April's Real Blog

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mike's book arrived

So, in case NE1 (ha!) was being all, "OMG, when will Mike's book come out? Will it B in stores in time 4 Xmas?" Here's the l8est from Mike:

Formerly little sis. I know you are probably anxious to continue telling the exciting story of mom and Connie Poirier regaling Iris with stories about how Connie used to be a slut when she was younger, but I think I have even better news than that. My publisher for my first novel Stone Season, finally sent me copies of my book which, as you may or may not be aware, is the first sign a published author gets that the publisher has taken the time to print their book. I have been waiting for this moment ever since I finished writing the book on Christmas Eve last year. The delivery man came to the door of our house and handed me the box, and I yelled with excitement so everyone could hear, “It’s HERE! My book is finally here!!” Naturally my daughter said, “Open the box, Daddy!” and my son came running with his Super-Teddy in hand (his current favourite toy, thanks to me).

My lovely wife Deanna came into the room wearing some kind of outfit, which looked vaguely medical in nature. It took me awhile to realize it was her pharmacist outfit, which I don’t think anyone has seen her wear for years. Despite her unusual appearance, Deanna said, “It’s sure late!” which I am sure was a statement designed to confuse me. You see, formerly little sis, you may remember back when I got the contract for the book, the publisher said the book would come out in their fall lineup . Well, fall means September, eh? At least that’s the way Deanna was thinking. But if she had been reading my old monthly letters carefully, she would have realized I said in my March, 2007 letter:

I signed my contract with Reiner and Browne, after making a few alterations and deciding on a title. The book will be called Stone Season and it will be published in paperback and will hit the shelves by October.

Clearly I did not anticipate the book until October. Of course, now I read my monthly letter again, I am confused by the fact I thought it was going to be published in paperback, when the book in the box is in hardback. Nevertheless, I managed to open the box and I was a little surprised to find it was one of those cardboard boxes, which only has 2 sides to its lid. Most times cardboard boxes have 4 sides to them. I think only having 2 sides should be considered an homage to the strength of my novel itself, and not an indication that my publisher is too cheap to ship books in decent boxes.

I stared at these white circular things in the box for quite some time, and neither I nor Deanna nor my daughter knew what to make of them. My daughter said, “Lemme see! Lemme see!” with such gusto and enthusiasm, I simply had to comply. I later discovered that my son had managed to pull two copies of my novel out of the box without the three of us seeing him, we were staring so intently at those white circular things. I think we would have still been there staring, had my son not said, “It only gots a picture on top! How come der’s no pictures inside?” I think I would have answered my son, if I had not been taken aback by his suddenly acquired Chicago accent. Instead, my wife replied for me, “It’s a novel, Robin. A novel just has words.” My son replied, “Oh.” It was then we realized he had taken the books out.

I went over to get my novel from him and I could see his little chin jutting out (in a very Grandpa Jim-like fashion), shaking the book up and down as if he were trying to shake the words out of the book. He later told me, he was really thinking, “That’s why it feels so heavy!” My son has apparently come to the conclusion that words are heavier than pictures, possibly because he is familiar with the phrase “A picture paints a thousand words”. If you do the math with that, then you get 1 picture = 1000 words, so if a novel was made up completely of words and only one picture then that would be 1 novel’s words + 1000 words. On the other hand, if you took one of my son’s picture books, which might have 30 pages of pictures and words, then that would be just the caption words of those pictures + 30 pages X 1000 (=30,000 words). That’s a lot of words in those pictures, so obviously my son’s picture books are heavier than…um…I think I am doing the math wrong.

Regardless of physical weight, I can’t wait until I see how my novel weighs in on the book-selling scale. I just know it is going to be a best seller and declared the great Canadian novel. In the meantime, you should come over to our house sometime and look at these circular white things which were in the box with the books. They are interesting to watch, and sometimes I think they move.

Michael Patterson
Mike? The white things are called packing peanuts and they're made of styrofoam. It'd prolly B a good idea 2 get them out of yr kids' reach, so U're sure Merrie's not feeding them 2 Robin. They're not meant for consumption.


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  • At 7:24 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Oh, joy! Robin, Meredith and styrofoam peanuts. It's things like that which ensure you'll be on a first-name basis with the local 911 operator, eh?

  • At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Keesha Grant said…

    April, you're not going to believe this, but the school paper is making me read your brother's book and then do an interview with him. What did I do 2 deserve that, LOL.


  • At 10:52 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    yeah, i fear 4 those kids' safety.

    keesha, gah, that's horrible. so sorry 2 hear that.


  • At 6:08 PM, Anonymous merrie said…

    robin say words is heavy, pictures is light.


