After running 13.1 miles in a half-marathon, I bet most people hobble home and collapse on the couch or a bathtub full of ice. I decided to hobble home and then hobble back downtown to PAR-TAY! It was somewhat difficult marching up the spiral staircase to the dining room at The Milano Inn where I was holding my book release party, but I made it to the top without tripping or without anyone looking up my skirt…I think.
I’ve never thrown a party before in my life. Even my childhood birthday parties were hosted by my mom, who bought the cake and ice cream and whisked my hair out of the candle flames before my head was set on fire. Since she’d proven herself so well in the past, I put her in charge of organizing this brouhaha. Thanks, Mom! There are a lot of questions that go into planning a party, like, where do we hold it? Do we serve food? How many people are going to come? Why am I so stressed out planning an event that is supposed to be fun? Little did I need to worry though, because I had a fantastic time, which is why combined with finishing a half-marathon earlier that day, I considered it to be one of the best days of my life.
My cousins Allison and Adrienne and my Aunt Elaine helped me and my mom set up the room. As people started to trickle in, I greeted them and started signing books. One of the cool things about having a book published is that you get to write in other people’s books and it’s not considered vandalism.
To keep the guests entertained as people kept arriving, we introduced the “Lick the Produce” quiz. I printed out images of all the fruits and vegetables I’ve tried in the Lick the Produce series over the past year and made people fill out surveys guessing what they were. Nicole helped us out by doing a lovely Vanna White impression.
It wasn’t done just for fun though, it was done for free pasta! Since I’m the PastaQueen, I decided I needed to bestow my bounty upon the winner. Ari over at FiberGourmet donated a lovely gift basket that we gave away to Nancy, who got the most correct answers with 11 out of 28. (It was a hard quiz!) Here’s a picture of me and my mom (the PastaQueen Mother?) with the basket.
As you’ll notice, I am holding a Spaghetti Scepter, lovingly handcrafted by my Aunt Donna from a pasta server, ribbon, sparkly jewels, and lots of hot glue. She surprised me by spending the night making them as party favors. Thanks, Donna!
Next up I read the “Trail Mix” chapter in my book in honor of Indianapolis since it takes place on our local nature trail. I tried not to talk to fast and to project my voice. I hadn’t read the chapter for a couple months, so as I was reading I was also scanning slightly ahead so I wouldn’t trip over the words. My heart stopped a little when I saw that the word “bastard” was coming up and glanced at my mom’s church friends in the corner of the room. Oh, well! If they were okay with a book titled Half-Assed hopefully they weren’t offended by my potty mouth.
After that I did a Q&A. At the end my mom just happened to ask what I would be doing this weekend and I made my big Today Show announcement. After that we ate and I got to talk to my friends and meet several of my readers. It’s so awesome to meet people in person and finally put faces to IP addresses. It’s odd, but I would probably recognize a lot of you more by your email addresses than your actual names. I was a little worried that I might be crashing somebody’s diet by serving spaghetti and meatballs and fettucini alfredo and lasagna, but Lord knows I needed the carbs after all the running around I’d done that day.
Amy and Nicole took a picture with my cover signs, pretending they were standing in my fat pants too. I stole a couple of their pics for this post and Allison sent me the rest. Thanks for the photos, guys!
And then people started to trickle out and the party was over. My Aunt Elaine and cousin Allison posed me for several pictures, making it truly like the wedding reception I never had. Instead of stuffing cake into some guys face, I held up my Spaghetti Scepter next to my book sign. For several hours I was transported to a parallel dream world where I had no problems, everyone was happy for me, and there was lots of pasta. The happiness just glowed outwards and I had a great time, even though my feet were battered from running and started to hurt in my heels.
Then I went home and slept for nine bazillion years.
Thank you to everyone who attended! I hope you had a good time too. Special thanks to my mom, Donna, Elaine, Adrienne and Allison for all their work and planning. Thanks to my publisher for the signs and their other support. And kudos to our server Barb who cracked me up and truly earned her tips by walking up and down the stairs from the kitchen to our dining room.
Maybe we can do this again some time.