Excitement and exhaustion

Lots of exciting things are happening with the book!  The Amazon link for pre-orders is already up, which is pretty cool, although it doesn’t have the full info yet.  I need to do a bunch of things including sign up for the ‘affiliates’ thingamingy for the online booksellers, put up a “buy” link on my home page, etc.

I just returned from the Unity journalists of color convention in Chicago, where I got to see Barack Obama speak.  Obama seemed personable and charming, but he definitely has his schtick down after all these months of campaigning, so nothing very spontaneous or exciting happened.  He’s clearly practiced at finding the middle-of-the-road answers.  Still, it was nice to see him for myself since he’ll probably be our next president.  I’ll vote for him, but I wasn’t quite moved enough to buy a t-shirt.  Maybe a bumper sticker, though. 🙂

At the convention, the mood among newspaper folks was grim.  Multiple rounds of layoffs mean that almost no book reviewers are left on staffs anywhere.  But there are plenty of other media out there, and it seems like folks are quite interested in covering the book and/or me when it comes out.  Advance media copies should be going out in the next month or so.

I did the schmoozing thing and remembered that when I was a student working for the student newspaper at a similar convention back in the early ’90s, I wrote an article called “The Art of Schmoozing.”  Ha!  I remember the article mainly because it was my chance to meet and interview one of my heroes, Helen Zia, who was then at Ms magazine and who had covered the Vincent Chin hate crime case in the 1980s.  I had a chance to see Helen again briefly at the convention, and am happy that she’s now a friend.  Of course the networking is really what conferences are about, more than the panels and workshops and such.  This time the student journalists who cover the convention created not only an onsite newspaper but also television and online coverage (Unity News).  All the talk was about convergence and multiple platforms, though I can’t help feeling that at most newspapers the efforts are a bit too little, too late.

While in Chicago, I also heard from my editor that the editor of a major publication is interested in excerpting the book.  It would be really incredible if that comes true.  I mean really, really incredible.  Stay tuned!

Travel can be exhausting, and I was delayed an extra day in Chicago due to supposed “weather” problems– although the skies were clear in Chicago and my flight was routed through Las Vegas, which never has any weather, unless you count the artificial “snow room” in the spa at Caesar’s Palace.  So I think “weather” was just an excuse so they didn’t have to give us any hotel or food vouchers.  I was already so tired from getting too little sleep the previous nights that I almost cried when the airline woman suggested that if I didn’t want to pay for my own hotel room, I could just wait in the terminal overnight until the 5 a.m. flight.  Sigh.  So, eighty-five dollars and eight hours later…

George picked me up at SF airport and we went directly to the new Udupi Palace in the Mission District.  Delicious dosa, much better than the pricey place half a block away, and just what I needed after a week of eating very random food in Chicago — a lovely city but not necessarily the best place to be vegan.  Then we went to Osento, the women’s hot tub place that we’ve been going to for many years and that, sadly, is closing this week.  It’s the end of a feminist era. 

Slept in today, then went over to Amber’s to see the video trailer that she shot and edited for me — she did an incredible job!  We made it at my publisher’s request so that they could have some video to show at a sales conference next week.  Hoping to have it up online in the next day or two. 

Happy to be home, about to crawl into my own bed for some zzzz’s.

I think I’m going to like this blogging thing.

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