-open in September

by Susan Henderson on August 23, 2007

Folks have been asking when LitPark will re-open, and the answer is: The last Monday of September. But hey, why not enjoy some re-runs!

LitPark Question of the Week – Best-selling authors and unpublished writers chime in on these topics:

Phobias * Near-Death Experience * Where? * Mistakes * Writer Communities * Hope * Now What? * Independent Press * Generosity * Nice! * Zodiac * Style * Professional Jealousy * AWP * Controversy * Hair * 80s * Luck * Collaboration * The Pitch * Vacation * Balancing Art and Family * Fantasy and Science Fiction * The Book Tour * Snippets * Telling Mom * Setting * High School Secrets * Your Hidden Side * Out-of-the-Box * Aliases * Obsession * Self-Doubt * Risks of Truth-Telling * 9-11 * Your Space

LitPark Interviews – Don’t miss my favorite drag queen, my rockin’ book cover designer, or the history of Neil Gaiman’s hair:

3 Trees * 60 Writers Quiz * Adrienne Brodeur * Alexander Chee * Amy Bryant * Amy Wallen * Amy Wilentz * Angela Stubbs * Aquadisiac * Aurelio O’Brien * Bach-Boy Henderson * Backspace * Bonnie Glover * Brad Listi * Brian McEntee * Bruce Bauman * Bruce Benderson * Buck Lewis * Cameron McGill * Candice Night * Carrie Hoffman * Claire Cameron * CLMP * Corey Mesler * Create Now! * Daniel Handler * Danielle Trussoni * Danny Gregory * Daryl Darko * Douglas Preston * Elizabeth Crane * Ellen Meister * Emily Maguire * Enrico Casarosa * Eric Spitznagel * FAWM (Songwriters) * Frank Daniels * Gerard Jones * Gina Frangello * Green-Hand Henderson * Greg Downs * Halloween Special * Harper Perennial Lit Chicks * Heather McElhatton * Heather O’Neill * Heather Pena * Hillary Carlip * James Spring * Jeff Swanson * Jeffrey Lependorf * Jill Gurr * Jim Tomlinson * Jolene Siana * Jordan Rosenfeld * Josh Kilmer-Purcell * Joy Nicholson * Karen Dionne * Kate Gale * Kelly Braffet * Kevin Sampsell * Laura Benedict * Lauren Baratz-Logsted * Lauren Cerand * Lemony Snicket * Lori Oliva * Marcy Dermansky * Maria Dahvana Headley * Mikel K Poet * Mom * Neil Gaiman * Norman Mallory * Olympia Vernon * Owen King * Pasha Malla * Patry Francis * Pearl Harbor Pop Pop * Peter de Seve * Rachel Resnick * Ritchie Blackmore * Robert Westfield * Robin Slick * Ron Currie, Jr. * Ronnie Del Carmen * Roy Kesey * Samantha Dunn * Sarah Hall * Sci-Fi Humorists * Scott Snyder * Seth Greenland * Shawn Decker * Stephanie Lessing * Susan Henderson * Susan Straight * Suzan Woodruff * Tao Lin * Terry Bain * The Man Eating Neil Gaiman * Thom Didato * Tish Cohen * Todd Zuniga * Tom Jackson * Tommy Kane * Watch Josh! * Wayne Yang * Writer’s Relief * You

LitPark Weekly Wrap – My wrap-ups have led to discussions about patrol camp, hitchhiking, and peeing on apples. Have a look:

Summer Vacation ’07 * Close Calls * Where We Live * Mistakes that Changed Us * Community * Hopeful * Taking Our Next Steps * Independent Streaks * The Tysha Effect * Joy and Pain * Our Signs * We Got Style * We Want a Turn * How We Make Use of Conferences * Our Controversies * Authors and their Hair * Our Lives in the 80s * Just Our Luck * Group Effort * Our 2 Sentences * How We Balance Our Time * Our Favorite Spec Fiction * Introverts at the Microphone * Our Unfinished Brilliance * Our Mothers * Places that Capture Us * Our High School Days * Our Hidden Selves * We Don’t Like Boxes * Our Disguises * Our Obsessions * Pummeling Ourselves * Who Owns Our Truths? * Our Shared Trauma * My Space, Your Space

You do not need to be a writer to play at LitPark. All book lovers, artists, directors, singers and people who love to talk about the creative process are welcome. See you in September!

Oh, P.S. Nicole Krauss, I read THE HISTORY OF LOVE this summer and I’ve never loved a book more. Just wanted to say thank you for writing it.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Aurelio August 24, 2007 at 12:07 pm

I’ve never seen such an ocean of links! Thanks, Susan.

