Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Winging It

Here's Jenny Gardiner, author of Winging It, and fantastically subtitled A Memoir of a Vengeful Parrot Who's Determined to Kill Me.

Now do I need to say anything else? The book
screams buy me now. I'm always on the look out for humor and this is it.

But since Jenny's touring around, we'll let her say a few other things.

Have you had a “rock star” moment regarding your writing career?

Well, maybe a peripheral one. I had the wonderful fortune of having Winging It be selected as a Pulpwood Queen’s book club book for this year, and that meant attending their awesomely fabulous Girlfriends Weekend in January in Jefferson, TX. The keynote speaker was an author whose writing I revere, and I thought at best I’d get a glimpse of him. But instead I got to join the other 30-odd writers who spent the weekend in the company of Pat Conroy, who is one of the most talented authors alive today, in my opinion. He was charming, gracious and thoughtful, he regaled us and the Pulpwood Queens with fascinating tales of his life as a writer and just funny personal anecdotes, and he even made a point of purchasing and having signed books from each author there. How cool was that?

If Oprah invited you on her show to talk about your book, what would the theme of that show be?

Um, how about What Took You So Long??? Actually I think I’d be so overwhelmed with undying gratitude I’d have to bring along a carload of food treats because I know Oprah would appreciate some homemade banana cream pie, maybe some amazing pound cake, I make a kick-ass pumpkin bread, too. The theme would be about plying people with food to please them…

What was the most fun scene in your book to write? The most difficult?

I enjoyed writing the scenes about crazy things Graycie has done–and she’s done plenty. Like when she’d snuck off the cage and I was trying to get her back onto it and using a broom to sort of “direct” her and she kept biting the broom and my ankles while repeating (in my voice) “Hello, Gray chicken!” (a little term of endearment I have for her).

The most difficult had to do with things that happened along the way. In my mind this was a story about Graycie but her life and ours are inexplicably tied together, so it became a memoir of my family as well. And it’s tricky writing about family without invading their privacy, so that was hard for me to strike a balance. And hard to revisit some of the tough things we’ve dealt with over the years.

Do you have a muse, good luck charm, writing vice?

Peanut M&Ms used to be my writing vice, but then I gave them up last year for Lent. Somewhere along the line, Mint M&Ms became my writing vice this year, but I gave them up for Lent. Today, it seems that Thin Mints are my writing vice. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? (I should definitely write at coffee shops, rather than at my desk right in the kitchen!)

(A woman after my own heart!)

You can see a great video of Graycie and enjoy her gift as a mimic!

Jenny Gardiner is also the author of the award – winning novel Sleeping with Ward Cleaver. Her work has appeared in Ladies Home Journal, and the Washington Post. She writes a column of humorous essays for Charlottesville, Virginia’s newspaper, the Daily Progress. She lives in central Virginia with her family.

I love things that make me laugh. Can't wait to read!


  1. Thanks so much Sam for hosting me!

  2. My pleasure. I really needed a laugh yesterday and your Graycie video did it!

  3. That looks soooo good. I will have to pick up a copy.

  4. I thought of you with this one, Tzipporah! It's right up both our alleys.