Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I Finally Get to Meet Jean Gonick

By the way, this isn't Jean Gonick. For some reason she can't stand to have her picture taken, so I had to photograph her best friend instead.

That's Steven Winn and he spoke at the Commonwealth Club today about his new book, Come Back, Como: Winning the Heart of a Reluctant Dog. He used to review theater for the Chronicle, but it wasn't until he started writing about his terrier mutt that my ears perked up.

But enough about Winn, let's talk about Jean Gonick. She let me sit by her in the front row. I'm absolutely crazy about her writing. You remember, she wrote the magnificent Failing at Living column for the Chronicle–it was my reason for getting out of bed on Saturday mornings.

At the Commonwealth Club they passed out cards for us to write questions on for the question-answer period after Winn's talk. I wrote, "What did you have for breakfast?" Jean assured me that he was very conservative in his breakfast habits–that he ate cereal day after day. So I crossed that question out and wrote: "Do you drink? If so, how many drinks do you have per day?" When it came time for questions, I noticed that my question was being ignored.

After 14 or 15 questions had been answered, the facilitator said, "I've saved the most important question, the question that has the most relevance to all writers, for last." I sat up because I knew my question was coming:

"What will your next book be about?"

Oh well. But enough about the Commonwealth Club, let's talk about Jean. Don't you think she should have a blog?