Top Ten New York Moments

Perhaps you are actually like me.

Perhaps… you’re noticing some changes on the Momsie… And you’re doing this:

“What? WHAT? Momsie is DIFFERENT! This is DIFFERENT! THERE IS CHANGE AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS I START TO QUIVER LIKE A CAFFEINATED CHIHUAHUA.”

Ok, take a breath (believe me, I am doing a lot of that too.) Let me catch you up:

MY BOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AND HOLY CAFFEINATED CHIHUAHUAS I AM A MESS.

But, a mess in a good way. A perfect way, if you will.

Also, I really cannot spell chihuahua. Silly dogs. They quiver every time someone misspells their breed.

So, last week I went to the Book Expo in New York City, and I did all the cool author-book-signy things.

Also, I wore heels for a bit longer than I should have. There should be a warning label on those things.

Anyhow, without any more babble, here is my Top Ten Moments from New York, because that’s New York for you, it’s a Top Ten Moments kinda town.

MOMSIE’S TOP TEN MOMENTS FROM NEW YORK BECAUSE NEW YORK IS AWESOME:

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As one who has not had white flour in about five months, I salute you, New York sesame bagel with lox, cream cheese, capers, and onions. You were worth it.

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Well hello there, Mr….Stephanopikoikis. Stephfanipkikolus? Your name is right up there with the chihuahua, and you are just about as cute. So… tiny and cute and news-y. I just wanna put you in my pocket.

That sounds weird but he is kinda cute, no?

(It’s Stephanopoulos. Thank you, google.)

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People, just look at the lighting. It’s all… “She’s all glowy!”

Also, look at her HAIR (blowout prior to trip, thank you, Jessica. You are made me all Breck Girl and I kept tossing my hairs all over the place because that’s what you do when you are Brecky.)

Also, that’s Patrick, marketing guy, on my right. He kinda looks like he’s asleep but he was just checking his phone. Which is kinda the same thing.

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This kid’s wardrobe choice for Sunday church. Totally random, but it’s the whole combination here. The shorts. The bow tie. The smirk.

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I am not a selfie taker but New York had me at hello. I was just so happy I had to record it.

Plus, yes, I am letting the gray come in. I like it. Don’t message me.

5.

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This church was across the street from my hotel. My first night there I ended up walking around the block – and ended up in a completely different area, unintentionally. I used this church as a beacon, because my google maps did not like my hotel location. I find this symbolic because I am a writer and I like symbolism. Plus, it’s pretty.

In my wanderings, by the way, I turned a corner and myself on Broadway. Perhaps tiny jazz hands happened. Perhaps.

4. I saw Dakota Fanning. Boom.

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Ok, I walked and walked and walked. I spent a good few miles on the High Line – a really cool walking park that had been created out of old rail lines. So gorgeous. And I ended up here. And then… my phone died. So all I have is one blurry, foggy picture of Lady Liberty. She was beautiful and I never get tired of seeing her.

Here’s the High Line:IMG_8261.JPG

2. Ok, when I was on the plane to New York I got rather stressed out because I realized I had no cash, and I KNEW I wanted to tip my driver. And I knew also that I wouldn’t really be able to stop and get cash once in the airport, so, as travel does… I was getting all stressed out about this. And so, I stopped, took a breath, and prayed, “Lord, can you help me figure out how to get cash for my driver? Thank you.”

Then I looked around and decided I would read. And lo,there was a letter from my moms in my bag and I thought, “Oh! Her letters are like ten pages long, so I finally have the time!” And I opened it… and …..IMG_8137.JPG

Y’all. She put cash in the letter. That thing had been sitting in my bag for over two weeks. It was just enough for a nice tip.

God really loves to do cool stuff like that, I bet.

 

And finally….IMG_8170-2.JPG

  1. This church (blurry because we were hustling to get there) is where I went at SIX AM for a recovery meeting. And it was awesome. Also, it was a block away from Times Square. Because, that’s how a Momsie rolls.

 

I am just so grateful and excited about this whole thing. Blessed beyond measure.

It was perfect.

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THIS IS WHY I LOVE FLYING.

