So, my publisher, who lives in Boise, told me he was picking up my book from the printers and that I would have my first copies by the end of the week. I should be ecstatic. I should be jumping up and down. But seeing as how the book was accepted for publication a year and a half ago, the fact that I will soon hold this thing in my hand called "my book" seems as difficult to conceive as the moon being made out of cheese.
So, instead of jumping up and down (I already did that when I first got the phone call that the book had been accepted for publication), I am walking around in a state of nervous intensity. It's sick, really. Last night, I was up at 1 a.m. making a guest list for the signing party. Yesterday I spent 200 hours trying to figure out how to put a Paypal button on my book website (I finally did). Before my first attempt at falling back asleep last night, Robin was on the other side of the bed saying we need to make sure our signing party hostess, who has a pool, keeps the gate locked. How does she think of things like that when it is after 12:30 in the morning?
I imagine the feelings I have are shared by high school girls who are about to go on their first prom date with the cutest guy on the football team (we'll call him "Biff"). She waits by the door for the sound of Biff's sports car. Nothing. She crosses to the mirror to give her makeup one more check. Suddenly, she realizes that she hates her dress. Something tells her it's all wrong, but it's too late to do anything about it now. The phone rings. No doubt, it is Biff calling to say he changed his mind or that his sports car was crushed by an 18 wheeler or that he was being abducted by aliens. Wait...was that the sound of Biff in the driveway? Are those the lights of his Alpha Romeo? Does Biff even have a car? Is there really a prom at all? She can no longer say....
So, here I am, obsessively blogging about my book. What: you expect me to write about swine flu or Obama's first 100 days or the meltdown of General Motors? No. It's the book. The book. The book. I should probably split town for the rest of the week until the book arrives (is there really a book? What if it doesn't get here in time for the party on Sunday? What if swine flu afflicts all of those in the parcel shipping industry and the book gets stuck somewher near 29 Palms?).
I should probably go to Rwanda and help people or climb Mount McKinley or meet a world leader or temporarily become a Deadhead and live in a psychadelic bus. But I won't do any of these things. Instead, I'll take care of the people and things I am supposed to take care of this week and, in between it all, I'll obsess about "the book". Finally, once it does arrive, I'll pick one up, hold it in my hand, and suddenly realize that I really should already have another manuscript sitting with the publisher so I can do this all over again at the end of 2010.
If you live in Southern California, you're invited to the signing party (it's on Sunday -- details at http://www.howhealed.com/). Look for me. I'll be the guy with the glazed over look that comes from not enough sleep, too much baklava and that well-documented pandemic known as "book fever".