I'm nearly packed. I need to hit the ATM today and also do something about Caleb's pajama situation (poor child, with his unitards and crop tops), but I'm pretty much set.
Before I left for the New York trip, there were about twenty minutes left and I called to Caleb, who was playing outside with one of his friends. "Want to come hang out with me?" I asked. "I'm going to leave soon."
"No," he said, maybe a bit guiltily. "But I'll hug you really hard before you leave." So there I was, both with my feelings hurt and shivering in fear of the bone crushing to come.
I'll be in Rockville, San Francisco, Pasadena, Seattle, and Chicago. (Details are here.) Two of the events are two-fers.
In Pasadena, I'll be reading with Brett Paesel. I met her through Brain, Child when we ran her essay "Can I Get a Witness?" about fertility. We also both had essays in the anthology Toddler--Brett's essay got the book banned in a town in Oregon. (What, they can't take a little mention of cock?) I'm a huge fan of her book Mommies Who Drink; her writing is this wonderful mix of funniness and earnestness. On top of it all, she's not only a fab writer but an actress--I mention this so you know that at least one of us will be reading in a way that does not remind you of yourself reading a bedtime story.
In Seattle, I'll be reading with Theo Pauline Nestor; the very first short story Brain, Child published was hers and we've run many of her essays over the years. Sometimes, when we're figuring out the balance of essays in a given issue, Stephanie and I will say to each other, "Do you know what we could use? A Theo Nestor." Meaning, something that's thoughtful, funny, and complicated, which is harder to pull off than you might think. Theo's essay "The Chicken's in the Oven and My Husband's Out the Door" is in the New York Times anthology Modern Love, and her book How to Sleep Alone in a King Size Bed will be out next January, from what I understand. Girlfriend is good.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to get online, but when I return, there will be pictures. Hope to see you!
One more thing, and I'm putting this here because I don't know how to set up the auto-response on my email. (I also don't know how I got to adulthood, what with the technoduncery.) If there's some book-related thing you need to get in touch with me about, you can email my terrific publicist at Putnam, Yamil Anglada (yamil dot anglada at us dot penguingroup dot com).
Oh, hell, yet one more thing, since I'm already knee-deep in the unseemly self-promotion. This is the excerpt of Practically Perfect that we're running in Brain, Child's summer issue. I'll be reading different parts of the book, so reading the link won't spoil a thing (unless you're like me and reading anything of length online, particularly without your reading glasses, makes your eyes go spazzy.)