When I went to bed last night, this day didn’t sound very promising.
I had discovered a major issue with our ticket vendor just before I was going to shut my laptop and go to sleep, which is not what one wants to happen 36 hours before one is about to start selling tickets. I didn’t see how we’d have time to get this fixed without pushing back the ticket sale date and I knew I’d be exhausted today.
I was right about being exhausted — I doubt I even got five hours of sleep. But I did get the ticket stuff fixed, and now you will be able to buy your tickets to the Edel Gathering right on the event webpage. The sale time is the same as before, 10:00 AM Eastern today (Wednesday).
If there are any technical issues, we’ll do status updates on the event Facebook page. (Or, to be accurate, Hallie will do status updates on the event Facebook page and I will go bury myself under the covers and pretend that none of this ever happened.)
So there I was, having this wonderful day filled with the excitement of staring at lines of code on my computer screen, when a box arrived. If I had known it was a UPS delivery I probably would have left it on the doorstep since it was below freezing and I have decided to pretend that the outside world doesn’t exist until we get more reasonable weather, but I didn’t hear the telltale rumbling of the truck after the courtesy knock, so I opened the door.
“Do you need help with that?” the UPS guy called from his truck. “It is heavy!”
I assured him that I had it and dragged the box back in the house. It was big, about the size of one of our Amazon boxes that contains a family pack of jumbo paper towels, and definitely very heavy. I walked around the box, regarding it with suspicion, trying to figure out what it could be.
(At this point you might be wondering why I didn’t just open it. You see, I find opening boxes to be an utterly overwhelming task. In this house, an open box left unattended will be cleared of its items in a matter of minutes, the contents appearing only months later among a jumble of mismatched socks and headless Barbies under someone’s bed. So I must take the utmost care not to open a box if I don’t know exactly where the stuff it contains will go…which poses a problem for packages whose contents are a mystery. I have a bad habit of leaving them unopened for days, occasionally staring at them forlornly when I pass by.)
(I think I just revealed too much either about how crazy I am or how crazy this house is. Anyway…)
It was from a company with a generic-sounding name and I wasn’t expecting anything, so I decided to do the leave-box-on-floor-and-stare thing. But as soon as I walked away, I changed my mind. Something told me to open this one. My best guess is that Joe ordered a cool appliance that he forgot to tell me about.
As I ripped open the lid, I was actually thinking, Maybe it’s a new vacuum!
So try to imagine what I experienced when I lifted the packing paper to see this:
I had no idea this was coming now. I didn’t think I’d see hardcover copies until April.
When I picked up one of the books and held it in my hand, the only way to describe the moment was that it was too surreal to even feel surreal.
I wrote the first line of this book in July of 2008. I thought it was finished in 2009, then again in 2011. Both times I had to rewrite it, and only then did the real editing begin. There were many occasions when I almost gave up, and I cannot even count the number of moments I felt absolutely certain I would never see this manuscript in print.
Imagining the moment of finally tearing open a box full of books — this book — is what got me through a lot of tough days. I pictured myself taking a copy and hiding away in my room, staring at it, reading some passages and trying to remember where I was when I typed them, then staring at it some more. I thought I would say all these prayers and have all this time to meditate on the experience. Instead, I had to run back to dashing out lines of code, then later chase down my two-year-old who had gotten into the box and was running around with three copies, insisting that they were presents for her imaginary dog.
It was so funny — and, perhaps, more fitting — that when the moment finally came, it was immersed in the craziness of life’s next adventure.
You can pre-order your copy here (save the receipt for cool stuff coming up!). Ebook pre-orders are coming soon.
Gosh this is fun.
P.S. Thanks for the amazing response on Instagram. You guys are the best.