Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Author
Garth_Stein
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎06-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein



bmbrennan wrote:
Have you been a fan of racing long?  What type of racing do you prefer?
This book has reconnected me to my adolescence where I was constantly watching racing either on TV or in person.  I was a motorhead beyond belief and used to date guys based on the cars they drove:smileyvery-happy:  I fondly remember the Can-AM races with Mark Donahue, Peter Revson, Jackie Stewart, etal.  It was like a family member passing when Mark and Peter died.  Racing was different the drivers were much more approachable.
 
I loved how this book put you in the dog's mind.  I too own a dog (or does he own me?)  He is going to be 8 years old on Tuesday and he is a 195 LB English Mastiff, named Bam-Bam.   He is all fluff and sleeps with a night light a squeaker  toy and a blanket.  Washday becomes a smackdown event where he has finally figured out that if he sits on the blanket, it cannot be washed, however as I explain to him on a continual basis, opposable thumbs will always win out.  Enzo made me smile, laugh and cry in parts of this book and has reinforced to me anyway that dog's are much smarter than most of us give them credit for.
 
Thank you for writing an incredible book.  This is my first introduction to you, I bought the book because of the cover, but it won't be my last.  This book was a very fast read for me and grabbed me from the beginning
Thank you also for sharing your thoughts about the writing of this book and your insights into Enzo, Denny, Eve and Zoe.





Oh, yeah, the old classics. I remember watching the Indy 500 in--must have been 69, with my dad at my side, a bowl of sunflower seeds, and a day to watch a race on a B&W TV....

I'm glad you liked the book. I've always loved watching racing, but I admit my moment was seeing Senna race in person. It was 1986, in Detroit. Fabulous!

G


Learn more about The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Discover all Garth Stein titles.


Author
Garth_Stein
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎06-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


vivico1 wrote:
Garth,
You may have answered this and I missed it, if so please forgive me but how is it that you have such a knowledge of racing? Where does that come from? Also you said that after hearing the idea of dogs being reincarnated as humans, thats where the idea of this book came from. At least I believe thats what you said. How then did you bring these two ideas together for this book, the idea of telling a story through a dog's voice, who believes he will be born again as a human and using the racing to tell it? How did you bring these two ideas together? It works so very well, I am intrigued.




I've done some racing, it's true. Spec Miata. I started in 2003, and really enjoyed it. I did a couple of full seasons, and then pulled back so I could spend more time with my kids.

I saw a film, "State of Dogs," made in Mongolia, about the idea of a dog reincarnating as a person, back in 1999 or so. That was the first seed. But it wasn't until many years later that the idea merged with racing to become Enzo's philosophy.

Honestly, I'm not sure I can pin any one moment down. It's like cooking a good soup....you keep adding the flavors and at some point, the whole equals more than the sum of its parts. At some point your vat of "stuff" becomes a delicious meal.

G


Learn more about The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Discover all Garth Stein titles.


Author
Garth_Stein
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎06-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


brontyman wrote:
Garth,
I was fortunate to hear you discuss your dedication of the book to Muggs. It is a moving story. Would you share it with the book club?
Thanks,





(Okay the Buckaroo Banzai quote is from the movie, I just re-quoted it in Raven as kind of a joke. I also quoted Flock of Seagulls "I ran, I ran so far away....")

The Muggs story:

My family's childhood dog was an Airedale named Muggs. She was a sweet, loveable, proud dog. And she got old. When I was a teenager, one day my father came home from work early. He was wearing his suit and it seemed odd to see him in the day at home in a suit. He put Muggs in the car and took her away. He came back without her. (She was quite old, her hips had given way, she was incontinent....)

When he came back, he took all of her things out of the place we kept them in her cabinet. Her bowls, her food, her leashes, her collar. He put them in a garbage back, tied them up, and placed them outside by the garbage cans. That was it. He never said a word about it, and no one in our house spoke of it.

When I had finished my book I wanted to dedicate it to someone, but I didn't know who. So I dedicated it to Muggs, knowing that I was really dedicating it to my father by doing that.

The book was ready, I got my first copy from HarperCollins, and I proudly showed my parents, forgetting for a moment that I had dedicated it to Muggs. My father opened the book, saw the dedication page...and started crying.

So he know. Parents know stuff like that. He knew I meant it was for him.

G


Learn more about The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Discover all Garth Stein titles.


Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


Garth_Stein wrote:
Brontyman,
The crow incident, by the way, is autobiographical. That happened with me and my dog, Comet. I picked up her "leavings," and put them in a bag. And the crows in Seattle, which often ripped through our garbage, tore into it with glee.
This was one of the moments that led to the tipping point. Critical mass. It happened shortly before I went to see Billy Collins read. So sometimes there is a confluence of events that just makes a story inevitable!

G

Good one! Of course you had to put it in a book and if fit perfectly into Enzo's story. Poor Comet. I hoped  she wasn't stalked by crows  :smileywink:
Frequent Contributor
brontyman
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎07-02-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Garth,
You mentioned dramatic truth...There is a small segment where I did not see the "truth" of the characters.
Enzo has his stuffed dog, he loves his toy, hides it from Zoe, feels embarrassed when Michael sees him take it to bed. It was an important for me  to read this as it gives , wise, "old soul" Enzo, a puppy like quality and a vulnerability, that brings him alive. Later I find Enzo relating that the "dog" falls to threads, and Denny without ceremony puts in into the garbage. Enzo gives the quiet lament of, "My dog!" to this.
For Denny who instructs Michael to make sure Enzo gets his "dog" to go to sleep, it seemed to me not truthful for Denny to not to have noticed the significance of the toy to Enzo. This is a man who talks to his dog, and he is unaware of his dog's  attachment to the toy?
Did I miss the boat?
I wanted to get a new toy for poor Enzo!
Michael

"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


brontyman wrote:
Garth,
You mentioned dramatic truth...There is a small segment where I did not see the "truth" of the characters.
Enzo has his stuffed dog, he loves his toy, hides it from Zoe, feels embarrassed when Michael sees him take it to bed. It was an important for me to read this as it gives , wise, "old soul" Enzo, a puppy like quality and a vulnerability, that brings him alive. Later I find Enzo relating that the "dog" falls to threads, and Denny without ceremony puts in into the garbage. Enzo gives the quiet lament of, "My dog!" to this.
For Denny who instructs Michael to make sure Enzo gets his "dog" to go to sleep, it seemed to me not truthful for Denny to not to have noticed the significance of the toy to Enzo. This is a man who talks to his dog, and he is unaware of his dog's attachment to the toy?
Did I miss the boat?
I wanted to get a new toy for poor Enzo!



I know this is your question to Garth and I am sure he will answer it but I have to say about this part and what you are asking....didn't you ask him to tell the Mugg's story? I see a similarity there big time! :smileywink: Plus, I thought too about getting him a new dog but, sometimes replacing our pet with the new one is not the same and to Enzo, that was his pet.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Frequent Contributor
brontyman
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎07-02-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Hi!
I hoped you liked Garth's story behind his dedication. What meant the most to me was that after all those years his dad still shed tears for his dog. In the segment I am talking about, Enzo is still with Denny, and I think Denny knows Enzo is in the process of dying, but it seemed not "true" to Denny's character, that Enzo's toy that he knows Enzo treasures is disposed of without ceremony. It still means something to Enzo. Parents all the time get frantic when their child misplaces a favorite stuffed animal, or blanket, and they will often drive miles to recover it from where it was left. Denny, as I know him, is too aware of Enzo and his needs to take his favorite toy from when he was a puppy, when Enzo is in decline, and dump it without ceremony. I think your right about Garth and his dad's experience with Muggs effecting the scene, however, I see that after Enzo's passing, not before.
Oh, I think you are a cat person...my wife and I had a cat for 20 years, we were there when she was born even! When she passed, we had others to care for and that helped the pain. Several months later, under the couch I found her favorite mouse toy, I very carefully put in my desk, so that part of her would stay with me. I think Denny would do the same.
Thanks for the reply,
Michael

"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who
Frequent Contributor
brontyman
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎07-02-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Oh, also I agree, a new toy would not have been the same to Enzo, but Denny,  that's why God invented duct tape!:smileywink:
Michael

"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


brontyman wrote:
Hi!
I hoped you liked Garth's story behind his dedication. What meant the most to me was that after all those years his dad still shed tears for his dog. In the segment I am talking about, Enzo is still with Denny, and I think Denny knows Enzo is in the process of dying, but it seemed not "true" to Denny's character, that Enzo's toy that he knows Enzo treasures is disposed of without ceremony. It still means something to Enzo. Parents all the time get frantic when their child misplaces a favorite stuffed animal, or blanket, and they will often drive miles to recover it from where it was left. Denny, as I know him, is too aware of Enzo and his needs to take his favorite toy from when he was a puppy, when Enzo is in decline, and dump it without ceremony. I think your right about Garth and his dad's experience with Muggs effecting the scene, however, I see that after Enzo's passing, not before.
Oh, I think you are a cat person...my wife and I had a cat for 20 years, we were there when she was born even! When she passed, we had others to care for and that helped the pain. Several months later, under the couch I found her favorite mouse toy, I very carefully put in my desk, so that part of her would stay with me. I think Denny would do the same.
Thanks for the reply,



