My friend Suzanne Beecher’s book launch of Muffins and Mayhem is today, and I’m almost as excited about it as she is. The first time an author sees her work in an honest-to-goodness published form with a cover and blurbs and all the things that “real” writers have is a heady moment. Even if you’ve had your hands on the advance review copies, it isn’t the same as the real book. I’ve had that giddy moment several times, but it always seems like the first time, and you always go around all day with a goofy grin on your face, forgetting what you’re doing every other moment because your mind is on the book.
Being the friend of an author with a book launch is a way to get that same thrill vicariously. So while the pride and pleasure of accomplishment all belong to Suzanne, I’m also going around with a goofy grin on my face, and my mind is on Suzanne and how she’s feeling.
Now here’s the weird part: I woke up thinking about her and her special day, but I haven’t called because I’ve sent her a huge bouquet of balloons to celebrate the occasion. In my imagination, I saw the delivery person at her doorstep at dawn holding this immense bunch of balloons. In my imagination, she was still in her PJs when she got them, and she went immediately to put them on the pillar that stands beside her driveway for all the world to share. Then she would call me and I would yell “Congratulations!” and she would enjoy the balloons for the rest of the day.
But it’s past noon and she hasn’t called so I know the balloons haven’t been delivered. I checked with the balloon people and delivery is guaranteed between nine o’clock and six o’clock. If they don’t arrive until evening, what kind of happy surprise is that????
I want the balloons to be a surprise and I know I can’t keep my mouth shut. If I called, I would blurt, “I’ve sent you balloons!” and spoil the surprise. So now I’m worried that she will think I don’t care or that I’ve forgotten, when really I’m grinning and excited and care a lot, but the damn balloons haven’t been delivered so I’ll keep waiting until they have been. Like I said, launch day of a new book is an exciting day for a new author. For friends of the author of a new book, it can be a nail-biter.