Very Special Delivery

So, after an 18-hour drive that took me straight from Mississippi to DC, followed by a belated Father's Day dinner with my folks (Ardeo's scallops and octopus over black lentils), followed by a knock-out Rob Roy perfectly mixed by the owner of the Black Fox in Dupont Circle (oh, I have missed my town!), I was sleeping in this morning. 

A knock on the door at 9:10 AM woke me up. Who was it? Why? Would I have to put clothes on? I walked to my door and peered into the hallway. Nobody there. Whew.

Then I noticed the package someone had left behind. 

My heart skipped a little. I grabbed the scissors and carefully sliced open one end.

My first thought was: Yay! Yay! Yay! (Eloquent, right? That's why they call me a poet.) My second thought was: Funny, I had never thought about my book's physical color...

...and that color turns out to be a lovely robin's-egg blue, with a goldenrod spine. 

No other way to say it: Don't Kill the Birthday Girl is here. Oh, sure, you won't see it in a store near you until July 12. But in this moment, a book has been born.

Even though I've reviewed how it would look a hundred times--from text to cover art to even, yes, my own flap copy--I had never imagined this moment. 

Stand up, baby. Shake your tail feathers. Let's dance. 

(Don't Kill the Birthday Girl is available for pre-order now from Barnes & Noble and NOOK, and Kindle, iTunes/iBook, IndieBound, Borders, Powell’s, Politics & Prose, Teaching for Change, and Square Books. Or you can come to my place in DC and try to steal one of these five copies. But be warned: I'll fight you.)