Hello, all! 

My favorite thing this week is actually a combination of a book, an audiobook, and an event that I went to. As many of you know (as anyone who has ever been in a room with me does), I am a hardcore Star Trek fan. I literally cut my teeth on Star Trek, teething as I watched The Next Generation with my mom. I liked Deanna Troi, the Enterprise’s Counselor, played by Marina Sirtis. Mom and I also watched Deep Space Nine, and then Voyager was advertised. And it was to be the first Star Trek series depicting a female captain. I was hooked. I watched the first episode, Caretaker apart 1, in complete awe. Captain Janeway was a scientist, a captain, and she was so strong, dignified, graceful, and still feminine and maternal. She was my hero. Over the seven years of Voyager’s run, I found a hero in Kate Mulgrew, who so wonderfully brought Janeway to life. 

I began to watch her other shows, and admired Mary Ryan, and Margaret from Throw Momma From The Train, which I think will always remain one of my favorite movies. After Voyager ended, I was gutted, but then Mulgrew committed to Tea At Five. I learned all about Katharine Hepburn, reading her memoir, Me: The Stories of My Life, and watching her films. I also read the autobiography of Audrey Hepburn, and watched her films, and found her grace inspiring and her struggles similar to some of my own.

I was 11 when my father died, and when I was 13, I went to Christian sleep away camp. It was the summer of 2003, and I was in grief that I didn’t know how to process or live with. I wanted to see Tea At Five before it left New York, but my baby sister was only 4, and I knew that my mom wouldn’t be able to take me. Before I left for camp, my neighbors/second parents/adopted grandparents/fairy Godparents took me into Manhattan, where we went to get tickets to the Tea At Five matinee. I hadn’t even packed for camp yet, which went over with my mother as well as you might imagine. 

I had been to see a Broadway show once, on a field trip, and had they bothered to tell us what the show was about, I might have enjoyed it. A lackluster first impression of the professional theater. But Tea At Five was magical. Mulgrew’s energy and the world that was created by the theater was intoxicating. 

You may wonder what any of this has to do with my favorite thing for the week, and I don’t blame you. Last year, I believe it was, it was announced that Mulgrew had sold a memoir to Little, Brown. I was delighted, and didn’t know how I would wait. Then, the title was released: Born With Teeth. Then, a cover: Mulgrew’s early headshot. The release date was set for April 14, 2015. So far away. 

I got an email from a friend of mine from grad school, saying I have something I want to give you. What’s your address? I replied quickly and then waited. When the mailer from her arrived, I had my theories about what it contained. I figured that it either had to be something from a class we’d taken together or a book. We did go to grad school for Creative Writing, after all. Everything was about books. 

I opened the mailer in the living room, while my sister and her home instruction English teacher were in the kitchen. And I tried not to scream and then ran upstairs to text and call and email and get some of my delight out. The mailer contained an ARC (Advance Readers Copy) of Born With Teeth. And it was amazing. 

I pre-ordered the Audio from Audible a while later, and then, having decided that I was going to her conversation and signing in Manhattan, cancelled my pre-order from Amazon, and instead bought the Kindle ebook so that I could read the book on release day with everyone else. I alternated reading and listening on release day, and on the train ride into Manhattan. 

I was a ball of nerves and excitement, and I tried to think of something that I could say while she was signing my book. I think it’s important to have that connection, however brief it is, to just get away from the commercial aspect and bring things back to the art. I had expressed my gratitude to Barbara Kingsolver and Terry Tempest Williams, and I intended to try to do the same thing at Mulgrew’s signing. 

Her reading was great, and the conversation was funny. She busted out Red’s accent and plugged Orange Is The New Black’s upcoming third season. She spoke of a favorite Voyager episode of hers, Death Wish, and summarized the plot, and Janeway’s ethical dilemma in the episode. She pointed out the people we were to “blame” for the book if it was without the merit she hoped it had. Her sister was in the audience and she pointed her out, and when she said something that people were shocked by, she would look at her sister and say, “Isn’t that right?” Needless to say, the event in question did occur. 

After questions, including one sent in by Taylor Schilling, we went up row by row for the signing. I was too nervous to say anything but thank you, so I suppose I will have to wait until the next tour, as I am indeed hoping that she will be writing and publishing again soon.