Since I am a fan of Top Ten lists (see my book, they’re in there) I thought I might give you the Top Ten Reasons Why Flying is Fun today. I have twenty minutes before I board, so here goes:

 

Top Ten Reasons Why Flying is Fun

  1. I basically sat on the lap of the dude next to me. So, it was a chance to really bond. Albeit, this man seemed a bit surly and not very talkative. Lotta tattoos. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with that. But, you know. It adds an ambiance.
  2. The guy in front me needed to have that extra INCH AND A HALF of space, so he seat backed me. He SEAT BACKED me. Who does that anymore? I know who. He does. And that inch and half? I WANTED IT BACK. IT WAS IMPORTANT TO ME. True, I was basically cuddling with Surly Tattoo guy, but I needed to get out of his lap at some point.
  3. I bought a 3.00 water and skipped the drinking part. Just watched the TSA lady take it out, wave it under my nose, and drop it, unopened, into the trash. She didn’t even recycle the thing. #wastefu
  4. Charging stations. We’re all huddled around the one charging station available in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport like those poor, plugged in Keanu in the The Matrix.
  5. The tram lady voice who kept telling me where my exit was? She spoke in a language I cannot quite understand. Like, I almost could understand, but not quite? Sorta? I think so? But I swear, she told me to get off at the “next stop where you will find Gate C and Dark Brown Gravy.”
  6. Now I just want some pot roast and mashed potatoes.Alas, this airport does not offer such fixins.
  7. However! This airport DOES a LOT of alcohol! At every corner! Big, huge, bars with backlit, glowing bottles all lined up! Day drinking! All up in my business!
  8. It’s ok. I’m not gonna snap.
  9. The man next to me on his cell phone loudly discussing something called Solid Waste Management. All the ins and outs. Lotta details. I know more about this subject than I ever thought possible. I will need to tell the boys. They will be fascinated. Evidently, he’s going to Florida for a conference about solid waste. I can’t help but wonder what kind of goodie bag you get at this kind of thing.
  10. The Intervention Project for Nurses. That’s why I’m going to Florida. I am the keynote speaker and I am so excited and honored. Life is really, really good.

 

11 They just started playing “MMM-Bop” on the sound system. My flying experience is complete.

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Guys, I have  to post today about the book. I have to.

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Y’all, it is a heckuva thing, to write a book.

Once the book was out there, with an actual cover and pages, and sitting on shelves in bookstores, and libraries, it was like I had a baby, and then wrapped it up, set it on a bookshelf, slapped an isbn sticker on its adorable soft little bum, and walked away.

I don’t even have any books in my house anymore. I kept giving them to people. Authors get a box of books (I think I got about 15) to do whatever they like with. I kinda considered throwing all fifteen of them on my bed and rolling around in them with glee like that money scene from Indecent Proposal, but you know? That’s a movie from the 90’s* and nobody remembers it. Also, rolling around on a book is uncomfortable. I know this because there is always, ALWAYS at least one book nesting in my bed anyhow (housekeeping challenged) and the other night I rolled over onto A Prayer For Owen Meany and bruised my spleen.

Also, this might rumple with the book cover. As I am a tidy author, there shall be no rolling.

Here is what happened recently about this book:

I had a friend inform me about amazon. It’s this place on the internets where people buy stuff? Anyhow, my sweet little book is on there, and it had some reviews.

And by some I mean a nice number. Less than twenty. More than ten. Still ok. I didn’t much mind. I knew people were reading it, liking it. I knew also that most readers were moms, saddled with small children probably. The likelihood that she was going to set down the small cherub stickily attached to her side and try to post a review of Bottled the next time she has some time to herself was pretty small. If she was like me, she would use that time to go the bathroom and take a nap. Maybe not at the same time.

But then, just recently, another friend told me: “You need 50 reviews. If you get 50, your book will be an ‘also liked’.”

Guys. Wait. What?

This is how I do marketing, by the way. The majority of the time, my book selling moments are paired with me saying, inevitably, “Now, wait. What?”

Bewilderment. It’s part of my platform.

The “also likes”? You know them, I bet. Whenever I am buying, say, a tassled gladiator sandal, and amazon, oh so cleverly suggests that a RED leather tasseled gladiator sandal might also be something I like, I often find myself nodding and just feeling all warm and fuzzy about Amazon.

“Yes. Why, I DO like those? How did you know, Amazon? You really get me!”

“It’s like we’re *crosses fingers* like this.

When I was researching other books to write my book proposal, the “also likes” saved me. It’s how I found a small army of books about drinking, about moms drinking, about recovery.

