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May 07, 2004

Meeting Toni Bentley

Dear Friedrich --

I posted here and here about my enthusiasm for the writing of the ballerina-turned-author Toni Bentley. Lucky me, the other day I got the chance to meet Toni Bentley herself. She was in town for a few days and sweetly got in touch to see if we could meet for a drink. Indeed we could!

Full disclosure: I'd pushed myself on Toni long ago, emailing links to my postings, and she'd been gracious enough to respond. Hence our contact. Well, OK, so she was just being cordial to a fan. Still!

I'm glad to report that Toni -- she's "Toni" to me now -- is charming, smart, and full of relaxed energy. She was looking elegant in what I'll ineptly describe as hippie-gypsy clothes made edgy with a touch of bondage chic. We swapped news and gossip, and yakked about this and that.

Toni told me a bit about her new book, "The Surrender," which is due out from HarperCollins in October. I can report that the book sounds as yummy as its title. I suspect that it'll cause quite the scandale -- here's hoping, anyway. I've sworn to keep the juiciest details under wraps, but I'm free to say that the book is a memoir, and that sex, God, art and ecstasy (some of the Blowhards' favorite themes) are never far from Toni Bentley's mind. If you're eager to know what her subject is -- and who wouldn't be? -- you can visit a webpage that Toni has set up here, and have a good time trying to make sense of the clues.

I mentioned to Toni that I'd noticed at Terry Teachout's blog that Toni had met with Terry too. (Glad to see that Terry likes Toni's writing as much as I do. Here's Terry's charming account of their get-together.)

"He invited you up to see his prints?" I said in disbelief. "And you went? Don't you know by now never to trust a critic?"

Toni giggled. "He was charming, and a complete gentleman."

Phew! So we marveled for a few minutes about how much first-class pro stuff Terry publishes in legit venues. "And then he goes home and blogs! For relaxation!" We shook our heads in wonder and shrugged. What's to be done? Some people just have the gift.

Then I got down to blogbusiness, did some sulking and some arm-twisting, and managed to get Toni to agree to do an exclusive q&a with 2Blowhards -- er, that would be this Blowhard -- when the release of her book gets near. Ah, the things I do for our visitors.

Hey, who needs the Algonquin Round Table or Bohemian Paris when we've got the blogging life?



posted by Michael at May 7, 2004


Your cooperation in providing me with suggested dress code on my RSVP card is greatly appreciated.

Posted by: Tatyana on May 7, 2004 3:52 PM

Yikes! I had the picture of the book cover up and my mom walked into the room.

Posted by: Nathan on May 7, 2004 8:21 PM

It's OK! It's a painting by a real artist! It's Art!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on May 7, 2004 8:29 PM

Why, oh why, did I never think of the metaphor expressed in that last sentence myself?!

Posted by: Jaquandor on May 8, 2004 7:17 AM

I don't know if I'd take advice from the Blowhards when in comes to explaining the book jacket to your mom. Let us know how the "It's art!" thing works.

Posted by: annette on May 8, 2004 8:06 AM

Let's hear it for chicks dressed in bondage chic!
Where'er they be.

Posted by: ricpic on May 8, 2004 10:09 AM

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