No sleeping late for me this morning, no siree Bob! Instead, I got up promptly at 6:30 a.m. so I could talk to RTV-6‘s Anne Kelly about how my week in the window has been going. I think I was a little more engaging than I was on Monday’s live segment (when I slept through the entire thing), but we’ll find out for sure on Friday morning’s news broadcast.
Later in the morning, Julia Whitehead (executive director of the Vonnegut Library) had a little celebration for the library’s curator, Chris Lafave, who became a U.S. citizen today. Congrats, Chris! Thanks for pledging allegiance to the flag for two reasons: 1. because we, as a country, are happy to have you (and your vote), and 2. because the impromptu party meant that I got to enjoy delicious cupcakes from Mass Ave.’s Flying Cupcake. Number 1 is arguably more important.
At lunch, a group of my colleagues brought me a burrito, which was thoughtful, and then took a tour of the library’s exhibits. Our new American Chris knows lots and lots about Kurt Vonnegut and gives a very entertaining tour (with more than a dash of dry humor), so please stop by and talk to him, if you haven’t already.
In the afternoon, I did get a chance to work on my short story a bit, so hopefully that’ll be ready for posting on the website this weekend. Coming up with an idea for a story, writing the first draft, revising that draft, and then sharing the story with the world in just a few days is a little daunting, but I’m sure it’ll turn out OK. It may not be Shakespeare, but hopefully it’ll be entertaining.
Speaking of entertaining, my old friend Ben H. Winters—who is always entertaining—came by in the evening to read aloud from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Ben and I had been housemates in college, but then lost contact for several years. Imagine my surprise when we reconnected a year or so back and I discovered he’d become a New York Times bestselling author for penning Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (with a little help from his long-dead coauthor Jane Austen). Ben’s also written the supernatural thriller Bedbugs as well as a couple of novels for younger readers, The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman and The Mystery of the Missing Everything. (Oh, and he also has an awesome short story in the upcoming Nov/Dec issue of Jack and Jill. Plug! Plug!) His newest book is The Last Policeman, a “pre-apocalyptic police procedural” that’s getting rave reviews. It’s doing so well, in fact, that he’s already working on the sequel and plans to write a trilogy. Ben’s reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was lively and fun, giving away his background in improv theater. As a bonus, he also told us about the time he met and interviewed Kurt Vonnegut. During the interview, Vonnegut gave Ben two pieces of advice: 1. the Internet is a fad, and 2. when writing a novel, always cut out and throw away the first 30 pages. I can attest that the second comment is true. As for the first, well, no one’s right 100% of the time.
P.S. Don’t miss tomorrow’s grand finale of my week of living in the Vonnegut Library! If you’re going to be anywhere near downtown Indy, you owe it to yourself to stop by at 6 p.m. to see former first lady of Indiana Judy O’Bannon and the ACLU of Indiana present Kurt Vonnegut’s Sagamore of the Wabash award to the library, the awards’s new permanent home. Mrs. O’Bannon will also read an excerpt from To Kill a Mockingbird as part of the “Corey’s Bedtime Stories” series. Plus it’s IDADA First Friday, which is always worth celebrating.