And it’s also where I didn’t find something: Laughter.

When the publisher, Central Recovery Press, asked me to write the book they asked, “Will you write about the harrowing, painful, and totally life-altering experience of being a mom in recovery. But will you, you know, make it funny?”

Ah, CRP. You also get me. It’s like we’re *crosses fingers again* like this.

I wrote the book. I slaved for nine months (For real. A book baby.) and then, WHAMMO, it arrived. Big celebration. Cigars. Champagne (not really, that would be dumb). And along with it?

Its evil twin, Marketing.

So now the book is out there. And evidently Amazon would like suitable proof. I really had no idea how to do this, so I took it on, with the same enthusiasm as a mom trying to get volunteers for the next Fun Fair. I pestered those that I knew had bought the book. You poor people, if you had actually been kind enough to send me a pic of you reading Bottled, with a cup of tea, in your cozy chair, I was coming to find you. I went all Liam Neeson on the situation. Sorry.

I tweeted. I messaged. I emailed. I texted.

I became the Most Annoying Person in the World.

And nearly** every time, here was the response: “Sure! I would love to!”

Those guys. They were the best. Simply the best. It’s like they really got me. We were *crosses fingers yet again* like this.

It’s good, yes, to be “also liked.” But do you know what all of this taught me?

Gratitude. People are so willing to help. And with the conversations that happened all day long, they reminded me, again and again, about friendship, willingness, generosity, and time. It blessed me completely. Completely.

Thank you. I “also like” you too. Did you know that?

We’re like this.

 

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*Am I the only one who thinks the 90’s was just about a couple years ago? It’s not The 90’s. It was just, you know, a while back. Weird.

** True story. My friend, who shall remain unnamed but is My Pastor’s Wife, said: “Dana. I can’t review it. I actually have not read it yet. I am so sorry.”

And I responded something like: “That’s ok. Just lie. Really. I think. Oh. Wait. No, that would be bad.”

She didn’t respond but I am sure she prayed for me, which is good because at that point I think I had gotten a tad crazy.

Marketing. It can snap you like a twig.

This is the post where I toot my own horn. Maybe back away?

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So, last weekend I got to do something most of us moms dream about:

I slept in a hotel room. And, I woke up WHEN MY EYES OPENED ON THEIR OWN.

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I don’t really know why I put that image above, but for some reason, this weekend made me channel my inner diva gymnast girl.

Anyhow, here is what else happened:

I met up with my two girlfriends, KATIE AND MELINDA* and we ate a lot of food. The hotel gave ups a free bottle of wine which both girls insisted we not drink so that was good. They have my back. They’re my posse.

Also: we shopped at Sephora. Considered having my eyebrows done, but decided not because you know:

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However, I found a lipstick that, I kid you not, LIFTS my lips. I did not know this was a thing that needed to happen to my lips, but it’s awesome. Also, the stuff makes me coffee in the morning and I think it speaks three languages. It’s that good.

Then: I went to Teavana. I spent a lot more money than I should have. On tea. Want to know why?

It’s because they waft it at you.

Here’s me in Teavana:

Me: Oooooo, pineapple tea?

Young, earnest, serious tea drinker salesguy: Why yes. That’s our Oolong Geisha Fly By Night With a Pineapple tea. Here, (pulls down canister)…

Me: (starts to bend forward and take a sniff) Uh, what is that beeping sound?

Tea Man: Ma’am. That’s the You’re Doing It Wrong Buzzer of Shame. You do not sniff at the tea. I WAFT it AT you. Now, back away.

Me: I do the whaaaaaat? Dude. Are you ok?

Pretentious Tea Man: Yes. This is my job. I open the canister. And then, (flourish), I WAFT it at you.

Me: You get paid to do this?

Sad Tea Guy: I applied at Nordstroms. They didn’t want me. So, here.

And that’s how I spent crackamillion bucks on tea that smells divine, but still tastes like hay.

And finally!

This:

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fuzzy picture. warm, fuzzy feelings.

Y’all. I wrote a book. Did you know, I wrote a book?

Anyhow, we go into the Barnes and The Nobles and start perusing all the books we want (a million), and then… I get this thought…

Maybe. Just maybe… MY book is in here?

And I go up to the desk and say, “I am looking for a book? It’s by Dana Bowman? It’s probably not here but I thought I’d ask?” (Uptalker = insecure.)

