No blogging for the next few days, as the baby and I are off to Chicago for Book Expo America, where I will sign advanced readers' copies of LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, collect as many galleys as I can reasonably lug home, and do my damndest to keep Lucy away from Bill Clinton.

It wasn't originally part of my plan to bring Lu with me, but we ran into a child care catastrophe, which can be summed up thusly: my nanny told me she was going to be out of town this week, and I forgot.

Adam can't take off work. Neither grandmother was available. No sitters are free for the times we'd need them. So Aunt Molly is flying from Los Angeles to Chicago to hang with Lu while I schmooze and sign...but the two of us will be flying to Chicago alone.

I keep telling myself that I've done this before -- Lucy and I went to Florida and back all by ourselves -- but of late, little girlfriend has developed what can only be described as a hungry pterodactyl shriek. And it is LOUD. It doesn't necessarily mean she's unhappy. It just means she's kind of...rowdy, I guess. Or spirited! Yes! Spirited sounds good!

Either way, it's already gotten her booted from one restaurant, and I'm dreading the flight, and hoping she won't unleash the shriek until we're on the ground. But if not, my apologies in advance to everyone flying American in the morning.