Monday, June 23, 2008

Operation HMFAAT

Operation HMFAAT went pretty darn well. Here's the executive summary. I'll go into more detail on key things later:

Day One: Travel day. Things got a little dicey due to thunderstorms in the Dallas area. Landed late. Supposed to fly to Austin, then on to San Jose, CA. Luckily, because we are late and because it is international flight for which I had to go through immigration/customs, I have all my luggage with me. Smart enough to go to the help desk and I am on a flight directly to San Jose, to get in one hour earlier. So lucky break on that and connected with my brother-in-law with out too much trouble (considering I had no cell phone). Settled in at my mother-in-law's house. Pretty sweet set up for me. I got a bedroom/bed, internet access, a car (my old volvo), a borrowed cell phone, most meals when around and laundry. I'm still not sure why I gave that up and came home.

Day Two: Business stuff, banking, hair appointment. First attempt at a bookstore. Didn't do well. All buyers are in LA at Book EXPO (duh!). And I get referred to the consignment buyer (here is the start of fighting that bad self-published reputation). I look beautiful, but feel a little lost. I knew it was going to be hard, but need to buck up. Get to talk to my family. Bells kindly asks that I call again tomorrow.

Day Three: CA Resale license, visit with my FRIEND, M. She has been big BIG help during this process. Has seen all the steps, helped critique things, set me up with a copy editor. She is to see the book for the first time! She loves it. Hang out with her all day. Go to her daughter's softball game. She drags out the book for all the other softball mom's. We take orders for over 10 books. Pretty good day. I call home too late and kids are asleep. Good book day, feel guilty.

Day Four: Hang out with M some more. Show/talk to people about the book. Chit Chat. She calls this "media training." I am a little skeptical, however it is interesting to have these questions thrown at me. There starts to be similar questions. I start to refine, simplify, and make consistent my answers. I try the Milpitas Library and get referred to a central buyer. I try the Santa Clara library and manage to leave a sell sheet.

Day Five: During breakfast, my father-in-law has some kind of episode. Mommi, J and W take him to the hospital. He is admitted and hydrated. I spend most of the day worried and on the computer. We meet up with other family for dinner.

Day Six - Nine: Time spent with M, time spent at home on the computer. Preparing packets. Getting bookmarks made for school visits. Mostly waiting for the DARN BOOKS to arrive.

Day Ten: School reading at Challenger School. My sister-in-law works there as kinder teacher and got me in for all the kinder classes. My first reading for native English speakers. I got to do it for two groups (one of 3 classes, one of 2 classes). It goes well. They like it. I learn some things about how to do it better. First grade is run by different principal. I have my sister-in-law introduce and we ask if I can just try to read a book to a first grade class to see the difference. The principal is looking for a way to say no. It's late. It's almost the end of day/week/year. It's unannounced. I ask if he wants to see the book. He begrudgingly accepts, and flips through. He says, "I see nothing objectionable here." Then it dawns on him that I am the writer. His whole attitude changes. "Let's go see if we can get you in." It felt good. I am glad I did it. First grade is different.

Day ELEVEN: Books FINALLY arrive. Now we are off to the races.

Day Twelve - Sixteen: A total madhouse. Busy Busy Busy. I can no longer recall what I did on what days. I stuff envelopes for award submissions. I stuff envelopes for reviews. I spend time and a small fortune at the local post office. I visit many, many stores, libraries. Some successes, some lukewarm, some not so good. More on that another time. I do another school reading at Stocklmeir Kinders. I spend time with my friend. I spend time with my family. I shop for the essentials to take back to Costa Rica (toys for the kids, replenish my paperback stack, new underwear for everyone - yippee).

Day Seventeen: I pack until midnight and am up by 3am for my flight. I get home exhausted, but without event. And I got to watch 28 dresses on the plane. By myself.


Kathryn said...

Wow! Sounds completely exhausting and exhilirating. :)

Jenny said...

Holy...moly. Maybe I'll just sell Avon rather than trying for the writer thing. I'm so tired from reading your post...I have to go to bed now.
Glad your back...well...there. And glad most of the trip went well.
How is your...was it FIL or Grandfather?...who went to the hospital?

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