No weblog? No worries.

NOTE NOTE NOTE: There was some kind of technological hiccup, and the first two comments to this post went missing. If you were one of those people, I apologize. Please enter your comment again — one comment for each bookstore you visited/called.

For those of you who

(1) would like to participate in the Tied to the Tracks meme
(2) but don’t have weblogs
(3) and still are interested in
(a) helping me get the word out about the TTTT trade paper release;
(b) an Amazon gift certificate;
(c) a pile o’ books…

…here’s a different kind of contest.

NOTE: this is for those of you in North America. There will be yet another contest for the rest of the world, coming soon.

Between now and July 5, either visit or call a local bookstore (that is, a brick-n-mortar store, near where you live or work). Once you’ve got the attention of a human being, ask:

1. When Tied to the Tracks will be released in trade paper;
2. When they expect to have it in the store;
3. How many copies will be available.

How you handle the answers you get is up to you. I certainly don’t expect you to buy a copy from every bookstore in your town. Or any copy at all, for that matter. I refrain from asking questions about the purchasing habits of people who visit here for a good reason: none of my business.

How to enter the contest:

Leave a comment to this post in which you state:

1. the name of the bookstore you called;
2. the city;
3. briefly, what answer you got to your questions.

So for example: I called a Barnes & Noble on State Street in Cincinnati and they said they had one copy of TTTT on order, but no idea when it would be in the store.

Or: I called the Tattered Cover in Denver (Cherry Creek) and they said they have three copies on order, they expected it on July 3, and did I want to reserve one?

Or: I called Borders in Ann Arbor, and they couldn’t find any record of anything you’ve ever wrote, and told me I was hallucinating.

(Let’s hope there aren’t too many like the last one.)

If you call or visit three different bookstores, you can enter three times. That means: for each phone call or visit, you submit a new comment.

I will draw two names at random (so if you enter more than once, your chances are much improved) and each of the winners will receive a $50 Amazon gift certificate and a pile o’ books.

Some notes:

Your help in getting out the word is very much appreciated. If I could give everybody a pile o’ books, I would do that happily.
For the most part, this contest depends on the honor system. You could cheat, of course, by making up the information you submit, but that would make you a Hater of Democracy.

All decisions of the judge (me) are final.

If you are going to participate in the meme, you can still enter this contest — but you can’t win both of them.

Your help in getting out the word is very much appreciated. If I could give everybody a pile o’ books, I would do that happily. For the moment, I can promise two people fifty bucks and a pile o’ books for making a phone call.

There’s a lot riding on this release of TTTT. If you can suggest it to one person, that would be a great help.

see you Monday

The Girlchild and I are taking a short trip this weekend so I won’t be around. Probably won’t be checking email, either.

We’ll be back in the late evening on Monday. I’ll try to send a postcard or two.

In the meantime, Robyn (flyrobyfly, not the Radiant Robyn) went and put together a big ole myspace page for my books, etc. I’d give you the link but I just messed up the page. Tinkering with a paragraph break, and I broke the whole thing. I’m hoping that Robyn will forgive me and be able to fix it quickly.

The Girlchild doesn’t know about this MySpace thing yet. She will not be happy about me horning in on her territory. She will probably try to run me off, get up a posse of her friends and they’ll all tell me I’m TOO OLD for MySpace and how EMBARRASSING it is that I don’t recognize that without being told.

As I have made a career out of embarrassing her for a good many years, I think the site is safe.

Are y’all working on your Mememe Memes?

in which I am rescued by PBW

I really meant to write the next post about plot/story yesterday. Then I meant to write it today. And now it’s almost midnight, and I don’t have enough wits about me to write something I really have to think about.

Then PBW threw out this meme. I am saved.

Eight random facts about me:

1. I first got braces at age 28; I made the orthodontist take them off two years later because I refused to get married with a metal mouth.

2. My eyesight is really, really bad. I wore contacts from age fourteen (yes, in 1970 I was wearing contacts) until age 42, when my eyes simply refused to cooperate. Every day I put on my glasses and wish for contacts.

3. I adore dogs. I especially love smallish dogs (10-15 pounds); I would have ten of them if the Mathematician would only see the light. I’d have a couple Havanese, a couple of small terriers of various kinds (Norfolk, Australian, etc), and the rest would be rescues.

