Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What Day is it, Anyway?

First of all, who signed me up to receive Field and Stream magazine?

Second, some occurrences: Today our neighbor pulled into his driveway with “Children of the Sun” by Billy Thorpe blasting at full volume from his speakers. Yes, I had to Google the artist. He turned his engine off, but left the key a click forward to continue to barrage his (and my) eardrums with this irritating song, which sliced through a perfectly peaceful afternoon which had, until minutes before, only contained the faint chorus of crickets and the sweet, begging chirrups of the goldfinch fledglings following their parents from tree to tree. It had been quiet in my neighborhood. A rarity, as most days are filled with sirens, motorcycles, airplanes, car alarms, broken mufflers, public domestic brawls, endless barking dogs, and the low shudder of blasts from the quarry a block away.

So his intrusion into my peaceful day pissed me off. Fully irritated, I climbed into my car to run some errands, and guess what was blasting from my own stereo, nearly at full volume?

Yep. “Children of the Sun” by Billy Thorpe. Thank you, WAPL.

I drove right to Target for the weekly financial bloodletting, and of course I had to see if my book was in. It was! One copy left. I slipped a signed book plate in the front cover and perused the rest of the books on display…no, I wasn’t lurking about, hoping to pounce on an unsuspecting customer! I know it totally looks like that, but…well, okay, maybe just a little. But I wasn’t there more than fifteen seconds, I swear. Just then an adorable young woman and her boyfriend entered the book section. “I know, but I don’t want to buy a hard cover,” I overheard her say. And you can guess what I did next.

“Hey! Looking for a good book?”

Yeah. I’m shameless like that. Later I told J and he said, “God, you’re such a nerd.”

“Why? Just because I nearly jumped in her lap and read her my book?”

“Well, that, and…many reasons, really.”

It’s important for your spouse to support you. Never forget it.

And speaking of book stuff, you probably won’t believe me (even I’m skeptical of myself at this point), but I just heard Driving Sideways is going back for a fourth printing. I know! But I’m telling the truth, really. After hearing the news I sent my editor an email: “Yay! I feel like the little engine that could!”

J’s response? “God, you’re such a nerd.”

Oh! And I’ve discovered one benefit of having a summer cold. When you take your dog to the dog park and she urinates on a bird carcass and then rolls in it? You can’t smell her on the way home! And you can’t smell her while you’re brushing her for her bath, either.

Where I’ll be Wednesday, August 13:

Harry W. Schwartz Bookstore
10976 N. Port Washington Rd.
Mequon, WI

What time? 7 pm sharp.

What for? A reading ... and stuff.

Why? Because I’m amping up the entertainment level to compete with the Olympics.

Aren’t you still sick? A little, but I’ll bring hand sanitizer before I sign your book.

And isn’t it your mom’s birthday? Yes! I’m bringing a tasteful and useful gift.


  1. Ha! I'm first! I just wanted to let you know I bought your book today AAAND I made it the first selection of the book club I started. I felt cool because a) I told my new book club that I have been reading your blog long before the book came out and can vouch for your humor and great writing b) told the Border's girl that I "knew" you and she was actually impressed! Can't wait to read several hundred pages of Jess Riley comic genius. :)

  2. "have been reading"... I mean, "was reading" geez. embarrassing, probably misspelled that too. and misspelled. I give up.

  3. Thanks, M!!! You made me blush. From happiness.

  4. OMG, we used to listen to WAPL when I was in high school, and now it's the oldies station? Makes sense, since I guess I'm now a classic a well. What about WIXX? Are they still cool?

    BTW, loved your book. I read it in two nights it was so good.

    You inspire me.

  5. Anonymous9:38 PM

    Nerd or Helpful? I'm going with Helpful.
    Good luck with your signing. I'll see you at Sunday's hopefully.

  6. Some people have personal shoppers for clothes, why not for books?

    I love the fact that you slipped a signed book plate in the jacket of the book.

    Congrats on the 4th printing! That is awesome.

  7. LOLOL!! I'm a total nerd, too. My hubby tells me that all the time. But he's a nerd, too, so it's not a mixed marriage or anything. : )

  8. AAAnnd.....CONGRATS on the fourth printing! That is awesome!

  9. Anonymous10:12 AM

    A FOURTH printing?!?! That's fantastic. No wonder, though, since you keep shoving copies of it under the noses of perfectly innocent Target shoppers and terrifying them into buying it. ;-)

    As for being a nerd, geek is chic now. Hasn't your husband heard?

  10. Anonymous10:58 AM

    Congrats on the fourth printing! And I love your Target tactics! Hey, have a great signing and happy birthday to your mom!

  11. I think the same person who sent you Field & Stream is the person who has ensured that Parents magazine would arrive at my home monthly for the past NINE YEARS, two full years before I had any kids to parent, and at least 7 years past the point of me skipping the painful reading and tossing it straight into the recycling bin monthly.

    Congrats on the 4th printing. I bought my copy at our *new* local Target without any coercion or strong-arm tactics.

  12. Anonymous1:38 PM

    Add me to the growing list of proud nerds. You can also add me to the list of people yelling CONGRATULATIONS!!! because you've gone into your fourth printing. How fabulous! Please let us know what wonderful thing you've done to celebrate. (After your cold, that is. Poor baby.)

  13. Anonymous6:51 PM

    Welcome to the world of being nerdly...oh wait, we were there 17 YEARS AGO when we decided it would be fun to spend a week of our precious summer at CREATIVE WRITING CAMP! Although it seems to be paying off for you, Ms. Fourth Printing.

  14. Yay for the fourth printing! Wowza! I'm still scouting and pushing for you down here!

  15. Wow, WAPL still plays that song in rotation? It was an on going catastrophe 20 years ago being played as a "classic".

  16. Anonymous8:46 AM

    Hey, I just realized that I bought TWO copies of a first edition, first printing novel by a debut author. *rubbing hands together* Just think what these boyos will be worth in the future (after bestseller lists, awards, Nobel Prize, etc.)!!

    A fourth printing.... Great work, Jess. Great work. :)