Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blanking Out

(This scene of emptiness courtesy K. Cadigan)
Some writers' nightmare might be the empty computer screen--that expanse of white, without form and void as the pre-Creation deep, nothing to be seen but the cursor blinking, blinking, blinking. Other writers most dread human interaction; they would prefer to hole up out of sight, spitting the occasional bestseller through the mail slot without having to open the door.

In my case, I dread the empty chair.

Last night was another bookstore event, and I could feel the anxiety building. Honestly, who would come to the thing besides the couple long-suffering friends I begged, one of whom already had the stinking book and even hosted a launch party for me? The other I called up at 25 minutes till, to discover her stir-frying away because she thought the thing began later than it did. To make matters worse, a reader had asked me earlier in the day where I got my inspiration for Everliving's setting (the California redwoods). I stared at her. "I--I don't know." Only when I was driving home did I remember that, yes, in fact, there had been a source of inspiration and I could now recall what it was. Then I had to actually pick up the book to review the first chapter, since I hadn't looked at it in several months, and lo--! I realized the thing was possibly the worst novel ever written in the English language.

You might file all these anecdotes under "Crisis of Confidence."

There's a happy ending to this. Faithful readers did show, and not just the stir-fry friend who blew out of her house after I lit a fire under her. Faithful readers did show and were gracious enough to buy the Worst Novel Ever Written in the English Language (maybe as a collector's item), only one person dozed during the reading (my next book better have explosions in the first chapter, to keep everyone on their toes), and no one threw up (as per my last reading at University Book Store Bellevue). Goodness all around.
Do I look relieved? (K. Cadigan)

Speaking of "all around," the Bellevue store is undergoing a high-speed remodel. Right next to the event area stood stacked trash bins and orange cones, and the lights directly overhead no one could find the switch to. I was relieved there was an event space, since the week before all was dust and chaos. Once complete, however, the store should rival the Jewel in the Crown, a.k.a. Mill Creek. If you bemoaned Borders going out of business and the general demise of bookstores, pay our friends at UBS Bellevue a visit. As always, free gift-wrapping, free shipping and flavored Altoids. Thank you, Carolyn, Kim, Kiki, and the rest of the staff. You are awesome.
God bless you, every one! (K. Cadigan)
And thank you, once again, friends and reading public, for coming out to support me and share the love of story.

Now I can enjoy one day of peace before the anxiety kicks in again and I get back on the roller-coaster. Come put me out of my misery?
7:00 p.m.
Mill Creek Town Center
15311 Main Street
Mill Creek, WA 98012
(plenty of time to finish stir-frying before you hit the road)

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