The best presents sometimes come late. Today's package from a factory in China by way of Motorbooks in Minneapolis is an advance copy of "The Weekend Starts on Wednesday."
To be honest, I wasn't a in love with the cover the publisher chose. NASCAR had produced a version using a photo of an orange sunset behind a race track that was dark, ominous and dramatic. (My daughter Gaby said it was great, "if you want the feel of going off to war." She nailed it.)
The white cover Motorbooks chose uses a kid as the main visual. But this isn't a kid's book, I reasoned. (Although I act like I'm 12 in some parts, only three of the 40 or so fan stories prominently feature children.) Plus, I was informed by a friend in publishing "white covers don't sell unless you're Al Gore." (I'd gladly take Al Gore's book sales but wouldn't trade my professional life for his now, as entire villages in South America are on the verge of being wiped out in this record cold, along with the Florida Orange crop. Isn't it funny all the dignitaries delayed in getting to the global warming conventions because of historically frigid weather.)
Then I ripped open the package and got my paws on the book. Man, that cover looked perfect. The book was heavier than I'd have imagined. Those on the train can use it as a weapon should trouble stir. The publisher invested in thick, glossy paper you'd never dare dog ear. (The pages are the quality of a coffee table book. But it's smaller, 6" x 9". An expresso table book?) The color photos pop -- about 75 in all. (I am growing to regret using a toothless one of myself for the story, "My Doctors Only Want to Talk NASCAR." Not a smart career move, but who needs a career.)
All in all, it looks SWEET.
The book sits next to my computer. I keep picking it up, thumbing through, smiling like a baboon. Since I began writing on bathroom walls in school, I always wanted to be a "published" author. The feeling is satisfying, and I can't sit still.
I'm going for a run and will be careful. Giddy days of happiness and good fortune are generally when one's thoughts are off in CandyLand and you get flattened by a bus.