Keeping It Real

Often people ask what release day is like for an author. You have two choices. You can reload your Twitter feed and check your Amazon ranking constantly, or you can pretend like it's any other day and go about your business.

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES released last Tuesday and I opted for the latter. First things first I went out and walked the yard because we had a decent storm a few days earlier and there were sticks that needed to be picked up. So I went about doing that and discovered a dead crow in the yard. Being a writer, I had a reaction.

Me: There's a dead crow in the yard.
Boyfriend: Do you want me to get it?
Me: I'm more concerned about what this could mean on my release day.
Boyfriend: *stares* Okay, I'll get it.

Then I checked my Twitter feed and Amazon ranking.

Then I did laundry, which has a particular zen to it because I hang my laundry outside to dry. I managed to forget it was a release day for about ten minutes, because nothing smells quite as good as wet laundry and sunshine. And then one of the cats came over to see me and and flopped over for a belly rub, so life was good.

Then I checked my Twitter feed and Amazon ranking.

Next it was time to do dishes, because there's a particular zen to that when you own a dishwasher. I had some mason jars that had herbs stuck to the bottom from the homemade pizza sauce that had been in them so I told the boyfriend we needed to go to town because I needed a scrubby thing on a stick.

Boyfriend: Right now?
Me: Or I could get on my laptop and check my -
Boyfriend: Okay, right now.

So I went "into town" (and yes, that's a phrase we still use out here in the country, all Laura Ingalls Wilder-like) and I got my scrubby on a stick, and Mr. Boyfriend decided he needed to buy some other things at the hardware store, so we went there. I remembered I wanted copper pipe for distilling essential oil out of my juniper bushes, so I distracted myself with a whole wall of copper pipe for about 10 minutes.

Then I pulled out my phone and checked my Twitter feed and Amazon ranking.

And then - amazingly - Paula Abdul was playing on the store music feed and I found out I still know all the words to "Straight Up," which led me down this path of thought about oral history and cadence, and how music and rhythm assist memory. It really is a particular kind of magic that you can hear a song you haven't heard in 25 years and still know every word. Boyfriend was attempting to figure out what size vent pipe he needed for a project while not listening to me sing and so...

I pulled out my phone and checked my Twitter feed and Amazon ranking.

Then we got coffee and I'm one of those people who rejoices at pumpkin spice time and doesn't mind that absolutely everything is pumpkin spiced right now. My road is being resurfaced as a I type this and I think they're using pumpkin spice. I'm thrilled.

I got home and pulled out the laptop. I had some emails from friends who also had books releasing that day, who were taking a break from checking their Twitter feeds and Amazon rankings to email me and ask me about my Twitter feed and Amazon ranking.

This is what release day is like.

It makes you neurotic and I enjoy every second.