I’m going to be having a reading of my new collection of short fiction (and a novella) “Another Happy Ending,” at Ray Bradbury’s and my favorite Bookstore the “Mystery and Imagination (238 N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale.)
October 20th, Sunday, 2013 at 3:00 pm
It will probably be yours too if you live in Los Angeles. Everyone’s seen a book store like the M & I, at least in their imaginings.
Narrow aisles packed with books so thick characters rub elbows with you. Fat patrons get wedged between the shelves and have to survive on a diet of short fiction until they can squeeze free. It’s organized, but so jam packed with ideas and fancies it makes one’s head spin.
On your way to the reading room which is up flight of stairs narrow as steep and a passage to the stars you will probably meet at least one of the proprietors, Christine and Malcolm Bell, purveyors of Mystery, Detective, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror since 1975.
You can’t miss Christine she’s the one who you’ll swear just swirled from the pages of a fairy tale, sprightly as a pixie with a contagious grin. Her eyes sparkle, containing worlds and wonders.
I remember her shimming in black and purple shiny as a dewdrop to celebrate one of Ray’s birthdays.
I don’t remember which birthday it was; he always had a party there. He’d remember though. The man never forgot a thing… not a person a phrase, an idea or a kindness.
We who were lucky enough to know him are all better for it. (I would say we who were lucky enough to call Ray a friend but he extended that appellation to all. Even I blessed to be titled “an honorary Bradbury” to have Ray as a “second father – Rabbi – Priest and mentor” – am far from an only child. The man had more honorary offspring than a Mormon rabbit. I’m only fortunate that his real blood progeny are as generous as their father and don’t mind the company.
I remember when I finished my first book, “Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife, all you need to know to choose the right heaven.” Of course I called Ray. “Fabulous,” he cried. “I’ll send it to my agent!” and he did. His agent was less impressed.
When it finally came out in 2010, I told Ray. “Evie,” he said “I want to host an opening at my favorite bookstore.” And he did. Sadly Ray couldn’t attend as the day was 110 degrees. Hot enough to melt my friends into the upholstery of their cars. Hot enough that patrons climbed into novels about Mars hoping for cooler temperatures.
(The Book was released in Spain in 2012 by the lovely, aptly named Jesús Ortiz of Milrazones publica.)
The new collection I should add is my second. The first “Real Conversations with Imaginary Friends” released in 2012 by a good man but a bad – or rather an inexperienced- publisher. The press lasted not even a year and the book with it. Most of the stories in that collection -reworked and improved– are included here – along with many, many more.
This collection “Another Happy Ending” so titled because few of the tales – like life – have joyful outcomes.
Credit – or blame – for the title goes to my sister Miriam – who, when I told her my latest story – made this remark -“Another happy ending.” Miriam is a woman of few words, but she makes them count. The book is being published by the marvelous and slightly zany Max Booth and Lori Michelle of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.
Also in this tome, inspired more than a little by “The Illustrated Man,” is a novella. Fate, Destiny, Chance and Luck are playing a game of cards under a crescent moon. An ill wind blows up destroying their game so they decide to tell stories, each card revels a tale.
When I told Ray I was stealing his idea of using a narrative to connect my tales he beamed. “Excellent,” he cried “Steal more!”
I have not yet titled my next novel. I’m vacillating between “Fahrenheit 451” and the “Martian Chronicles.”
“Enough already,” I can hear Ray saying. He leans over my shoulder smiling, strong and seventy years young – Only yesterday and almost half a world ago. “This needs a bit of cutting,” he says.
And so I will obey – if not my inner voice than Ray’s remembered.
I don’t yet have a day or time but when I do I’ll let you know. I hope you’ll drop by. If you come, be sure to look around. Somewhere in a corner just out of sight, yet visible to the heart you might see Ray smiling that great engulfing smile of his – including us all in that galaxy of imagination, hope, belief and love that he created, Inviting us all to stop by for a chat.
If you can’t come for my reading, stop by anyway – The most mysterious imaginative bookstore in Glendale is well worth a visit. Better check the times though…. on their Facebook page it says
“Closed until tomorrow 12:30 pm – 7:00 pm”
Mysterious and Imaginative indeed.
238 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA.