She says this more or less casually, but also with the knowledge that this could be one of a very few times in her life — possibly the only time in her life, but she’s not quite ready to give up that dream yet — where she will be able to utter that sentence out loud: I’m having a book launch in New York. You should come.
I wrote that a little over two years ago, when my anthology came out and Chloe and I launched it at Bluestockings Bookstore and Activist Center way down near the bottom of Manhattan. To a full house of friends and family, some from way back, some I had never met before.
And now, here I am, staring down maybe 23 hours between me and all the things I have to do before getting on a plane tomorrow morning. And that plane, that airplane, it will fly to, well, to New Jersey, but then I will make my way (via Bushwick, Brooklyn) back to Manhattan, back to Bluestockings, where I will have the great pleasure of being part of another anthology launch. This one's for Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort's Here Come the Brides! Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, and it's gonna be a doozy: me, yes, but also Kim Reed, Joan Lipkin, Emily Douglas, Stephanie Schroeder (who is lending me her couch, no less — and it will fold out!) and cartoonist Jennifer Camper, in a night of story and celebration.
And if that weren't enough, the following Friday evening will find me onstage with 15 other bloggers (and, I am sure, no shortage of stomach butterflies) at the BlogHer 2012 Voices of the Year Community Keynote. The buzz surrounding this conference is, frankly a bit overwhelming: 4500 attendees! Private parties! Swag! Katie Couric and Martha Stewart! Rehearsals and green rooms and voice coaches and panels!
At both events, I'll reading about strong, beautiful women who left me and this world much too soon. For those of you who know me well (or for those of you who know me even somewhat well), this probably isn't surprising. I need to practice a bit more, to make sure that I don't tear up too much, but just enough — whatever that is.
(I'm also on a panel at BlogHer: on Friday, August 4, at 10:30 AM, Rita Arens, Jennifer Armstrong, and I will be discussing “Turning Your Blog Posts into Publishable Essays.” Come. Ask questions.)
I may feel somewhat less overwhelmed once I figure out what I'm going to wear, once I cross a few more items off my to-do list (just give you a sense of where things are at, I am writing this in the car while someone else is at soccer practice), once the plane takes off and I am finally, irrevocably, on my way. I may feel somewhat less overwhelmed once I'm finally there, when they call my name and I get to stand up and take out my notes and inhale and exhale and inhale again and smile and begin. Begin.
So, apparently, I get another night at Bluestockings. I get another couple of nights of readings in Manhattan. In fact, at this very moment, the universe feels as though it may just hold no shortage of readings in places that only once seemed unattainable.
All the more reason to finish up that second draft, already.
And, if you happen to be in the Big Apple in the next week or so, swing by and say hi.