September 18, New York City:

"And now, with her brand-new book LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, we're very pleased to have with us...Jennifer Weener."

And so it begins.

Just a very quick update from the road, where I'll be online only sporadically (it was a choice between taking the baby and taking the laptop. I took the baby. And she took the whole "city that never sleeps" thing very, very literally.)

In spite of Lu's behaving as an in-room wake-up call (at one in the morning, two-thirty in the morning, four in the morning and six in the morning), and the by-now-obligatory mispronunciation of the last name, I am having a wonderful time on the road.

Friday night's reading in Lincoln Center featured a guest appearance by a small, white-haired woman in the front row.

"I don't have a question, dear, but I wanted to tell you that I was in your movie."

I peered down in disbelief.

"Mrs. Lefkowitz?!?!"

"Yes!"

So that was super cool.

Then on Saturday, Adam and I took Lucy to the Central Park Zoo, where she tried out her new word.

"Fish!"

"Well, actually, Lu, those are seals!"

She stared at me. "Fish!"

"I know they're swimming and all, but they're really mammals."

She gave me a bored look. "Fish!"

We had a repeat in the penguin house.

"Fish!"

"No, no, they're birds."

"Fish!"

"Flightless birds, I know, but see the feathers?"

Lu was starting to look agitated. "Fish!"

At which point, I gave up.

I had a wonderful reading at a truly charming and super-cozy bookstore in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. Yesterday was a day off (heh -- like any mom with a sixteen-month-old in tow has one of those).

And at both readings, I was thrilled -- and honestly, a tiny bit shocked -- to hear how many people enjoy reading the weblog.

Deep in my heart, I believe that there is precisely one woman alive who reads this thing; and that woman is my mother.

So thank you, weblog readers, for coming out of the woodwork!

Today I did stock signings in New York City. So if you want a signed copy, and missed both readings, here's where you can find one: the Borders in the Time Warner Center; Coliseum Books in Times Square (11 W. 42nd Street), the Barnes & Noble at 657 6th Avenue; the B&N at 33 E. 17th Street, the B&N at 4 Astor Place and the B&N at 396 Avenue of the Americas.

I also noticed the following freaky thing: a sign above a big stack of LITTLE EARTHQUAKES reading "NEW FROM JENNIFER WEINER."

"Could I have one of those?" I asked the manager. "I could put it in my kitchen!"

I thought about it. "Or over the toilet!"

Needless to say, I left the store without the sign.

In the God-is-laughing-at-me department, I just got my updated schedule, with my New York is Book Country panel, where I'll be joined by...Cathleen Schine.

This is the Cathleen Schine who the Washington Post believes is a much finer writer than I am; the Cathleen Schine I so heartlessly dissed a few days ago.

Oh boy, am I sorry now.

Not just because I'm going to have to be on a panel with her, but because, in writing about that review, I succumbed to the kind of eighth-grade cattiness that I generally try to avoid.

I don't like it when reviewers try to pit women writers against each other, or play divide and conquer via compare and contrast: she's one of the smart girls, she's one of the popular girls, and she gets to sit at Dave Eggers' table.

Truth is, women writers, no matter what their subject matter, or their genre, are still reviewed less frequently and, one could argue, taken less seriously than male writers.

We should be celebrating each others' achievements, not snarking, the way I did, about, "Well, who cares if the critics think she's smarter, I don't like her stuff anyhow."

I ran out and purchased a copy of SHE IS ME directly, and I'm looking forward to curling up with it soon (and trying not to be bitter that it got both an entire Janet Maslin review AND a Sunday Book Review review while my books...not so much).

Onward and upward, and I hope to see some of you at R.J. Julia's in Madison tomorrow night!

Jen