I look forward to the return of LitPark.

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Susan Henderson August 24, 2007 at 9:49 pm

Thanks, Aurelio. I’m missing LitPark, too. xo

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Susan Henderson August 27, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Apropos nothing at all except for it’s the cutest thing ever… here’s Neil with glasses and a panda. Oh God.

neil gaiman and panda in china

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Aurelio August 27, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Hey, will I get to hug a panda too???

(The food preparation gloves and hungry smile worry me.)

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Nathalie August 28, 2007 at 2:21 am

That panda does not seem to be such a fan: he looks a little melancholy. I wonder if he expected Neil to tell him a story…

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Susan Henderson August 28, 2007 at 8:40 am

Aurelio – You are bad. I’ll miss you when you’re in China with all my friends. See if you can visit “The Hell of Wonders.” That one had us laughing for days.

Nathalie – I was thinking the panda looked like it was in heaven. You know, if there was a thought bubble, it’s saying, “I can’t believe I’m sitting on Neil Gaiman’s lap. I am fucking sitting on Neil Gaiman’s lap, and he’s feeding me! And! He’s wearing the glasses I love!”

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Susan Henderson August 28, 2007 at 9:00 am

Oh, p.s. Mr. H just hired someone who will make the Christmas party way more fun this year. Lots of emmy nominations, and he dresses Susan Lucci.

http://www.davidzyla.com/

He and Mr. H met years ago in Pittsburgh, the day my boys were dressed like this:

homemade pirate costumes

Doesn’t Mr. H design and sew totally awesome costumes?

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Nathalie August 28, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Susan, just have a look at this:
http://community.livejournal.com/lolgaimans/16375.html

Your boys are just incredibly cute.

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Aurelio August 29, 2007 at 4:00 pm

I need you and Mr. H to adopt me before Halloween.

“The Hell of Wonders”, huh? Do I have to sell my soul to get in? And more importantly, do I get a button that reads, “I Survived the Hell of Wonders”???

We are accumulating things to put into our suitcases, but no actual packing has happened yet. Tomorrow.

Roy Kesey just told me, “Conjunctivitis is the new black.” Needless to say, we have medication for it. It’s in the “to be packed” pile. :)

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Susan Henderson August 30, 2007 at 8:12 am

Thanks, Nathalie!

Aurelio, have a safe trip. The Hell of Wonders is on the outskirts of Xi’an. I don’t want to spoil any of it for you by telling you what you’ll see.

Oh, and tell Kesey I could use a new necklace. He knows which one I mean. They’re like 20 cents at Tiananmen Square. (Aries)

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Susan Henderson August 31, 2007 at 6:53 am

When Mr. Henderson was little, his father and Prince Charles played on a polo team together, and little Mr. H and his brother and Princess Di and others all watched, or didn’t watch, from the sidelines. Anyway, on the anniversary of Princess Di’s death, I was just thinking of all his stories of grooming the horses and filling his wellies with conkers and sneaking peeks at the pretty girl.

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Gail Siegel August 31, 2007 at 4:04 pm

So nice to see you on the ‘page,’ again. xxGail

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Susan Henderson September 1, 2007 at 7:01 pm

Miss you, Gail. I’m working primary elections on the 18th of this month. You? xo

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Susan Henderson September 2, 2007 at 7:46 am

Yesterday, we had a garage sale (Mom, you already know this story), and this guy from a few blocks away kept showing up to talk. And worse, he’d bring something over and say, “You can sell this (say, a basket of yarn or practically new poison ivy lotion) and keep the money.” It was kind of a pain. And then, each time he came over, he’d pick up this watch we were selling and say to me, “I remember seeing you wear this. I might get it as a keepsake.” It’s a woman’s watch. I really don’t know why he’d want it, and it needs a new battery. Anyway, he’d stop by and carry the watch around and threaten to buy it, saying, “I really do remember you wearing this,” and then set it down again. And then the last time he came by, he just simply took it with him. It was kind of creepy. I don’t like to imagine what he’s doing with it.

Oh, p.s., here’s Wasserman’s thoughts on book reviews. Link courtesy of the very fine Michael Cader: http://www.cjr.org/cover_story/goodbye_to_all_that_1.php?page=all

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Nathalie September 4, 2007 at 7:24 am

Susan,
Have you seen this article ?
I will admit I have read only a few of these.

