I'm a little concerned that Google doesn't understand the &. So from now on, all initial references to the dead and the gone will use the word "and" instead. And maybe even be capitalized, although I don't think that should make a difference in Googleland.
All right. That was just by way of explanation. Here's the real reason for this blog entry.
Way back in November, when I was at NCTE, I took as many ARCs of d&g as my greedy little hands could hold. Many of those copies I sent to as many of you, my beloved slowly gained readership, as I could (just as I have sent to you all copies I've been graced with since then), the recipients selected at random by way of the Bolivian hat.
But back in November, I kept six for my own distribution. One I kept for myself, and one I sent to Janet, to whom d&g is dedicated. The other four I scattered, one to my mother, one to my brother, and two to friends (I actually have more than three friends, but I try not to make them read what I write).
However, since that time, I've found that there are lots of people who want to read d&g, and are impatient (a character trait of my own) and don't want to have to wait until June 1 (me neither). There's one person named "anonymous" who's been particularly crabby about it. And I've long since run out of ARCs to send to everyone who asked.
I therefore requested all four of those ARCs that I gave to family and friends be returned. My mother and brother (well, actually my sister-in-law) have gotten theirs back to me. One friend says I'll have her copy within the next 24 hours. And while the fourth copy may take a little longer, I've already nagged that friend (you think I brag well- that's nothing compared to my nagging skills), so it should show up fairly soon. The idea being that with those four copies, I set up a lending library. This is how it would work (and what you need to consider):
I send out the three ARCs I have (or will have by Monday) to the first three people who decide to go along with this scheme, and e-mail me their names and mailing addresses via the cute little link to the left. The fourth copy will go to the fourth person whenever.
Then as the people finish reading d&g, they e-mail me, and I send them the name and address of the next person on the list. Each person would have the obligation of sending the d&g ARC to the next. Until before we know it, it's June 1, and then you can all go to the library and take it out.
Whoever decides to participate has to be comfortable with the following: First of all, two, or most likely three, total strangers will know your name and address. I'm one of the strangers, and then there's the person who will mail you the ARC, and then you'll probably put your name and address on the envelope when you send it off next. If you don't want strangers to have that information, don't submit your name.
Then there's cost. First class postage is sometimes $3.00 and sometimes $3.17 (don't ask me why it isn't always one or the other). So assume $3.25. Plus the cost of the mailing envelope, unless you reuse an old one. While I won't send you overdue messages, it would be courteous for you to read the ARC relatively soon after you receive it, because there may be someone else waiting to read it. So factor guilt into your equation. Not to mention the trip to the post office.
But if you're willing to be part of a daisy chain of death and despair (and who amongst us doesn't dream of such), then e-mail me your name and address. I promise I won't do anything with it, other than to send it to another person on the list, but again, if you're remotely hesitant, don't do it. Trust me, my feelings won't be hurt. This is just the best scheme I've been able to come up with to give people a chance to read the dead & the gone between now and June 1. When it will be warm and sunny and I'll be having my Cheap And Easy 75th book celebration party (and you can celebrate the fact that it's June 1, which on Jan.3 seems like cause for celebration enough).
PS- Because I just thought of this. I have no idea how many, if any, of you are going to participate, but those of you who have blogs of your own, or post messages at other places, don't mention this little scheme. There are still a lot of names in the plastic sandwich bag holding station, and I'd prefer they get first dibs at the daisy chain of death and despair.
PPS- There will be ARCs of d&g available at Midwinter ALA, for those of you who will be attending or will know someone who'll be attending. I've been meaning to tell you that.