Saturday, November 19, 2005


My Halloween book launch party.

I had prepared well for this party. The theme was good: I would hold it in the woods, where the book itself was set. I sent handwritten postcards to every publisher for miles around. Also to magazine writers. Even some in New York City, on a lark. On a hope.

I organized a clearing in the woods, and ringed the clearing with candles and different computer printouts of huge 8.5" tall, 11" wide words such as "A HIT," and "TOP SELLER." I placed two plates of cubed cheese approximately 20' apart, one white, one yellow. The flavor of cheese was Sargento. Italian cheese is in such demand these days. The bottles of cold wine were kept in an ice bath.

As it was Halloween I dressed in a costume of Dracula. This costume is pleasing to me. I enjoy the chance to slick my hair down, just as papa had done in his wedding photo those many years ago.

As the hour of the start of the party drew near, I began to worry slightly. Was 2am not a good time for publishers? I understand they usually get up early to read the trade papers, but I thought my party would be a good reason for them to change their routine. I was taking a chance. I hoped they would, too.

By 2:50 no publishers had come to my party. I was full of doubts, even though it is of a fashion to be late. Then, a shuffle of feet. Teen-agers entered the clearing, dressed in black capes. They said they were surprised to see me, and could they sample of the wine and cheeses. I was hostly and said of course, and let them get comfortable. Then one by one I made discussion with them about books, to see if any were in publishing families.

Slowly it became clear that they were not any of them to do with publishing, and I grew angry. This party was a farce, and no one had come for the right reason. I would have Taken several of them if I had not been mindful of a publisher showing up late, only to find me Taking a guest. Instead, I politely told them to leave. It is hard to get flies off of honey, however, and they did not immediately want to go, but when I showed them my erect penis they scattered to the four winds.

What is left to do is follow-up. I have made a plan to visit many of the publishers to whom I had sent an invitation. I will go a-calling.

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