Coming soon to a salon (and a book store) near you.

I love to write. But what I love even more than writing is meeting people who like what I’ve written. People who, dare I say it? Laugh at what I’ve written. Sure, there are authors who don’t dig the book promotion part of the program. But for me? It’s my favorite. My reward for the hours spent at my laptop, alone (save for a package of Oreos), and pulling my hair out by the handful. I love the signings and the readings and the parties (did someone say wine and cheese?). And the people.

But of course I’ve already said that.

Sorry. I repeat myself when I’m excited.

And I am excited. On Monday, August 1st, from 6-8pm, I will be at Salon Emage (51 East Lee Street, Warrenton, VA) and I hope, if you live in or near the area, you will, too. 500 Acres and No Place to Hide actually comes out the next day, so this is your chance to buy a copy ahead of the crowd.  There’ll be music and wine and a mini petting zoo (complete with pigs! and maybe lambs! and Joyce the cow wearing pearls and pink hair extensions!). There’ll be door prizes and raffles and of course me wielding a big, fat Bic.

On Saturday, August 6th at 2pm, I’ll be at New Jersey’s premier book store, Bookends (211 East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood). Again, if you live in or near the area, I hope you’ll be there, too. Bookends usually hosts celeb authors like Pete Hamill and Cathy Lee Gifford so maybe it’s a sign from God that I’m finally on my way. And not to Betty Ford.

Mark your calendars, tell your friends, and plan to come get your copy of 500 Acres. You can also buy a copy online and bring it to Salon Emage (but not Bookends; purchases must be made at the store, thanks!) and I’ll sign it for you.

See you in August.

Susan

I’m the man.

Last Sunday I celebrated my first Mother’s Day as a single mom or, more accurately, a widow (God, I hate that word) with two kids, and I have to tell you, it was weird. My sons’ cards were sweet, but I missed the suggestive* ones Stu used to send me. Yeah, yeah, I always bitched they weren’t romantic enough, but hell, they were hot. Wait, let me rephrase that. They made me feel hot. Young. Desirable. Last Sunday, I didn’t feel hot, unless the sweaty pits, palms, and back-of-the-neck-wreck-my-blow-dry schvitz I got walking around, looking at the crap in Kohl’s while the boys saw a movie counts. And, please God, tell me it doesn’t.

Instead I felt old. Tired. Angry at the stupid, fluffy girl stuff I was surrounded by. And surprised. I mean I like stupid, fluffy girl stuff.

My God, I thought, there’s something wrong with me. I’m not into shopping. I’m into car shit. That’s right. I actually caught myself fantasizing about getting Case and Cuy home, and spending the rest of the day cleaning the Durango and Mustang. After all, that’s how I spent the morning.

Hmm. Maybe Father’s Day is more my holiday.

It wouldn’t surprise me. In the past month I’ve learned several manly things. For starters, I now know how to jump start and slow charge a car battery, check and replace the oil, coolant, and a couple of other liquids that, yeah, ok, I’ve forgotten the names of but I can replace them. Really, I can. I’ve also discovered why the car manual is more important (ok, almost as important) as the new issue of More, and how having an extra pair of reading glasses in the glove compartment makes the whole “Suzy, the Intrepid Auto Mechanic!” business a bit easier.

In addition to engine maintenance, I’ve learned that rain is God’s way of saying, “Get out there and wipe down the Mustang, missy; your husband’s apoplectic at the pollen covering his favorite convertible!” and that wiping down the car can very quickly become cleaning the car, which even more quickly can become waxing the car which quicker than quick gets one wondering, “What in hell is happening to my testosterone level?”

And that’s not something I’ve wondered just once.

As it turns out, the black dots I discovered on my chest are not, thank Heaven, hair sprouting in response to my new hobbies, but rather two ticks I picked up in the throes of detail duty. Scary, I know. I mean, a woman with chest hair? What happens if it doesn’t match my mustache?

Maybe Father’s Day isn’t my holiday, but hell, I’m going to give it a try. Break out the bucket and the big sponges, boys. Father’s Day’s coming, and Papa wants her wheels clean!

*Suggestive is putting it mildly. They were more like, “To My Wife. I love you. Now let’s do it ’til the kids complain we haven’t fed them in four days!” Love, Stu xoxo 

Everybody’s getting in the act.

Below, my only-five-but-already-fabulous nieces Emma and Samantha, preparing for the release of 500 Acres and No Place to Hide.

Dear Emma and Samantha,

Way to work the Counterfeit Fan Club tee shirt! Now go to school and tell all your classmates to follow your Aunt Susan on Twitter and Facebook. When I hit 500 followers on Twitter, and 1,000 “likes” on Facebook, I’m giving away more signed copies of 500 Acres and No Place to Hide. Yup. Fits nicely in Dora the Explorer and Hello Kitty backpacks! Just tell your friends (and their moms, of course) to click the Twitter and Facebook subscription options on the top right hand of this page. Thanks.

And really. You two look rockin’!

Love,

Aunt Susan xxoo

And somehow, life goes on.

We ate out for Easter, and the boys tortured me. Typical. The dog groomer worked her magic on Tug and, a day later, he was filthy again. The norm. I came thisclose to forgetting to get both cars inspected on time. As usual. And the laundry continues to reproduce like the stuff’s having sex. (Hmm. Maybe the hamper is the place to hang out.)

But that’s the crummy stuff.

Case was just offered a spot working the spotlight for the high school play and is well on his way to his driver’s license, and Cuy’s carrying almost all A’s in school. Damn good for kids who lost their father just a few weeks ago.

Proud of you, dudes. And I know Dad is, too.