“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
In my beloved Betsy-Tacy novels, the heroine Betsy Ray asks, smarting from a disappointment and trying to cover it with flippancy, where “agley” is because her plans, like the best-laid plans of mice and men, have gone there. I currently live at the corner of Aft and Agley and I don’t expect to be moving any time soon.
Is it age? Is it motherhood? Is it motherhood at my age? Dunno, don’t care. My priorities are: 1) Family 2) writing 3) friends. 4) Everything else. I’m not sure e-mail even makes the cut under “everything else.” So if I owe you an e-mail – sorry! Something had to give.
Actually, a lot gave.
For example, I initiated this interview with Megan, but didn’t post it when Mullholland did. My bad.
Also, there’s a tour. Starting tomorrow. No, I haven’t packed yet. And I’m trying to do nine days with one carry-on bag, so if I look a little, um, mussed, be kind. I am still haunted by memories of the one “gentleman” who attended a signing at the Poisoned Pen and apparently went home immediately and wrote an e-mail about how I didn’t look like my author photo and wasn’t that “unfair advertising.”
What bugs me to this day is that he didn’t buy a book. You know how some signings have rules about how many books you can bring, etc., etc.? Here’s my rule: If you want to insult me, you have to buy a hardcover. Yes, one of mine.