Actually, this post has nothing to do with Kevin Bacon. I just believe that everything is better with bacon. A better title would be "Six Degrees of Peter Straub," or "How a small town lawyer closed down a bar with Erma blogmate Carole Oldroyd, author Jamie Mason, and a by-gawd literary legend." I owe it all to Erma Bombeck. Yeah, I said Erma Bombeck.
Let's see if I can sort it out.
- Erma Bombeck pretty much invents the genre of household humor and an entire generation grows up knowing that the grass is always greener over the septic tank.
- A gang of writers get together and come up with the excellent idea of a blog celebrating the legacy of Bombeck with an updated version of her unique slice-of-life humor. Enter "An Army of Ermas."
- Fast forward to a contest to find two more recruits to the army. I entered my essay "The Chihuahua Whisperer" and launched a stormtrooper campaign among my friends and family to vote me in or prepare to spend the next year regretting it.
- Yes! I am inducted into a group of the best, funniest, and most wonderful gang of writers ever assembled. Over the many months of Facebook posts, blogs, deadlines, good times, and not so good times, I come to count many of the Ermas as friends, and some as family. I owe my Honorable Mention from the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition to the encouragement of this wonderful group.
- Some more fast-forwarding and I get a Facebook message saying, "Hey, can you come to Nashville in August?" Turns out Ms. Oldroyd was hitting me up to be roomies for the Killer Nashville writers' conference. My answer was a definitive, "heck yeah," and I had my conference registration and flight booked by breakfast.
- ::rurrururur:: (fast forward sound, roll with it) to the convention and an innocuous sounding suggestion from author-extraordinaire Jamie Mason, "let's check out the bar before we call it."
- There, sitting a-freaking-lone at the bar, was non-other than Peter Straub. Alone for about fifteen seconds, that is. And a finer, more charming, and funny person you will never meet. However, he would not answer my burning question, "Was it your idea or Stephen King's to kill Henry in The Talisman?" After all these years, that is still a literary open wound. ::sigh::
- Toss in a side order of Jeffery Deaver and you have a formula for one of the best evenings ever. The blaring GET-OUT-DON'T-YOU-PEOPLE-HAVE-HOMES lights came on far too soon.
|Not Kevin Bacon.|
My eternal thanks to the divine Erma Bombeck, who is certainly chuckling at this merry band of modern-day wo(men), and to each and every one of the Ermas. My wish is to someday close down a bar with every one of you. And to meet Kevin Bacon. Or to have bacon cheeseburgers with you all. You know what I mean. Dang it, I've got dust or something in my eye . . .
Terri Lynn Coop writes about car culture and hot rod collectibles at http://carmemorabilia.about.com and has been known to blog at http://readinrittinrhetoric.blogspot.com. Buddy up on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/terri.l.coop or say hello on Twitter https://twitter.com/TerriLCoop