Posted by: jeannineatkins | March 16, 2010

Borrowed Names is in Stores, or, Thank you, Thank you!

I have so many people to thank for kind blogging, facebook, and tweeting celebrations of the release of Borrowed Names: Poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and their Daughters. The book that I feel as if I’m been talking about forever is out of my house and into the hands of anyone who can get to a library or bookstore or tap their fingers to order online. Friends really can make a day like this great. The house, or at least a room, seems filled with flowers, even if it’s really just the slitty-eyed cat by my elbow.

My friend Sue, who read poetry with me in Mrs. Ericson’s English class in high school (and passed notes folded into origami shapes) met me, all these decades later, to go to the flower show at Mount Holyoke College. We smelled green grass! And saw sights such as this:

Then we stopped at the Odyssey Bookshop where Sue bought a book. We’re standing with children’s book buyer, Rebecca, who I was glad to hear liked the cover, though it seemed mostly it’s because she’s such a fan of silhouettes that she’s looking for an artist to do one of a rather complicated Greek myth to tattoo on her back. (In case you wondered if now that my daughter is twenty-one have I dropped my mom-ways, as Rebecca described the various characters, I asked, “Isn’t that going to hurt?”)

It was good to have an iced-green-tea toast with my old friend in the real world, but I smiled and caught my breath and teared up at words I read online.

Jama Rattigan, who knows better than anyone how to throw a party, went all out, so to join in please click this link She included not only her bears reading Borrowed Names but photos of the women in my book. She even invited my daughter! Jama served gingerbread with chocolate frosting, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s favorite treat (and her photo convinced me maybe this is not such a bad idea). She set out caviar and champagne in honor of glamorous A’Lelia Walker and crepes with jam, which Eve Curie made while her scientist mother and sister barely noticed what was on the table. In the comments, you’ll find a note from A’Lelia Bundles, the great-great-granddaughter of Madam Walker, and her biographer: her work made mine possible. Jama, of course, offered her more champagne.

Lovely Cynthia Lord cynthialord sent forth her tiny dancing guy and tumbling hamsters.

You know I love Jo Knowles for her joy, warmth, witnessing-way of being in the world, and starting the party early:

Thank you, Kate Messner, kmessner for saying Borrowed Names is one of your favorite books ever and sending a copy to your mom, who I’ve never met but kind of adore for her paintings on the covers of your first two novels: Spitfire and Champlain and the Silent One.

And I was blown away on Sunday by a review from the Goddess of YA Literature:

Loree Griffin Burns author of Tracking Trash, and one of my favorite science writers, has been talking up Borrowed Names, too.

As I was writing this, the dogs barked, a truck made its truck noises, and my author copies arrived. My husband said, “Call up your friends! Let’s have a party!” But I think he was kidding, since he’s now back on the couch with a book in his hands. And I’m enjoying a quiet sense of having finished something that seems to speak to people I care about. And typing out notes about what is coming next, after I feed the cat.



  1. I don’t think it completely sank in my mind that your book was coming out right now. But as I read so many blogs about how wonderful Borrowed Names was, I ordered it today. And I’m so excited to read it! Congratulations, Jeanne!

  2. Congratulations, Jeannine. Ordering my copy————-right now!

  3. Happy book birthday!

  4. Consider me on time for the party – and congratulations again on such a beautiful book!

  5. Yay 🙂

  6. Hip! Hip! Hooray! Enjoy every celebration, Jeannine!

  7. congratulations!! Can’t wait to get it and read it! (heading out to bookstores this weekend!)

  8. I’m so excited for you. Happy release week! I hope you enjoy every moment. 🙂

  9. Let me add my congrats! Frabjous Day! Once Attention Has Been Paid to the Cat, you can celebrate some more!

  10. Congratulations, Jeannine. Well deserved accolades, I know, and I’m eager to get my hands on this lovely gem.

  11. Reading blogs, it is impossible to keep track of what book is in which stage, so I’m happy you caught that slim line when a book goes from hardly available to into the world. Thank you so much for ordering it, Sheela!

