Frozen Voices is launched!
On Wednesday, Chris and I flew to Fargo, North Dakota and then drove to Moorhead, Minnesota, to participate in a reading for New Rivers Press at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Everyone involves was so kind and welcoming. Chris and I had a blast!
Wednesday, we arrived in Fargo mid-afternoon, starving. Because of the timing of the flights from Providence, we’d managed to miss both breakfast and lunch. We found this GREAT pizza place, Blackbird Woodfire Pizza on Broadway, just a few blocks from the hotel and devoured a delicious Mediterranean salad and a wild mushroom pizza. And tasty desserts, too. After dropping our luggage at the hotel, we went out to the Junkyard Brewery in Moorhead, where we drank some awesome craft beers—peanut butter!—and heard a great band, the Cropdusters, playing some original folky music. Chris, who didn’t bring his fiddle with him on the trip, was positively twitching to play with the band. (We even went out to a few pawn shops to see if we could find a violin. No luck, unfortunately.)
Thursday, we had a tasty brunch at Mom’s Kitchen in Fargo before heading over to MSUM for the reading. Copies of Frozen Voices arrived from the post office—delivered by the great Al Davis, NRP’s senior editor—just twenty minutes before showtime. Phew! At the reading, Al took care of the introductions and then Elizabeth Searle did an excellent reading of excerpts from her new NRP novel, We Got Him. She was so expressive and animated that I felt like I was watching not only a reading but also a piece of performance art. I suppose this makes some sense considering Elizabeth is also the author of “Tanya and Nancy, a Rock Opera,” which is currently being performed in a Chicago theater. I really enjoyed Elizabeth’s presentation.
Then came my turn. With Chris’s help, I showed a few slides that explained the genesis of George McVay, one of the narrators from Frozen Voices, and then did a brief reading from one of George’s chapters. Although I was a little nervous when I began my presentation, after a few minutes, I enjoyed myself. Everyone in the room was smiling and nodding and being very encouraging. Afterward, several people offered kind words of encouragement. A few even bought books and asked me to sign them—a new and fun experience for me!
After our readings, some folks did a memorial reading and reminiscences for Thomas McGrath’s 100th birthday. Tom was a poet, teacher, and radical, formerly involved with the school. From what everyone was saying, Tom was quite a character; I wished I’d had the chance to meet him. I’ve already ordered one of his books of poetry, Letter to an Imaginary Friend.
The evening ended with a celebratory dinner at Al and Cathy Davis’s home, a few blocks from the MSUM campus. Good food, good wine, and wonderful company! Chris and I were both sorry to leave.
The entire book launch experience was absolutely fantastic. Everyone was so kind, complimentary, and encouraging. I formally issue a huge THANK YOU to everyone who was involved!