February 16, 2008
Today it all steps into the real world. A reporter from a public radio show called Weekend America is going to spend the morning with Schuyler and myself. (Julie will be at work, which is fine with her; as always, she prefers to be the silent partner.) I feel sort of bad about how the day is starting off; thunderstorms are rolling through and are probably going to wreck the better part of the day. I hope our crapy little apartment makes for compelling radio.
The next couple of weeks are going to be hectic, in the best possible way. Tuesday is the big release day, of course, although the book is already making its way to some stores (and is even being delivered to the UK by Amazon, apparently). I'll be getting up bright and early that day to fly to New York City, for the Mediabistro Book Release Party on Wednesday. Then I fly back to Dallas on Thursday.
Friday will begin with a bang. I'll be in the tv studio at our local PBS station, recording a segment for Think, a show that I actually like a great deal. Then, later that day, I'll be recording a podcast interview for Jumping Monkeys (and how often do you get to say that?), before ending the day with a reading and signing at Julie's store. The next day, I'll have another signing at another Barnes & Noble in Dallas.
Next week will include another tv appearance, on a local CBS show called Positively TEXAS!, and a return to the public radio station for a taped interview for KUT Radio in Austin. March will start off with more book signings in Arlington, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. And at some time in all this, People Magazine will be reviewing the book, hopefully without employing words like "crap" or "suck" in the process.
It's exciting and terrifying, all of it. And yet, in the midst of it all, real life goes on. With everything that is happening, the thing I find myself wanting to tell you about is how Schuyler had a week in which she was out of school on Monday and without her device for an evening (hers had to be sent back after the screen failed, and the loaner didn't arrive until the next day), and yet she still managed to come back on Friday and do really well on her spelling test. I'm a little embarrassed to say that she exceeded my own expectations, which is what she does on a regular basis to just about everyone, really. We believe in Schuyler because we know how tenacious she is, but we also fear her monster, in ways that she never does. Schuyler never fails us, and yet our fear for her still persists, and shakes our faith, to our shame.
And that, my friends, is what my life is like. It's one in which there's a book, and a little girl, and an invisible monster that still colors every aspect of our lives, both good and bad. All this book business is exciting and surreal and wonderful. I don't take a bit of it for granted, not for a moment, and I'm incredibly grateful for every moment of it. But there's a reality here, the same one that is omnipresent through every good day and every bad one.
It's the thing that sits silently watching through it all, the thing that made all this happen and yet the thing that I'd trade away every bit of this new success, just to be rid of it. I'd give it all up without hesitation, just to hear Schuyler say "Good morning" when she wakes up in a few hours, or to watch her talk about Hannah Montana with her friends, or to take away the lurking phantom of seizures that haunts her future.
I love that Schuyler's Monster is doing so well, but I hate that Schuyler's monster is, too.