This is a picture of a vocal booth that I was in for all of ten minutes this morning. Was I recording some cabaret songs? Fly Me to the Moon perhaps? No - that dream has faded, although my torched alter-ego Venus de Velcro/Tallulah Trip is still deep in my sub-conscious. Writing a memoir perhaps? (Ms. Venus was content with the leopard print chair the sound studio provided.)
Instead I was recorded reading the introduction I wrote for Madeleine L'Engle's And Both Were Young.
I read through it twice: the first time, rushing through, trying to complete each sentence on a breath. Too fast. The second time, I slowed down and found a more suitable rhythm.
Rebecca Waugh and company were in the other room, sending good reading mojo.
Rebecca is the . . . how do you say? Acquisitor, Acquisitionist, ah, what the hey, the Editor at Random House's Listening Library (audio books). My fabulous agent, Edward Necarsulmer, had put EDGES into her hands at the kidlit conference in Bologna, where she pre-empted the audio rights and thus began our mutual affection for each other.
Rebecca had emailed this proposal to me:
First, in looking at the galley of AND BOTH WERE YOUNG, I realized that you wrote an introduction for it. We’d love to have you read it for the audio if you have the time! The producer says we need to record sometime before the end of August, so whenever you’re available in New York over the next two months, let me know and we’ll arrange it. I was also thinking this would be a perfect time for us to get together for pinkberry.
The answer was never going to be anything but yes, because:
1) I love my Gran and this book - it's an honor to do anything associated with her,
2) Rebecca is a kindred spirit, and
3) I LOVE Pinkberry!
The weather wasn't too sweltering, so we decided to walk uptown from 45th Street for our pilgrimage, only to be thwarted, finding the Pinkberry closed! And the Starbucks kitty corner was too crowded. So we did what any two sweet-tooth, lit loving gals in the city would do: we went to Dean and DeLuca's at Borders Books and shared a chocolate doughnut. Our beverage of choice was the very attractive GINGER gingerale.
"This is our special drink, Rebecca," I said.
"Yeah, GINGER is where it's at: Pinkberry can stuff it!"
After all, it's the company one keeps that's more important. What do you think Ms. Venus/Tallulah? (I know you're there somewhere!)
Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.