I spent the week packing up ARCs and stuffing them into puffy envelopes. At the Kendall post office, I sat on a bench, surrounded by a flurry of stamps (mostly peel-and-stick...but unfortunately, two were the melt-on-the-tongue variety. The lady at the register took pity on me and passed along a sponge...though I got a little grossed out every time I touched it).

After sending out dozens of emails, I was surprised at how quickly the reviewers answered back. Many seemed happy to get a free book in the mail. A few gave me the online equivalent of a blank stare (mostly because they only read fantasy or picture books or whatever).

So my kids are making their debut in the world. Like any good parent, I have to let them go. But whenever I see a pair of sneakers dangling from a telephone line, I get the feeling that they're watching over me, too.

In the meantime, I'm polishing up the Prague book. New characters are tugging on my sleeve. I'm going to need all your good vibes, crossed fingers, burning incense, etc. etc. etc.