Dogs and snail bait and birthdays and pre-pub dinners, oh my!
It was a rough weekend.
We have three dogs — Lulu (an old, black lab who a friend of ours found on the street and gave to us 12 years ago), Willie (a weirdo mixed breed pound dog) and Hank (our little boston terrier puppy). Long story short, our gardeners put down snail bait in our backyard without telling us and Willie and Lulu ate a bunch. They both started having convulsions.
They spent the weekend in our local animal hospital (praise them!) and, thankfully, pulled through — after full blood transfusions and stomach pumping and enemas and intubation and medication and on and on. On Saturday morning, we got a call from the hospital telling us that Willie had taken a turn for the worse and, if things continued to spiral, he would have to be moved to a different facility, which would require ventilation and animal ambulances — but he recovered.
So… long weekend, positive outcome.
Mixed into all that, on Sunday, our son Chris had his 10th birthday — double digits, at last! We all went to Yamato to celebrate (a sort of local Benihana) and then, today, we’re going to continue the fun by going to Universal Studios theme park. Bob Ducsay at the Sommers company (the folks producing the movie of NIGHTMARE ACADEMY for Universal) was kind enough to hook us up with some sort of fancy tickets, so we’re looking forward to that.
On Tuesday night, I went to Pasadena to meet with a bunch of booksellers for the LA pre-pub dinner for NIGHTMARE ACADEMY and I truly had a blast. We hung out for four hours and laughed and I got to talk about the book and where the series is headed. I also got to meet Deb Murphy, the LA rep for HarperCollins. She was really smart and sweet and seemed to be genuinely excited about the book.
The only weirdness (and it has happened at all these dinners) involved my utter inability to remember people’s names, in spite of truly making an effort. Usually, you’re introduced to about 12 people in quick succession (“Hi, I’m Clive”, I’m Roberta”, “Nice to meet you — Owen”, “Tracy”, etc.) and, try as I might, I just get lost. Then, you spend the next four hours getting to know them and, usually, really liking them — but you’ve only heard their name one time and, by then, I’ve forgotten it. At the evening’s close, folks usually bring out their ARC’s and ask you to sign it to them… and that’s where the weirdness begins because I’ve never had anyone say “Just sign it to Clive”, they just hand you a book and you stare at it, NOT knowing that you’ve forgotten their name even though you’ve been laughing and joking and having fun with them for the last FOUR HOURS. I have to figure out a way to deal with this because I end up feeling like a moron. I finally just announced to the table “please don’t take it personally, and I’ve LOVED meeting everyone tonight, but I’ve forgotten every single one of your names, so if you could just remind me…”
So… other than that hiccup (which always happens) I had a truly wonderful time. Some of the folks there were from San Dimas, which instantly brings visions of Bill and Ted (BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE) into my head… which it clearly does for other people, as well, because they said that’s what virtually everyone says to them when they say they’re from San Dimas.
Other than that… just writing, writing, writing. Book 2 is coming along great. I’ve hit a nice groove on it and I expect to have a draft done by the end of the month (hopefully).