Monday, August 08, 2005

A self-imposed abstinence of sorts

I had a very interesting experience this past weekend. My friend, Lee, of L&L (they of the evening of the infamous 'psychiatrist game') had a birthday party--a pool party on account of the excellent weather--and I was most disappointed not to be able to down some large and excellent looking Margaritas on account of the fact I had a reading at a local BN at 6.00 pm. At 5.00 pm, just as the food--I'm a voracious lover of good food--was about to be served, I duly left the party in sad spirits, doubly so because I was going to miss a game of softball that was to take part afterward, and drove to the reading. During the ride, I indulged a thought that the deities of the universe would undoubtedly be most benign this evening because of my heap of deprivations and would pull out all the stops and deliver me an alert audience of at least thirty bodies, all solvent, all anxious for a bit of Northern Irish culture.

The first signal that something was amiss was that there were no copies of my novel in the window. As I pushed open the double doors leading into the beautiful air-conditioning--it was wretchedly humid outside--the second clue became apparent because of its absence. The stand announcing an author event was also missing. Immediately, I went to the information desk, asked for the crm as I scanned the BN events leaflet, and was told she was not working that day.

After I explained myself, the bookseller contacted the manager who came out crimson-faced and very apologetic. The poor crm had made a mistake (when she'd contacted me about the reading she was only one week into the position) and put me down for a September date instead of August. I've just spoken to her now on the phone and we've settled on a September date, though she was still mortified about the mix-up.

It was all rather amusing really, particularly so since I hadn't really wanted to do the reading that evening, either. In hindsight, the fact that it was to take place on a Sat evening should have been a red flag. I should have mentioned at the time we were arranging the thing that it seemed to be an odd evening for an author event. In fact, I'd almost take a bet that John Grisham would not pull a big audience on a hot summer evening.

Anyway, back I went to the birthday party and, as I was coming up the driveway, I saw a bunch of people huddled in a circle on the front lawn. I got out of the car and went over. Poor Lee had injured her ankle in the softball game and was writhing in pain as someone applied ice to reduce the swelling. Not a nice way to celebrate one's birthday. However, no serious damage was done and I went back to the car, absolutely determined now that nothing was going to prevent me ending my Margarita abstinence.

At this time I'd also like to add, because Lee is a voracious reader and she's currently reading a book I've been interested to review on the blog, I've invited her to do the review. I won't give the title just yet, but it'll post in early September.


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