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Susan Henderson September 4, 2007 at 10:04 am

Ooh, Nathalie, that article looks right up my alley. I’ll read it after I finish editing a chapter on my book. I’ve got momentum finally.

If anyone wants to check out my brother’s totally cute girlfriend who I vacationed with this summer, you can click here. You don’t mind, right, Elizabeth? If you do, I’ll delete this.

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Carolyn Burns Bass September 4, 2007 at 11:09 am

Sounds like you have a creepy, neighborhood fanboy, Susan. Of course, you already know this is the guts of a great story.

I haven’t had a garage sale in 14 years for similar reasons. I had priced all the treasures we didn’t want to move to our new house, as well as some really good, clean kids clothes. People kept bargaining down from my already cheap prices and I was okay with it because I just wanted the stuff gone.

There was one item, a very collectible object that I don’t collect, but it was quite valuable. One lady kept trying to bargain ridiculously low, but on that one item alone, I held my price. I was busy with another person when she left without buying the item. After she was gone I saw that the item was gone as well.

Now on I give away to friends or donate everything to a charity thrift store.

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Susan Henderson September 4, 2007 at 4:50 pm

I think I’ll do it your way next time, Carolyn.

Hey, friends, if you want to sign this or pass this along, it’s to help get a friend into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.

http://www.petitiononline.com/abgt54lk/petition.html

(from last Halloween)

Robin, if you or Dr. Dot want to help spread the word, it would be much appreciated.

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Robin Slick September 4, 2007 at 6:38 pm

Er…we have the same Petition going for Adrian Belew and I was just putting the finishing touches on some stuff for both his website and mine. The good news is, when you look at the eligible list for this year, the only sure thing is Metallica, though of course they’d hardly be my choice…and probably Madonna and I won’t even tell you what I think of her but you can probably guess. It’s a pretty crazy-equal-in-a-weird-way playing field other than that – everyone from George Clinton to the solo careers of Sting, Plant and Page…

I feel really bad, Sue – normally I’d be all over this. Let’s hope they both get nominated!

xo

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Susan Henderson September 4, 2007 at 8:38 pm

Well, they both deserve to be in, so when your petition is ready, link it here, and I’ll sign it.

(I was so in love with George Clinton’s Atomic Dog song when I was in high school! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuyS9M8T03A&mode=related&search= Bow wow wow yippee-o yippee-ay!)

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tommy kane September 4, 2007 at 9:17 pm

looking good.

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Susan Henderson September 4, 2007 at 9:42 pm

Adore you, Tommy Kane. I’m always happy to see you here or there.

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Susan Henderson September 5, 2007 at 5:02 pm

I was tagged by Chris Rock today – I’ve played this one already, so I’m just going to re-post my answers. But do check out Chris because he’s my buddy. Okay, the rules are to list 8 random facts/habits about yourself. Here they are:

1. I once counted Peter Frampton’s chest hairs and he had 234.
2. I have a full-out addiction to bananas with peanut butter. I try to only eat one a day but it’s not easy.
3. I’d pretty much rather commit suicide than do the dishes.
4. I’m an early bird and a night owl. If I wasn’t married, I’d never sleep.
5. To help myself fall asleep at night, I draw daisies and stars and other shapes with my stomach muscles. I sometimes do this for more than an hour.
6. I have about 5 completely different styles of handwriting. The one I’m most comfortable with looks Arabic and it’s so people can’t read over my shoulder.
7. The celebrity I’ve seen more than any other in airports is Dick Gregory.
8. My favorite animal is the bat.

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J Chris Rock September 5, 2007 at 5:17 pm

Peter and I thank you.

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Susan Henderson September 5, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Sigh. I still love him.

peter frampton with 234 chest hairs at litpark

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Susan Henderson September 7, 2007 at 11:49 am

I am writing my little heart out today (3rd day my boys have been in school, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE that makes), but…. BUT! before I get back to work, you all have to head over to Robin Slick’s to see some glorious (it’s about damned time) news!

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Susan Henderson September 10, 2007 at 8:46 am

Got an email from China this morning called “Neil Gaiman has nothing on me.” I laughed so hard.

LitPark aurelio o'brien in china with pandas

Aurelio!

P.S. I have this song stuck in my head today, and I’m afraid to tell you why. Maybe when LitPark re-opens…

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Nathalie September 10, 2007 at 3:02 pm

And speaking about Neil, I saw him in Mantova on Saturday. That was fun.

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Susan Henderson September 10, 2007 at 11:07 pm

Where is Mantova and how was it?