And the nice lady takes me over and there it is! On the shelf! And I grab the nice lady and say, “That’s ME!” And she thinks I am a little off. I can tell. But then I tell her I’m the author, and then grab the book and proceed TO SHOW HER MY PIC ON THE BACK FOR PROOF, AND I JUMP A LITTLE.

Clearly, I need more work on the coolness thing. Because jumping up and down at Barnes and Noble is not something people do.

So, the nice lady who is clearly not impressed says, “Well, IF you ARE the author, you can sign it.” I show her, again, the picture on the back and even consider taking out my driver’s license, and then I GRAB at her a little because I am just so excited.

At this point I think nice book lady just wants me out of the store. So she gets a pen and I get my girl friends, because they will be excited for me. They are my girlfriends. They know when to squeal and jump. The nice book lady is not reacting like I wanted her to – with jumping and squealing and all that. I really wanted to have a moment with her. Alas, it was not to be.

So, I had the moment with KATIE AND MELINDA*. The best girls ever.

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That’s Katie. She always has good hair. I would hate her for that but I can’t because I love her too much.

So, lookit. I found my book at a bookstore and I signed it. Signed two of them. And the book lady was patient and I teared up a little and hugged her. Afterwards she probably noticed the topic of my book and she said, “Ohhhhhh. It’s all very clear to me now. Why she was… that way.”  Whatevs, lady. I wrote a book. You just sell ’em.

 

Then we all sassy-walked, all authory and stuff, outta there. I did a few step-ball-kicks as we departed. It’s possible I waved and said, “Farewell booksellers! And buyers! I wrote one of the books that is IN THERE! Goodbye, my people!”

Anyhow.

And then we all went and had this for dinner:

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You know why? Because we WANTED to. We had three cookies and a brownie and copious amounts of coffee. For DINNER, y’all. I know.

Also: we ordered a pizza at ten o’clock and watched two and a half of the Matrix movies in our hotel room, and our convos went like this:

“Why is she wearing high heeled boots? She can’t run in those.”

“I know. And that coat. It’s all flappy. It’s gonna catch on something. See! It just flapped at that dreadlocked guy! He has good hair. But he could just grab the coat and then it would all be over.”

“It’s a fight scene. It needs to be over. We shoulda written this movie. Oh Lord have mercy. They’re fighting again. Why do they have to fight so much?”

“Why are there always weapons laying about? Clearly these people have no children.”

“Keanu does really well in movies where he doesn’t have to register any emotions.”

I’m telling you, it was off the hook.

So, back to the book. And, if you are interested, you can see more about it here.

Also (shameless plug?) if you have read it? Would you leave a review on the Amazons? I will send you a puppy in the mail if you do so.

Ok, just kidding.

Or maybe, that lipstuff that I bought at Sephora. I just read the packaging and it says it will also fold your laundry and walk the dog if you ask it to, real nice.

*MELINDA AND KATIE wanted to be included in this post. I used their REAL names. No subtle code names (Helga and Bertha were my first options) for these guys, oh noooo.

Melinda and Katie: They are all real, all the time. And I am so grateful.

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This post was sponsored by: Sephora, coffee, AMC movies, absolutely no wine, big fluffy pillows, and those cute little chocolates they put on the pillow for you at bedtime.

But not Teavana. I think this post will make that poor dude reconsider his path in life. Ones career path should not include “Wafter” as a job title.

Wrapper’s Delight. Plus a whole lot of pictures and not much train of thought.

Brace yourselves. This is a long post about wrapping paper. I know, right? This blog, y’all. It’s on FIRE.

Long ago, like a long, LONG time ago, like back before cell phones*, I had a job as a bookseller at Border’s Books.

You remember Borders, right?

Coffee shop. Angst-filled workers, classical music. I do believe there was a guy at my Borders whose name was Indiana. Or, was it Idaho? NO. Illinois! That’s IT! He was so cool. His name preceded him. In fact, it’s entirely possible that Illinois is now living in his parents’ basement, playing online chess and working at Quickiemart, but STILL, his name will make it work.

Also: I worked with a guy who used the word “shedule” in his daily vernacular. As in, “I don’t know if I can work for you Thursday night, let me check my SHEDULE.”

“Shedule.” Not, “SCHEDULE” LIKE EVERYONE ELSE SAYS IT.  And yes, he was from Overland Park, Kansas. NOT over the pond with Big Ben and a lot of tea and cool accents! Nope. KANSASS.

