T minus ten days to the new book and counting…

“Your publicist called,” said Jamie the nanny on Thursday night. “He said you have to send pictures of yourself to People magazine tomorrow morning, or they won’t review the book.”

Huh?

“So I’m supposed to…what? Email them a snapshot?”

“I don’t know,” said Jamie.

I decided, based on the message, and the two glasses of wine I’d had with dinner, that this had to be a miscommunication.

When “In Her Shoes” came out, People reviewed it. They set up a photo shoot weeks in advance, giving me ample time to obsess, plus have my hair cut, my teeth cleaned, and several presentable outfits available.

But this time? Not so much with the advance notice. Or, for that matter, the People-provided photographer. Evidently, it’s BYOP these days (leading me, of course, to the instantaneous conclusion that People hates the book. Authors of books they like probably get a little more heads-up.)

And, as it turned out, I couldn’t just mail them a snapshot. People has very strict rules for photographs, including NO CANDIDS. And NO DIGITAL PICTURES. And SUBJECT MUST MAINTAIN GOOD EYE CONTACT. And PICTURE CANNOT JUST BE OF A HEAD. (Damn).

“Okay,” said Joanna my agent, on her cell phone at eleven thirty, “I called twenty photographers, and I found someone who can take your picture at 2:30 this afternoon.”

Which, on the Friday before a holiday weekend in Cape Cod, is no small feat. Go, Joanna!

“But I don’t have any makeup…”

“You’ll look fine!”

“And all my nice clothes are in Philadelphia…”

“Don’t worry!’

“…and I haven’t gotten a haircut since April, and I’ve got these sunglass tan lines because I keep forgetting to put sunblock on my face….”

“I’m sure it’ll be beautiful!”

Oy.

At twelve-thirty, after lunch, I was grumbling as we piled into the car – my sister Molly, my friend Alexa, her baby Zach, Lucy and Jamie. “How can they do this to me?” I muttered. “How am I supposed to get myself together in time?”

There was silence. And then….

”Um, does anyone else smell poo?” asked Jamie.

Oy.

“See,” I said, hauling a giggling Lucy out of her car seat and onto the changing pad, “a writer’s life really IS nothing but glamour and high thread-count sheets!”

Fifteen minutes and one exceedingly full diaper later, I came home, took a shower, borrowed Molly’s foundation and Alexa’s hair goop, gave Lucy her milk, put her down for her nap, and drove off to the photo shoot.

The photographer turned out to be terrific. She shot me at this beautiful inn on the waterfront in Chatham, with all kinds of gardens and other scenic settings, and we even met a woman who asked what was going on and became inordinately excited when I told her who I was (“I LOVED "Good in Bed!”)

And, as Adam pointed out, this time I managed to keep my clothes on.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment, when a film crew from Entertainment Tonight surprises me in the bathtub...

Jen