Macro Monday Is Walking On Eggshells

No, really, look, eggshells!

It’s that time of the year where I take a lot of my macro photography indoors rather than outdoors — which usually means seeking inspiration in strange places, like staring into the pantry for a half-hour. Which I’m sure doesn’t look at all weird to my family. When they ask what I’m doing, I just mumble, “Staring at a portal into forever,” and let them wonder.

Anyway, I am freshly returned from the Elgin Literary Fest — ELF! — and thanks to the organizers for having me and the nice folks who came out to see me. I like small conferences like that sometimes; they let you connect with people on a more personal level because you aren’t shuttled from one thing to the next.

Though traveling to the fest created a few minor travel woes, coming back was neat in a couple ways, particularly as it relates to this writing career that sustains me: first, while in the Chicago airport (ORD), I found some of my Miriam Black books at Barbara’s Bookstore near gate E5, and for the first time, I signed them! I’ve been hesitant in the past because I’m still vaguely certain that me putting my name in books actually destroys what little value they already possess — but this time I went up and asked, “Hi, I’m that weird beardo who wrote those books, do you want me to ink all over them,” and the nice man behind the counter knew who I was and was happy to have me sign them. (Maybe he burned them afterward, I dunno.)

And then — then! — on the flight, I sat next to a young guy, early-20s. We didn’t talk during the flight outside of the cursory HEY HI HELLOs and SORRY I ACCIDENTALLY ELBOWED YOU BECAUSE THESE SEATS ARE DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE TWO MALNOURISHED TODDLERS.

But then, as we were landing, he turned to me and said, “Can I ask you something?”

Sure.

And he said, “Is this you?”

Then he tilts a magazine toward me.

And there is a two-page ad for Del Rey’s STAR WARS books, featuring AFTERMATH and BLOODLINE, and there is my big ol’ dopey face staring back at me. So, of course, I said, “No,” and he said, “Are you sure?” and then I said, “YOU’LL NEVER CATCH ME, COPPER,” and I threw my pretzels in his eyes and ran for the exit, except the door hadn’t been opened to the gate yet so I had to sulk back to the seat.

Okay, no, I said, “Yes,” and then laughed because it was weird.

And then we talked for a little while — he had my books but his brother took them first, he was a huge Claudia Gray fan, he loved the new canon stuff and TLJ (whew), and it was nice. Also a pretty strange moment where someone not only recognizes me, but has a magazine with an advertisement in it. He had just bought the magazine, by the looks of it, in the airport — it was specifically some kind of Star Wars magazine, so I guess that was probably pretty weird for him, too. “I think this guy on the page is also the guy sitting next to me.”

Cool.

What else is going on?

Well, The Raptor & The Wren came out last week — and I’m getting the exact reports I hoped to get, which consists of various shocked and flummoxed and soul-crushed mouth-noises. This book is definitely one of those “twist of the knife” books, so I’m glad my stabby bits landed appropriately. (Seriously, storytellers are monsters and you should never trust us for one hot second.) Launched the book at Let’s Play Books, and that was a hoot. Get it? A hoot? Because there’s an owl on the cover? DON’T YOU JUDGE ME.

If you want a signed copy, Let’s Play Books can get you one.

Otherwise, grab in print or e-book as you see fit.

And here I will make the earnest plea that if you have read my books…

Reviews seriously matter. Please go to your favorite REVIEW RECEPTACLE and deposit your review there, if you’re willing and able. Those reviews lead others to the books, and they also contribute (sadly) to algorithms that make the books show up more strongly in search results. Thank you in advance. Mahalo for your kokua.

I think that’s it.

Now I go, and I begin editing the mega-book that is WANDERERS.

Wish me luck.

*puts on chainmail bra and asbestos pants*

15 comments

  • You think you can fool us with your “eggshells,” Mr. Wendig, but we all know of your deep hatred for terra cotta pottery. Sneaking to the sheds of distant neighbors and smashing and chipping their planters in the night so that when spring arrives, they — again — blame the damage on frost wedging and time.

    Meanwhile, at home, you archive another year’s photo collection of smashed plant pots as you drink coffee and make omelettes…

  • Imagine that airplane story from the other guy’s POV. Probably took him the whole flight to convince himself the resemblance was too real to be not real. Because wouldn’t that have been awkward if it hadn’t been you?

    • Although this may be tough to believe, I was the other guy on our distinguished author’s right side during the flight. And yes, Kay Camden, I was trying to convince myself that the man to my left was in fact the same writer who’s picture appeared in an interview within the Star Wars Insider 2018 special! As I was formulating my hypothesis, taking quick glances at our author’s Hobbit worthy beard, I knew it was him when I heard the distinct sound of Star Wars emanating from his head phones. With the picture, the music, and the severe coincidence of it all I knew I had to ask. Perhaps, the force was strong with us; who knows?
      Aside from all of this though, he was a cool dude who answered my questions and was a pleasure to get luggage with. Oddly enough, I have read nearly every new canon book aside from his. But, knowing where they come from I will be sure to read them all and maybe, just maybe, the planets will align and him and I will be paired up so we can talk about them flying back to Chicago. Thanks for a memorable airport story!!

      • Well congrats on your celebrity moment. That’s such a cool story. If you had been me, I would’ve convinced myself it wasn’t him and that the awkwardness of it not being him was too big a risk, and I would’ve missed out on the whole thing. LOL

        I will remember your story and apply it in the future. Star Wars Insider 2018 Special interview photo + Hobbit worthy beard + Star Wars soundtrack = Chuck Wendig legitimacy.

  • It was great seeing you at ELF. We picked up BLACKBIRDS at the Angry Robot table at World Con 2012 and have been fans ever since. Didn’t get to see you at Seton Hill, but ELF more than made up for it. Your presence put this little festival on the map.

  • January 29, 2018 at 12:51 PM // Reply

    Great airplane story! The best I can offer is being recognized in my local grocery store by a kid I’d read to at the local grade school–and even that made my head explode a little. I cannot imagine being recognized on a plane from a photo in a magazine!

  • I have a question Chuck. If you write a book and a nice store stocks it for you, are they allowed to refuse you doodling your signature on them?

  • It’s great fun to hear the latest from you, as always!

    And I think it is so AWESOME that you’re finally getting some proper recognition, as strange and surreal as it may seem. I’m happy for you!!

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