Something close to fifteen people gathered in Greenwich Village last night to witness the historic unveiling - at long last - of the first chapter of my (eventually) forthcoming book, The Brass Ring, as part of an event that ultimately did not take place. Which begs the question, if a man spends almost five years working on a novel, and no one gets to hear a word of it, does that novel really exist?
Damned if I know.
For those that showed up despite my last minute attempts to divert them, I tried to be unreservedly apologetic while taking my lumps from them. Certainly, I can only imagine the postmortem discussion/make-fun-of-Matt session that must have gone on at Pennyfeathers, just a short distance down 7th Avenue from where I was attempting to wash away the taste of my ignominious humiliation with pomegranate beer, which is a lot tastier, and not nearly as pomegranate-y as it sounds.
For the record, what happened was that, after last minute cancellations from the other, higher profile readers scheduled to speak last night, the agent at Writers House who runs the Kettle of Fish reading series was forced to pull the plug. And I suppose since I was the low man on the totem pole, he figured that giving me an hour and a half's notice was adequate, which it most certainly was not. So to those who came, I am horribly sorry, and thanks very much for your support.
It was suggested that I should offer to read the piece in various states of undress, or at least to make personal appearances at the homes or offices of my prospective attendees. And while these are all good suggestions, to be sure, would anyone feel remotely assuaged by simply seeing the first chapter and reading it themselves? It is part of a book, after all...