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The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Friday, May 20, 2011

My famous friend (for real)

Oh, I know you think I run with all the big names, but really, I like to keep my life normal. Who wants to deal with all the paparazzi? Oh, sure all the A listers are begging me to hang, but I don't have time for all that nonsense (Johnny, I would walk the red carpet with you anytime though. Call me.)
I do however have some awesome friends who are actually in the music, TV, movie and literature world though. It's true. One of my friends that I went to college with is even a published author of an awesome book you should read. I'll get to that in a minute though. Let me tell you about how we met.
Waaaaay back in 1992, I was a (smokin' hot) sophomore in college, majoring in English and Theatrical design. Dead. Useful. I worked in the costume shop as a sewer, pattern drafter, costume prop maker, dresser and all around Jackie-of-all-trades when it came to costuming (in return for a cut on my tuition-yay for work-study). I even designed a show my senior year (A Street Car Names Desire).
Anyhoodle, enough about me (or not). During that new fall term, we got a freshman work-study student (or two, or three, they obviously did not impress me, because I can't remember) named Michele Feltman. She was a spunky, red head with razor sharp wit and hair longer than mine. This was almost a capital offense, but I decided to get over it and like her anyway.  It was her razor sharp wit won me over. I liked her (despite the fact that her hair was a good 6" longer than mine-okay, okay, I'll let it go)! She was fun! She also ended up working in the costume shop, so we spent a lot of time together (good thing I decided to like her, huh?). Over the next 3 years, we had loads of fun and made some awesome memories. In fact, she was even a bridesmaid in my wedding.
Of course, 16 years ago when I graduated college and moved away, the internet had just been commercialized and few people were on it. There certainly was no Facebook, and sadly, we lost touch. Thanks to Zuckerburg (or his friends, whichever story you believe) though, we hooked up again and chat via FB on a regular basis. She is still awesome (as am I). Her name is now Michele Feltman Strider and she lives in California with her musician/producer husband and is an actor, writer, bon vivant and lover of the crushed grape (of course we're friends) . A true Renaissance woman.
A while back she sent me a draft of a book she had written for feedback (though I was terrible at getting it to her in a timely manner). I loved the it. It is set in Mobile, AL, where we both went to college and where she (mostly) grew up. The characters are real and beautifully flawed, the story entirely believable (always a plus), and her images completely capture the feel of the modern deep South that still holds tight to old school traditions (football and debutantes anyone?).
The book is called Homecoming: A Novella (though I dispute the novella bit) and you really, really need to read it. It is the story of Caitlin, a former beauty queen and reigning Homecoming Queen who has come back to pass the crown on to the new queen at the big game. Caitlin has bucked tradition and gone to a college up north (a Cardinal sin to many southerners) and tried to distance herself from her deep south, how-y'all-doin? past. On her return though, she finds that being away hasn't made much change and must endure her overbearing (frequently drunk) mother, distant (frequently drunk) father, Frat boy (frequently drunk) ex-boyfriend, overly sexed (frequently drunk) younger cousin and a whole host of other archetypal, but realistically drawn characters and forces her to face her past, old wounds and look forward to a future that is very different from the one her mother imagined for her.
This is a really good read, people! You need to buy it, grab a glass of wine or two (Why not? Everyone in the book does!) and indulge yourself in a juicy story that sparkles with Michele's personal wit and humor. What would you expect from a friend of mine?
Homecoming: A Novella is available in paperback and on Kindle and Nook.  You won't be sorry you read it.
















4 comments:

Michele Feltman Strider said...

Thank you! You are too wonderful!

I can also attest to the fact that you were, indeed, smokin' hot... and "Streetcar" was a really well designed show. I still have pix... somewhere.

Raven said...

That sounds like an intriguing story. I might have to pick that one up sometime. Thanks for the recommendation.

Captain Cleavage said...

awsome! I am always looking for new reads :)

and i totally get the famous friends braging rights...A very good friend from high school was on the season finale of Bones...and I felt so cool! lol

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

To think you knew her win. May she sell out of her first printing.

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