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…
And then Tuesday morning, with a load of softcovers rolling into the warehouse, I woke up, had breakfast, went to get up and…
My back went “DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE THWANGGGGGGG DIE DIE OH HOW I WANT YOU TO DIIIIIIIEEEEEE.”
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.