(Lucy Knisley, the author of the graphic novel Relish: My Life in the Kitchen [it comes out tomorrow, we’re super-excited!] has been kind enough to share a day from her life last week — from the final throes of pre-publication book promotion count-down time.)
Lucy Knisley — May 28th, 2013
8am Wake up to scratchy cat kisses, as usual. Gross but effective.
8:30am I make myself a bowl of black beans with goat cheese, tomato and avocado for breakfast, which I eat with a glass of milk while I check my email. I have a few from Gina about my tour, to which I send off quick replies, and one from my dad on vacation in China, in which he complains about how there’s no Facebook. I send him an email to console him.
9am Check tumblr and eat a dark chocolate cookie. I’ve been trying not to eat a lot of sugar, in preparation for my tour, but I’ve given myself a break in this last week before my book release. My wedding card for my godfather and his partner has gotten some good reblogs. That reminds me; I spend some time checking the news about the debates over gay marriage. I can’t believe this is even under debate!
9:30am Kelly Bastow has this amazing drawing up on Tumblr and I love love love love it. It’s about people coming together to make art and it’s awesome. I pretend the girl on the right is me because it kinda looks like me. My teeth are totally like that.
10am I do a little work on some research stuff for my next book. I’m rereading The Catcher in the Rye and making notes about it to help come up with stuff for the book.
10:30am It occurs to me that spending only about an hour working at home is highly unusual for me, and that this journal of my day is wildly atypical of my usual everyday, by virtue of it being the week before my book is released, so I have CRAZY amounts to do. My cat remains as busy as ever with her sunbeam wrangling.
11.am I have a haircut appointment. My hair grows super fast and I want to get it cut before I appear at my book events looking like a sheepdog. So I put some clothes on and take a “before picture” and head out.
11:30am I live in the West Village which is BEAUTIFUL, so they’re ALWAYS filming movies in my neighborhood. Ooh, the catering tent! I scope out the goods on the way to my haircut, and think about how I used to work catering on movies sometimes. The actors always asked for non-dairy fat-free stuff. So all the leftover cheese and mayonnaisey sandwiches were leftover for MEEE!
12noon After living in Chicago for 8 years, I am appalled at the prices of New York haircuts, so I get my hair cut at this inexpensive chain that’s BROADWAY THEMED. All the stylists have STAGE NAMES. Mine is Nuvo. I like him because he talks to me about Buffy the Vampire Slayer while he cuts my hair.
12:30pm On the way back from my haircut, EVERYTHING STOPS BECAUSE: PEEP CAR. Look at that peep car! I crossed the street to get close enough to take this picture. There was a guy trying to park it while I stood there in awe.
1pm Home to change to a warmer coat (I really want it to be spring but it’s NOT) and take a quick “after photo” of my hair. It’s a little shorter than I’d have liked it, but I think that’s because my hair is ridiculous and hard to cut. My mom has straight hair and my dad has curly hair, so one half of my head is straight and the other is curly. I know that is not how genetics work, but I swear it’s how my hair works. Anyway, at least I can see out from under my bangs now!
1:30pm Runnin’ errands. Drop off my laundry, visit the post office to mail book orders, buy some vitamins for my tour in the hopes that they offset the exhaustion. I have a whole system, as I travel a lot, but I buy a new pill organizer for my emergency pill supply.
2pm I keep thinking about what the guy who washed my hair this morning told me; that everything he does is art, his hair, his outfit, his life. I like that outlook, but I’m pretty sure that, even though I consider myself a full-time professional artist, a lot of what I do is not art. I’m thinking about this so much that I forget to take photos for a bit.
2:30pm I take the subway uptown and play Candy Crush. This game is a terrible problem for me.
3pm I have a meeting in Chelsea, so of COURSE I have to go to The Donut Plant. Did I mention I was trying not to eat much sugar? Well, this much running around and tour prep gives me a good excuse to give myself the gift of a strawberry vanilla bean donut. It’s amazing and I get sugar all over my face.
3:30pm I have a meeting with my editor, Calista, at First Second, to talk about COMICS. It’s a good thing the elevator in the flatiron has lots of mirrors, so I can wipe the sugar off my face. Along with the business of comics, my editor and I also talk about our cats because that is super important. Then she shows me this hilarious thing that she found when she went to look at Relish‘s stats on Amazon. Looks like I have some seriously expensive and smutty competition! We don’t get around to talking about the TV shows we both like, even though it’s on the docket, because I offer to give her a preview of my Relish presentation (which is at home), so I run out to get it.
4pm On the subway, I think about comics and play Candy Crush. It’s an addiction.
4:30pm I grab my presentation stuff, eat some quick tomato toast so I won’t be hungry during my presentation, and jet back up to the Flatiron.
5pm Yay! My publicist Gina and my designer Colleen are joining Calista for the presentation preview! At first it seems to go well…
5:30pm But then, THE HORROR! No but I think they liked it mostly. RIGHT GUYS?
6pm I get a call from a California newspaper as I’m leaving the Flatiron. I have an interview about Relish scheduled! I usually do my phone interviews at home, tossing my Australia Rules football to give me something to do with my nervous hands, but I do my best to give coherent answers as I rush through rush hour peeps on fifth ave.
6:30pm The interview doesn’t take long, and finishes up while I’m huddled in a corner of the ENORMOUS Bed Bath and Beyond, trying to shield the phone from “The Girl From Ipanema” that they’re playing on the loudspeakers. I have to buy some travel stuff for my tour (a mini hair dryer. Very important. This whole day makes it seem like I am super hair obsessed). This is the face of lost desperation.
7pm This place is enormous and I can’t find my way out. I decide that my mom probably has a travel hairdryer I can borrow instead of spending $20 on it, so I can leave. Except THERE IS NO ESCAPE. No, but really… Where is the exit?
7:30pm Escaped with my life! Candy Crush on the subway. This game is ridiculous. I think I’ve spent like 15 dollars on in app purchases. I have to go to a Candy Crush Addicts Anonymous meeting.
8pm HOME! Did I mention my neighborhood was pretty?
8:30pm Dinner! Spicy chicken on a salad with tomato, apple, and homemade pickled onion.
9pm Hm, I was supposed to get a shipment of Relish today in the mail. Better check the tracking… GASP!
9:30pm The best part about living on the fifth floor of a walkup building: I’m in pretty good shape considering how many doughnuts I eat. The worst thing: Getting 100 books delivered.
10pm They split it into three boxes, fortunately, so three trips and a near asthma attack later…
10:30pm Where the heck am I going to put these? Ah who cares lookit my boooooks! This is basically what all authors live for.
11pm Yay! Creative tiny-apartment storage solutions! Plus, new end table!
11:30pm There are so many boxes to play with now! But it’s time for bed, kitty.
Midnight! Sleep sleep sleeeeeep.