I kinda saw what Enzo toy dog goes through, getting old and then finally being washed and made clean and as Enzo admits, is actually better now, as symbolic of what Enzo is going through with his long life, pains and now death. Doing that with the toy dog before he dies, to me is two things, Garth being to Enzo what his dad was for him and neither of them talked about the loss of their pet but they knew each other enough to know it mattered to each. And also I see it as being important in the story to show its life, rebirth and going away was a foreshadowing what was happening with the real dog..Enzo. To me, in this particular story, as opposed to what we might do in our life ordinarily, to have thrown the toy dog away after Enzo dies would be letting go of Enzo as gone too and the story is not about him "being gone", its about his life ...and his next.

There is not a lot about this book that is "what we would do or expect them to do". After all this is from a wise dog's point of view! Is he a reliable narrator? I think so, for this kind of book, but you have to push past all the things you think Eve should do, Denny should do with the toy dog, or any of them about Zoe, and just feel the book and what is happening. We learn more little truisms about life from this book by watching as helplessly as Enzo I think, than we would by going through all this with a human as the narrator because they talk too much, rather than listen, and they act too much, without thinking. When else would you ever ever have the thoughts or experiences of the idea of the Zebra for example? But I bet you remember what one can be anytime you see one or think about one from now on. This is a terrific book to think about and just FEEL,without putting our judgments on it. :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


brontyman wrote:
Oh, also I agree, a new toy would not have been the same to Enzo, but Denny, that's why God invented duct tape!:smileywink:



There comes a time tho that NONE of us should be "duct taped" together. The time for the toy dog was gone, the time for Enzo was gone and he didnt want duct tape anymore and the time for Eve had gone. But its not such a bad thing by that time, because just as Enzo waiting to to be a man but getting to run free as a dog with no pain first after his death, just like the toy dog was better after his bath after so many years of stains which maybe to a toy dog, weighs him down! :smileywink: And just like Eve after her pain is over. No more duct tape, thats when God says I know its good stuff but put it away and come here! I will make you new now.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Frequent Contributor
brontyman
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎07-02-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Hey Vivian!
You're right about trying to make to much out of motivations, but I think that is why we have discussion groups, because we bring our experiences and interpretations to the mix. It is always more then words on a page, but it is also a personal experience and I can't expect anyone else to understand how I experience the story. The comment about Enzo's dog is not based on  understanding anything deeper then the dramatic truth that Garth introduced. For me, and perhaps for me alone, it did not seem something Denny would do. That is why I asked the author if there was something I missed.
Oh, and my comment about the duct tape was a failed attempt at being light hearted, no I don't believe everything deserves duct tape, but I do think Enzo would have liked to keep his toy.
Thanks for your comments!
Michael

"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


brontyman wrote:
Hey Vivian!
You're right about trying to make to much out of motivations, but I think that is why we have discussion groups, because we bring our experiences and interpretations to the mix. It is always more then words on a page, but it is also a personal experience and I can't expect anyone else to understand how I experience the story. The comment about Enzo's dog is not based on understanding anything deeper then the dramatic truth that Garth introduced. For me, and perhaps for me alone, it did not seem something Denny would do. That is why I asked the author if there was something I missed.
Oh, and my comment about the duct tape was a failed attempt at being light hearted, no I don't believe everything deserves duct tape, but I do think Enzo would have liked to keep his toy.
Thanks for your comments!



