Fri 24 Oct 2008
Life has been simpler since I have accepted certain things about myself. I know, for instance, that I will never understand how the electricity comes out of the walls, nor will I ever know exactly why it takes TWO REMOTES to run my television set, and why it is that even then you have to press a series of buttons in rapid succession and if you make a mistake and miss one, then someone (not me–oh God not me) has to get out the manual again and reprogram the whole thing from scratch. But there are certain things I CAN do, even things with technology. I know how to work my iPod most of the time, and I can operate my cell phone and write emails! Almost 100% of the time they actually go through.
Okay. So I have this book coming out. I may have mentioned this. KISSING GAMES OF THE WORLD. Comes out on Election Day.
I decided that I should use my skills to write to my family members about this book. I have a far-flung family–lots and lots of cousins I hardly ever see, an uncle or two, and an aunt–and I decided that I should, you know, TELL them about the book.
So they could, you know, BUY IT.
I made up my mind to write them an email, a humble, informative–okay, BEGGING email. In it, I pointed out that I have hardly ever whined about a book coming out before, but that I had chosen to whine to them now because the economy has gone to hell and these days people hardly have two $10 bills to rub together…but if they DID have two $10 bills, I said, maybe they would like to pre-order my book on Amazon. You know, in the name of family love and values. I even humbly mentioned that Publishers Weekly had said the book was an "absolute treat, filled with realistic twists, complex characters, and a moving conclusion."
And then came the whining. I said that according to the publicist for the book (who would, I’m sure, have me go stand in Times Square in my underwear if it would sell even one more book!), pre-orders are very important to the life of a book these days! Could be the difference between a book that is gingerly tended to on life support and one that is tossed into the scrapheap of history, she said.
I gave the link to pre-order. It is here, if you are interested. And I signed it with love and hope that we would all see each other again soon.
Then I did something I never did before. I gathered all their email addresses and put them together in one file that I called "sandi shelton." I have always admired that other people send emails without everybody’s addresses showing all over the place. How elegant, I have thought. How technologically savvy such a person would be who did something like that!
I pressed the SEND button with no regrets.
But then, as always happens, there came the middle of the night. I was up late, blogging away about blonde chicken chili. To make the entry interesting, I decided to search the internets for a nice picture of a chili pepper and perhaps some spices. I found one and emailed it to myself and then I found a picture of spices on a spoon, and sent that to myself as well.
And then I realized what I had done. I had sent all my relatives (some who barely even know me as an adult) a begging email, followed by a wordless picture of a hot chili pepper, followed once again by a photo of spices on a spoon. Would they see this as a warning? A definitive sign that I have gone crazy?
Clearly, I had to say SOMETHING reassuring to them. So I wrote them another email, this one at 2 a.m., insisting on my own sanity. I tried to explain about the problems of emailing.
Readers of this blog, I have to report that mostly they have not answered me. Oh, my aunt wrote back and said simply, "fascinating." My mother’s brother said, "I was wondering where your mother’s genes had gotten to."
So now that I’m a known crazy person among my family members, I’m contemplating other, more daring, ventures. Perhaps I should start sending them pictures of different objects every few days or so: a bunny slipper, an eggplant that looks like Nixon, or maybe a Q-Tip. It might be a sort of ransom note: PRE-ORDER MY BOOK OR YOU WILL CONTINUE TO GET PHOTOGRAPHS IN EMAILS FROM ME!