Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What I Did on Valentine's Day

If you have a significant other chances are you celebrated Valentine's Day by bringing your sweetie some choice aluminum balloons, candy hearts and heading out to dinner. Even if you don't have an official significant other you might have felt the pressure and made a date. But then if you're me and your significant other is spurning everything to do with Valentine's Day this year, you spend it with your other love: books.

Yesterday Chapters Books hosted the lunchtime launch party and reading for Sex & Chocolate, the newest anthology from Gargoyle Magazine editors Lucinda Ebersole and Richard Peabody. Fortunately I work right around the corner, so slipping out for an hour was easy. Much like Alice Redux, another anthology Peabody edited and released earlier this year, S & C was put all together back in 1998 and surprisingly bounced from publisher to publisher. I say surprisingly because the theme seems perfect. Ebersole and Peabody finally decided to put it out themselves through their own Paycock Press. By the way: a fabulous cover.

It was a nice, jovial crowd at the reading. Many were decked out in Candy Heart Red sweaters or ties, and those that weren't donning the proper colors were making jokes about sex, chocolate, and sex with chocolate. The mood was lifted even further by the champagne provided by Peabody and Ebersole and chocolate provided by the Parks Sisters Chocolate Chocolate Shop.

Readers included R.R. Angell, Jodi Bloom, Moira Egan, and Deirdra McAfee. If the work I heard is any indication, it looks to be a book filled with material that's good, light-hearted, racy fun. But well written good, light-hearted, racy fun. I wanted to stick around after the reading and mingle with the couple of people I knew there, but sadly the reading finished right at 2:00 and I had to rush back to my little office hovel before the Ogres with their snapping whips started policing the streets for me.

After work I went to the monthly meeting for the mag I review for and got a little bit of bad news. The mag itself is based in NY City, but those in the D.C./Baltimore area all meet out in Chantilly, Va. once a month to discuss our reviews and pick up new books for the month. The mag is shifting the meeting location to California, so unless they are providing a jet plane it's not real likely I'll be going anymore. I will still get material in the mail to review, but it will be things they think I like. Which is always a little odd, having someone else dictate your own taste to you. In a way it's probably a good thing. Now that I'm back in school I have less time to read, and if I do have extra time I can review for other places or even, dare I say it, write my own fiction.

BTW, if you forgot to celebrate Valentine's Day yesterday, I suggest the Burlesque show at the Ottobar tonight in Baltimore, featuring Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey. I saw their V-Day show last year and it was well worth it.



Miss L said...

I did not spurn everything to do with Valentine's Day, per se. Just the over-commercialization of it. See, now, the idea of reading fun, sexy stories while eating chocolate and other goodies sounds like a great V day. Especially if there is nudity involved. Besides, I sent you a fun V day card. Okay, so, well, it was a shoot-Cupid-in-the-tucus ecard that was free, but it was fun :) I still love you!

guile said...

nice, comfy place you got here :)..