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9:13 p.m. - August 09, 2007
Non-Descript is like the childhood blanket pulled out to cover aches
I met Barbara-the-Editor in San Francisco for dinner the other day and how grown up, how cosmopolitan I felt, to meet her in the skybar with its stunning views of downtown, the Golden Gate Bridge, the orange sunset. After a drink - red wine for me, after my fail-safe order (light beer on tap, please) was met with an apologetic we don't carry that- we went to a nearby restaurant for a visit and a talk and of course it turned to my books. I suppose there's not much else one can talk about with an editor before getting down to business, much like the obligatory reading of a preface or introduction where kids, the latest vacation or shopping spree is covered in tick-tock fashion and then eyes meet half-amused, half-guilty, and the book-talk begins.

My books are now in their 12th printing as of last week, a year and a half after their release.

The next royalty check covering the last three months will be six figures.

Annenberg and PBS have signed on to produce and air ten episodes based on the first book.

A publishing company in Japan has completed the translation of my first two books into Japanese.

I'm not sure which domino was the linchpin but I excused myself and went to the bathroom where I had a good cry, or as much of one as I could manage in a public place. I do not want to know, I do not want to know, I do not want to know. I don't think about the money or what people think, or the latest review, or the orders that keep coming in, the invitations to talk here or there - and now requests to speak on topics that have nothing to do with the books - but what I do think of is the need to please all those people, to satisfy their expectations, to be bigger, better, bolder in the next book, to stretch myself more. To be perfect on an exponential magnitude.

I don't know how to do it.

After dinner I walked down Market passing station after station where trains awaited to ferry me home. It felt good to be amid all those people and be lost in the anonymity and bright lights, where the noise of people talking and the urban cacophony distracted me and I was content to walk slowly.

I whine and don't appreciate the good fortune. I'm self-pitying and depressing. I'm too hard on myself. I'm tired of hearing myself talk think write, tired of saying I'm tired. Evidently not enough or I wouldn't be such a coward, so the cycle just spins again.

Down tonight because I'm struggling to purchase for myself a birthday present when I can buy anything I want. I can't even be just a little nice to myself.


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