Pub date is a funny thing. There’s such expectation around it, such anticipation and bated breath. It’s kind of like Christmas day finally arriving when I was little, and I couldn’t believe the actual day had come, because it was just so fabulous to have prettily wrapped presents under the tree and then to unwrap them only to find a new Barbie! A science kit with a real frog (preserved in formaldehyde) to dissect! Lindt chocolate bars! A Nintendo!
Except pub date isn’t exactly like that. It’s pretty much a day like any other. For example, I cleaned cat puke off the front porch today, which sadly is not an unusual occurrence at the Reid/White household. (Thanks a lot, Peanut.) And tonight Sam and I will watch the News Hour on PBS (I adore Gwynn Ifill) and then eat a big salad from veggies purchased at the Morningside market last Saturday, then finish up the leftover cobbler. We could go out to dinner, but I don’t like to do that when there’s good food in the fridge (when did I turn into my Depression era grandma?) We’ll probably go on a walk around the neighborhood once things cool off a bit, and I might even do some gardening to distract me from nerves. There are two hydrangea bushes that need transferring and two tomato plants that need staking. I’ll definitely be checking my email more maniacally, and trying not to look atAmazon to see where the book ranks, but then looking anyway. But mostly, it will be a normal day, and when I reflect over the fact that a normal day means walking and eating good food and spending time with Sam Reid, then I have to give thanks for the new normal.
But also, today is special. Because while there will not be presents under the tree, nor, I assume, the second coming of Christ (if He does come, do like the bumper sticker advises and “Look Busy!) a quieter miracle has occurred. The miracle of taking all of the bits of my life, my interests, my obsessions, my past, my tastes, my grief and my joy, and filtering all of those experiences and synapse fires into a fictitious story that somehow says something true about me, the way my brain works, and the way I see the world. And then getting to share that story not just with friends and family, but with people I will never meet in person, yet whom I will have this intimate exchange with.
I’m also lucky that this past Sunday, more than 200 people showed up to support the new book at a launch party hosted by Georgia Center for the Book. You can view the A Place at the Table Launch Party Photos here. It was a lovely, lovely evening. So many people from my past were there, wishing me well, celebrating the book, relating to the things Susan Puckett and I discussed, namely that food is a powerful carrier of our DNA. (We are what we eat, or as the protagonist of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man says, “I yam what I yam.”
I’m incredibly grateful to live among a community of family and friends.
Now I must go check Amazon. Then dig some holes in the ground.