It all started when someone told me I sounded like Greta Garbo. I blamed it on the cotton fields of Arkansas where I’d spent the weekend, but I now think the cotton fields are innocent.

Let me back track for a moment.

I had a book shindig at Omnivore Books in San Francisco last night. My friends came in full form.

They even brought backup. It was very nice of them.

Then there was this lovely lady. She owns Omnivore, the cutest bookstore devoted entirely to food. She has a lot of vintage books. It all started in fact, because she had so many darn cook books.

And then there was this. A bottle of whiskey. To help ease the nerves, the sweaty palms, and most importantly… my voice which was getting deeper and huskier with each word I uttered.

So I sat, and talked, and clearly needed a bang trim.

And I laughed… when others were not it seems… but at least I laughed.

And there were these nice fellows… one friend who writes science fiction novels and is looking a bit…

So as my voice got lower, I took it upon myself to drink more fluids… a little whiskey, a little water, a little diet coke, because it seemed like the right thing to do.

And I read. About tamales and hot fried catfish, and roasted pig, and salami, and… whiskey.

No, I don’t have a drinking problem, why do you ask?

They laughed!

Phew.

My old friends and new friends asked questions. They didn’t throw any hard balls luckily. I’ve had hard balls. Thrown at me before.

And then there were the people who I’d never met before! It’s always so fun to see the faces that go with the names that leave comments on this blog.

I think I even have a new hunting buddy out of the whole thing.

Apparently I have a very flowery signature. I don’t have writers cramp yet, so I’m still taking my time. I’m type-A like that.

This is Sara.

And this is Devan.

I think I want to make a flip book out of the photos I have of them interacting. They’re great. Sara and I went to Wellesley together, then lost touch, then stumbled upon each other at a bakery in Berkeley. And now we’re fast friends again.

Devan liked the whiskey too.

They’re real food lovers…

We go out for fried pickles often. And good sushi. In fact they are the ones responsible for my Berkeley culinary education.

Also, they sell eggs at Omnivore books. I love this. Very much.

It makes me nostalgic for Tulipwood.

And for fresh eggs.

Also, it makes me nervous when people read my book in front of me. It makes my palms sweaty and my voice lower. Actually, that last part I think is a bug.

Katrina!

Except I think she is reading my book. Yikes.

If it makes you nervous to stand in a public square completely naked, don’t ever write a book. I wish someone had told me that before I got into this whole thing.

And last but not least, guess who I’m talking to?

My college roommate!  She appeared out of thin air from the streets of San Francisco. We chatted. And talked about how it seemed like yesterday we were eating pretzels and diet cokes at 3am and working on our papers. And now I’m going back to speak at Wellesley in a few weeks to impart the “wisdom” I’m supposed to have gathered. I have 2 more weeks to gather it. Right now, I still haven’t figured out how to dress myself in an acceptable way in the mornings.

Also, we sold out of books!

But now my friends, I am speechless. Literally uttered my last words at Omnivore, then my body had a complete meltdown and I have no voice. I wonder if I can pantomime at the rest of my book events?

I need your suggestions for how to get my voice back… someone recommended hot grapefruit juice? Bourbon and hot water? Hot water with lemon and honey? Hot… ?

Send me your wisdom! Merci, from your mute friend, Greta.

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