“I remember one year my friend Carpenter and I had books out on the same day. We talked about it all summer. We each had modest expectations. I had modest expectations for his book; he had modest expectations for mine . . . Finally the big day arrived and I woke up happy, embarrassed in advance by all the praise and attention that would be forthcoming. I made coffee and practiced digging my toe in the dirt . . . Then I waited for the phone to ring. The phone did not know its part. It sat there silent as death with a head cold. By noon the noise of it not ringing began to wear badly on my nerves. Luckily, though, by noon it was time for the first beer of the day. I sat by the phone like a loyal dog, waiting for it to ring. Finally, finally it rang at four. I picked up the phone and heard Carpenter laughing hysterically, like some serial killer, and then I became hysterical, and eventually we both had to be sedated.”
(c) Anne Lamott
I’ve been posting this every publication date for, I think, three years running now. Yes, my publication dates tend to be full of events, but this still has a certain emotional truth.
A new tradition, started last year, is the 5:30 a.m. signing at Book Crossing in Brunswick, where I drop by to meet the commuters who are the store’s bread-and-butter. Meanwhile, through the magic of pre-taping/filming, I appeared to be everywhere this morning — on the “Coffee With” segment on WJZ, chatting with Sheilah Kast, one of the most attentive readers I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.
ETA: Click <a href=”http://www.wypr.org/MD_MORNING.html”>here</a> and scroll down, and you’ll find my conversation with Sheilah, along with a short reading from LIFE SENTENCES. If I sound a little more arch than usual, it’s because I’m reading from the memoir within the novel, and Cassandra Fallows is much more affected than I am. Or so I keep trying to persuade people.