March 22, 2005

Virtual and Virtuous

See the yellow button over there on your left, just under the thumbnail image of gods in Alabama? If you can't make it to an actual tour event because you WILFULLY chose to prance off and live in MONTANA, even though YOUR MOTHER TOLD YOU NOT TO, never fear. It doesn't mean you are destined to die alone on a rickety Montanian cot, weeping as you slip this mortal coil because you never got a signed, inscribed first edition hardback of gods in Alabama. You can thank The Alabama Booksmith, a fantastical indy, who has set up a VIRTUAL SIGNING...just poke that yellow button and you can order a copy of gods that I'll sign and inscribe this April when the tour plops me smack into the middle of the Booksmith.

IF I AM NOT COMING NEAR YOUR HOUSE I AM SORRY. Please stop yelling at me in e-mail. *grin* I don't get to pick, you know. I mostly go where they point me, and the tour is shaping up to be very SOUTH-focused. (With a few exceptions---I need to update the tour page because I am going to Northshire in Vermont and a couple of stops at cool Chicago indies are in the works but not dead set yet. I am wildly excited about the Vermont thing, I have to say. I have never been, Manchester is sposed to be gorgeous, and I get to meet Robert Gray.)

And SPEAKING of weeping and clutching first book came. My real, alive, actual book came from the printers, and I will have you skeptics know it SMELLS AMAZING. I thought it would be this DIFFUSED experience---See I was in Nashville when it arrived at my house, and so I KNEW it was there. I came home to it, mentally prepped to see my book for the first time, and I thought I would be PLEASED and all, but you know, I've seen the ARCs and blah blah. So I was expecting a wash of pleasure and hope and to say, "OH! THIS IS NEAT! HERE IT IS! YAY." But there was a lot more melting into a waxy puddle and blubbering than I had prepped myself for. It was so amazing to TOUCH ALL OVER IT. Between you and me? I STILL can't help stopping and picking it up and touching all over it and sniffing at it's clean, papery edges whenever I pass it.

Right after I got it, I left a long, long, long, weepy, incoherent, LONG message on my editor's voice mail. That message -- Oh how I cringe. I was babbling and WRACKED by snuffling --- I strongly considered doing the whole sit com cliche "I MUST GO TO NEW YORK AND BREAK INTO THE TIME WARNER BUILDING AND STEAL HER ANSWERING MACHINE" thing. But I comforted myself that, what with all the gasping and snorking and whimpery noises, she probably assumed that it was just a random obscene phone call and deleted.

SPEAKING OF NASHVILLE (Which we were a paragraph or so ago) A couple of people from the SIGNING at the trade show have SHOWED UP IN THE COMMENTS. (Hey, Ya'll! Welcome!) I sometimes forget this blog is just sitting out there on google. It feels like a closed room, you know? It feels like a secret. I have Faster Than Kudzu separate from the book, and I have the book separate from me.

This blog is personal. Yeah, I talk about book stuff, but mostly I yammer about the cat's weight problem and whether or not he has slimmed down enough to groom his own butt and what happened when I wore the wrong socks to the skate-trail (I swear I will one day finish that story). In other words, this blog is a big cog in the wheel of things that entertain me and keep me out of bars. It's not A NOVELIST talking, it's just me the dork. Because to me a NOVELIST is a fictional person who lives in New York and has BETTER SHOES THAN I DO, not a person in my house who burned up the salmon croquettes last night. But... with the book being a PHYSICAL OBJECT and some actual alive people I met in another state at a BOOK EVENT showing up here, things are changing.

ME THE DORK goes wandering around my house thinking, "Should I have a waffle? Did I remember to tape MEDIUM last night?," and yet I am FLECKED with little bits of this other world where I am a novelist, where this thing I have worked for and wanted for so long is actually coming true, and as the release approaches, it is as if the edges of all these little speckles of book-world things are expanding, and it seems possible that the edges may one day TOUCH each other and blend into my skin and be not flecks of unreality, but my life is.

Posted by joshilyn at March 22, 2005 7:45 AM

*amused look* I remember when you first expounded on the blissful joys of ARC huffing. But it pales to insignificance next to a snoot full of the REAL THING. And Hard Cover books are so much more fun to fondle. (and don't tell me you haven't, cause I know better) *big ol grin*

Posted by: David at March 22, 2005 8:23 AM

I am so excited about the Vermont stop. Northshire was my summer vacation bookstore. It is the coolest store and town. Be sure to stop in/eat at the Jelly Mill. I've already blocked it out on my calender. I can't wait to meet you and get a book.

Posted by: Carol at March 22, 2005 8:39 AM

I am doing some of my own snuffling and weeping because I am so very happy for you. What an amazing thing it is to have such a dream come true. Congratulations, Tulip!

Posted by: Amy at March 22, 2005 10:23 AM

AGH! You ARE coming to a bookstore near me! Cool Cool cool! I will so be there. Because of you I have been revamping my children's book that I wrote and filed because I thought it wasn't good enough and that I wasn't the author type. But, YOU! You are a lot like me and if you can do it, then so can I.

Posted by: Karry at March 22, 2005 10:27 AM

You are NOT coming to a bookstore near me because I live in CANADA, which is not south. But, need I remind you, I scored something like 167% Dixie on that test you mentioned. So I'm the south in Canada. And I want a signed copy, but I already bought my advanced copy... so I'm going to have to carry your book around until the day my stalking finally pays off... I mean until we one day meet at some writer/author/novelist thing.

Posted by: Heather McCutcheon at March 22, 2005 10:39 AM

She's coming she's coming she's coming!!!! I've taken the day off work and if anyone is anywhere NEAR Raleigh or would like to be for THAT day, they can email me and we can see if we can all get together and inundate the indy that is lucky enough to host HER and btw, have you been to Brit lately? It's been taken over and you can't go anymore you will DYE DYE DYE Pluffy, and (yes she knows what I'm talking about)....

anyway...She's coming She's coming!!! I've taken the day off work, got a sitter for the boo, and will be there, all day, and we can do lunch, and go shopping, and maybe I'll let you go back and sign a book or two, but honestly, it's all about you coming here to see ME!!!! Grins.

Congrats dear. Can't wait to see you.

Posted by: Gabi at March 22, 2005 1:57 PM

If you ever end up in a bookstore or whatever in Connecticut, let me know...and I'll put on the snowshoes (even in summer) to come get my signed book from you.


Posted by: dee at March 22, 2005 4:06 PM

Fine, then I'll berate you IN COMMENTS for not ocming anywhere near Seattle. And I'll use ALL CAPS TO BOOT.

Posted by: The Zero Boss at March 22, 2005 4:59 PM

You are going right near where we used to live, but nowhere near where we now live, which just goes to show ... well, I'm not sure what, but it shows something.

Posted by: Jensgalore at March 22, 2005 6:30 PM

You are NOT going to finish the sock story. I DON'T BELIEVE YOU.
*glares sourly*

Posted by: Kira at March 23, 2005 1:41 AM

I know exactly what you mean about the SMELL. When I got the first copy of my book in my hot little hands, I just clutched it and smelled it and WEPT. And see, your ALL CAPS thing is contagious. Can't wait to smell gods in Alabama. Even though you're not coming to Canada to sign it in person.

Posted by: Shelley at March 23, 2005 2:19 AM

Isn't Medium awesome? We are all addicted to it at my library. My son thinks I'm psychic...but it is not hard to know his every move, when all his friends blog their every thought. xD
Also, I hope your friend appreciates you (JD and Godiva!), All I get is a Sam's bottled water and a Hersheys kiss!!!

Posted by: Debby at March 23, 2005 8:50 AM