Monday, November 10, 2008

Something to Do on Tuesday, plus a Contest!

This weekend I was invited to do a signing at my first 'trade show' type event, and overall, it went well. The strangest thing was that 40% of the books I sold were to people with kidney transplants (or loved ones with kidney disease), which became a bit unsettling after awhile. Forty-percent! What are the odds of that???

Most shoppers were very friendly, many had bangs sprayed into angles and dizzying heights not seen since the late eighties, and one woman in particular will be memorable to me for a long time, and not because of her Extra Large, Extra Pouffy hair:

"Oh, I love to read!" she gushed. "I read everything."

She picked up a copy of Driving Sideways and began to read the back cover.

"What are you reading now?" I asked.

"She Who Laughs Last. It's really inspirational, such a good Christian book. So moving, so inspiring."

Just as she said that, it was as if I could hear a distant countdown to the point where she'd reach the line about the swingers in my jacket copy and carefully back away from the potty mouth before her.

Ten...nine...eight....AAAAAAND we have contact!

She looked up at me and smiled. She blinked. "Well good luck to you," she said softly, and drifted off to visit the swingers-free zone at the nearby Mary Kay table.

J spent most of the day in the sports bar attached to the banquet facility, watching college football and drinking beer. Thank God for that, because he would have probably withered and died in the presence of so much estrogen had there been no ready masculine escape hatch.

Speaking of J, I gave in yesterday on the Pile of Change Stand-Off. It was day seven, and that pile of filthy pennies may have been the catalyst to a day-long cleaning frenzy the likes of which our house has never seen. I vacuumed the walls and ceilings. I scrubbed behind the toilets. I married half-empty bottles of lotion. I watered plants, put away laundry, packed Halloween decor into boxes, and organized a pile of bills that was beginning to growl at me whenever I walked past. (I didn't pay them, but their overall appearance on my kitchen table is much improved.)

Hey! What are you doing Tuesday night? I'll be at the West Bend Community Memorial Library for a chat and reading at 6:30 pm. It's Veteran's Day, so if you are a vet (or in a relationship with one), go get your free dinner at Applebee's and come down to see me afterwards. And thank you for your service to the country! If you're not a vet, you won't be getting anything in the mail tomorrow, so why not spend the time you would normally dedicate to tearing up credit card offers or flipping through the Money Saver at the end of the work day with me instead?

PS: The filthy pennies are now in this gallon-size Ziploc bag, next to two completely full piggy banks. I will be taking the piggies and the baggie to the bank on Thursday. Want to guess how much all of this comes to? The person who comes closest will win a signed copy of Driving Sideways. For you, or I'd be happy to personalize it so you can give it to someone else as a gift. You have 'til midnight on Thursday to enter!


  1. I have no idea where to start, so we're going to go with $19.33.

  2. Anonymous1:58 AM

    Hi Jess! I have been looking for a copy of your book to give to a friend b/c I'd raved about it for so long, but I could not find one! Not at Target(went to 2), Borders, or Barnes & Noble!! :(

    Also, will you be coming to Minnesota for any of your signings? I would love to meet you. Your blog is HILARIOUS.

    Best wishes,


  3. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Hi Jess:
    I am going to give this a try. Never actually have left a comment before. I will guess $92.44. Oink .. oink...

  4. Hmmm ... how about $12.83?

  5. My guess is $27.44

  6. Anonymous11:10 AM

    I'll go with $41.23.

  7. my guess is... 56.98

  8. I am going to go low with $8.53.

  9. Anonymous11:25 AM

    Okay, $21.37

  10. I'm going to guess $33.33 -

  11. Anonymous1:22 PM

    I do love change;) That's great that your "event" went well and that J survived.

    I'm guessing $21.47. If I win, I know exactly who I'm giving your book to.

  12. How about ...$17.85. I feel like I'm on The Price is Right:)

  13. $28.64

    But I'm horrible at these things.

    (Hey, will your book-signing journey ever bring you to L.A.?)

  14. Amy, I felt the same way about the Price is Right after posting my guess - very funny

  15. I'm gonna guess.... $19.80... it's all pennies, right? (:

  16. Your post was hilarious - the woman putting down the book - PRICELESS!! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a signed book so I'll guess $10.13

  17. Anonymous5:22 PM

    I'm going to guess $7.30 because I met you on July 30th and it was wonderful to do so!!!

    Swingers unite!

  18. $11.79!

    And I love marrying up all those lotion and shampoo and conditioner and flea spray and mixed cleaning products and-and-and gah! No wonder I have no skin on my hands. I should probably buy a good lotion to remedy that!

    (And if I win the book, I'm keepin' it. I've looked in my 3 closest Nowheresville Ontario stores and haven't seen a copy (don't take it personally, when I say, Nowheresville, I mean NOWHERE--I still have to tell them to order in copies of J.A K) so I'm off to beotch slap the big chain store in a nearby city next week!

  19. God, I hate standing there while they read the jacket and then decide no. Luckily, the fact that my character says F-You to her mother in church isn't mentioned on the jacket! :)

  20. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Christmas is coming mom needs a book!!!

  21. I'm going to guess $5.92. Those piggy banks don't look that big. But why did J have so many pennies?

  22. $17.52. Final answer.