by Michelle Richmond
When I was a kid, my mom was big on ritual. Every event--from the loss of a tooth to a birthday--was celebrated. It's still in my genes. I like to honor significant days with hooplah.
Today is the official publication date of THE YEAR OF FOG, but this morning I left San Francisco for North Dakota. My two-year-old saw me off with the shout of "More bubbles! I wanna make more bubbles!" Now it's 7 p.m. Pacific time and I'm at the airport in Minneapolis, at the tail end of a four-hour layover to Grand Forks. In lieu of a champagne and spa day, I settled for a World Club day pass. If you're not familiar with World Club, it's one of those rooms you see at the airport, closed off behind frosted sliding glass doors, where there's more booze and less noise. It still looks like an airport. The chairs are ugly, and so is the carpet, and the businessmen are afoot, making phone calls and selling things.
But the wine and beer are free. So I'm on my third drink, alone in the overwhelmingly gray-and-beige room, waiting for my flight. When I checked my email in the gray-and-beige cubicle, I saw that my editor had written to see that she saw a big display of my book behind a window in Columbus Circle in New York. And that was nice. Because even if I'm at an airport, drinking cheap wine alone in with FOX news going in the background, someone out there is walking into a bookstore--a place like Book Passage where people know and love books--and seeing THE YEAR OF FOG. And maybe they're picking it up, skimming the first page, deciding it's the kind of book they'd like to go home with.