So I've been down in the deadline submarine with my hero, Colin Eversea, and heroine, Madeleine Greenway, of the Perils of Pleasure. <-- (Check it out!! You can already preorder it!! I'm v. excited!!) And you're right, Lareign. I am indeed blinking and squinting and re-learning how to walk, talk, shave and interact with humans again. "Re-entry," if you will, isn't an overnight process, and has its awkward moments. For example, the other day I greeted my neighbor with, "Hi, Colin!" My neighbor is about 80 years old and uses a walker, and though I've said "hi" to him numerous times before and I suppose he's dashing enough, I don't actually know his name. In a conversation with a friend, I referred to my agent as "Colin." My agent's name is, in fact, Steve. And in a conversation with my friend Melisa, I stopped myself just in time from calling her "Colin." Not only is her name not Colin, Melisa, as you might have guessed, is a girl.
And then the other day I walked out to the store for the first time in days (when I'm on deadline, my diet is primarily dark chocolate, tea and angst), this poor innocent woman stopped me to ask if she could catch the 43 bus nearby. Drunk on the human contact, I babbled on about the entire route for the 43, the 6 and the 66, treated her to my opinions on MUNI and the weather and San Francisco politics, and I couldn't seem to stop talking even when she frantically bobbed her head and began backing away. I had similar babbling conversations with the bagger at the grocery store and the guy who handed me my wheatgrass juice over at Jamba.
So apparently I can either say "Colin" or I can babble. Somewhere in-between lies real communication. I'm re-learning the art of conversation. Baby steps.
And then I looked—really looked—in the mirror for the first time in weeks. Gazing back at me was the love child of Cousin It and Frida Kahlo. My brows are creeping yearningly toward each other. My hair has taken gross advantage of my inattention, and is now enormous. I rifled desperately through my cupboards for lotions and ungents and tweezers, daunted by the magnitude of the task facing me. I think I need a team to go at me with various waxes and implements, kind of like a Nascar Pit Crew, only with good smelling Bumble & Bumble products.
I'm slowly catching up on zillions of messages and chores and housework, too. I got really sick toward the tail-end of the writing process, complete with a fever and everything—I swear I could have lit candles with my eyeballs I was so hot. So it's been interesting. :) I'm tempted just to watch cartoons and let the hair on my shins grow. But my extraordinarily efficient editor has already read POP, pronounced it "truly wonderful!" and rendered a short revision letter. I'm excited about starting. Let's have a vote: should I watch cartoons, or do work?? Just kidding. Actually, I need to buy some conference clothes, too.
Also, I wanted to mention three very cool things (one I mentioned in the comments below): THE SECRET TO SEDUCTON went back to print only THREE weeks into release! Woo hoo! It's spent about two months on the B&N and Amazon bestseller lists, too, give or take a day here and there. :) 2) you can read excerpts from it at EarlyInk, Molly Smith's (Jennifer Crusie's very talented daughter, who designs websites) very cool new site, which features excerpts from new releases across many genres. I love the concept, and I'll be a frequent visitor there to look for new books; And 3) BEAUTY AND THE SPY was nominated for the Bookseller's Best Award in the Short Historical category. Yay! The winners are announced at a reception following the literacy signing in Dallas, coming up soon.
So...anyone out there? How are you all?? What's the weather report?? Got any news??