On a non-baby-related note: if Ruben Studdard on "American Idol" were any smoother, I'd be able to spread him on my English muffin. Love him!

Meanwhile, the new season of "The Bachelor" has begun without my noticing. Why, God, why!?!?! But I've got the Television Without Pity recaps to keep me up to speed, and I intend to rectify the situation post-haste.

I'm in sort of a mood today. Got my once-every-six-months angry fan missive. "I wrote to you! And you never wrote back! You're rotten and rude! And I'm not going to read your new book or watch GOOD IN BED on HBO, because you never wrote me back and when I wrote Judy Blume a fan letter she did, and she's written way more books than you have! You suck! Suuuuuck!"

Okay, I'm paraphrasing...but not by much. And this is vexing for a few reasons.

Reason one: I'm pregnant to the point that turning over in bed is as laborious and time-consuming as executing a K-turn on a crowded street. And I'm devoting my limited energies to getting my third book into shape before the baby comes.

Reason two: I've got my email set up to auto-respond to people so they at least know that I'm reading their letters. And I respond to as many letters as I can, without spending so much time that I've got none left for the book. It's not that I don't want to spend all day answering my email, I just don't think my publisher would be very happy with that choice.

Reason three: I don't have an assistant. Judy Blume does. How do I know this? Because we've asked her for quotes for both of my books, and always gotten a very nice response back....from her assistant. The reason I don't have one is that I figure if people are writing to me they want to hear back from me, not an assistant -- even if it's just the autoreply.

The good news is, the nice letters outnumber the cranky ones by far. But the cranky ones bug me. Then again, at this point, everything that's not the imminent arrival of the Bun bugs me.

Wah.

Jen