Thursday, October 12, 2006


And now I shall discuss luggage.

It came back with me, all one piece of it, although it wasn't without a battle. Over half an hour passed before it appeared on the belt at JFK, which was still faster than what happened in Nice-- one of the bags didn't show up at all. Welcome to France! We want you to reuse your underwear and reek like the rest of us!

Fortunately I had an equal distribution of panties and small, crunchy snacks, so I survived in France until the other bag showed up. Not a chance for this in New York. I had one bag, one chance. It was outrageously large for a two-night stay, but it contained 90% hair products and other necessities for proper public appearance.

Fat lot of good it did:

Living crap. I can't even begin to explain what happened here. May I remind you my hair, is, in the wild, completely straight.

So when I went to visit my editors, Jillian and Matt
at the Random House offices the next day, I crammed all available hair into a bun so as to dissuade the impression that I look like this on purpose, on a daily basis.

I cannot overemphasize the wonder that is the Random House office. You walk in the lobby (once you find it; in the event you are me, you have the cab drop you off on the wrong block and do a good bit of touristy wandering, which is always fabulously accented by a large green wheely bag) and it's like the library scene in Beauty and the Beast: just books from floor to ceiling in glass cases. The important, world-changing books were displayed there. Ours was prominently displayed somewhere near... nowhere.

Now if I'm visiting the corporate offices of Hershey, I'm not expecting large heaps of foil-wrapped kisses overflowing from every cubicle. And yet Random House takes its position as Publisher, Inc., with wonderful literalness. There were books on the floor, stacked in shelves, propped on ledges, fanned out on windowsills. Matt and Jillian showed me the Free Shelf, where the books nobody loves live. It is not unlike a tidy corporate version of the Island of Misfit Toys. You will be highly gratified to know that several volumes of Trump's latest instructions on How To Think Like a Billionare And Act Like a Gigantic Ass were in abundance on the Free Shelf.

Matt and Jillian are excellent editors. They know their writers. They know when to push, when to pull, when to indulge patheticness. So they took me to... the Star Wars Room.

Random House owns DelRey, which publishes all the Star Wars novels. They flung open a door, and I beheld... every single Star Wars book, ever published, arranged in chronological order, Sith Era to New Legacy. I was told to take my pick.

I'm not sure which is sadder-- the fact that this was pretty much the best thing to ever happen to me, or the fact that I knew that I was in need of Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader and knew immediately to look near the beginning of the timeline.

Forgotten was the fact that I refuse to acknowlege the extended Star Wars universe past the Very Special Death of Chewbacca (killed when a planet fell on him) and the ideologically blasphemous marriage of Luke Skywalker. I was bestowed with three other volumes and shooed back into the World of the Sane. "I'm can't wait to tell my action figures," I said, hugging Dark Lord to me.

I cast a few curling irons overboard to accommodate what amounted to my book advance. I think you'll agree, having seen what you saw here, that this was for the best.

and I even got Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, which has barely even hit the streets, because I am just that cool at:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Scared and Back Again

I am in the process of unclenching after two nights, three days in New York. Even my hair freaked out.

Braving the Mousse 'n' Hotroller Explosion are Joel and Hannah The Readers. Hannah is from Scotland (see? Plaid.) and Joel has an awesome t-shirt. So they are allowed to be my readers.

I'll have more later, but mainly I wanted to prepare you about the hair. Also a poem announcing the following was on the wall in my bed and breakfast to welcome me: "God created leadbase paint and then God commanded the rivers of garbage & filth." Ahhhhhhhhh.

unpacking at:

New York trip Preliminary After-Action Report, as told to JTP

I talked to MB on the phone this evening. She doesn't have Internet (read: the iMac in the hall won't connect to anything but at her crap-tastic "hotel", so I'm resuming my Blonde Champagne guest contributor status. To all you Patriots fans, don't worry, you have to deal with me only tonight, this time.

She said the reading was incredible, and she was well-received by the audience, which included Joel and Hannah The Readers! Matt The Random House Editor told MB that she was intentionally put last because he knew she would make a great finish to the event, which she was indeed. Afterwards, there were hoards of adoring fans demanding autographs and quality face-time. MB is happy to report she passed out almost all of her business cards so people know where to go (here!) for more of the good stuff! Hopefully this quick update will not scare them away...

Tink said the trip was a great investment, and New York is, well, New York. Sorry, New Yorkers, she still prefers Cincinnati. She said I definitely made the right choice of work location between NY and northern VA.

Complete After-Action Report full of intimate trip details is coming.

Final thought: I realized y'all haven't seen a recent picture of us, so here you go:

This was shortly before I left for Oklahoma City. The next one will be of us together at Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Oklahoma City, check out View From The Left Seat for pictures from where I am right now.

Six more weeks until we see each other at:

Monday, October 09, 2006

Movies to Not Watch Less Than Twelve Hours Before You Get on a Plane

1) Castaway

2) Flight 93

Both are Featured! Presentations! at the moment.

Just a reminder, assuming the plane and I make it to New York without FedEx mucking it up: The Random House reading is on Tuesday, October 10, at 7 PM at the KGB Bar.

adding a volleyball to the carryon bag at:

Previous Tastings