Almost exactly a year ago, I received word that both the paperback and e-book versions of my book Dancing in the Fountain would soon be posted on Amazon – which nowadays marks the official debut of your book. Finger poised to click “send” on my breathless email announcement, I waited. The paperback soon appeared, but there was no sign of the Kindle edition. A week later, I was still waiting, and I beginning to get concerned – and perhaps just a teeny tiny bit cranky – about the delay.
Meanwhile, life – as is so often the case – continued on, with Rich leaving for a family gathering in New Jersey, and the downstairs lavatory malfunctioning in an unspeakably foul and dramatic manner. As I paid the plumber $300 for the 15 minutes he’d spent clearing out the pipes, I remember thinking, “If only my publishing problems could be resolved as quickly and easily as my plumbing problems.”
How prophetic I was!
The following day, the lavatory staged an even more ghastly eruption, and for the next week my time was divided between calling the formatting/distribution house that had apparently routed my Kindle edition to a black hole, and dealing with the plumber, who kept upping the cost estimates at dizzying speed. He showed me blurry videos of our pipes’ interior, which looked remarkably like images from my last colonoscopy. I could just about make out some fuzzy gray blobs, but whether they were tree roots, polyps, or planetary nebulae I couldn’t tell you. “I’ll email you copies,” said the plumber helpfully. Really? What did he think I was going to do? Post them on Facebook?
In the meantime, friends who saw that the paperback edition of Dancing in the Fountain had appeared on Amazon emailed their congratulations. “This must be one of the happiest weeks of your life,” they wrote. Not so much as you’d think.
Not the same facility Rich used. Photo by G Paumier
Eventually, of course, the Kindle edition of my book did surface, and the plumbers finished clearing the blockages in our pipes and departed. Our sewage, and our lives, flowed on.
This summer, hiccups and obstructions have once again disrupted our plans, causing an all-too-familiar feeling of frustration we're calling “delay-jà-vu.” As I mentioned in my post Plan B, our long-anticipated train trip through Central and Eastern Europe, originally scheduled to start June 1, was delayed for a family wedding and then put off again so Rich could deal with a pesky pain in his leg. He’s much better now, thanks to acupuncture and an esoteric form of muscle-manipulating chiropractic treatments. This being California, the real surprise was that no one suggested shamanic drumming and/or medical marijuana, although my yoga teacher felt a wheat-free diet might have done the trick sooner.
In theory, by the time you read this, we’ll be in the air en route from California to London to Seville. A few days after that, we should be on a train to Barcelona, then taking a ferry to Genoa to begin our wanderings. By now, however, I’ve learned my lesson about plans and schedules. I don’t know what’s going to happen – a rail strike, worldwide monetary collapse, or simply an asteroid striking the earth and sending us hurtling toward the sun – but I can tell you one thing for sure: I’m still expecting delays.
I'm an American travel writer based in Spain and currently living in California.
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