June 26, 2011

Direful Anticipation


 (This just in from @CambridgeMinor on Twitter:  http://t.co/J3rFML3  Snork.

I seem to be even shorter of sleep than usual on a getting-up-for-early-service-ring Sunday.  Something to do with HEAT and DREAD.*  Going to parties always brings out the inner eremite in me anyway . . . at this point I was going to say especially publishing parties, but ALL parties are ‘especially’, they’re just different especiallies.  Publishing parties involve bracing yourself for being introduced to the author who wrote the worst book you have ever read and trying not to blurt out, in your laudable effort not to say this, something like, I thought you were dead, which in the private context of your exploding brain sounds pretty polite, but neither the author nor whoever introduced you will think so.  Or—also possible—being introduced to the person for whom you are that author. 

            As if the mere fact of a party is not bad enough**, it’s HOT.  It’s been disgusting today in Hampshire but it’s supposed to get up to 90° *** in London tomorrow.  There are places on this planet where 90°F is bearable.  London is not one of them.  Whimper.  And so the dread burgeons and ripens:  will I manage to get on the only train/car whose air-conditioning is not working?  Will there be a screaming child in the Only Car/Every Car of the Only Train?  Don’t even think about opening a window:  they’re all hermetically sealed at the factory.  Will the tube† be air-conditioned?  Am I better off wiltingly resisting the brutally hammering sun or the claustrophobically smothering tunnels?  Will there be an outbreak of basilisks and salamanders, who are known to love being boiled?  Whimper.

            I could just cancel.††  But . . . there’s a fabulous YARN STORE immediately opposite Waterloo Station.†††  If it weren’t for the party—well, and the heat—I’d be totally stoked about going to London tomorrow.‡

            I discovered Mrs Redboots’ forum comment about it about an hour after I’d discovered I Knit myself:  http://www.iknit.org.uk/shop.html  I’ve been reading knitting books of course and when I saw I Knit in a ‘resources’ section the post code had made an impression as possibly near Waterloo.  YESSSSSSSSS.  Mrs Redboots was suggesting I go round after the signing, but I think that evening is going to be complicated enough, so really this party is doing me a favour by giving me another chance.  Unhhh. . . .  

            I’d heard from a couple of the mods that Ajlr’s crossword was difficult, and so when I finally saw it last night‡‡ I was relieved I knew all the answers.  One of the supernumerary anxieties of Author Appearances is Those Questions from the Audience Which Manifest a Stronger Memory and Overall Grasp of My Work Than I Myself Possess and Which I Therefore Can’t Answer.  And, furthermore, will look like a twit by failing to answer.  Siiiiiigh.  The more books I’ve written the more often this happens‡‡‡ . . . and I’m going to be in worse knots and spasms than usual because of the PEG II situation.  In the first place I can’t talk much about PEG I for the sake of anyone who hasn’t read it yet, which is fairly normal for new-book signings . . . but in the second place I can’t talk about PEG II at all because of that extremely nasty ending of PEG I which, because of the colliding weirdness of internet shipping and international publication dates, most of you have already read § . . . and in the third place PEG II is now mostly realer to me than mere . . . reality§§, and I’m going to have a lot of trouble remembering anything I can risk saying about anything. Usually by the time a book comes out I’m well into some other world. §§§

            But anyone who asks about a sequel to SUNSHINE will be instantly killed.#  Just so you know.  

* * *

* That totally sounds like an urban fantasy.  HEAT AND DREAD^.  Maybe I’ll write it after ALBION.

^ No, no, no.  HEAT AND DUST was literature. 

** I’ve been trying to decide if the prospect of a sudden party—since I only found out about this one on Thursday—is better or worse than a, er, Long Awaited Party.^  No.  Yes.  No.  I think it’s another ‘especially’.  

^ I’d’ve put the Ring on at the beginning, not the end. 

*** 32° for you modern C people 

† Underground.  Subway. 

†† And if I have any sense, if it’s really gruesome, I will.^ 

^ In which case I will be FURIOUS because I’ve already cancelled my voice lesson.  Furious and . . .  whimpering. 

††† Where Hampshire trains arrive in London. 

‡ I think there may be something a little wrong with the logic here.^ 

^ Um.  Logic? 

‡‡ She’d offered me a preview and I said, no, no!  Not necessary!  Guest post and CONTEST?  You can do anything you like. 

            To which she responded perhaps a little too quickly:  ::Ponders the licence this may confer…::

‡‡‡ Age, which causes crumbliness on all fronts^, and menopause, which eats your brain, probably also have some input here 

^ And backs.  I will discuss prospective author apparel and the black leather mini some other evening between now and bursting in on an unprepared Forbidden Planet like a really, really bad B movie extra.  

§ I will have several large, burly, invisible bodyguards protecting me from any attempt to wrest the end of PEG II out of me.  Mwa hahahahaha. 

§§ Barring hellhounds.  Hellhounds are always very real. 

§§§ I don’t ever want to do this continued-in-the-next-volume thing again!  PLEASE! 

# The invisible bodyguards are multi-talented.


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