4. When I left academia and started working out of the house, I stopped doing housework of any kind. Now the fantastic Isabel comes for one day a week and whips the whole house and all the laundry into shape. If money were no issue, I’d pay her a huge salary with full benefits and she’d only have to work two days a week. Because she’s that good.

5. I am really bad at cards and board games both. My brain doesn’t work that way. Or at least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

6. I like rap (not all, but a lot of it), and I always have, since the beginning.

7. If money were no issue, I’d spend all my time taking art courses and playing with paint, pastels, pencils, and every kind of fiber-related material. And listening to books on tape while I worked.

8. My daughter is taller, skinnier, far prettier, smarter, more politically savvy, and better read than I was at her age. She eats what she likes and wears a size two; she rarely breaks out, and she’s got both the Mathematician’s math genes and my storytelling/writing stuff. My biggest and bestest accomplishment ever: the Girlchild.

I’m supposed to tag EIGHT people, which is really way too much. I can put down a couple names. None of these people will play, but there will be eight names:

Shonda Rhimes, Alice Munro, Robyn Bender, Al Gore, Annie Proulx, Noam Chomsky, Anna Quinlan, A.S. Byatt


PS Speaking of Shonda Rhimes, this is reason enough for my great big ole girlcrush.

Who wrote this meme, anyway?

Jordon to PBW, where I picked it up. Have away at it, if you’re interested.

Women’s Fiction Book Meme1

Contemporary, Historical, or Paranormal?
I’m omnivorous, with the exception of paranormal. It gives me hives. And what about paranormal historical? Or alternate reality historical paranormals?

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
If I love a book to pieces, I’ll buy a couple hardcover copies, and try to get a first edition as well. For general buying: trade paperback if I can get it. Mass market: last resort.

Heyer or Austen? I think Heyer would be upset at this question. Austen. Of course.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar? I live in the boonies. We have one good brick and mortar, but it takes them time to get stuff. So Amazon mostly, with forays into reality now and then.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Barnes & Noble: generally poorly stocked, in my experience. Borders because I shopped at the original one in Ann Arbor before it went all borg on me. But I get to a Borders maybe once a year.

Woodiwiss or Lindsay? Will I get drummed out of the girls’ club if I say I haven’t read Lindsay?

First romance novel you ever remember reading? The Wolf and the Dove, classic Woodiwiss.

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random? You forgot one: Alphabetized by well paid assistant. I have almost 4,000 books in this house (not counting duplicates and stock of my own books); organization is not a one person proposition.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell? Donate or give away what I don’t keep — which isn’t much.

Read with dustjacket or remove it? Dustjacket goes in archival brodart, and then is put carefully aside while I read. Go ahead, laugh. But I’ve got pristine first editions of Byatt’s Possession, Morrisson’s Beloved, Ondaatje’s The English Patient, and a lot of other titles.

Sookie Stackhouse or Anita Blake? No, and no.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? What is this ‘stop reading’ you speak of?

It was a dark and stormy night or Once upon a time?2

Crusie or SEP? Try to make me pick. Just try. I must have both.

Buy or Borrow? Buy. Buy. Buy. If authors don’t buy, how can we ask our readers to buy?

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse? I’ll take my drug anyway I come across it.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger? First one, then the other. In no particular order.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading? I’m trying to perfect dream reading. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Series or standalone? A good standalone is like an excellent dish of chicken piccata or a perfect salad. A good series is like a banquet, dish after dish.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
I’m mighty fond of The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carlton, and I’m always pushing it –so some people have heard of it. Another treasure that didn’t get the attention it deserved: Wrongful Death, by Baine Kerr.

1. If there’s Women’s Fiction, is there such a thing as Man Fiction? Manly Fiction? And if so, do I have to get special permission to read those books? In other words: why promote such restrictive and artificial distinctions?

1.1. And why did I take on this meme, you’re wondering, if I disapprove. Obvious answer: Some years ago I was infected with the Footnote Bug, which flares up at odd moments.

1.2. The Footnote Bug is viral. Hangs around university settings. No known cure.

2. Surely there must be more interesting ways to force polarity on fiction.

2.1. For example: Happily Ever After (or) End of the World.