The Muse :: Issue Nine :: May 2013 :: Electric Longings

The Muse

Do you ever get tired of all the blaring headlines? The ones that shout "the LATEST this" and the "COOLEST that"? Here in Silicon Valley it's probably the worst it gets, because that's where a lot of this "latest cool" stuff starts, and has for a while. From Sun's microsystems to Apple's world-changing things. Mice and GUIs. Likes. Tweets. Pins. Google Glass, good heavens.

But there's nothing like the hot intoxicated rush you feel when you're driving down 280 (read: world's most gorgeous freeway) and a Tesla Model S cuts in front of you. I generally won't have it if anyone cuts in front of me, but Teslas are allowed. And I've been seeing a lot more of them lately.

Which tells me one, two, or all of the following four things:

• People are making a lot more money than me.
• People are finally caring more about climate change and going electric.
• Tesla owners are secretly envious of Honda Prelude owners and must assert their alpha-electric-dominance.
• Elon Musk still hasn't returned my phone call about a test drive. (He's real busy though so I'll wait a little longer.)

Housekeeping reminder: my author site is now sitting on its own domain, The old one is being taken down so please update any bookmarks.

Pardon me. I should've said, "Birgitte's official site has finally moved out of grandma's garage to its own swanky digs on Page Mill!"

Now where did I put my Google Glass...

~ Birgitte

Fourteen years ago, I sat in my English class in Madrid one early morning, waiting for my students to arrive. The first one to come in was Bernardo, who worked for the Boston Consulting Group. He was visibly shaken--to the marrow of his bones.

What he shared with me that morning sparked a burst of mystery so intense it would burn to this very day. It was an incident so bizarre that a story simply had to be written about it.

And so, fourteen years, one continent, and three rounds of editing later, the story has taken its final form, is published and ready to captivate the rest of the world. In fact, it's already started. No one who's started reading it has been able to put it down. For a writer, comments like that are gold.

The story is "Verse in Arabic," the novella I've been telling you about. We officially launched it last week on all the major eBook platforms and with limited print availability (limited because I'm doing a Goodreads giveaway).

The Bookcast, a wonderful radio program for readers interested in new works, did an interview with me as well—you can listen to it online here or on my site.

I wish I knew where Bernardo is now, so I can send him this story... because I dedicated it to him.

With the launch of "Verse in Arabic" and the writing of my latest short story, I still have not had time for more presentations and appearances—with the exception of an informal reading I did on Friday, May 3, at a meeting of the California Writers Club at Barnes & Noble in San Jose.

Somehow, between deafening bursts of cappuccino foam and slamming icebox doors right next to us (B&N proudly serves Starbucks coffee), I managed to read for ten minutes, to then engage in my favorite part of literary readings: the Q&A.

And then a spine-tingling thing happened. Bill, the organizer, said, "You know, it's funny... the narrative, the narrative voice, reminds me of... of..." and while he was recalling the name of the author I secretly thought, "Edgar Allan Poe!" since that's what people had been telling me.

And he said, sure enough: "Edgar Allan Poe."

I should have brought a ouija board to the meeting. Or that Model S.

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