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So I spent Saturday through Wednesday in Minneapolis, signing all the Kickstarter rewards for the Digger omnibus, and first of all OH MY GOD THEY ARE SO AWESOME LOOKING and also there were a lot of them.


And by a lot I mean eight pallets.

This photo, incidentally, is after we’ve gone through a couple and you can’t see the Wall ‘O Digger spines behind me and also they hadn’t delivered the softcovers yet.

(The softcovers are also really swank.)

Here is the wall of signed copies and then we ran out of space and started putting them back in boxes.


Also, these suckers have weight. They come in at four pounds apiece. You could club an intruder to death with one. It is amazing how much more impressive they were than all six of the Digger volumes stacked up–even though they’re nearly the same size, something about there being a spine with DIGGER on it makes it really look like eight years of work.

But yes. Lotta books. Lotta BIG books.

This meant a lot of signing.

A lot of signing.

All the signing.

Also, there were posters. And postcards. About a thousand of those.

Toward the end, I started to get a little fried…


(Horribly, I think I was trying to look perky for the camera in this one. Kevin assures me that all the other photos have been deleted. Apparently they were…not flattering.)

And then Tuesday morning, with a load of softcovers rolling into the warehouse, I woke up, had breakfast, went to get up and…


I made a noise. It was not a scream, largely because screaming would have used my back muscles too much. I had just thrown my back out in spectacular fashion, one of the worst I’ve had in years, possibly the worst I’ve had—it was a really impressive level of pain. Throwing your back out at any point isn’t fun, but there’s a spectrum between “Uh oh, better lay down, there goes the rest of the day” and “suspended alone in the bloody void with the God of Back Pain.”

“Yo,” said the God of Back Pain.

“‘sup,” I said. “Haven’t seen you for awhile. Incidentally, AAAAUUUUGGHGHH!”

Kevin got me downstairs into the bedroom–getting my legs on the bed involved more noises-that-weren’t-screams–and we moved into Damage Control Mode, because there were still a whole lot of books to sign and I had a flight home tomorrow morning.

(The reason? Those darn heavy omnibuses. You can see me sitting at the table up there, and I was pulling the books toward me with my left hand, signing, then twisting in the chair and stacking them. My own damn fault, both for setting up a poor workflow and for writing a goddamn four-pound epic.)

Ironically, my signing hand? Great shape. Didn’t need the wrist brace, the elbow brace, any of it. I could sign another thousand of them and then punch Larry the intern a few times* and not break a sweat. It’s never the things you expect.

So, we got a heating pad on it until I could move again. Kevin ran out and got thermarest back-heating doohickeys. We drove Dale’s super-comfy office chair to the warehouse, and they set it up, and I stood bolt upright with the weird little hot back brace and…signed.

(I should probably add at this point that the Sofawolf guys were perfectly happy to let me stay in the guest room for a few days until I was better--I was the one going "The books must be signed NOW. Strap me to a board and give me a pen, damnit.")

I was forbidden to lift anything. They slid books in front of me, on an elevated table, I signed, they took the books away and boxed them. (They let me check off the invoice numbers on the master sheet, so at least I did that much!) In between pallets, I sat in the office chair, reclined back all the way.

And stuff got signed.

And I flew home yesterday–an IcyHot muscle patch, incidentally, can REALLY fill the cabin of a plane with aroma, quite a throw on those things–while Kevin fretted and lifted all my bags and finally took me home and put me to bed.

I’m in a fair amount of pain, not gonna lie–but stuff got signed.

And dude, those omnibuses look AMAZING.

ETA: Oh, also I screwed up three dedications. (Only three! That's like a 99.9% success rate!) For those people who's name I shamefully mispelled, you're receiving a long, rambling apology, commentary on my mental state "So...very...tired" and a small drawing of the Wombat of Shame. (Digger facepalming.)

I am very sorry. But I swear it's as personal a contact with the author as exists in the world!

*We are friends from way back. I do not punch most interns.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

oooooooooooooooh yay!

boo for back.

and i love that you have the same response i do. LOOK AT THIS! You can so kill a person with it.

This is the standard by which books are judged!

(Suspicious comment)
As someone who is prone to back spasms and sometime "hospitalize me now" pain, and who moved 250 pounds of hay this morning with a buggered up rotater cuff, you have my sympathy and I completely understand.

And I'm really, really looking forward to getting my book!

Hope you're feeling better quickly.

You know, when I saw the pic of you at the table, I said to myself, "what, no signing minions?" Here, we have an example of when I should have used my outside voice as I am quite sure minions could have been arranged.

I feel like 'doubles as a self defence weapon' should be in the pitch :-)

The God of Backpain and I are sadly intimately familiar. I hope you can stop worshipping him soon.

Thank You!

I'm really looking forward to my copy of Digger.

Feel better soon.

Kevin is such a good husband.

I'm looking forward to Sheherazahde's copy of Digger as well ;-).

I turned my mom onto The Hidden Almanac this morning.

Yet another person familiar with the "joys" of back pain. You have my deepest sympathies. Though next time (and there WILL be a next time), you'll be aware of the risk.

Apologies for the back pain but those books look absolutely gorgeous! I guess I hadn't seen the cover yet (was it available for viewing before now?) but I see it in the first picture! They look FANTASTIC and I am so super excited now.

Those are the Kickstarter covers, the regular ones are black and white, but still gorgeous.

I too know the God of Back Pain, though worship would be entirely the wrong word for the way I feel about It. You have my profound sympathy. May It go away soon.

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Wow, you are a trooper. I hope your hand continues to hold up :)

As someone who has the VIP members pass to the God of Back Pain's bloody void... you have my sympathy.

Ow. %)&@*% the God of Back Pain.

And from the point of view of someone who was recently trapped on an airplane for 8 hours with at least four people in her immediate vicinity who went with the "I will douse myself in body spray instead of showering" option, with at least four different and competing scents, I would MUCH RATHER have the cabin smell like Icy Hot. It's a clean scent. It doesn't give me screaming headaches or make me nauseous.

Take care, rest a bit, and look back on a job well done!

(And also: I want one! Where can I buy one?!)

Sofawolf.com has them!

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I think that sculpture should probably be measured similarly, possibly via some sort of mass x pointyness index.

Oh my god! Be okay :<

Dammit, why do you come into town right when I go OUT of town?? Grr!

And why (other than being in agony) aren't you at Midwest Furfest! I miss seeing you!