I had no idea how much of my life Femme au chapeau would consume. Not just the plugging and blogging; there's the order filling and inscribing and carrying around copies in great big handbags that make me look like Mary Poppins. I feel the need for a great big umbrella more and more. Perhaps if I were Mary Poppins, I could rise up into the sky over the city and sprinkle Femme au chapeau in a pleasant cloud of fuchsia-covered volumes that would strike the Golden Gate Bridge, the gardens of the Yerba Buena Center, the Berkeley campanile, Orinda's square, Jack London Square (pigeons off!), the modest, somewhat Tuscan clock tower that overlooks Walnut Creek's Tiffany's, the main streets of Sebastopol, Petaluma and Santa Rosa. If I had a big flying umbrella and a book-filled valise, I could just jet my way over to deliver books in person, ringing the bell with the tip of my umbrella and presenting each person who orders one with a crisp, freshly unwrapped but cleverly inscribed book, faintly smelling like fresh bread, and nod my head civilly, click my heels together -- no, wait, that's someone else! -- and say, "Home, James" to my umbrella. Or whatever Mary Poppins said.
Instead, I'm afraid one of these evenings I'll bubble-wrap myself in my sleep. But even in my sleep I'll have the correct postage, because it's indelibly etched in my brain: three 37-cent stamps and two 23-cent stamps. Three flags and two Georges. And don't forget to tuck in the postmark.
I may open a store if I get really good at this. Or a press. Or a magazine. I could get addicted to mailing things.