Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Choose My Dress Part 2 or the Tale of Two Dresses

So,I've bumped this week's booktalk for more important things...my dress to the Newbery Banquet! ha ha. But I now have TWO dresses in my hot hands to decide between. Both are beautiful (to me, anyway). Both have fun stories. Both need alteration badly (you might have to use your imagination a bit, picture the dresses actually fitting on me). Which do you think I should wear?

Dress #1, The Forgotten Dress

Before Robert's illness took a turn for the worst, one of the things I did to get my mind off of things was to surf the internet for pretty things (ok, I still do that now). One day, on Ebay, I saw this gorgeous, Chinese-embroidered pink silk dress. It was way too large for me and I had no place to wear it to, but it was so eye-catching and going for so low that I put a bid on it...and won!

After Robert passed, I went through a great purging period. Somehow, I thought if I got rid of my things, I could get rid of my sadness and grief too. Clothes, shoes, shampoo, curtains...all sorts of random things were piled and pushed straight to the goodwill. The pink dress landed at the top of one of those piles, but the bright color caught my friend Libby's eye.

"This is gorgeous," she said, "Are you sure you don't want it?"
"Take it!" I said, airily, waving my hand at it in disdain.
So, she did.

And now, 2 and half years later, she's given it back. "It's perfect for the Newbery Banquet," she said, "You bought it for someday. This is the day!"

Maybe, with alteration, she could be right. What do you think?

Dress #2, The Dress of Destiny?

So, if you remember from my last dress post, I had for a while been hoping to wear the "Painted Lotus" dress from Anthropologie but had continually struck out in my search for it. I had about given up, but after posting, I decided to try once again. I scoured the internet...and found a size 0. A friend's daughter had the dress...also in a size 0. For a moment, I considered dieting and going to the gym like a maniac to try to fit into a size 0, but realized that was a bit excessive (and unlikely).

Then, following the lead of some of my lovely readers, I contacted Anthropologie. They gave me a list of stores that, according to their database, might have the dress in a size larger than a 0. I called all of them--the store in Michigan, the store in CA, the store in New York. None had it.

At that point, I realized I had spent WAY too much time trying to find this dress. I really had to stop thinking about clothes and write my novel! So, with great effort of will, I attempted to switch gears.

Now, in the book I am writing, "Dumpling Days" the main character takes Chinese brush painting lessons. This is based on my childhood experience of Chinese painting class, but I have to admit my memory of it is a bit fuzzy. There were so many little details about Chinese painting that I knew I was forgetting. I needed to do some research. I remembered fellow author and artist Cindy Pon (whom I am on the Enchanted Inkpot blog with)did brush painting so I went to her website and blog and nosed around and then there on her blog I saw....

Cindy wearing THE DRESS!!!!

Oh my! What were the chances? It felt like some sort of weird fate and I felt obligated to e-mail her. As it was NOT a size 0, she very, very kindly offered to loan it to me:

and here it is!

Unfortunately, this dress too needs a bit of alteration as I don't have the cleavage to hold it up and nor have I any desire to make a scandal at the Newbery Banquet. But the dress is just as gorgeous in person as I thought it would be.

So, #1 or #2? Let me know what you think ASAP (the tailor must begin soon)! Leave a comment here with your choice and your reason why! To one random commenter I will send an audio book (4 cds!) of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (it's a really great recording!). Thanks!