Pub Date: A Tradition

This is what I wrote at The Memory Project, my original blob, back in 2007: 

Today is my pub date and I believe that every writer should consider this passage (from BIRD BY BIRD) on pub dates. 

"I remember one year my friend Carpenter and I had books out on the same day. We talked about it all summer. We each had modest expectations. I had modest expectations for his book; he had modest expectations for mine . . . Finally the big day arrived and I woke up happy, embarrassed in advance by all the praise and attention that would be forthcoming. I made coffee and practiced digging my toe in the dirt . . . Then I waited for the phone to ring. The phone did not know its part. It sat there silent as death with a head cold. By noon the noise of it not ringing began to wear badly on my nerves. Luckily, though, by noon it was time for the first beer of the day. I sat by the phone like a loyal dog, waiting for it to ring. Finally, finally it rang at four. I picked up the phone and heard Carpenter laughing hysterically, like some serial killer, and then I became hysterical, and eventually we both had to be sedated." 
(c) Anne Lamott

Social media has changed this, however. Friends are on Facebook and Twitter, wishing me well and reminding readers that I have a new book out. I've already had two stellar reviews -- Oline Cogdill for the Associated Press, Patrick Anderson for the Washington Post -- and done an interview for Baltimore's WYPR. 

No one will ever argue with you if you want to speak with great concern about our over-connected, plugged-in lives, with too much FaceTime and not enough face time. But one of my happiest memories is a day in August 2013 when several friends and I "talked" across five time zones, delighting in one woman's drunken celebration of her bacon sandwich. I keep a transcript of that chat on my desktop and it's my go-to when I need cheering up. 

OK, time to seize the day. I'm going to take Richmond like . . . the Southern-born woman that I am. In fact, I plan to talk about some hard personal history at the event tonight.