On Harleysville Books, Broken Heaters, and Hair Like Tumbleweed

Thursday, April 11, 2013



Yesterday, 3:30 AM. Left the sofa, where I had gone briefly to rest, to begin (again) client work, which became student work, which became the business of writing work, until I looked up at 10:15 or so and screamed. A brown cloud of termites had rushed through my office door and window—escapees from the new construction hole down the street. It happened in an instant, an actual instant. A storm of wings. Beth's cries for help. Clients calling in the midst. Beth pretending to be calm while the critters crawled along her computer screen.

2:30 PM. Settled in with Mr. Heater Man, who, like a physician, was delivering the final news about the new system now required for my old house. Ralph, Mr. Heater Man, is a very nice guy. Still, might as well be sending my son off to another semester of school. I, by now termite proof, smiled (more like grimaced). Wrote the check for the first third payment. Went back to work.

3:00 PM. Received news of an incredible pre-pub review that I will soon be able to share. See how nicely I am behaving? How properly? Not sharing? Yes. I am capable of the incomplete non-share. Even in my current state of sleep-deprived delirium.

5:25 PM. My friend Judy of the cabernet hair meets me for a walk around a Holiday Inn parking lot, just off the Lansdale exit. This is Judy's neighborhood. It is also partway between my home and Harleysville, where Shelly Plumb, the generous owner of Harleysville Books, has invited me to an evening of dinner and conversation regarding Small Damages. So Judy and I walk and talk and walk and talk, six laps or so around the ol' Inn. I love friends who do not mind the craziness of me, or the sweatiness of a walk on asphalt during a 90-degree day.

7:00 PM. In Harleysville with the aforementioned Shelly—I met her, felt like I'd always known her, perhaps I have always known her?—and some twenty others, who had kindly read Small Damages. Outside, there was lightning and downpour. Inside, wine, pasta, dessert, books. Any writer who is ever invited to Harleysville must go. It's a bastion of independent goodness. Also? For the record? Small Damages appears (see photo above) to be a crossover book.

10:00 PM. Home (through rain and a little hail) to more work.

2:30 AM. The aforementioned existing heater (which needs to hold on for just two more weeks) goes off on an all-cymbals clash-o-rama that probably woke President Obama. Did it wake you? It certainly woke me. Well, who goes to sleep after that?

7:00 AM. Hair like tumbleweed.

6 comments:

K. M. Walton said...

You are a wonder - a hard working, brilliant wonder. And Shelly from Harleysville Books is a as lovely as you say!

kelly said...

I cannot believe you went SWEATY to see Shelly's book club. She is a wonderful person, and I always BATHE for her and her patrons.

Jeb's Squares said...

Oh goody!!! I found your blog!

Your visit was truly wonderful and I had a great time; good spirits not even dampened by the wet drive home!

You have a new (hard-core) fan in me. (And maybe twenty or so more!)

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

The termites would have done me in. And yet you soldiered on!

Melissa Sarno said...

Now I picture you rolling, rolling down some dusty lane. It is my hope that you roll on to a very happy, breezy beach. Sleep well tonight - no more clanging heater, I hope!

patti.mallett_pp said...

May you and President Obama sleep well tonight. We need you both in good form.

I've imagined several of those above pictured clumps on your head, and none seem to work. It would help if you'd circled the one you were thinking of.

Glad you are being celebrated so well, and that you had a lovely evening....

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