Saturday, October 25, 2008

Veeka dresses as Nemo

Yes, this year Miss Veeka has become Nemo-the-fish. She has a lovely orange little fish suit. Am including some photos from a Halloween party I took her to tonight. One photo shows her with tail and all and another is her trying to show me her little tail.
The other photo is me at a booksigning. Am not sure why the flash attachment did not work well. I have been having the worst time getting my books on the "new non-fiction" display shelves at Borders - have been in 3 of the stores that are close to me and "Quitting Church" is nowhere to be found. And have I heard stupid excuses. Like the buyer at the Borders at 14th and F Streets (about 2 blocks from the White House) downtown said most people there weren't interested in religion but in politics. I pointed to Victoria Osteen's book sitting prominently behind him and asked, "What is THAT then?" So if any of you are inside a Borders, complain like crazy that this book is not on display, especially since it's done relatively well as books go.
I've met enough people who saw my book in a store and simply picked it up to know how helpful it is to simply have a book sitting there waiting to be bought. My booksigning last week was pretty low key. I unloaded 12 books, which is kind of minimal. The bookstore owner, to my shock, had only ordered five of my books, as though she thought that is all I would sell and she was not going to invest any more of her money in it than she had to. I was furious. Fortunately I had some author's copies in the car which we sold, but those are for a bunch of purposes and not to be a back-up when the bookstore owner doesn't feel like ordering the minimum number. It was weird because the owner ordered in some lovely refreshments but...only five books?
Work was busy, busy this past week. I covered an Episcopal property trial, a Catholic pharmacy opening where the pharmacist won't stock birth control or any kind of contraception, pornographic magazines or cigarettes. It's one of a few in the country like that. And then I did something on humanist Sunday schools and Catholics holding vigil outside of abortion clinics around the country.
My bed is calling....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

7,000 sold so far

No huge news yet but I just heard from my publisher that 7,000 copies of "Quitting Church" have sold - and that's only 6 weeks since the publication date! Plus it's mostly word of mouth plus some radio interviews as I have had NO major - or minor for that matter - TV exposure. If anyone has links to Fresh Air, CSPAN's book show, Dennis Wholley on PBS, Oprah and others, *any* others, please let me know! I have called a few of these folks and cannot even get my calls answered. A fellow staffer at the Times who has also just come out with a book on national security is having tough times getting through to folks as well. He told me it's really hard to market anything other than something on the election or the economy right now. So I guess I've done fairly well, considering everything.
I do have a publicist with the publisher helping me out but he has no ins here in Washington, unfortunately.
Still, I am working at keeping the buzz going, so will be having a booksigning this Saturday at the Book Nook, 5606 Baltimore Ave. in Hyattsville (20781) in, of course, Maryland, should anyone reading this want to drop by. The time is 3-5 pm. I finally landed one at the well-trafficked Barnes & Noble in Tysons Corner (remember B&N has my book in stock) but not until January :(
I have gotten a few notes from some folks in Seattle who have read the book, so if anyone wants to put together a signing for the week I am there (during Christmas), let me know. Maybe Bellevue Square?
BTW, if you click on the WTimes web site, and then click on the videos, you can see the new ones I post each week on religion topics. I just learned that ones I an among the top five persons whose videos are viewed.
Pictured here is Miss Veeka lazing on my bed.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Oma and Opa visit

Oma and Opa dropped in last week, starting with a late night arrival at BWI (airport) and ending up in my bed as I slept on the couch downstairs. Opa got put to work fixing various things around the house and putting up hooks and light fixtures. Oma helped me catch up on my sewing and rearranged Veeka's messy room. They pronounced themselves pleased with my new home. It's really good they were there as the following night, at exactly midnight, we were all awoken by a horrible barking sound which turned out to be the Little One herself with a case of croup. She'd just had a shot that day - a booster for DTP or DPT - anyway, she could barely breathe.
I was too upset to handle being on the phone with the nurse (who kept on asking inane questions while Veeka was lying there gasping for air), so Oma handled the medical end of things with her while Opa and I found hot steaming bowls of water, the vapors of which we forced Veeka to inhale until she began to breathe easier. She finally fell asleep in his arms. We were up til 2:30 a.m. and I ended up on the floor beside her bed. We all stayed home the next day and my parents gave up one day of their trip to Connecticut to make sure Veeka was going to stay well. The next day, we put them on the train at Union Station so all was well that ends well.
So, here are photos of Opa reading to Veeka about triangles from a book that tries to help kids understand geometric concepts and of Oma reading, I think, to the little one. She loved having them around because Oma taught her how to have tea with her dollies and Opa provided a lap she loved crawling onto. Of course Veeka will jump on the lap of any male present in the room - she wants a daddy more than a sister it seems - but unfortunately her mommy can't always conjure up such things.
So now we are back to just the two of us. I continue to do lots of radio interviews for "Quitting Church" and my first book signing will be at a local bookstore on the 18th. The weather is warm but unfortunately it's getting too dark in the evenings for our daily walks. Veeka loves going out after dinner to explore the neighborhood and seek out the local kitties.