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Nathalie September 11, 2007 at 2:02 am

Mantova (known as Mantua in your parts) is roughly located between Bologna and Venezia.
It was great and a little messy: The Litterature Festival takes place in the city centre which means that the place is saturated with visitors and too many events takes place at the same time.
I could only attend that of Neil on children stories, but that was very nice.
Pictures and links to more (including some of Neil) are on my LJ (follow my name link to get there, if you are interested).

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Susan Henderson September 11, 2007 at 8:07 am

Lovely photos, Nathalie. As always. But is that a catcher’s mitt over the nice bits on that naked statue?

If any of you are interested in more Italian art, you should head over to Enrico’s.

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Nathalie September 11, 2007 at 11:41 am

We are having an on-line giggle about that thing hiding the essentials. It does look like a baseball glove.
Last theory going is that it might be a paw from the lion skin the guy (Hercules?) carries on his back…

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Carolyn Burns Bass September 11, 2007 at 6:07 pm

Caution: Proud mama moment ahead.

I was happy when my daughter switched her major to English from Political Science. I was thrilled when she started her own blog and regularly expressed creative thought and self-informed opinions. Her most recent blog post is so lovely it made me want to cry.

Her educational plans are to teach literature at the university level and write for social and scientific journals, but after reading this amazing piece of prose, I think how could she not consider creative writing?

How about reading it here

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Susan Henderson September 11, 2007 at 9:16 pm

She’s lovely, Carolyn. And so is her writing.

I had such a great time in the city today with my new agent – someone who’s been talking to me since May but had to get past my wall of agent-phobia before I agreed to talk shop. I’ll wait till he goes out of town before I blog about him.

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Susan Henderson September 12, 2007 at 8:53 am

Bunch of you have dropped notes asking who my new agent is. For the past 10 years, he was the executive editor at Penguin Putnam, and now he’s jumped the fence and is working out of the same office as Neil’s agent. He’s playful and laughs and swears and sends me notes with titles like, “heckling, continued.” And when we agreed about the whole agent thing, he said, “No take-backs,” which just about melted me. Anyway, no more questions, okay? I have a lot to catch up on and birthday cards to buy.

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Aurelio September 12, 2007 at 6:18 pm

My birthday is December 27th. :)

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Susan Henderson September 13, 2007 at 7:47 am

Hee. You know I just wanted to get an early start on finding you the right card, Aurelio. Are you in Shanghai yet?

A friend of mine – she had her baby the same month I had Green-Hand – dropped me a note about a new TV show her father is in. I don’t watch TV, but if I did, this looks like a good one:

I wanted to let you know that my dad has a new show that’s going to be on T.V. It’s called “Back to You” and it stars Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton and my dad. It will air on Fox on Wednesday nights starting this Wednesday, September 19. It’s on at 8. I think it’s pretty funny.

http://www.fox.com/backtoyou/

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Susan Henderson September 16, 2007 at 1:48 pm

One week till LitPark re-opens….

In the meantime, you should check out my number one blog-stop – even before I come here – because over at Tommy Kane’s, he’s continuing his series of drawing the photographers he works with. This photographer is particularly exciting, and I’m always happy to spend my coffee break inside Tommy’s head.

Welcome back from China, Aurelio!

Oh, p.s. A great story on NPR today about rejection letters to famous authors: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14453550&ft=1&f=1032

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Kimberly September 18, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Getting excited… how many days left till kickoff???

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Susan Henderson September 19, 2007 at 7:59 am

Sunday at midnight. Don’t make me count on my fingers, now. (And secretly, the first 40 people who comment – on opening day – will be thrown into a lottery for a mystery prize.)

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Susan Henderson September 20, 2007 at 4:29 pm

Here’s a sweet story. Last Saturday, Green-Hand got a very belated (by 3 months) birthday present from my mother-in-law – a gift card with a note attached that he could only use it to buy books.

He put the gift card and the note from Nini in a little velcro wallet and was so excited he carried it in his pocket all Saturday and then again on Sunday, when we drove out east, where we play soccer. So while we’re all running around on this perfect day and Kenny is heckling me and Ritchie is heckling me and Mr. H is putting my sweatshirt in some corner of the field that we find out later is dog poo, and I score the most gorgeous goal of the game, though it was an accident, which Kenny calls me on because he knows I meant to pass it and it just went the wrong way, and Green-Hand is running and spinning and hanging upside-down and eating pumpkin bread. And when we get home, the wallet is gone. Green-Hand says, Don’t worry, my name and address are in the wallet. We all look at him and are certain he’s about to learn a hard lesson about the world.

