This afternoon, I was sitting in a cafe on Spring Street, reading galleys and looking over some materials for several freelance projects, and found it impossible to ignore the conversation at the next table (as is often the case).

A woman was loudly recounting her experience of having a guy follow her down the street for several blocks, creep her out by making the sort of comments used to appraise entries at a 4-H fair, and then pull out $2000 in a thick wad of cash and offer it to her in exchange for sex. Totally gross, I know.

But then, she went on to say how her friend had to swear not to tell anyone, blah blah blah, and how she was so embarassed or something or felt weird about the story, and how she had told it a million times. Obviously. Anyway, I guess that she was equating this experience with being hot, or something: so hot that perverts chase you down the street.

Personally, I would define that sense of slightly ephemeral satisfaction a little differently: like the gorgeous feeling of having 50 people show up every month for the reading series that you break your little heart to put together, daily; getting to hear your favorite authors read, like when Felicia Luna Lemus (Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties) and Kate Walbert (Our Kind) rocked the mic tonight and blew us all away; and totally having a blast.

Of course, a little love from Gawker is great, too.

So, taking all of the above into consideration, and reaching the obvious conclusion: getting chased by perverts? Not hot.

Cupcake tonight: like, Paris Hilton book party hot. Except we can read.


P.S. Action-packed plans for February include novelists Samantha Hunt (The Seas) and Maxine Swann (Serious Girls) reading on the 9th, and a special event featuring rock critic Ann Powers in conversation with journalist Katherine Lanpher on the 25th. Join the list to receive details by email.

P.P.S. Thank you, as always, to local feminist indie bookseller Bluestockings for having selected books available for sale at tonight's event.

P.P.P.S. Before I forget: Elizabeth teaches creative writing workshops, and they are at least as fabulous as she is, e.g. "Elizabeth's workshop taught me to get out of the way of my writing and just write. There's no amount of coffee that can make me do that. She's a truly gifted teacher." Email her for info.

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