My friend Jenny Lawson, who writes the hilariously funny and frequently profane blog The Bloggess, is currently working on her second book. Her first hilariously funny and frequently profane book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, debuted at number one on the New York Times Bestseller list, so it's safe to say that Jenny knows a thing or two about writing a book that people want to buy. Nonetheless, like most authors I presume, Jenny has her moments when she's not sure whether her words are hitting the mark; in these instances, she runs a tiny "focus group."
In that vein, this weekend Jenny invited a few of her friends up to San Antonio to hang out at her favourite hotel, The Menger, considered the most haunted hotel in Texas, so she could read us excerpts from the draft of her book. The Menger is pretty special: according to legend, this historic hotel has up to 32 permanent guests of the spectral variety; for the record, none of them made an appearance for us.
(That said, this weekend the hotel was the venue for the annual convention of the Single Action Shooting Society, an organization for which it is apparently a rule that its members wear the period dress of the Old West when they get together. So between the jangling spurs and hoop skirts and, God help me, union suits that were roaming the halls, it certainly felt like we were seeing ghosts.)
After I was done touring the site, I wandered back to the hotel, and into the small estate jewelry store that they have on site. This little store felt almost like an art gallery, and I couldn't help but notice this epic Native American piece:
Those pointy bits on that necklace? Bear claws. I can only imagine how completely indomitable one would feel wearing that necklace. Unfortunately, I didn't have a spare $1,500 lying around, or that bad boy would've been mine. (In hindsight, it's probably best that I'm poor -- I would fear for Marcus, Alex or anyone in my vicinity when I was wearing it, such would be my considerable attitude.)
For the next few hours, Jenny read us excerpts from her book, judging how we reacted, and listening to what resonated with us. She says that we helped her a lot, but frankly, I think we were the ones who got the better end of the deal. This new book of hers is good.
But the best part was just catching up with these sweet friends.