I need a new Menemsha Blues shirt.

Years ago, a fellow author commented on how bizarre the life of a writer actually is. “You sit at your desk, alone, day after day, week after week, month after month,” my friend said. “You wrap yourself up in sweats or denim* and forego wearing make-up. You drink lots of coffee (tea, water, or otherwise). You don’t answer your phone. Or your doorbell. Your only friend is solitude. Finally you finish. Your book is published.”

Of course, my friend’s story (which perhaps I have embellished, but only a bit) does not end here. So let us continue.

“You publisher sends you a schedule of appearances and booksignings. You read it. You sigh. Then you throw your sweats or your denim into the wash. You dig through your closet in search of something decent to wear. Shouldn’t there be a plain black dress in there somewhere? And maybe a scarf? What about that blue skirt . . . Oh, wait. That one went to the Thrift Shop three years ago.You realize your mascara has dried up. But the time has come when you must look the way women once looked when they went uptown to lunch or maybe to church or when traveling first class on a plane.

“After all, you are now part of the world again. Or at least, you must appear to be. You must smile and speak to an audience other than yourself. Or your imaginary characters. Or your cat or your dog. And you must tell them about your wonderful book. If you do that, and do it moderately well, in a week or two or three, you will be allowed to slip into your sweats or your denim, sit back down at your computer, and begin the process all over again.”

So . . . that’s the whole story. And it’s my way of saying that if you’re on the Vineyard, or perhaps will be Columbus Day Weekend, please join me for the official launch of A VINEYARD CHRISTMAS. Maybe I’ll find my black dress by then.

Sat. Oct. 6, Edgartown Library, 3:00 p.m.

Sun. Oct. 7, Edgartown Books, Noon–2:00 p.m.

* When my editor approved my manuscript for the second book in my new Vineyard series, A ViNEYARD SUMMER (to be released July 2019), I decided I need to toss out my 20+-year-old Menemsha Blues green denim shirt. It’s been washed so much, it’s lost most of its color. And there’s a rip in the left sleeve at the elbow that the Island Home could easily navigate through. I’m going to miss that shirt.  

 

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