  12. Laurie, thank you for the support in the present and for all the cheering along the way!

  13. Thank you!

  14. Kate, thank you again for your lovely words!

  15. Thanks for the cheer!

  16. Thanks, Loree. And I’m quite excited about seeing the sun again today, two days in a row!

  17. Oh, Jen, thank you!

  18. Thank you, Jeni!

  19. Thanks, Candice!

  20. Thank you, Jill!

  21. What a lovely photo of you holding the book! So glad you had a nice book birthday. Congrats again :)!

  22. I’m so happy for you, Jeannine!! I think you SHOULD have a party!!!!

  23. Jama, how could I not have had a nice book birthday with everything you did and said? I was so so touched.

  24. Congratulations on your book being in stores Jeannine – and thank heavens it is – I’ve been wanting my own copy! In fact, I’m off now to pick it up!!

  25. Yes, I think I should have a party, too, and so does my brother in law and my daughter, the festive people in the family! I’m trying to work out some logistics.
    And just heard my essay will be in Hunger Mountain, too. How cool to be in that with you! That may call for a party of its own!

  26. Oh, Kelly, thinking of you driving out for my book — that makes my day! And a pink cupcake, too!

  27. It sounds like you’re enjoying every moment of this … and I hope the thrill continues!

  28. Thank you for such insightful (and thoroughly researched!) poetry about two of my favorite women, Laura and Rose.
    -Nancy Cleaveland,

  29. Congratulations to you, Jeannine! All this hoopla makes me very happy on your behalf. I’ve got the book on hold at the library but will be buying at least two copies because I know my sister will love this.
    Hope your feet haven’t touched the ground yet!

  30. What a beautiful post, Jeannine. Reading you is like chocolate melting on the tongue or relaxing on velvet. Love, Anonymous (I don’t know how to post on this thing any other way. Sarah Lamstein)

  31. Jeannine, I am so happy for you. Looking forward to interviewing you and blogging your beautiful book!
    CONGRATS in a big way!

  32. Happy new book!!!

  33. Fabulous, Jeannine!
    Bask in the well deserved glory!

  34. This means a lot to hear from you: thank you!

  35. Thanks, Tracy. There are enough things to keep my feet touching earth, but the lovely words are of course a joy. I hope you like the book, Tracy!

  36. Sarah, you post perfectly. If you aren’t a member of Live Journal, you just post as you did and sign your name. If you prefer something besides Anonymous. And thank you for the melting chocolate metaphor and all your delicious words.

  37. Re: HOOORAY! Congratulations!
    Thanks, Tracie!

  38. Thank you for the dancing yellow bird, Janni!

  39. Re: Fabulous, Jeannine!
    Thanks, Ann!

  40. Please forgive me for coming late to the party, Jeannine! I am so happy that this wonderful book of yours is out in the world, and that it’s being cherished as it ought to be. Here we’re racing against the clock to get everything done before we go, but I refuse to leave the country till I have a copy of Borrowed Names in my hands…

  41. so very happy!!!
    and my copy is now on order!
    Congratulations, Jeannie!
    Beth Kephart

  42. Thank you for all your good wishes and loyalty, Amy, and for stopping by amidst all the paperwork and boxes.

  43. Re: so very happy!!!
    Beth, thank you so much!!

  44. And it came today! That was fast. 🙂

  45. I’m late to the party but wanted to say congrats!! I’ve been hearing lots of good things about Borrowed Names!! I’ll be book shopping tomorrow. 🙂

  46. Lisa, there’s no such thing as late to the party! At least I’m not going to shut the door and I’ll keep pouring virtual champagne as long as anyone will let me. Thank you so much for book shopping!

  47. Congratulations, Jeannine! I can’t wait to read this…it’s on order at my library right now!

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