Today “About Last Night” welcomes a guest blogger, our first since Our Girl in Chicago became a permanent fixture three-and-a-half years ago. Litblogger Carrie Frye, better known as Ms. Tingle Alley, joins us to comment on books, reading, and whatever else may happen to be on her mind. The headlines of her postings will be signed “CAAF,” just as Terry’s are signed “TT” and Our Girl’s “OGIC.”
Carrie’s presence adds a point to the “About Last Night” compass, since she hails from down south. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, a community hailed by Rolling Stone as “the New Freak Capital of the U.S.” We’ll let her tell you the rest herself.
Take it away, CAAF!
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Hello and howdy, greetings from Asheville, N.C. As Terry and OGIC said, my name’s Carrie Frye and I keep a quasi-literary blog called “Tingle Alley,” which was named after an obscure little street downtown where I used to live. I now live on the east side of town, one door down from the national forest, where there are fewer meth heads, more bears.
The best thing about Rolling Stone‘s line about Asheville as the “New Freak Capital of the U.S.” is imagining the shivers of delight that must have thrilled through the Chamber of Commerce at its publication. Otherwise, it’s not the most apt description. Asheville is an eccentric town, a motley town, weird & charming–but not in so strident a way as “freak” suggests. My memory is foggy but at the time Rolling Stone was here, there was a much-tattooed guy who liked to rollerskate around downtown in nothing but his skivvies, and I’ve always thought we owed the “freak” designation to him. He was like our own Naked Cowboy Guy, a ringer for the tourists.
I’m not sure I’m getting it right either, however. I’ll try to describe Asheville better for you in the next few weeks as well as write about books and whatever little projects and outings strike my fancy. For now, I just want to say how wonderful it is to be writing here. “About Last Night” was one of the first blogs I discovered and it’s remained a great favorite. It’s a thrill to be on summer-share with Terry and Laura, like being invited to stay in a house where everyone likes Barbara Pym and Dawn Powell and is willing to cool it in the rec room watching re-runs of Buffy.
Terry has asked that I “explain about the initials”: “CAAF” is the nickname I go by here in Asheville. It was given to me when I was working as a reporter at Mountain Xpress and publishing all my stories as “Carrie A.A. Frye.” (I always ask for my initials as I’m always afraid people will forget who I am without them.) For a round-up feature my contributions were marked as “CAAF” and some friends glommed onto that, and so CAAF it’s been. And as someone who has stood in a video store and said in all seriousness to her (non-blog-reading) companion, “We should get this, OGIC said it’s good,” it’s pleasing to use it here and continue “About Last Night”‘s fine tradition of acronyms.