- Four days of allergy conferencing in New Orleans.
- Four days of Sazeracs, Abita, and oysters in New Orleans.
- Four days of convincing conversations with poets and bartenders on the topic of "Why you should move to New Orleans."
- A one-two-three homecoming punch of introducing John Burnside (loved him!) and Patricia Smith at the Folger, followed by hearing Jen Chang, Ed Skoog, and Gregory Pardlo at American University, and culminating in an Arts Club reading with Tom Healy (who sold out his books) and Gabrielle Calvocoressi (who, bless her, popped $70 to make it in time from a cross-country flight that landed at Dulles at 5:30 PM).
- The harsh reality of my dirty and mail-cluttered house. In trying to clean my kitchen, I succeeded spattering my shirt in bleach. Drat.
- Two weeks of Sunday newspapers to catch up on.
- The battle to lose five pounds gained on the aforementioned trip New Orleans. It's hard to blog on the energy provided by balsamic-drizzled greens alone. My battle would probably go better if I stopped eating my salads with sides of corn chips.
- A side trip to the Phillips Collection to see the new Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit, which focuses on her abstract work. Such a richly curated collection--drawing on many private holdings--and I loved the way the captioning really focused on O'Keeffe, rather than her relationships with Steiglitz et al.
- A flurry of email-jockeying to confirm my schedule, which is now locked up through late July. In part that's because of a thingamajig I will tell you about soon. It's a good thingamajig, the kind with shiny gold rivets and a waterproof whistle.
Now, it is beautiful. They spelled my name right. On the table of contents, "In the Dee" got fixed to "In the Deep." They embossed my signature on the interior hardback. I am thrilled.
I'm also a little thrown. Because I've got another 27 days to go (and the latest She Writes "Countdown" post to prove it) before this is supposed to be a reality. In all of my strategizing for the spring, "not until I get the book" was my way of holding off the maelstrom. Worrying about reviews, or lack thereof? Plenty of time! The book doesn't even exist yet. Planning the details of a DC book party? I'll feel ready once I have the book in hand. Needing to write two chapters of nonfiction in March, to stay on schedule? I'll take care of it before the book comes.
Well, guess what, lady. The book is here.