7 Quick Takes about going to the East Coast, embarrassing myself in interviews, and losing my ability to write the letter F
People of New York City and Washington DC, get your margarita glasses out and dust off your dress banana suits, because I’m headed your way! I have the all-clear from my publisher to visit your area, so now we just need to decide what we want to do while I’m there! Dates are still up in the air, but it’ll be sometime soon.
I get the impression that the good folks at Ignatius Press are open to pretty much any activity that would involve promoting the book, so let’s start thinking! Book signings? Speaking engagements? Public readings? Downton Abbey-themed parties complete with butlers serving us caviar where we all use fake British accents to talk about the book? Remember, there are no bad ideas in brainstorming.
If you’d be up for helping arrange an event, that would be awesome! I’m going to put up a form in a couple of days where we can discuss details, so be on the lookout for that. I’m so excited!!!
Yesterday I was paying bills, and when I signed the first check, the process of writing my name filled me with dread and made me start twitching. At first I didn’t understand why, but then I remembered: THE BOOKPLATES.
To recap the situation for new readers or those who have blocked it out of their minds because they need to believe that they don’t share the planet with people this stupid:
- I have a book coming out at the end of this month.
- Earlier this year, I mused aloud to my publisher that it would be cool if I signed thousands and thousands of bookplates to be inserted into the first copies of the book that come off the presses.
- Because I didn’t understand what an awesome and capable team of people they are, I never thought they’d say yes.
- They said yes.
- The next thing I know, someone in the marketing department is sending me proofs of the beautifully designed bookplates and asking where I want them shipped.
- My publisher is heavily promoting the signed bookplate offer.
- After I sign them all, there needs to be time for them to be shipped back to the printer and inserted into each book by hand.
- The book ships on April 29.
- I have not finished signing the bookplates.
Because God looks out for fools, the wise folks at Ignatius talked me down to doing only 1,000…which doesn’t sound like a lot…but really starts to feel like a lot after the 498th time you’ve signed your name in one day.
UPDATE: I just found a packing slip that would seem to indicate that there are many more than 1,000 bookplates in the box. I’m not sure if I’m reading it correctly, but it would make a lot of things make sense. I carefully calculated my signatures-per-minute rate at the beginning of the process, and used that to put together an estimate of how long it would take me to get through the stack. When I was not even half way through by the time I should have been finished, I thought in despair, WHEN DID I GET SO BAD AT MATH?!
…And I got a bunch of responses from people commenting that my Fs are inconsistent. To which I wanted to say: You do not even know the half of it.
The problem is that signing your name hundreds and hundreds of times will make you become neurotic about your signature (by “you” I mean “me”). Somewhere around the 150 mark, I began dotting the i‘s in the wrong places. Around bookplate #275, I stopped dotting the i‘s altogether.
At bookplate 350, around the time the photo was taken, I started wondering if that’s even how you write a cursive capital F. Though it is how I’ve signed my name every day for all of my married life, I began to have delusional visions of readers cracking open the book, gasping, and shouting, “THAT’S NOT AN F! WHAT DOES THIS SIGNATURE EVEN SAY?!?!”…so I switched to a printed F just in case.
By the time bookplate 475 was signed I had drifted back into my usual way of writing F‘s. I was pretty sure my signature says JEMFR 2-WILLR, but I no longer cared.
And somewhere around #525 I lost my grasp of the English language, my hand had turned into a claw, and I forgot why I was scrawling markings on these rectangular pieces of paper.
The last few bookplates may just contain a few marks smeared with drool.
On top of that, it’s tax season. Joe recently became a CPA, which he’s excited about, but which means that he’s working crazy hours until the 15th.
Last night he came home after midnight to see me hunched over a pile of bookplates on the kitchen table. Instead of the usual “how was your day?” chatter, we just kind of grunted at one another.
I will say, though, that it’s all a lot of fun. I wouldn’t want to be this busy forever, but it’s energizing to have a crunch period where we have a lot to do to get our family closer to goals we’ve been working toward for a long time. Everything we’re doing right now is inching us closer to the ultimate family vision I talk about in the ebook, so it really feels like energy well spent.
Speaking of the ebook and family visions and stuff, I had the pleasure of doing a Google Hangout interview with Mystie of Simply Convivial. We talked about how to apply the ideas from The Family-First Creative to daily life, with a focus on families who homeschool.
I knew that Mystie was going to come up with a bunch of good questions when I read her About Me page, which begins:
Home is infused with metaphoric and symbolic significance. The struggle lies in being motivated to make our homes a foretaste of the heavenly home, an outpost of the kingdom, while remaining content in the muddle that is everyday life.
So well said. Thanks for a great interview, Mystie!
Now that I’m going to be doing more interviews, I need to brush up on my Easter greetings. I was pre-recording an interview that will run during Easter the other day, and at the end of the segment the host said, “Jennifer, He is Risen!”
I started to say, “Yeah, isn’t that great?” Then I stopped myself. Mercifully, I quickly realized that he was initiating the ancient Paschal greeting in which the proper response is: “He is risen, indeed!” (I actually had to Google it after the call ended to make sure I’d said the right thing.)
Or maybe the media outlets can air a warning before my interviews, sort of like an explicit content notice that warns you that what you’re about to see may have graphic material, except with a warning that the woman you’re about to see may say something ridiculous.
I love discovering great new resources from your comments. The other day author Connie Rossini mentioned that she has an ebook called Five Lessons from the Carmelite Saints That Will Change Your Life. I looked it up on Amazon, and was delighted to see that it’s free! At only 20 pages, it’s also a quick read. I want to recommend it as a perfect Holy Week book if you need something short and inspiring to give you a spiritual shot in the arm next week.
(And if you’re not familiar with the Carmelite order, here’s a brief summary of what they’re all about.)
Happy weekend! I hope you all have a blessed Palm Sunday!