Saturday, December 01, 2007
Last night, I was the guest at a meeting of Crickhollow, the Reno chapter of the Mythopoeic Society. They were discussing my novel The Necessary Beggar and thought it would be fun to have the author on hand.
Each meeting starts with a potlock dinner, with foods based on the book they've read. So the carrot above (which I got to take home with me) represented the carrot taken away from Macsofo in the refugee camp. Someone brought a roast chicken, because the family in the book is put off by the belief of some Christians that the damned "roast like chickens;" since the family's culture has Middle Eastern elements, someone else brought pita bread stuffed with lamb and herbs.
The hostess made Gandiffrian Chicken Stew, described on this card (which I also got to take home with me). Someone brought a Blue Moon pizza, since Zamatryna and Jerry eat there. Another treat was venison salami, donated by a hunting family who'd finally gotten a deer after many years of trying. They'd written a card thanking the deer for its bounty, in accordance with the family's beliefs, and the entire buffet table was decorated in a Thanksgiving theme.
And -- I couldn't believe this, but I was delighted! -- someone had actually made jello with chicken and broccoli, the unappetizing casserole given to the family in the camp after Darroti dies. Unfortunately, this dish suffered a mishap in the car on the way to the meeting, so we didn't get to see it, but I made the cook promise that if she made it again, she'd send me a photo. I asked her if she'd actually have been willing to eat the concoction, and she admitted that she'd made up a card for it that read, "For Display Purposes Only."
Anyway, it was a fabulous meal, and the discussion was great, too: lots of thoughtful comments and smart questions. Nobody in the room thought Jerry was a dumb jock -- I never intended him to be, but many readers have taken him that way -- although one person had developed an abiding, unshakable dislike of Stan because of his religious beliefs, even though he changes at the end of the book. But hey, that's like life, right?
It's such a pleasure to talk about one's work with engaged readers!