Wednesday, March 14, 2007

She rocks the mic

Last night, Moonie and I had the distinct pleasure of watching a good friend--Nikki--read a selection from her upcoming novel, Walking on Tiptoes. She was invited by two important literary groups to an event where the other headliner was a famous author. I couldn't stop grinning for so many reasons.

First, and foremost, Nikki is an elegant writer and it's clearly only a matter of time before her words appear bound and between covers. Second, I felt honored to be present to witness one of those moments in life that she'll never forget. Standing there on that stage reading from her novel to a captivated audience--it was her moment, all eyes were on her, and it was great! Third, the pride emanating from her father (who took a train from DC that afternoon so as not to miss this important night) gave me the warm fuzzies and almost made me cry.

I know that Nikki is a writer, but I don't think I really understood that until last night. Her words and her voice evoked such emotion and they deeply touched me.

One of the topics of post-discussion was how a lot of writers like to write about characters who have nothing to do with them and who are far removed from any of their own personal qualities. If this is true, I guess that's why I've never identified myself as a writer.

As a reader, I'm very self-centered and the novels I enjoy most are the ones where I can identify with the protagonist. Last night, the passage Nikki read from echoed a sense of disappointment, wishing, and longing--all things that I relate to deeply these days. There were details that were eerily similar to my own childhood, like the blouses that Delia's mother wore that felt like silk, but were really polyester.

The memory of my face pressed against my mother's blouse while I was buried in her arms in, what felt like, the biggest hug a mother could ever give her child, is still a fresh one. Her blouses, which were actually just polyester, always felt like silk to me because they were so soft. To this very day, I have one of those blouses (salvaged from a trip to goodwill) hanging in my closet on a wire hanger, just like Delia. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, like when my mom still wore that blouse, and relive those moments. I never knew life would be so hard today. Had I known, I would have savored those moments more.

I can't wait to hear more from Walking on Tiptoes. As I'm writing this, I'm picturing myself joyfully holding my very own copy of Nikki's fourth book as I patiently stand on a long autographing line at the Union Square B&N. I know it'll happen one day.

Nikki--there may not have been a mic last night, but you still rocked it.


Cam Québec said...

Real Nice Blog you have there ! I have appreciation for you, you did a really good job, I will link your blog. You can do the same with my blog if you want. Bye bye xxx

Bluenana said...

Cam Québec: I'm flattered, thank you! I wish I could say my French is still proficient, but truthfully, it hasn't been good since 1999. However, I will use your blog as a language goal!

Nikki said...

Look at you! Readers from around the globe.

Thanks Blue, this was like the biggest compliment EVER. You rock invisible mics all the time, whether or not you know it.

Bluenana said...

Aww, shucks. Hugs all around!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post. It must have been a wonderful moment to sit there and listen to those words unfolding. And I don't think you're at all selfish; I think it's universal for people to want to identify with the characters in the stories they read. I just think many of them want to see these characters who are so like them to do amazing things that we ourselves never have the chance to do.