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Don't Cry For Me, Octavia

Actually, I've never done a signing at Octavia Books (and now I probably never will), but it's our only local bookstore whose name sounds remotely like "Argentina."

I'll post another reminder closer to the actual date, but I wanted to go ahead and give people plenty of notice about this event since it's going to be a special one for me (more on that in a sec).

On Tuesday, February 6, at 7:00 PM, I'll be doing a public reading/book signing as part of Tulane and Loyola Universities' joint 1718 Reading Series. The reading will be at the Columns Hotel, 3811 St. Charles Avenue, and the Garden District Book Shop will be selling some books on site. I know they'll have D*U*C*K and the three Liquor novels, but am not sure about the older stuff; if you want something older signed, it might be safest to bring your own copy. As far as I know, the event is free, but I am not certain of this; if it's not free, I can't imagine it will cost more than $5 or $10. I've not yet decided what I'll read, but it will likely be something I've never read in public before and which means a lot to me -- possibly "The Feast of St. Rosalie" or the not-yet-published "The Gulf."

This is a special event for me because it will be my final U.S. appearance before my retirement from public life. (I say "final U.S. appearance" because, if remotely possible, I'd still like to make the trip to Paris that my French publishers want me to do this spring; however, I'm becoming increasingly uncertain that this will be a possibility.) My health has gotten too poor to handle public appearances that involve sitting or standing for any length of time, and most venues don't have beds equipped with heating pads. I'm honoring my commitment to the 1718 event because I agreed to it quite some time ago, but unless something miraculous happens, I don't intend to do any more signings, book tours, conventions, literary festivals, or other public appearances in the foreseeable future.

I'm as disappointed about this as some of you probably are, because there are cities where I've never signed (or at least not for years and years) that I would have liked to visit, and I've enjoyed my annual appearances at local festivals like Saints & Sinners, Tales of the Cocktail, the Louisiana Book Festival, etc. as well as the chances for travel that my work has afforded me. Unfortunately, things like this -- let alone book tours, which are endurance tests even for healthy writers -- have become a near-impossibility for me, and rather than enjoyment, they guarantee at least a day or two of pain. If you've ever wanted to hear me read and there's any chance that you can make the 1718 event, I hope you'll come. If not, I hope you'll pray/light candles/cross your fingers/whatever works for you that I will in fact enjoy the benefits of some medical miracle and will be able to rejoin the world.

There will be a reception in the Columns bar after the event; unfortunately, I won't have the stamina to attend this. However, it's a very elegant bar and I can vouch for the tastiness of the dirty martinis.

I do plan to continue this journal as long as I'm able and as long as I continue to get some pleasure from it. I'll also make every attempt to keep providing local bookstores -- Garden District, Octavia, FM Books, the Metairie Barnes & Noble when I can get out there -- with signed copies, and to sign/personalize books sent to my P.O. box with stamped/self-addressed return mailer. (Address and further instructions here. I need to add this to the FAQ, but unless you've arranged it with me first, please don't insure your packages or use any other service that will require my signature.)

I wish I had scottynola's Evita icon for this post -- I seem to be coveting other people's icons lately -- but I don't, so you get plain old me (with a gator!).

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