Michael, I know you really meant this for Garth. I didn't mean to intrude on your questions, just a comment I wanted to share on the first one, then we got going lol. And hey, I definitely am not trying to judge what you get out of the story, or how you experience the story. We will all experience it in our own way, so please do not think that my thoughts about it, put out there as how I see it, is anymore than my own opinion or thoughts about it. As you say, thats what makes for good discussion. And as for the duct tape thing, I knew that was meant light heartedly, I thought it was cute. I just kidded back about it with you, but in a real way too. But I hope you caught the wink. This thread is for questions for Garth and I usually dont step into someone else's question but I just wanted to talk with you about it and then as I said, we kinda kept talking lol. Please take all these comments as nothing more than I was interested in your thoughts and wanted to share mine with you, or anyone really, about the things you brought up here. I will try not to step on a question for Garth again :smileywink: and excuse me too Garth for turning this thread into a discussion one instead of a question and answer one. But I know you will jump in and help us out in all this. Hey, good books elicit a lot of talk lol.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein



vivico1 wrote:

brontyman wrote:
Hey Vivian!
You're right about trying to make to much out of motivations, but I think that is why we have discussion groups, because we bring our experiences and interpretations to the mix. It is always more then words on a page, but it is also a personal experience and I can't expect anyone else to understand how I experience the story. The comment about Enzo's dog is not based on understanding anything deeper then the dramatic truth that Garth introduced. For me, and perhaps for me alone, it did not seem something Denny would do. That is why I asked the author if there was something I missed.
Oh, and my comment about the duct tape was a failed attempt at being light hearted, no I don't believe everything deserves duct tape, but I do think Enzo would have liked to keep his toy.
Thanks for your comments!


Michael, I know you really meant this for Garth. I didn't mean to intrude on your questions, just a comment I wanted to share on the first one, then we got going lol. And hey, I definitely am not trying to judge what you get out of the story, or how you experience the story. We will all experience it in our own way, so please do not think that my thoughts about it, put out there as how I see it, is anymore than my own opinion or thoughts about it. As you say, thats what makes for good discussion. And as for the duct tape thing, I knew that was meant light heartedly, I thought it was cute. I just kidded back about it with you, but in a real way too. But I hope you caught the wink. This thread is for questions for Garth and I usually dont step into someone else's question but I just wanted to talk with you about it and then as I said, we kinda kept talking lol. Please take all these comments as nothing more than I was interested in your thoughts and wanted to share mine with you, or anyone really, about the things you brought up here. I will try not to step on a question for Garth again :smileywink: and excuse me too Garth for turning this thread into a discussion one instead of a question and answer one. But I know you will jump in and help us out in all this. Hey, good books elicit a lot of talk lol.

I thought your duct tape discussion was interesting. The tape sure comes in handy and does a lot of things but as you said you can only use it so much before it's time to start over!
 
brontyman, I noticed that part of the story as well and I also thought it was uncharacteristic of what Denny would do. It may have been time to get rid of Enzo's dog but it didn't seem like Denny to just toss it in the garbage without saying a word to acknowledge it. That was an important event for Enzo. But I do have to think it was intended that way (is that true Garth?) because it even says:
 (dog)...was tossed into the trash bin without ceremony, without eulogy. "My dog," was all I could think to say. My dog. And I watch Denny drop it into the bin and close the drawer, and that was that. 

 
So this is one of those things we get to ask ourselves since we are so very lucky to have the author with us. Can you answer our questions Garth?
Author
Garth_Stein
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎06-19-2008

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

You all are my favorite people in the world and no one should be offended about anything on this board. And all questions are for everybody, so everyone take a crack!

Regarding Enzo's dog....

At some point--and we don't know actually when; we find out about it later--Enzo's dog puppy falls apart. Denny throws it away. Is Enzo's truncated reportage of this moment intended to be accurate?

I don't believe so. We hear about it long after the fact. "That dog, poor thing, finally went the way of all flesh...." (A little salute to Samuel Butler, by the way.)

I believe this event happened amidst many emotional things going on. If I were to have written the actual scene, it probably would have occurred on a night after Denny came home from a hospital visit, or after a long day at work, or an evening when he was missing Zoe, or at a moment of some kind of emotional vulnerability for him. He would have seen the smelly dog toy, which was in really bad shape. And he might have said to Enzo, "It's time, buddy. Your doggie has to go. Don't you agree?"

And Enzo would have agreed.

Denny would have dropped the dog into the garbage and then looked at Enzo. "What can we say?" Denny would have asked Enzo. "He had a good life."

"My dog," Enzo would have said.

Denny would have nodded. "Your dog."

And he would have closed the trash bin.

That's the scene. That's how I would have written it.

But I can't write every moment. You have to be able to carry the trajectory of the characters when they're "off stage." And sometimes you have to fill in moments with your own imagination.

I never intended for you to think that Denny casually tossed the dead dog toy into the garbage, nudged the door shut with hip and walked away. And, honestly, I don't think it reads that way. But I wrote it, so I have a different perspective....

