What I fondly refer to as The Icky P stuff – Publicity and Promotion – is a tricky thing for writers. If you are an author who has an agent who also handles publicity and/or your publisher has promotional staff, depending on your contract stipulations you may not be in total control (or even in the loop) when it comes to the various (real time and social media) marketing decisions re your book.
I get that.
So, why did it stick in my craw to open my email, see “A Personal Message from ___ (Author’s Name Redacted),” and discover that – of course – it was nothing of the kind?  Instead, it was a mass marketing shill hype for ANR’s new book.
I’d read ANR’s first book, and was waffling on whether or not to check out the second. The “personal message” email tipped my probably not now to a definite no.
Most of ANR’s work had a decidedly humorous bent to it; thus, there’s the distinct possibility ANR’s email was meant to spoof that style of faux personal mass announcement…by doing a faux personal mass announcement. Which I also get, and also still don’t like.
I don’t recall signing up on an email list for such announcements. I follow ANR’s blog; that’s not the same thing. Perhaps I’m being picky here, but the “personal message” is a spam-worthy tactic – I don’t do stoop to this kind of publicity myself and don’t want to support it from others.
I’ve enjoyed (some of) ANR’s writing and blog posts…although I’ve increasingly been skimming/skipping the latter, as IMHO they seem to be singing-the same-tune-over-and-over. And I struggled with whether or not to post this beef of mine, because so many of ANR’s posts are related to the author’s lifelong struggle with mental illnesses, including depression. Dang those pesky, petty principles of mine, which once again got in the way of my self-censorship.  And, really, how self-important of me, to think that the possibility of losing moiself as a reader/blog follower might cause any writer to spiral down into a depressive episode.
* * *
The Sad Situation I’m Not Writing About
I may mention it in a later post. For now, although I am well aware of The Circle Of Life © and all, there is a massive sucking sound coming from my chest. It’s my heart, sinking in the muck of anxiety arising from the fact that someone near and dear to me is helping someone near and dear to him navigate the end of life.
* * *
Department of Things I Love
That May Make You Say, Meh
I love the feel of cooked lima beans (that have cooled off but are still slightly warm) in my hands as I transfer them to a freezer bag. 
* * *
Department of I Think It’s Better The Way I Heard It
Dateline: a week ago, driving up to Tacoma, taking daughter Belle to her sophomore year @ UPS. Belle hooked up her phone to the car’s sound system and was playing “her” music. When I attempted to sing along with the chorus to the song, Everybody Talks, my daughter patiently suggested to me that,”It started with a whisper /and then it was my keister“ was probably not the correct line. 
* * *
Department of Foo Foo
Balsamic fig glaze.
I know what it sounds like: a teaspoon-sized drizzle of something you’d find on a $49 starter plate at a pretentious Portland restaurant. Still, if you see it on a menu, order whatever it comes with. As son K said about seventeen years ago (even as a child, he was a quipster): Taste bud rodeo!
* * *
Department of Things Not To Joke About With (What Passes For) The Security Staff
“Do you mind if I look in your purse?” The adorably nebbish, adolescent male theatre employee cleared his throat, his Adam’s apple trembling only slightly less than his fingers as he fumbled with my movie ticket.
Just for a moment I considered three possible responses:
*Sure, I’ve nothing to hide…in my purse. Just stay away from my coat pockets, okay?
* No problem. When I’m packing heat I use my shoulder holster.
And just for another moment, I reconsidered those responses.
I smiled, murmured, “Oh, yeah, I guess that’s a thing now,” and unzipped the main compartment of my purse….which could have been hiding Nancy Reagan’s tiny little gun for all Nebbish Movie Theatre Boy would have known. I mean, it was the most ineffective, what’s-the-point? glance/search ever.
As I made my way to theatre #6 I had a moment of wistful regret. If only I’d remembered that some theatres have instituted this new bag-checking policy, I could’ve stuffed my purse with tampons and other Lady Business Stuff ® and likely caused that whitest of white boys to do the pink cheek flambé.
* * *
So, it’s September, aka Where Did The Summer Go? ®. Belle is back in college. K has graduated from college and is living at home, tolerating a job in food service while applying for “real” jobs (i.e., related to his major), and researching grad school options.  If you know anyone who’s hiring worker bees who have a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, give us a holler.
* * *
May you enjoy the lyrics whatever way you hear them,
may your theatre bag searches be unremarkable,
may your worker bees find buzz-worthy employment,
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 How could it be personal? We’ve never met.
 Although I did decide not to use ANR’s name.
 If you love lima beans you must always have a bag of cooked lima beans handy in your freezer, for those must-have-lima moments.
 I looked it up when I got home: the lyric is “whisper…and that was when I kissed her.”