  • At 2:29 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. As you know, April, sometimes Deanna tries to hide things from me. You may go into a marriage thinking it’s about sharing everything and being open and honest; but a lot of a marriage actually is in the hiding. I was reminded of this just recently when I got my shipment of copies of my new novel Stone Season from my publisher Reiner and Browne. After my family got over its fascination with packing peanuts, we discovered there were 8 more books in that tiny box, which my son had not found.

    Naturally I had to get on the phone immediately and tell people about the shipment and share the wealth with my closest friends. Of course, this was made a little difficult when I realized that Deanna had placed a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter and its similarity to my banana-shaped cell phone, detained me a little while until I realized which was the cell phone and which one was the oddly-shaped banana. I don’t know why Deanna bought those fruit. It’s not like Pattersons eat that kind of stuff.

    Anyway, the first person I had to call was mom, since she edited my novel, so the editors at Reiner and Browne wouldn’t have to.

    I said, “Mom!
    Mom said, “Mike. I need something to get Iris to relax and maybe have a good nap. Do you know of anything?”
    I said, “My book is out!”
    Mom said, “You mean your book is gay? No, wait. I understand now. That idea is perfect, Mike. That book will put anyone to sleep, even old tightly-wound Iris.”
    I said, “They sent me 10 copies!”
    Mom said, “I am not going to pay for it, Mike. I edited that thing, and I think that is payment enough. Just bring one over, the next time you come to eat out of my refrigerator.” I said, “I’ll get one over to you as soon as possible!”

    That call reminded me it was close to supper time. However, I remained steadfast and the next person I called was my best, true friend in the whole world, Josef Weeder.
    I said, “Hello, Weed?”
    Weed said, “Look, man. Carleen’s voice does not sound like mine. What do you want?”
    I said, “Great news! My book is here!”
    Weed said, “That was fast. What did they use for the cover---the house that doesn’t look like a sod house or the hunchbacked woman in a bonnet? I bet they used both, didn’t they?”
    I said, “Yeah, man—It looks great!”
    Weed said, “Look, man. I’d love to see it, but I’m not going to Milborough to get anywhere near that whacked-out family of yours.”
    I said, “I’ll bring you one!!”
    Weed said, “Great, man. Come by the apartment at 1 pm, when Carleen is out doing her hair.”

    After talking to Weed, the next person to call was the main man of Milborough, the great Gordon Mayes. I decided to switch ears with the phone and use my left ear instead, and when I did that, I suddenly went to silhouette. I think because it was so dark, I didn’t even notice my lovely wife Deanna entering the room. However, I couldn’t stop my phone call to Gordon, just because of that.

    I said, “Gordon!---It’s Mike!”
    Gordon said, “Mike who? Please let it not be Mike Patterson.”
    I said, “My book’s out!”
    Gordon said, “Crud!! It’s Mike Patterson. Now, Mike. I want you to listen to me carefully. Whatever you do, do not give me a copy of that book.”
    I said, “Of course you’re getting one!—A signed copy!!”
    Gordon said, “Great! When you come by to give it to me, could you come in the entrance marked ‘Danger! Killer dogs!”

    That Gordon is always a joker. Now here’s the interesting part, formerly little sis. I switched the phone back to my right ear and the lights turned back on. It goes without saying that switching from one side to the other reminded me of my old buddy, Lawrence Poirier.

    I said, “Hey, Lawrence! Guess what!”
    Lawrence said, “Mike. I am not lifting or carrying anything for you. I am not fixing your father’s roof for you. I am not recommending anyone to fix your father’s roof for you. I am done with it, Mike.”

    Then I noticed my lovely Deanna picking up the box of books and walking away. I dropped the phone with Lawrence and chased after her. As she reached the second floor, I said, “What are you doing?” Deanna replied without even looking back over her shoulder (which is the usual Patterson woman stance), “Saving a few copies for US!” Then she was around the corner and the next I saw her, she didn’t have the box anymore. She had hidden it. I tried to find it, but when my wife wants to hide things from me, I can never find them.

    I said to Deanna, “I thought our copies could be the two my son is playing with.” Deanna said, “Robin destroyed those copies in about 5 seconds. That left 8 copies, and then you were giving away 4 copies to your mom, Jo Weeder, Gordon Mayes and Lawrence. We need to keep 4 copies, just in case your grandparents or your Uncle Phil or your Auntie Bev might want one.” I almost laughed in her face. Those people are so far out of my life, I’ll probably never see them again. It wasn’t any problem to leave them out. However, sometimes you have to do what makes your wife happy, which is another way of saying, “I still can’t find those books she hid from me.”

    Michael Patterson


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