Chaka and Me

I was so crazy about the Michael Moore thing on Sunday that I didn’t get to tell you all about my first book signing.

It was a great time. I could have sat there all day chatting with librarians and booksellers, signing and autographing. Really. So much fun. I had “people” and the important “coffee” and two pens.

Table 35, where I was assigned, was a lonely table, far far away at the wall, almost in the Staples Center instead of the Convention Center. And since I’m almost absolutely nobody, there wasn’t exactly a line for me.

See? That’s my line, in front of me, that empty space. The line beside me was for this guy.

Look at how Blue Shirt is giving me a pity sneer. Don’t judge me, Blue Shirt! It’s my first signing! Those are galleys; they aren’t even the real cover! Go judge someone else!

(I just got a phone call from Pocket Books. The finished books came in. That means pretty soon I’ll have a real copy of my book! Ever since taking this photograph right here, it’s all started to feel real, by the way.)

We got a little bored waiting around for people to show up to get galleys signed, and goofed off pretending that I was so lonely I had to start reading my own book. Also here you can see just how freaking hot it was in the building. I tied my hair into a knot. People were walking up to me covered in sweat, dripping with it, lugging pounds and pounds of books around. I wore the worst pair of shoes for a convention hall and I’m still nursing blisters on my feet. I threw the shoes away Sunday night. I will never wear those things again. I know that it was made worse from carrying thirty pounds of books over miles and miles of hallway, but I don’t care. I can keep a shoe grudge.

Just so you don’t think I was a total loser, I do have proof that I signed a few copies. I went through just over a hundred in less than half an hour, and the rest of them went to the Simon & Schuster booth, where they were gone in a few minutes. That means that 200 copies of my book are “out there” now. I’ve been told that they often show up on and eBay, so if you’re looking for your own “Pamlea Ribon”, keep trying over there for the next couple of weeks.

But until Sunday, the coolest thing about the convention/signing was my booth neighbor. Check it:

That’s Chaka Khan, fool! Right there, with the purple hair! Chaka! I signed next to Chaka!

The Michael Moore love brought out some more letters, and inspired more people to action:

[readermail]Congratulations Pam. Of course he knows you. That is really a thrill. You deserve the recognition because your enthusiasm encouraged me to contribute. I am a den leader for Cub Scouts (hee) and I plan on making this a project for us next year. Our community is fine for books but we live near urban areas that are not so fortunate. Anyway, I hope this is a pick-me-up for you with all of your writing projects. Good Luck!


[readermail]You are a good person and you made me want to be a good person too!

My mother is a former children’s librarian and my best friend is studying to become a librarian. If I hadn’t participated in this book drive, I think they both would have gotten very angry with me..or at least looked at me very sternly, and maybe wagged a finger.

So, I bought two books for the Cesar E. Chavez branch. I bought Vivir Para Contarla by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. Dirty girls being social. I love it.

Thanks Pamie!

Sign me,

Next to Ponyboy, SodaPop’s my favorite greaser.

[readermail]…Your site has inspired me to try and help out the Toledo-Lucas County Library. Actually, I found a link from the online web comic Goat. (…[/readermail]

He promised to write back once his website was up and running, if you’re a Toledo-Lucas County lover. To see the original discussion over at Goats, go here.

[readermail]Hi Pamie,

I’d be a terrible librarian if I didn’t join in with this wonderful thing that you’ve started here, so the Lakeview Branch will soon be receiving:

The Joy of Knitting: Texture, Color, Design, and the Global Knitting Circle – Lisa R. Myers (in honour of my roommate, who is knitting up a storm these days)

Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood (because I love her, and she’s Canadian!)

Michael Moore can’t possibly understand what a kickass person he met!


Ginny writes:

[readermail]Hey lovey! Thanks for your rockin’ campaign for the libraries. I just sent four books by Eric Jerome Dickey to the Temescal Library – Milk in My Coffee, Cheaters, Liar’s Game and Thieves’ Paradise![/readermail]

Check out the book drive started over at Not Martha, (her June 2nd entry).

[readermail]Dear Pam,

I just think it’s the coolest thing that you met Michael Moore and he had such an amazing reaction to your project. What a wonderful experience for you!

I sent a couple books to the Oakland Public Library a few weeks ago. I’ve been meaning to go to my local library and find out how they are doing. Thanks for being such an inspiration.

It’s funny, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who lives out in San Francisco and we were commiserating about the state of our country, and how much we can’t stand George W., and how we’re frightened by the prospect of him getting re-elected, and how we know so many people out of work, etc., etc., etc. and it was just so depressing. We both felt hopeless, like, what could we, two 30-something women do to change things in this crazy world.

Well, you’ve shown that we all can do something. That every little things counts. As Margaret Mead said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Thanks again, for being such an inspiration.[/readermail]

You guys really do write the nicest letters. It almost makes me forget that these book drive entries take over three hours to do.

Emily writes:

[readermail]… you didn’t have to sic Michael Moore on me, I was going to donate after I got my next paycheck anyway, sheesh.

Just kidding. I think you’re doing an awesome thing by supporting libraries and I think it’s extra-super-duper awesome that Mr. Moore has taken notice of your efforts.

I sent the Piedmont branch a copy of “No More Kissing!” because it seemed like just the kind of book I would’ve liked when I was teeny.[/readermail]

Some of you aren’t writing to tell me you’ve donated. Because by yesterday morning, all of the books from the Golden Gate branch wishlist had been ordered, except for the one out of print. That’s not me complaining, that’s me even more awed by your generocity. Thank you to everyone who’s helping, but I love getting email telling me what you sent to Oakland, or how you’re helping your own community, or those communities in need.