But what I wanted to leave you with was the idea that things happen every day. Little tragedies. Small moments. And they stay with us. But the fact that there were no fireworks or funeral pyres set aflame or bugles sounding at the passing of Enzo's dog toy does not diminish the importance of Enzo's loss.

I invoke the Robert Frost poem, "Out, Out--"

"And they, since they
were not the one dead, turned to their affairs."

G


Learn more about The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Discover all Garth Stein titles.


Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


Garth_Stein wrote:
You all are my favorite people in the world and no one should be offended about anything on this board. And all questions are for everybody, so everyone take a crack!



G


Hey Garth,
I have a question then that I would like to ask before I forget and before you are gone. First of all, I loved this book and it will be one I read more than once and am recommending it to people already. Here is the thing, authors just dont come to Oklahoma to be able to see them or get a signed copy of their books and I am disabled and unable to go where they are in other states. This is one reason I LOVE the bookclub here and the chance to talk to the authors here. It is quite a lovely experience! So, my question is, do you have bookplates? Or if not, would you write your autograph on a piece of paper that I could put inside my book? I would truly love it if you did. If so, my mailing address I will write to you in a pm, as we should not write our private information in the open here. I don't know how familiar you are with how this set up works, so, a pm is a "private message" that all of us can write to anyone in here by clicking on their name, or responding to one we get and is in that little envelop up at the right from where you read and write on the boards. When it is white, there are no messages, when it is yellow, you have a message, basically a little email. When you cilck on that, you will see your messages and can respond to them there. Your envelope should be yellow showing I sent one, or someone else has to you now :smileyhappy: and I thank you now so much for your participation with us. Not that we are through with you yet tho I hope! :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Author
Garth_Stein
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎06-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein



vivico1 wrote:

Garth_Stein wrote:
You all are my favorite people in the world and no one should be offended about anything on this board. And all questions are for everybody, so everyone take a crack!



G


Hey Garth,
I have a question then that I would like to ask before I forget and before you are gone. First of all, I loved this book and it will be one I read more than once and am recommending it to people already. Here is the thing, authors just dont come to Oklahoma to be able to see them or get a signed copy of their books and I am disabled and unable to go where they are in other states. This is one reason I LOVE the bookclub here and the chance to talk to the authors here. It is quite a lovely experience! So, my question is, do you have bookplates? Or if not, would you write your autograph on a piece of paper that I could put inside my book? I would truly love it if you did. If so, my mailing address I will write to you in a pm, as we should not write our private information in the open here. I don't know how familiar you are with how this set up works, so, a pm is a "private message" that all of us can write to anyone in here by clicking on their name, or responding to one we get and is in that little envelop up at the right from where you read and write on the boards. When it is white, there are no messages, when it is yellow, you have a message, basically a little email. When you cilck on that, you will see your messages and can respond to them there. Your envelope should be yellow showing I sent one, or someone else has to you now :smileyhappy: and I thank you now so much for your participation with us. Not that we are through with you yet tho I hope! :smileywink:




Vivian, I got your PM and I'll send you a bookplate. If anyone else wants a book plate, PM me your snail mail and I'll get it out.

And, Vivian, the reason writers from Seattle don't do readings in Oklahoma is because you guys stole the Sonics!

(Just kidding. Well, kind of...)

G


Learn more about The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Discover all Garth Stein titles.


Frequent Contributor
brontyman
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎07-02-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Garth,
God I love that scene you just wrote!
That was perfect...just perfect...
Captured Denny, captured Enzo, right tone, right emotion...just perfect. Blows me away...Thank you!
 
Racing In The Rain is special because of the nuance.  It is the texture and layers that make it real for us. From the comfort of our chair we can see the grand picture, we can see Denny and Enzo's world shake to the core. We read, but do we feel? The author that touches us is the one who gives voice to the small tragedies of life. We lose our god like view of the story and feel the pain, the struggle. Those "small tragedies" do occur and they occur to us each and every day
We, your "everyman/everywoman" heroes, take the pain, blink back the tears, shoulder the load and struggle on.  We hope that the Greeks were right that drop by drop pain brings wisdom but we fear they were wrong. Those small tragedies hurt and no one else seems notice or care, and that is the real tragedy. To have an author paint even a single scene that validates our struggle with that daily pain and gives testimony to our  collective heroism, is to touch us deeply. This is why you have written a great story and  a book for the ages. 
We are everyman and we thank you from the bottom of our heart.
Michael

"I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. I don't need to be forgiven..."
Baba O'Reilly-The Who
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein


Garth_Stein wrote:


Vivian, I got your PM and I'll send you a bookplate. If anyone else wants a book plate, PM me your snail mail and I'll get it out.

