Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Flight to Actual Bookdom

Last Thursday I woke at 3:30 AM Chicago time. My alarm was set for 4:00, but I always get anxious about travel, so I rolled out of bed and started moving early. I wasn't sleeping well anyway. All I could do was think how bizarre and wonderful it was that I was about to head to my first face to face meeting with my publisher at a restaurant in mid-town Manhattan, just around the way from Pen Station. Lunching in NYC with ones theoretical publisher is the kind of event one imagines happening, eventually, if everything works out.

I was nearly the only car on the road until I dropped onto Harlem and turned toward Midway. I was through security and at my gate with an hour and a half to spare. I tried to rest, not happening. I tried to read, eyes too tired.

Before 6:00 in the morning, when I've only had three hours of sleep, this is what it looks like out of my plane window.

I arrived on time to Newark Liberty International Airport, threw my bag over my shoulder and followed the signs to the bus and rode the bus through the Lincoln Tunnel to the Port Authority bus station. Once I hit the sidewalk I aimed myself the right direction and walked toward Pen Station. I arrived early, asked to be seated. The place was minimal with fresh red leather seats and black floors. Fifteen minutes later Karl walked in. We were joined by a friend of his, we ordered wine and food, talked about books and publishing, distribution and editing, and the Man Booker prize and it's surprising new perameters. After an hour and a half, Karl paid for my meal, shook my hand and left for another meeting.
Oh. I almost forgot. He handed me four proof copies of my actual, physical book.
After I backtracked to Newark and was waiting at my gate, I pulled the book out to ogle it. The man next to me asked what I was reading. I tried to play it cool, but I failed. I explained, "I just got back from a meeting with the man that is publishing my first book. This is a proof copy. He just gave it to me. I can't believe it." The man asked to see it, he flipped through it, and he read a bit of the first chapter. Then he asked where and when he could buy it, he took my picture, I took his picture, and we exchanged information. 
Newark Paulo endorses GFN
I was so tired, but I couldn't rest on the way home. I walked back into my home at 9:00pm.


This is not about Raymond Carver

Please don't read this post with any expectation that the various elements will somehow weave themselves into a pleasingly whole. That ...