Wednesday is our ninth wedding anniversary. Last week we were looking at the wedding photo we have tucked away, out of sight, in the chaos of our back room. “That was the last time I smiled,” announced T. Middy. I ignored him.
Yesterday I asked him why we were still happily married. He attributes this solely to his “incredible patience and willingness to concede.” Apparently, I bring very little to the table. He conceded, at last, that I was “funny-ish and brainy-ish,” and that was helpful, sort of.
When TM is not criticizing me, he can be very useful: he created a spiffy flyer for my new novel, Ruined, that we sent to independent book stores in Mississippi and Louisiana. I now have three out-of-state events booked. The upcoming ones are around Halloween: Square Books in Oxford, MS, on October 30, and Lemuria Books, in Jackson, on Halloween itself.
I met a lot of other booksellers on Friday at the SIBA convention in Greenville, SC. I was on a panel of mystery writers, and then took part in a frenetic hour-long book-signing session afterwards. More invitations to appear at stores in Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina. I’ll try to fit some more in before Christmas, if possible, though this semester is horribly busy. Afterwards I was taken out for dinner by the friendly Scholastic sales reps. Greenville is a very pretty town.
The trip there, however, was a nightmare. I almost missed the panel altogether, even though I left home at 5:45 that morning. (The panel started at 4:10 PM.) My 7:15 flight to Atlanta had mechanical problems, and didn’t leave New Orleans until 10. So I missed the connection to Greenville; the next flight from Atlanta was delayed until 3:20, which meant I wouldn’t arrive at the convention in time. So I had to get changed in an airport bathroom, rent the most expensive car ever from Avis in Atlanta, and make the 150-mile drive.
The Avis experience took 90 minutes, and included their computers going down on numerous occasions; me losing the rental agreement somewhere between the bus and the exit gate; and a second wait in line to get another. By the time I got to the convention center in Greenville, my panel was in its final ten minutes. The only good thing about the trip was the 80s station on Sirius radio.
The next morning, Saturday, on my way back to New Orleans, I managed to misplace my ID. I’d stuffed it into a pocket of my bag when driving – wildly – out of the Avis lot, and then shoved it, along with a handful of booksellers’ business cards, into my suitcase. Cue: panic in Greenville airport. I returned to the rental car to search it before remembering the suitcase card-dump. And what did I find in the car? The lost rental agreement, down the side of the passenger seat. Not so brainy-ish, obviously. I was glad to get home in one piece, back to the incredible patience of T. Middy.
Now it’s Sunday night. I took part in an ACLU “banned books” event this afternoon, reading a section of Midnight’s Children. I came home and finished writing a review of the new Margaret Atwood novel, The Year of the Flood. Then tonight: The Amazing Race and Mad Men. (Never call me on a Sunday night.)
The weather tomorrow in New Orleans: a high of 91. Near record temperatures. So much for the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. But at least there’s something decent to watch on TV again.