I have a problem, and I'm hoping the readers of this blog can help me out.
In less than a week, I'm making my first Life As We Knew It public appearance. It will be at the Moffat library in Washingtonville, NY, and I've been looking forward to it (and the cookies I've been promised) for months now.
Following that, I'll be dropping in at the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, VT. And I found out, just a few minutes ago, that I'll be a guest of Harcourt for NCTE in New York City in November.
I know from my obsessive googling that the Moffat Library has purchased ten copies of LAWKI to give to people in attendance (you would think the cookies would be enticement enough). And those ten people are going to expect me to inscribe their books.
It wouldn't surprise me if someone at the Flying Pig wants an inscription as well. And the word "autographing" was used in the e-mail Harcourt sent me about NCTE.
So here's the problem. I have never found a phrase I really like to use when inscribing my books. I like the To Fill In The Blank part (I enjoy trying to guess how people spell their first names), and I'm quite comfy with Sue Pfeffer and the date. It's the in between stuff that I have trouble with.
I used to inscribe "Keep on reading" although I don't remember who suggested it to me, and frankly I never liked it. I went through a "I hope you enjoy my book" stage, but that's a lot of words and besides it makes me sound emotionally needy. My brother's message on his answering machine a long time ago was "Peace and joy" and I borrowed that for a bit, but it's a little weird to inscribe. Then I switched over to "Best Wishes" but that suggests that somewhere I'm wishing someone else "Second Best Wishes," which would be kind of rude.
Add to the mix the fact that LAWKI is all about, well, death and dead people and the end of life on earth, and all those happy inscriptions sound even less appropriate.
Now I could write "Impeach Bush" since that's what I write on dollar bills every now and again, but I'm the guest of the Moffat Library and the Flying Pig Bookstore and Harcourt, and it's within the realm of possibility one or more of those worthy organizations might not approve of the inscription (regardless of how they feel about the sentiment).
So I'm turning to you. I figure everyone reading this blog has either inscribed a book or had a book inscribed or knows someone who inscribed a book or had a book inscribed or dreams of inscribing a book or having a book inscribed or dreams of knowing someone who inscribed a book or had a book inscribed. Forgive me if I left anyone out.
So could you please, either in the comments section or if you're shy by e-mail, come up with some suggestions? The more the better, because I'd love to have a choice. If I go with any of them, I'll announce it. Knowing me, I'll even tell people as I'm signing my books. I'm never reluctant to share credit.
But the cookies are all mine.