Anyhow. It’s a bit evident that this guy really ticked me off. It’s been twenty years and every time I hear “shedule” when watching my beloved Masterpiece Theatre (pronounced ‘Theatah’ because they CAN, they’re BRITISH) I cringe. He ruined shedules for me. Or schedules. Or both.

ANYHOW, I digress! I will get to my point! Maybe! Soon!

Back when I worked at Borders, I had (still do – she’s a keeper) a best best friend there who was the Jedi master book seller of all, and she could Christmas wrap a book in like ten seconds. Bethany would SLAP the book down and then SLAP the paper around it, ZIP the tape on, THWACK it over.. and VOILA! Done.

Evidently, wrapping books is a rather violent event for my friend. But she was FAST, I tell you. And good. The book, all gleaming, with perfectly crisp papered corners, was a one holly sprig shy of Christmas wrapping perfection. Or, maybe I should say, “Happy Holidays” wrapping perfection.

Sigh.

ANYHOW. My wrapping skills… were not quite at Bethany’s level. If Bethany was in the Olympics of present wrapping, she would have ended up on the podium. I would be watching from home. On my couch. Shoveling popcorn and, thus, getting the metaphorical paper all greasy. You get the point.

Sooooo, fast forward a jillion years (cell phones!) and my living room floor looks like… THIS:

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Wrapping paper. Wrapping paper everywhere.

And, I just noticed… what looks like a picture of a devil with a pitchfork**… Whaaaaaat? I have no idea how that go there. But it’s fitting, because:

I HATE ALL THE WRAPPING OF THINGS! HELP! HELLLLLLP! Crying and gnashing of teeth!!!!!!

Ok, I do realize that comparing wrapping a few books to frying up in the fiery pits of hell is a bit of an overstatement, but I never promised you that I’d take it easy on the hyperbole, people. Hyperbole is MY LIFE.

I have been wrapping up a few extra books from the book signing and sending them away to lucky ducks (suckers) who wanted an actual signature on the book. Why? I am not sure. My signature (and sweet sentiment too) looks like THIS:

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And… my wrapping tends to look like THIS:

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So… all these folks are gonna get a package in the mail from a Real, Official, Semi-famous Author! … and it looks like a chimpanzee had a crack at it.

And that, I realize, kind of is an insult to the primate family. Sorry.

In fact… at one point I thought I might just attach a note that says: “Wrapped with love by my sons!”

Because, desperate times! It’s okay to throw your children under the bus to save ones pride, right? Right?

(NO. NO, it’s NOT, says EVERYONE. And I might add that the whole “under the bus” idiom is awful. So I am doubly wrong. Oh, this post is just a mess.)

Well, I got the packages mailed. If you are one of the lucky recipients – I WRAPPED ‘EM. Not a five year old cherub of sweetness and light. Nope. All me.

But, they are filled with lots of love, so there’s that.

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And all the while, as I was muttering under my breath and tackling all that difficult brown paper with venom, Hoz the Great looked on like THIS:

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Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

I find it troubling that even the smallest tasks can sometimes make me feel like I’ve been in the bouncy castle of life just a tad too long… but if you don’t realize:

I HAVE been in the bouncy castle of life a tad too long. THAT’S WHY I WROTE THE BOOK.

This is literature at its best, people! #Pulitzer.

You’re welcome.

The end.

 

 

*Yes, children. There was a time, back long ago, when cell phones did not exist. We barely survived. It was rough. Most of the time we communicated by setting things on fire (like brown paper!) and signaling, or just thumping the ground real hard to let our family know when predators were close. It’s quite a story.

Maybe I should write a book about it. I will call it:

The Eighties. I Drank Because of Them.

Kidding! Just kidding.

Thank you, my readers, for getting through the squirelliest post ever. Also: THANK YOU for making my book such a hit. I am so very grateful!  If you are interested, you can click here to take a look at Bottled: A Mom’s Guide to Early Recovery.

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** I REMEMBER! It’s an OWL. Not Satan! With the word “W-I-S-E next to it. Of course it is! Some leftover handout from Sunday school. I dunno why it made it into the shot, but, as always, I am gonna take it as a sign from God. Life is so much more exciting that way.

Bonus:

“Would you like it.. gift wrapped?”