Pretty is on Shelves Today- and a Giveaway!

My novel, Pretty, comes out today. You can read an excerpt at the Penguin website.

People have already been telling me they’re getting their copies in the mail. I’m relieved and anxious at the same time, and looking forward to a crazy fall. T is coming with me for most of the book tour, so expect mayhem.

I’m going to giveaway a signed copy to celebrate the release. Just leave a comment here telling me what is the prettiest thing about you. Not limited to outsides, of course. I’ll choose a name at random next Friday, September 9.

I’m still adding tour dates to the website, so keep checking back. The launch party is going to be in Los Angeles at Book Soup on September 7 at 7PM. I’m thrilled that the immensely talented Ricky Berger is going to come do a few songs. Here’s a little teaser:

The Rock Baby Chronicles Continue

On Friday, we dragged the whole operation out to the desert to see T-Bone’s first Weezer show in a while. He just doesn’t travel as easily as he once did, when he was a little bit more portable in general and a lot less vocal about his desires. So I don’t take him on tour as much (for now). But he’s just as enthused as he always was about going to see Dad play, so I was glad to be able to indulge him.

Sometimes I can’t believe what a pain in the ass it is just to get us all in the car for a weekend out of town. But as soon as we’re out of the city and the sky opens up, I’m reminded of why we insist on doing it anyway.

Like his mom, T digs the desert. He’ll patiently wait hours to see the windmills that flank the 10 outside of Palm Springs. We didn’t have time to hike in Joshua Tree this trip, but T was happy to spend the mornings splashing in our friend’s pool and the early evenings tearing out across the golf course. And, of course, the nighttime is reserved for rock.

T was a consummate rocker. Pat Wilson slipped him an Oreo and he completely spazzed out from the sugar, bouncing on the furniture and dumping bowls of mixed nuts out on the dressing room floor.

At least someone around our camp knows proper dressing room etiquette.

He nearly fell asleep on a backstage road case halfway through the show, but when I tried to get him to leave and come lie down, he screamed so loudly that everyone in the immediate vicinity turned around to see what was going on. Yup- he actually managed to holler louder than the music. It was a proud moment for a rock mom.

First Pretty Spotting!

A friend just sent me this pic from a Barnes and Noble “New in Paperback” table. So I guess it’s on the shelves, even if it doesn’t come out officially until Tuesday.

Here we go…

The Art of Bad Parenting

I have a guest blog up at Greg Olear’s Fathermucker website today, in which I recognize that being an artist can often make me a bad parent. Read it to see me cuss not once but three times (and that was edited down significantly).

And here’s the trailer for Greg’s novel, Fathermucker, which comes out October 4. His website says you will like the book if you:

a) have young children, b) enjoy laughter, and c) can’t get the theme songs to various Nick Jr. television programs out of your head. If you are a subscriber to US Weekly, a resident of New Paltz, N.Y, or a stay-at-home dad, that’s icing on the cake.

Bloggy Playdate

Sunday we had a playdate with my blog-friend-turned-real-life-friend Kristen and her amazing brood.

The only danger of hanging out with Kristen is that I immediately want three more children. She and Mark are so graceful about the whole thing that it looks like a completely reasonable option. In reality, I got cold feet about a year and a half ago about our second adoption process and it’s been in limbo ever since. I actually touched base with the agency yesterday and asked them to keep our paperwork on hold for another six months.

I just don’t know, folks. I feel so inadequate most of the time, especially when faced with Tariku’s challenges and needs. I feel like I need to get a better handle on this mothering thing before I add another little being to the equation. But is that completely delusional? Will I ever feel like I have a handle on it? For now I’m checking the undecided box and just crashing the party of Kristen’s big family once in a while.

It’s definitely challenging and overwhelming for Tariku to be around more than one friend at a time. In all, I think he did beautifully. I really saw him trying to figure out how to participate and be kind.

The nice thing about hanging out with some of the other adoptive families I know is that there’s so much less explaining and apologizing to do. They get it. They get that my kid didn’t have parents for a while at a crucial time in his development. It has repercussions We’re working it out. We’re healing. We’re doing great, actually. But our version of doing great looks different that it does for kids who have had a typical attachment cycle in the first three years of life.

I’ve learned so much about all of this- attachment, adoption, parenting, faith, love, community- from my blogger friends. They’ve made me feel less alone on many desperately sad and scared nights. I’m not someone who generally goes to blogging conferences (yet), so it’s a special treat for me to hang out in the flesh with one of my fave blogging moms. One of my fave moms period.

Sometimes I question what I write on this blog. Does anyone really care about my kid’s day out at the beach? Am I engaged in a navel-gazing waste of time when I should be working on an article or another book? And then I remember why I do everything I do- books, plays, blogs, whatever- I do it to connect. And I’ve connected to so much that I value in my life through blogging. I was reminded of that on Sunday.