Not Waving

Kat Meads

"As seductive as pressing your ear to the neighbors' door to eavesdrop on their secrets, Kat Meads' stories pull us into the lives of seemingly ordinary people, startling us with what they reveal about our own hidden selves.  With lyrical sadness and offbeat humor, Meads peels away her characters' layers of illusion to expose their reality in pristine prose. Not Waving delves into the complexity of plain people who wonder, Is happiness  even possible?  Their answers are as surprising and human as this magical collection of stories."  Marjorie Klein, Test Pattern

"With mordant wit, a gemcutter's nerve, and an open heart, Kat Meads catches her characters as their composure slips and the truth, in all its fun and fury, comes out.  Like the salt slap of an unexpected wave, her stories leave you startled, alert, exhilarated, newly conscious that you're alive."  Lynne Barrett, The Secret Names of Women

ISBN, trade paper,0-942979-83-4, $13.00                   Sale $6.50

ISBN, library edition, 0-942979-84-2, $28.00               Sale $14.00

 About the Author: 

Kat Meads is the author of four previous novels and several collections of poetry and prose. She last published with Livingston Press writing as Z.K. Burrus. A native of eastern North Carolina, she lives in California and teaches in Oklahoma City University’s low-residency MFA program.

 Excerpt From the Book:  

     Available for mourning? The outpouring doesn’t have to be genuine—not in the least. It can be an act, a very bad act. Inadequate mourners may be precisely what this expiration deserves. It’s a minimal drain on your time and no drain whatsoever on your emotions, guaranteed. Little passion to revel in, little if any fineness of feeling to applaud. (Niggardliness is a theme throughout.) You won’t cry; you won’t be moved. How could you be by a love/lust/attraction flicker that burned its brightest (and one-sidedly) during twenty minutes of June? By August—ash. Heart palpitations, mental machinations and sulky grievances occur (can’t be helped) and (apologies) a few sketchy details and oversimplified conclusions. But I’ll be as niggardly as possible with the whys and wherefores. This is an obituary, after all, not an epic. Maybe not even a romance.
    Ready then? Excellent.
    Conjure a resort town in summer. Lots of sunny days followed by lots of balmy nights. Big, showy, silvery moons, striped lighthouses, sandy shores, sparkling waters, sailing ships. Enchanting, no?
    Scene 1: The meeting. (The background is nine-tenths tedious; no need to linger in that morass.) The principals: Edward, a desk clerk at one of the town’s ritzier, mahogany-studded hotels; Sara, waitress by day, on-call baby-sitter by night, just this moment back from escorting seven urchins to a cartoon fest while their bibbed parents ate lobster and guzzled booze with nary a milk mustache in sight. Young, unencumbered Sara and Edward come to you without mortgages or toppling-off-cliff dreams. Their most pressing concern is an enviable tan, and toward that goal they’ve made an admirable start. Would you honestly prefer a memorial to two of those desperate, beleaguered parents sucking the sauce?