Monday, September 27

Monday's RQ

Today's Random Question: What exactly is Books By the Banks?

Books By the Banks is an annual book festival in Cincinnati that, last year, 3000 people, a bunch of press and 90 authors attended. And I think I should confess right here that until I was invited to participate in it, I had never heard of it, which is my fault for not paying attention to these kinds of things. If, when the space aliens finally decide to take over Earth, they don't land directly in my back yard, I'm pretty sure I'll miss it.

So, Books By the Banks is this Saturday, October 2, in Cincinnati at the Duke Energy Convention Center, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and it's free, but you have the opportunity to buy books and meet and chat with the authors. And here are the two things I'm most excited about:

1. Just being asked to participate. Really. I still can't believe it.

2. I get a runner for the day. One runner is assigned to two authors, and if we need anything to drink, apparently, or more books to sign, the runner fetches them. All I want to know is if I can take the runner home with me for a week. I'll pay, of course. I could definitely use a Personal Runner.

Okay -- wait -- I just thought of a third thing.

3. Getting a copy of the poster. I hope they have them for sale, because this thing is beautiful.

Saturday, September 25

The Saturday Seven

My Week in 7 Words

author reception
old friends

Wednesday, September 22

Monday's RQ

Today's Random Question: What happened to Monday's RQ?

I forgot. I completely forgot. There's a gorgeous new arts center here in Central Ohio -- the McConnell Arts Center, in Worthington -- that is hosting a Meet the Author Reception for me tonight. The man in charge of the literary arts portion of the center saw an article about me in the Columbus Dispatch, called me and asked if I'd like to participate in this. This was back in late June, and the only thing I could think at the time was, "Are you serious?!?!? I'd LOVE it!!" Much private hooting and cheering ensued because, as I've said before, I was raised Episcopalian, and Episcopalians do not hoot and cheer. Not even at sporting events. Episcopalians are the ones in the stands clapping respectfully, saying, "Well done. Well done, indeed." For both sides, by the way.

I believe I said, "I would love to participate in this. Thank you very much."

So it was and remains a lovely and generous offer, and I keep saying to my husband and friends, "Shouldn't I be paying them five hundred dollars to do this?" But, no, they're hosting this event to promote the center, my book and the literary arts in Central Ohio all at the same time. I am overwhelmed and grateful to be a part of it. However . . .

There's always a however, isn't there?

However, the event includes a reading. My reading. Me. At a microphone. Reading. Out loud. In front of people. People looking at me. Not my favorite thing in the world to do. High on the list, actually, of my least favorite things to do and one of the only ones that doesn't involve small children's birthday parties, bugs or body fluids. The result -- anxiety. My old, familiar friend. And in my entirely anxious -- Why Did I Agree to This and How Can I Get Out of It -- state, I've become entirely unfocused on everything but the source of my anxiety, which is encapsulated in one, vivid mental picture of a microphone. And this is why I forgot about Monday's RQ, and going to the post office, and calling three friends back, and sending a fax, and making dinner last night.

I should be sane again by Thursday afternoon.

Saturday, September 18

The Saturday Seven

My Week in 7 Words

blog tour
great questions

(In the event anyone's actually reading this, I really would love to hear about your week in 7 words. I can't be the only one who likes this kind of stuff, can I?)

Monday, September 13

Monday's RQ

Today's Reader Question: Do you ever get up in the middle of the night to write down an idea for either the book you're working on or a new novel?

The middle of the night? No. If I get up in the middle of the night, it's because I drank too much water before I went to bed, and all I'm thinking about is navigating my way to the bathroom in the dark, without my glasses past a chair, dresser and wooden trunk designed for nighttime toe-smashing. But at other times, yes, I have stopped what I was doing -- including talking -- to grab a pad of paper and pen to scribble down an idea.

I know writers who use digital recorders, and I could never do that for two reasons. First, I already know I'd misplace it. I misplace my shoes, some jewelry and my cell phone regularly. So this recorder would never be nearby when I needed it. And second, I'd feel like an idiot using it in front of anyone, including myself. I'd want to say something like, "Ground Control to Major Tom," every time I turned it on, and then -- poof! -- there goes the idea I needed to record, and now I'm thinking about David Bowie and Peter Schilling and wondering if they know each other when, really, what I need to be doing is writing -- especially since I have this really good idea now. What was it again?

Monday, September 6

Monday's RQ

Today's Reader Question: Where was last Monday's RQ?

Floating in the ether above Lake Michigan, I think. My husband and I spent last week in one of our favorite little beach towns up in Michigan, where, for the first time -- yes, first time -- we used our computer for Internet access. My relationship with technology is something I'll write about later. For now, let's just say that I love it when the power goes out, and I get to pretend for an evening that I'm Abigail Adams. With indoor plumbing. And deodorant.

I'm not averse to using the Internet. I love the immediacy of e-mail and the convenience of clicking on a few buttons and having clothes delivered to me by my friendly neighborhood UPS guy. But I also like being unreachable sometimes. Leaving my cell phone off. Not checking my messages. Not surfing the Net, especially when the beach and miles of shore just aching to be walked are one and a half blocks from my rented front door.

But I did make the commitment to blog at least twice a week, and I tried to honor that commitment last Monday when I wrote a quick post about being at the beach, hit 'publish post' and watched as my computer froze. It did not get more interesting the longer I watched. So I shut the thing down, attempted it on Tuesday, and when the same thing happened, I turned the computer off and went to the beach. Well -- after my 10-minute ritual application of 80 sunblock. Four gorgeous days, one cloudy day and nothing but a few freckles. Now THAT is an accomplishment worth blogging about.

Saturday, September 4

The Saturday Seven

My Week in 7 Words:

more beach
the Lake!