1. The first hard copy of the book that I sold and autographed was at Sunny's in Red Hook, on Sunday, March 5, for a guy who goes by the name Tommy Nutsack. He is known as Tommy Nutsack, not just by me, but by most members of the Art Star community, because he used to appear on stage at open mics and performances naked, and his giant, swollen, exposed nutsack was, literally, the size of a grapefuit, completely obscuring his thumb-sized penis. A few months ago, he had nutsack surgery, and I understand from witnesses that the results were very positive for everybody. He'd also lost about fifty or sixty pounds since the last time I'd seen him, when I signed his book, the very first book I sold and signed, on March 5, 2006. To Tommy Nutsack. Keep on doing what you do!
2. There are two excerpts from the book online: almost all of Chapter One (except, oddly, the last two paragraphs), at Amazon.com, and Chapter Three, at Small Spiral Notebook. There is a podcast of me reading Chapter One here, but I don't really like it, because I cleared my throat about 800 times thinking it could be edited out, and it couldn't.
3. The Australian version of the book is now available. The book has gone into its second printing, and we're starting to prep the paperback edition. I hope to do some out-of-town readings for the paperback edition, which should be out next Spring.
4. I'm listening to Beyonce, Wishing on a Star, from the Roll Bounce soundtrack. Not so much a fact about the book, but random.
5. Sometimes I forget how awesome this all has been, and then I pass Barnes & Noble Union Square, and the book's in the front window, and then I remember. I remember working at Kirkus Reviews, where half my job was unpacking other people's galleys from Jiffy-Paks, thinking, One day, it's going to be my galley; how I sat alone in the cafeteria at lunch every day writing in my notebook, I feel okay about Chapter Three, but I don't know what comes next -- Chapter Four, I guess. How excited I was to finally finish a manuscript, how horrible it felt when it was rejected. How I almost gave up, thought about going back to school and becoming a shrink, couldn't figure out what to do with my life since major agents and publishers told me I wasn't going to be a writer. Then meeting Eric Nelson, who helped me figure out how to start over from scratch, how to write a proposal -- March 2004 was all about the proposal -- and how elated I was when it was finished, and I could once again picture my galley landing on my old desk at Kirkus, the hardcover in the window of Barnes & Noble Union Square.
6. I'm leaving on Friday for a working week on Fire Island. I'm staying at the house I was renting when I first spoke to Arielle Zibrak, the editor who asked, "Would you maybe be interested in a two-book deal?" Where I got the phone call from my agent, Alice Martell -- "We did it, kid. Random House." I was standing on the front porch, enveloped by the brilliant sun, and I felt such extreme, complete happiness that I couldn't imagine anyone ever dying, or hurting another person, or anything being less than perfect anywhere in the world.
Sometimes I forget.