. . . and woke up this morning with heartburn, after celebrating a successful book launch and a nearly complete home remodel by eating a sicilian style pepperoni+sausage pizza and drinking a $9 bottle of pink moscato champagne. That is an unwise combo, but I had been running all day on a yogurt cup and a kind bar. I didn't even get a piece of my own cake:
Isn't that awesome? We always get the book cover cakes at Wegman's, but this time we added marzipan hatchets and fingers on the sides to commemorate Crocus' backstory, where she goes berserk in a 7-11, where she trashes a pink wine display with a hatchet and maims the clerk.
The book launch was at the 19th annual Fall for the Book festival, a multi-day event with something like 150 writers coming to campus and other local venues to present, workshop, and receive awards. The coordinators have been truly supportive of my work, allowing me multiple opportunities to promote my books. Special thanks to my dear friend Bill Miller, director of the program, and to coordinators Kara Oakleaf and Suzy Rigdon, who pulled off an impossibly complicated series of events. Saturday there were at least 3 blocks going--strings of Children's, Fantasy, and Crime authors, back to back. I made it to the first crime event, Mystery Writers in Your Own Back Yard, about half way through, but just in time to win a prize--these sweet little book/wine charms:
Since I'm not classy enough for these doogers, I'll be re-gifting. the panel featured Rosemary Shomaker, Kristin Kisska, Mary Miley, and Fred Shackelford, and I have to say, Rosemary runs a heck of a panel. I took notes. When that was over, the authors were hustled to a communal signing table where all the author books were being sold. The panel that I was moderating, Sisters in Crime . . . Writing got off to a slightly late start because the folks getting their books signed were still in line inside. Still, it was a lively discussion, and I was joined by my (new) friend Colleen Shogan, Mollie Cox Bryan, and Karen Cantwell. Our panel was designed to celebrate Sisters in Crime 30th anniversary. I sent Colleen, Mollie, and Karen back to sign books at the end, but I stayed out to prep for the book launch, aided ably by my dude Dean and Hagen Miller.
That's Michael Hock, my former assistant and all around good guy. He introduced me. I want him to do my eulogy. I love this picture because it looks like I'm reading his academic transcripts out loud. I named a character (John Hock) after him.
Anyway, this was the 3rd event in a block, and the book selling/signing area was jammed with people from other panels. I was on my way in when one of the festival coords came running out with armloads of Mean Bone and Crybaby, saying "Stay put--we'll bring the books to you!" So I spent a lovely half hour sitting on the edge of the dais signing books. Nothing I like better.
After that, Dean and I got the heck out of Dodge. We couldn't believe we pulled it off so smoothly--we're not programmed for efficiency--so we wanted noting more that to get back to our stinky little house. I say stinky because we've all--Dean, Me, 2cats, 2 dogs--been living in the front three rooms while our kitchen, gameroom, and second bath were being remodeled. The job was supposed to take a week, but stretched on to 2+ weeks (still pretty quick, I know), and I was growing too comfortable with the contractors, walking around in my robe, etc.
I'm happy to say that, as of 6pm this evening, the interiors are complete. We had very little to do with the design choices, partly because we don't care,partly because we're getting the work done very inexpensively (owing to a friend's reference), and mainly because our design sense is garbage. When we bought the house we wanted to get away from anything that looked rented, so we ripped up the beige carpets and painted every room a different weird color--lilac living room, mint green kitchen, melon colored bedroom, etc. Now that the whole thing is finished, we have white walls, granite tops, shaker cabinets, and hardwood floors. I begin to suspect that my friend, the referrer, and the contractor were in cahoots to civilize us.
I'm okay with that. Here's us celebrating our new sink with the bubbly:
And here's our white walls and doors. Dean said, "Oh great, the contractor installed one of those horror movie hallways that gets longer as you walk down it."
Tonight we begin the work of moving our things back into place. Wish us luck.