Our newest cool kids

  1. the cat who wished to be a man” by lloyd alexander [sent by Natalie]
  2. “underkill” by leonard chang [sent by Natalie]
  3. Tales of a Female Nomad [sent by Kate]
  4. Richard Scarry’s Best Sing-Along Mother Goose Video Ever! [sent by Emily]
  5. Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupak Shakur [sent by Evany]
  6. The Dark Is Rising Sequence [sent by Evany]
  7. the master butchers singing club by louise erdrich [sent by Michael]
  8. things you should know by a.m homes [sent by Michael]
  9. the last girls by lee smith (cloth) [sent by Michael]
  10. the last girls by lee smith (pb) [sent by Michael]
  11. the kid by dan savage [sent by Michael]
  12. my name is red by orhan pamuk [sent by Michael]
  13. the dog star by donald windham [sent by Michael]
  14. emblems of conduct by donald windham [sent by Michael]
  15. the world turned by john d’emilio [sent by Michael]
  16. on this day by nathaniel bellows [sent by Michael]
  17. as meat loves salt by maria mccann [sent by Michael]
  18. ernie’s ark, stories by monica wood [sent by Michael]
  19. naked in the promised land, memoir by lillian faderman (cloth) [sent by Michael]
  20. naked in the promised land, memoir by lillian faderman (pb) [sent by Michael]
  21. 101 love poems that could save your life [sent by Michael]
  22. wisecracker, bio. by william j. mann [sent by Michael]
  23. plant life, novel by pamela duncan [sent by Michael]
  24. the best american magazine writing 2002 [sent by Michael]
  25. the object of my affection, stephen mccauley [sent by Michael]
  26. ignorance, milan kundera [sent by Michael]
  27. the curious casew of benjamin button apt. 3w by gabriel brownstein [sent by Michael]
  28. boonville by robert mailer anderson [sent by Michael]
  29. a is for adultery, angst, and adults only by sara midda [sent by Michael]
  30. set this house in order by matt ruff [sent by Michael]
  31. I’m the One that I Want by Margaret Cho [sent by Kerry]
  32. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen [sent by Kerry]
  33. When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Munoz Ryan [sent by Kerry]
  34. The Da Vinci Code [sent by Loree]
  35. SINGLE MOM: A Novel [sent by Loree]
  36. Duck in the Truck [sent by Lynn]
  37. Elmo’s World [sent by Lynn]
  38. Acts of Light [sent by Lynn]
  39. Waltzing the Cat, by Pam Houston [sent by Marissa]
  40. Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood [sent by smac]
  41. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood [sent by smac]
  42. Jahanara: Princess of Princesses, India, 1627 (The Royal Diaries) [sent by Lauren]
  43. On a Grander Scale: The Outstanding Life of Sir Christopher Wren [sent by Laura]
  44. Frida [sent by Laura]
  45. Vivir Para Contarla [sent by SodaPop]
  46. Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood [sent by Rachel]
  47. The Joy of Knitting:Texture, Color, Design, and the Global Knitting
    , by Lisa R. Myers [sent by Rachel]
  48. Milk In My Coffee, by Eric Jerome Dickey [sent by Ginny]
  49. Cheaters, by Eric Jerome Dickey [sent by Ginny]
  50. Liar’s Game, by Eric Jerome Dickey [sent by Ginny]
  51. Thieves’ Paradise, by Eric Jerome Dickey [sent by Ginny]
  52. No More Kissing! [sent by Emily]
  53. Big Dog and Little Dog by Dav Pilkey [sent by anonymous]
  54. Big Dog and Little Dog Going For a Walk by Dav Pilkey [sent by anonymous]
  55. Tiger, Tiger by Dee Lillegard [sent by anonymous]
  56. Holes by Louis Sachar [sent by anonymous]
  57. Opera Cat by Tess Weaver [sent by anonymous]
  58. Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Gogol [sent by anonymous]
  59. Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie [sent by anonymous]
  60. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe [sent by anonymous]
  61. Following the Equator by Mark Twain [sent by anonymous]
  62. Barron’s How to Prepare for the CBEST [sent by anonymous]
  63. Barron’s GED: como prepararse para el GED [sent by anonymous]

Lastly, it’s time to kick of’s five year anniversary with an archive request:

Suz writes:

[readermail]Oh, the choices! Well, sucking and fucking, obviously.
And TaeBo. Of course.
And at least one Valentines Day.
The sad couch by the LA curb was cute.
Seeing the ex at a bar. Really good.
Anything about books and what you’ve read. I’m a reading junkie so I always enjoy those.
and last but never least, Any Taylor entry, because I have a huge crush on your cat. He makes my Pounce happy. I liked the last Taylor entry from the time when you lived with Ray. But any Taylorspeak will be great. Thanks for sharing your work with us, Pamie. Your writing has truly brightened my world. I feel sometimes like I’m the only person around me who’s ever read a book, and your writing helps me know that there ARE witty, intelligent folks in the world. Best, and Happy Anniversary!!!!![/readermail]

The sad couch by the LA curb was actually stee’s. Tae Bo’s in the novel, as are some of the Valentine’s Day poems. So, without further ado, I present to you, the infamous “sucking and fucking entry.” (Eric is my ex-boyfriend.)

And hey, all you San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley people: I just added my Oakland signing date. Come see me, please! I want to meet you.

Barnes & Noble #1922
98 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607
Reading, Q&A, Signing
Thursday, July 31, 7:30 PM

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