Behold, my staggering lack of attention to detail works its wonders again! Last week, before I wrote that I’d have the free ebook ready today (which implies first thing this morning), I paused for a moment to make sure that would work.
The following data points came to mind:
- I had a few hours of work left to do on the technical end before I could launch it.
- I had a crazy-busy weekend of flying to Raleigh for Ignited by Truth to give three talks, each an hour long, in front of thousands of people.
- I would be getting back from Raleigh on Sunday afternoon.
Now. A normal, mentally coherent person would step through those points thusly:
A few hours of work left on the ebook. –> It’s programming work, which requires a clear head and concentration. –> I won’t get much sleep in Raleigh because of talk prep and travel. –> Travel is tiring. –> I’ll want to spend most of the time hanging out with the kids when I get back on Sunday. –> I will be exhausted DOWN TO THE MARROW OF MY BONES by the time Sunday night rolls around. –> I’ll be doing homeschool and more family catchup time Monday morning. –> The earliest I could have the ebook ready to launch is late afternoon on Monday.
Here is how my brain processes the facts:
A few hours of work left on the ebook. –> Something about Raleigh. –> I’m getting back at some point. Sunday? –> Hey, what’s on Twitter? Oh my gosh that’s so funny. RT!!! –> I’m hungry for cheese. –> What was I thinking about? Oh! The ebook. –> Monday. –> There are lots of hours between Sunday and Monday. –> I’ll have tons of time to work on web programming in that amorphous block of time between when my plane lands and when I need to go to bed Sunday night. –> I’m announcing on my blog that I’ll launch the ebook first thing Monday!
So, true to my word, the ebook WILL be available by the end of the day today. But I point your attention to the fact that Monday does not technically end until 11:59 PM.
In other words: keep checking back today. I’m working on it.
Meanwhile, here are a few of stories from Ignited by Truth to amuse you while you wait:
* * *
The big speakers were Scott and Kimberly Hahn, two of the most well-known people in American Catholicism, and I was hoping I’d get to meet them. Our paths have crossed at other conferences, but I’d never had a chance to say hello.
On Friday night I was scrambling to put the finishing touches on my talks, so I’d taken off my makeup and put on my pajamas early to hole myself up in my hotel room. Late that night I got hungry, so I decided to run down to the lobby to buy a bag of chips.
I paused and thought about putting on real clothes. Or shoes. Or taking my hair out of the ridiculous attempt at a bun that I’d done with one hand, using a Hello Kitty hair band that ended up in my suitcase, while practicing my speech. But I decided against it. Obviously, the lobby would be deserted since it was SO LATE.
(Fascinating fact: Did you know that when you’re in a city that is hundreds of miles north of where you live, and it’s a rainy night, it will appear to get dark much earlier than what you’re used to, thus giving you the impression that it is much later than it actually is?)
You know where this is going, don’t you?
I turned the corner into the lobby, looking like I just got kicked out of a pajama party for slobs, and there was Kimberly Hahn and a representative from the conference — I almost literally ran into them.
I thought about staring off into space, turning around, and trying to play it off like I was a random hotel guest who was sleepwalking, but they seemed to recognize me. So I just had to own it. And there in my socked feet and pajama pants, I extended my hand and said, “Mrs. Hahn, I’m Jennifer Fulwiler. It is such a pleasure to meet you.”
* * *
One of the talks I gave was a youth breakout about using social media to spread the Gospel. The young organizers were awesome enough to suggest that I enter to the song The Final Countdown, and that we should turn off all the lights and have people hold up their smartphones like at a concert.
Could there be a more beautiful vision?
Alas, the first problem arose even before I walked in. I was waiting in the hall for the music to begin, but the bathroom next to me had a hand dryer whose motor was evidently taken from a jet engine, so I couldn’t hear anything inside the room. I kept crowing, “Has the music started? Has the music started?” over the dryer, but I was already mic’d up so I’m pretty sure everyone inside heard me.
I finally walked in, and I leaned into it like a boss. I pumped my fists in the air, and I even did a little jump. I was ready to start the talk with a bang.
But we’d forgotten to clarify who would be responsible for turning on the lights. So the music was cut off…and then we all sat there in silent darkness. Finally I said, “Hey, could somebody turn on the lights?”
Later I would text this story to Melanie Shankle, and she said that it was such an Arrested Development moment that the only way it could have been improved were if I had ridden in on a Segway.
I assure you that my speaking contract will soon be updated to note that I require a Segway and a recording of The Final Countdown for all of my talks.
* * *
Everyone in Raleigh is awesome.
Thanks for having me, guys!
The ebook will be up in a few hours!