So today, in the mail, he gets this fat envelope from a perfect stranger. And inside the wallet is his gift card. But there is also a note that wishes him a happy school year, along with EXTRA money the stranger said he could use to buy another book. Isn’t that so sweet? I never thought of returning MORE than what I found, but next time I will.

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Aurelio September 20, 2007 at 5:30 pm

The lesson I got was that I should have a little more faith in my fellow human beings, because I would not have expected Green-hand to ever see his wallet again.

Call me sappy, but I do live happy endings.

BTW – I think I’ll be able to post pix from my travels in China on my MySpace page soon, so I’ll keep you posted.

I can’t wait for LitPark’s return!

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Aurelio September 20, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Ha – funny typo! I meant, of course, “I do love happy endings,” not the other. (Although dying with a smile on my face would be a nice send off, I suppose.)

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Susan Henderson September 20, 2007 at 5:54 pm

I’d rather LIVE a happy ending than love one. That’s my kind of typo, Aurelio. Glad to have you back!

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Carolyn Burns Bass September 20, 2007 at 10:32 pm

Susan said: Green-Hand says, Don’t worry, my name and address are in the wallet. We all look at him and are certain he’s about to learn a hard lesson about the world.

So today, in the mail, he gets this fat envelope from a perfect stranger. And inside the wallet is his gift card. But there is also a note that wishes him a happy school year, along with EXTRA money the stranger said he could use to buy another book.

I am so smiling and warmed over this story. Thanks for sharing it.

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Susan Henderson September 21, 2007 at 8:26 am

Isn’t it a great story? Glad you’re here, Carolyn.

Robin, I finally watched the Rock School documentary. Was so great to see your kids. Does Julie know she was at the first reading I ever did? What a funny night that was. I remember it was so cold I had a pair of thermols on under my jeans.

James Spring news: One of his stories (involving murders, drugs, and motorcycles) is now running on NPR. You can find the link over on his website. James is one of the funniest people I know. I won’t go into what kind of “funny” I mean, but check out his story all the same.

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Susan Henderson September 21, 2007 at 11:38 am

Neil has a link posted to the unpublished Beckett for Babies. I believe there are Henderson boys in this, unless they’ve been cut. And a friend‘s baby, unless she’s been cut. This was years and years ago when I was asked if I had photos of my kids looking bored, hopeless, or in pain, etc, and I hope someone finally picks up this book because it’s very very funny to us nerds.

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Nathalie September 22, 2007 at 2:08 pm

That wallet story is ever so cute and heart warming.
We need more of these stories.

Counting the hours before the start of LitPark’s new season…

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Kimberly September 23, 2007 at 8:56 am

“I’ve always relied upon the kindness of strangers”

How nice to see that Tennessee Williams’ words can still ring so true and dear all these many years later!

What a gorgeous story! How I wish the person who lifted (literally) the wallet right out of my bag last Spring would have returned it with $4,500 worth of merchandise, rather than having depleted my cards by that amount before I noticed and cancelled them.

Only 15 hours left… my breath is baited! (but not in a fishy kind of way…)

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Susan Henderson September 23, 2007 at 10:56 am

LitPark is open at midnight.

A friend pulled The Glenlivet out of the vault last night, and my head hurts.

P.S. My boys just invited the kid across the street over so they can bake together. Is that too cute? They’re making banana bread muffins.

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Susan Henderson September 23, 2007 at 8:16 pm

We took the boys and a friend of theirs to a fair tonight. They always look like one thing from far away with the ferris wheel and lights. Up close, the rides suck, the stuffed animals are creepy, and so are the people who get jobs there. Anyway, we were walking home, it was completely dark out, and we were almost to one of the main roads and there’s this little kid walking by herself and about to either cross the main road or the train tracks. I had a bad feeling.

She was a ways away, and I had to shout to her, and I asked if she had a grownup with her. She was maybe four. And she started going faster toward the main road, so I had to catch up with her without scaring her right into the street. She was black and about as tall as my hip, and no car would have seen her in the dark.

I told Mr. H to take everyone else home, and I had her by the hand by then and knew her name. She didn’t know her last name or where she’d come from, so she led me into a video store, then a pizza store, and then back toward the fair. We walked a long way before we found her family, and they hadn’t even noticed she was gone yet. They had a pet pot-bellied pig with them. Anyway, all of this sufficiently freaked out Green-Hand, so he’s sleeping in my room tonight. Glad I followed my gut. Also glad the fair will pack up and leave town tonight.

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