Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mey Tismiss!

This is my seventh (!) Christmas on the blog; to celebrate (and because I have to run to the store to finish last-minute shopping), here are some posts from Christmas past:

Bake it Like a Polaroid Picture (2006):  I make scones! And Tom and Jerrys!

Pho, Pho, Pho! Merry Christmas! (2007): I make Pho! Don't know what Pho is? Neither did I, until December of 2007.

Holiday Hodge-Podge (2008): the best part of this post is the list of highlights from college students' journal entries. Enjoy!

Is that a Rhinovirus in your Stocking? (2009): If you scroll down, you'll get to my Non-Stop Glam post, about the Barbie Glamour Camper. If I ever do a Greatest Hits Compilation, this is going on the front page.

To Live in Exciting Times (2010): we have our first Christmas carolers ever, and we lose an offer on a house we wanted to buy. Kind of a mixed-bag.

Patience, Old Grasshopper (2011): This was one of my more popular posts, just behind my rant about the Advanage salesman.

Just a reminder, Larry Meiller's Christmas call-in featuring Santa starts at 11 tomorrow on Wisconsin Public Radio. There is bound to be more cuteness than you can stuff in a baby Build-A-Bear.

As my Christmas gift to you, please enjoy this photo of my neighbor shoveling the sidewalk on his Dad's hoverround.

Monday, December 10, 2012

St. Nick Remembered my Address!

This very Christmas tree fell over last night. And nothing broke! It's a Christmas miracle...
So look what St. Nick left under my tree! The paperbacks are FINALLY here!!!! I'm really glad, because otherwise I was going to post a photo of the giant bag of jalapeno Cheetos that I bought at Target tonight, and tell you about my grand plan to sort out individual servings into baggies so I don't inhale all 16 servings in one sitting of shame.

(It turned out to be a half-sitting of shame, with J a willing participant in the orange-dusting of fingertips...)

But the paperbacks are now available, so I figured I'd write about that instead. Since it's been FOUR FREAKING YEARS since I've held a book I've written in my hands. (I just fiddled with the photo and now it's off-center. Dammit hole!!! Oh well, just imagine it's in the middle of the page, where it's supposed to be.)

You can order one on Amazon right now, if you get the itch. Sadly, it only comes with the cute little mittens if you're a book blogger. BUT! If you are buying a copy as a gift (a gift to yourself counts, of course), I would be happy to sign it! Where there's a will, there's a wino. I mean way. If you are in a book club I'm meeting with soon, good news! I will only be a little sweaty and spazzy. I will also sign your book. If you live with, are related to me, work with me, or know incriminating things I did in school, of course I will sign your copy! If you live in the Fox Valley area, I am pretty sure I'll be doing some kind of event at one of the awesome libraries via the Fox Cities Book Festival this April. I'll bring my pen!

There are also book plates, and I can send you one of those. Alternately, I can send you a recipe or packet of seeds. Your choice!

There is a signed paperback giveaway beginning on Goodreads (open 'til February 1), and you can hop over to Booking with Manic AND Chick Lit Central tomorrow to enter to win a copy, too. (Thank you to Stephanie Elliott and Melissa Amster!!!)

If you need me, I'll be celebrating by going to the dentist in the morning, participating in a Farm-to-School grant webinar at noon, and working on the new novella at night. (It's my first sweet love story...we'll see how long I can hold out until I crack some weird joke about an athletic supporter and Steve Buscemi's neck. Also, I added tags to this post..apparently, I have written of Steve Buscemi before!)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Book Winners, Chicken Sweaters, and Karma

First, congratulations to Amy, Brittany, and Road Warrior Mama--you each won a signed copy of All the Lonely People! I've emailed Amy and Brittany directly, but Road Warrior Mama--I need you to comment or email me, because I don't have your contact information!

I used the Random Line Picker to select the winners, chosen from a pool of folks who "liked" my Facebook author page, emailed me between November 12 and December 1, or commented here on the blog by last Saturday.

If you didn't win, you still have more chances to win an autographed copy: the Goodreads giveaway starts next week (one copy up for grabs), and I'll be giving away additional copies via several fabulous bloggers in the weeks to come, so stay tuned!

Last week something very exciting happened. I hit my lowest Amazon ranking ever! Look: I cracked the top 300! The lowest I ever got with Driving Sideways was somewhere near 3,000, so this feels mighty fine; I didn't crack the top 100, but oooooh----so close I can taste it! (It tastes like strawberry jelly beans, by the way.) 

Look, ma! People like me! They really do!

But Jess, you may be saying, what does this mean?

Okay, so the basic goal with the ranking system is to get as close to #1 as you can (We're number 1! We're number 1!) But because of the very existence of people like James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, and E.L James, this is next to impossible for the average smart-ass writer like me. HOWEVER: sometimes life is kind, and ultra-awesome benefactors / fairy author godmothers take pity on you or actually like your book, and tell their fans (or even their editor) about you. Basically: Jen Lancaster and Karen McQuestion rock. Also, look here, on Emily Giffin's website! Recognize anyone on the list? *bats eyelashes*

(Filing all of this away under "definitely paying it forward" and "good karma," in case I'm ever famous...)

Thank you so much to everyone who bought a copy; I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you laugh at the chicken sweaters and rape pit.* If you'd like your e-copy signed, check out my page on Authorgraph; I'll write you a haiku!

The paperback is mere days away, and I'll update the minute it's available. (I have the cutest little hand-knit mittens to tuck in the copies going to book bloggers!!!)

*Aaaack! What!?!? Well, you'll just have to read the book to find out. ;)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Last Night was One of Those

nights where you start at an intimate, classy book launch party, all civilized and erudite, and two hours later you find yourself wandering through the crowd at an 80s hairband cover show, plastic pitcher in-hand to collect donations for the medical bills of a single mother with cancer.

I have no idea who the woman with cancer was; a friend pressed me into service because the other people they'd tapped to collect donations 'disappeared' at the last minute. I ended up with mostly my own money in the pitcher, because I am not a very assertive person and most of the people in the crowd looked like Hell's Angels, ultimate fighters, or the women who loved them. And Poison. Because after all, we were at a show featuring a band called "Cherry Pie." I should point out that the whole reason for the band and the crowd was that it was my husband's best friend's Scott's birthday party.

I've written about Scott before; he very thoughtfully surprised us by decorating our sidewalks one day:

 And our Christmas wreath a few years ago:

Also, have you ever been in conversation with someone and they suddenly and quite boldly start to clean their glasses on the edge of your shirt? That happened last night, too.

Wow, I just realized you can see a reflection of me taking the "Welcome Dick Gobbler" picture! I can't remember the last time that storm door window was so clean....more later this week!