Friday, October 9, 2015

A Heartbreaking Tale of Thwarted Desire

Yesterday morning when I woke my very first thought was, "October 8th! The new Robert Galbraith novel comes out today!"

Robert Galbraith is, of course, J.K. Rowling's mystery-writing pseudonym. I can not tell you how much I revere J.K. Rowling. I would like to feel a jolt of professional jealousy toward her, that she can be both that good and that prolific, but really I just want her to write faster. Harry Potter changed the face of children's publishing, changed childhood--you would not believe how many colleges now have Quidditch teams--and The Casual Vacancy is a work of literary genius. The Robert Galbraith books are as addictive as meth. (Not that I would know.)

[As a total aside, my son wrecked my barn broom playing high school Quidditch. Also, when he heard about the game, my husband asked the rules. My son started to explain the modifications they were using. My husband wanted to know why they didn't just play under the original rules. After a moment of dead silence at the dinner table, my son said gently, "Dad. Because our brooms don't actually fly." But I digress.]

All morning I envisioned a blissful evening engrossed in a new RG story. I knew I'd have some time after the farrier left, when my daughter would go to tennis practice and my husband would be coaching basketball. I thought I'd curl up on the sun-soaked porch with the book and a glass of wine. Utter bliss.

When I walked back to the house from the barn, midday, for lunch, I checked the porch for the Amazon package, but it wasn't there. I wasn't surprised. Our mail usually gets delivered around 2:30 and UPS can be expected anytime between 1 and 5. My daughter brought the mail up to the barn when she got home from school, and the book wasn't part of that--but again, I wasn't surprised. Sometimes Amazon ships through the post office, but in my experience, when they're dealing with massively popular pre-orders, they usually use UPS.

I finished at the barn and came back to the house. Still no package. Showered, checked email, kissed daughter good-bye. No package. Played a few games of computer Boggle. Still no package.

Finally, fretfully, I looked up the order on Amazon. What if I'd forgotten to preorder? Seemed unlikely, but I supposed it was possible. I'd have to download the book for my Kindle. Not as satisfying, but acceptable.

I found the order. Stared at the page, stunned. Evening wrecked. Anticipation destroyed.

The new Robert Galbraith novel comes out October 20th.

Twelve days to go.