It was a quiet, mildly social weekend. On Sunday, Marianne and I went to a double reading hosted by Philadelphia socialites Trillian Stars and Kyle Cassidy.
Carolyn Turgeon read from her new novel Mermaid (characterized in an enthusiastic review in Publisher's Weekly as a "surprisingly dark retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid" -- whoever wrote those words cannot have read the original), and Jeanine Cummins read from The Outside Boy, a novel about a young Irish Traveler in the 1950s which Booklist declared "a deeply moving and elegiac look at a vanishing culture."
The day before that, I went over to Gregory Frost's house to participate in a how-to-write Webinar run by StarShipSofa. (Which is, you'll recall, podcasting the Darger & Surplus Explain . . . How to Run a Con series every Wednesday. You can find StarShipSofa here.) That's Greg, above, doing an exemplary job of explaining how to begin a story.
Tony C. Smith, who hosted the Webinar, made several jokes beforehand about having glasses of whisky at hand. So afterward, when Greg gave me a ride home, I poured him a glass of the good stuff.
Ah, you say. The good stuff. Laphroaig, you mean? Glenfiddich? Highland Park?
Oh, please. The good stuff. Johnny Walker Blue Label, I mean. It tells you just how highly I esteem Gregory Frost that he got a drink from that hoarded and very slowly dwindling bottle.
During our conversation, Greg told me about the existence of a six-minute-long commercial. And not an ordinary one either. A commercial that aspires to the status of art. One with an astonishing performance by Robert Carlyle.
Here it is. Enjoy.