You say it’s your birthday…

…well it’s my birthday, too, yeah.

Okay, not terribly original, but I’m older and wiped out from my bday bash last night. Sue me. Said birthday was actually Thursday the 11th, but Saturday is more conducive to party throwing, so last night it was. The bash was more fun than a barrel of monkeys. And a lot less clean-up. Since it was the big 4-0, my pals did a little roast in my honor. Be afraid. Be very afraid. All I have to say to you people is: Don’t ever write anything down. There are freaky people out there, often your friends, who HOLD ON TO THIS SHIT and use it to publicly embarrass you later. But since I never tire of public humiliation, here’s a recap of the highlights:

Laura Poe reminded me of the time I was waiting tables in Austin and got stuck with a table full of Bush-worthy Texas frat rats who were giving me a hard time. She reminded me that before giving them their “fajita fixin’s”, I personally licked each and every tortilla once. People, I have a serious karma debt to work off there.

My friend Pam gave me a “Kiss My Astro” t-shirt. I will never take it off. I will wear it to future business meetings under a blazer while smiling my southern debutante smile. Arrested Development R Us.

College bud Laura Chapin drove up from D.C. to surprise me. It worked.

Dana Robie, friend since jr. high, still had an obituary I’d written for myself at 24 when I was stuck in Denton for a few months. Cause of death was acute boredom. I think it had something to do with the pictorial layout. The Madonna years were big with me, apparently. Horizontal stripes, ankle boots, and earrings large enough for small dogs to jump through. Look away, people. Nothing to see here. Let’s keep moving.

Holly and Theo Black gave me an authentic creepy-cool Victorian hair ornament pin. Sidebar: The Victorians used to cut off the hair of dead loved ones and turn it into wearable art. They were a fun, fun, fun group of people, those wacky Victorians! Par-tay with that dead-people jewelry. Rock on.

My best bud, Eleanor, put together a reel of pictures from our teen years to today. Yes, the Cheap Trick years. Yes, the big hair-and-jewelry years. Yes, the glasses-even-Elton John-would-be-freaked-out-by years. Yes, the I’m-fat-with-a-puka shell-necklace-and-a-pet rock-collection-and-even-though-I’m-smiling-a-group-of-sadistic- sixth graders-has-just-stolen-my-pet rocks-because-I’m-abnormally-attached-to-them-in-a-sort-of-loner/future horror movie-star-way (please see: “Willard,” “Carrie,” “Christine” etc.) and-it’s-all-made-me-cry-like-the-freak-I- am (“Rainbow! Charlie! Boulder Bright! Where are you?!!!”) and-that’s-why-my-eyes-are-puffy-in-this-picture years. What I learned from viewing this reel is that A) I’m glad to have survived to forty B) I love my friends madly and C) I will never, ever do a home perm ever again. The horror, the horror…

Mark Flores, Ed Roland, Rifat Yalman, and, um, well, everyone else present claimed that there is nothing I can’t turn into some kind of primitive, sick, rude, bottom-basement bathroom humor. Which is not true…oh, wait. I said bottom in that last sentence. Dude, did you catch that? That just sort of slipped out. Oh! I said “slipped out.” Get it? Huh? Get it?

Mel and Susanna and Laurie and E.J. wrote things that made me misty.

My friend Pat reminded me of this scene that took place about ten years ago in a bar in NYC:
Drunken, Obnoxious Lothario: So, what brought you to New York?
Me: The Lord.

There were cupcakes and gifty-thingies in tissue paper (anything in tissue paper makes me maniacally happy) and good music on the Ipod. There were people I am lucky to know laughing and noshing in my living room.
I am drunk with contentment.

Today we dance. Tomorrow, we go back to the hell that is writing a sequel.

IN OTHER NEWS…I have my first booksigning Wednesday, March 24th. For those of you in the tri-state area, here’s the info:

Lib’s booksigning for A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY
Wednesday, March 24th, 7:30 p.m.
Barnes & Noble
267 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215 (in Park Slope)

Come on down and heckle me.

15 thoughts on “You say it’s your birthday…

  1. Confetti and stuff

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIBBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So glad you had a grande partay. You deserve it, woman.
    Have a blast at your first signing! Wish I could be there, biggest fan that I am (don’t worry, not in a scary Stephen King way or anything). But I’m definitely bringing my copy to Barryfest so you can sign it. K?
    Enjoy the 40’s! And good luck with the sequel. I know it will be fab.


  2. Happy Birthday Libba! I’m so sorry I did not get to party with you guys–Theo said it was quite the time. And I do hope that you liked the pin. I thought it could be a conversation piece at future signings.

  3. Hubby is beyond fabulous. Hubby haul much beer up four flights of stairs. Hubby set out platters of edibles. Hubby wrote funny thing about the time he told his wife that Jews decorated with Hanukah bushes, and she, the gullible shiksa, went in search of one at every friggin’ Christmas tree joint in the city. Hubby has been forgiven. Almost.

    Hubby is one cool, cool guy. 😉

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I evol birthdays! I wanted so much to come to your first book signing but stupid play rehearsal got in the way. And my Papi doesn’t love me. But oh well, you have to tell me when there will be another one. And hopefully, it will be on the more opportune weekend.


  5. Hi from a fellow YA author,
    I loved A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY and can’t wait for the second book! Sorry I will be out of town and can’t make it to your B&N appearance in Park Slope to congratulate you in person on all your success. But really, could you get off the LJ and get back to writing the sequel? No pressure.
    Best wishes,
    Rachel Cohn (

  6. Dude! Are you Rachel Cohn as in the FABU Gingerbread author? THAT Rachel Cohn, of “You’re harshing my mellow” fame? Holy cow, Batman. I was just recommending your book to a friend of mine out in Venice Beach the other day. How cool.

    I’m going to put my head in the oven over this sequel. Oh wait…my oven’s electric. I’ll just end up with weird hair. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Were you ever at NTSU?

    My dear friend Ter started chatting about your book and I thought, “I know a Libba Bray.” Were you by chance a Sammy at NTSU before going to UT? This is Torrey, who was a Sammy as well. Good luck and happy birthday.

  8. Oh. My. God.

    Torrey Freakin’ Dailey? She of the red hair and sardonic wit? AAAAHHHHHH!!! (Screaming with delight) How the hell are you? People, this girl knows where a lot of my bodies are buried…in very shallow graves. Can you zap me your email? I’d love to catch up. Whoo-hoo!!!!

  9. Re: Oh. My. God.

    Torrey Freakin Daily indeed. It’s been Torrey Daily Simms, now Torrey Daily Myers. You can never have too many names. I’d love to catch up. Can’t wait to hear from you. Hugs Torrey

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