“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
This is the fourth year in a row I’ve posted this excerpt from BIRD BY BIRD on my publication date. It may seem disingenuous, given that my current book has arrived in the world with quite a few reviews and lots of Internet attention. But it still feels true.
I had to break another pattern this year — I’m not at the Book Crossing in Brunswick. As noted at the website, I’m not touring much this year. My launch will be at the South Coastal Library, near my parents’ house. My mother volunteers at the library. As ever, there is some suspense about attendance. It could be anywhere from five (my family members) to more.
I’ve been doing a “link-a-day-slutathon” to celebrate publication date, but I’ve failed to include all the links here. I’ll try to get them into hypertext later today. For now, you can cut-and-paste these links into your browser:
www.lauralippman.com (Tour info and contest)
http://www.jungleredwriters.com/2010/08/melody-is-familiar.html (Blog on music and writing.)
http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bs-ae-lippman-interview-20100815,0,2173265,full.story (Profile by Michael Sragow)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/15/AR2010081502511.html (Nice review by Patrick Anderson)
http://www.murderati.com/blog/2010/8/16/id-know-laura-lippman-anywhere.html (A conversation with Alafair Burke)
http://mdmorn.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/817102/ (Interview with Maryland Morning’s Sheilah Kast)