And, Vivian, the reason writers from Seattle don't do readings in Oklahoma is because you guys stole the Sonics!

(Just kidding. Well, kind of...)

G


ROFL!! ok Garth, touche about the Sonics lol. I don't know if this will make it better or worse, probably shouldn't say it until after I get the bookplate hehe, but if it helps, I don't watch basketball, so I would have been ok with you keeping your team. I want a major league football team in Oklahoma! I don't think they want to build a stadium for one tho because of the money they poured into the one for the University of Oklahoma. We do love our college football here, the Sooners, my alma mater! But you did crack me up on that one. I needed it too thank you! I just got back from my orthopedic doctor and after messing up my ankle two months ago and having it in a brace and weaning off of it this past month AND right when we started to wean me off that brace, they put one on my dominant wrist for tendonitis for a month, so go in today to see about getting it off and just happened to mention the side of my knee has hurt since I hurt my ankle and not gotten better and does a really hard pop, not in the joint but by that smaller bone you feel on the side, that really hurts sometimes, so she feels that and says, Vivian, its right here huh? It HURT! lol I said yes, she said, it feels like you tore your cartilage we need an MRI. So for as bad as I hurt my ankle originally and as bad as it looked, they took xrays but no MRI. I go back today to hear all is mending well and get the wrist brace off too and now its the stupid knee! and its enough to need an MRI. I have had two knee surgeries on each knee already and worry thats what is going to happen now. Man, my left side is falling apart!

Ok, so why am I telling an author all this (and readers too in here huh lol)? Two reasons, one, like I said, I needed a good laugh today thank you and two, I think this was a good time to read this book and remember what I need to about my own power within and that sometimes when things just get out of control on life's track for ya, you just got to manifest your outcome that you do have control over and how you will handle the things you can't. I am only 50, but I have had way too many surgeries. And just now, thinking about what may be coming up, hey may not but I am a planner in case, I was thinking that whenever I have faced a surgery before, what I try to do is not think about the surgery itself too much or even the physical therapy, I have always told myself to think about 3 months after the surgery. I guess 3 months is my magical number, and a good one for about when you really start to feel better from a surgery, not too much before. So I think about the month it will be, like if I do have to have surgery this month, I will think about October. Now the good thing about October is, its my very favorite month in Oklahoma. Its starting to cool down, the tornado season is over, the humidity is gone, the temperatures are in the 70s and things are starting to turn fall colors. I love October! Since I have no spouse for an anniversary, nor kids for mother's day. I have even named October 7th as Vivian's day. lol. We should all have a day we get to celebrate being us. And no one remembers my birthday but this is a special day I chose for myself to celebrate and some friends have remembered that, but even if they don't, that doesn't matter. Thats when I celebrate and I do something special for myself on that day. So, if this is what we have to do this month, and its something that has to be done, then its the right time, because I will be feeling better in October! And I will go with the flow that needs to be done between now and then. So Garth, is that manifesting?
And sorry about the Sonics lol. Hmm, wonder what we did to the state where Harlan Coben lives! :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Contributor
twizzle
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎07-09-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

I'm wondering if I can ask a ques about your writing process? Just curious, but I always find it fascinating-the how.  I was lucky enough-as such an Irving freak- to see him in NYC with Stephen King and JK Rowling a few yrs back.  
 
SK stated that, for him, writing a story was like pulling on a long piece of string that leads to a mousehole, the end of which is hidden somewhere deep inside the wall.  And he enjoyed that discovery and surprise the process offered.  JI said oh no, he didn't just want to know the exact dimensions of the string, but the mousehole, any previous mouseholes the mouse had built, and to examine a good copy of the blueprint first.
 
JI also said he didn't enjoy the writing process.  He rushed through it as fast as he good.  It was the revising, the after, that he savored.
 
I'm curious-as you said the story came to you.  May I ask if you're usually a string or a mousehole? And if the inspiration was different with this book, was the process of writing TAORITR different than with your other novels?  And do you savor the writing or the revision?  
 
Sorry. That's a lot, isn't it?  Ty, Garth. 
Contributor
Mags-nificent
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎07-09-2008
0 Kudos

Re: The Art of Racing in the Rain: Questions for Garth Stein

Does it freak you out to go into Starbucks now?
Oh, now who let me have a website?
That's really not a good idea.

Mother Wouldn't Lie!
Does your mother yell at you in your blog, too?