Did you write the update yet, Janis?
The one where you tell your fans and friends what's been going on?
Oh, that update.... It's been hard to get around to it, Pat. I'm still grieving over losing Foster. I know even Portuguese Water Dogs don't live forever, but that doesn't make it easier. I'm so grateful we still have D'roo.
I know it's hard, but you're going in for shoulder surgery tomorrow. You should post something.
Is that what you're wearing for the follow-up visit with your surgeon?
Yes, what's wrong with it?
Oh, nothing. That green and blue polka-dot thing is bound to come back in style any minute now.
<glances down at pants>
Oh. I got tired of asking for help getting dressed, so I pulled out a few things I could put on with one hand.
Did you pick the clothes out at night? during a power failure, perhaps?
You don't like Hawaiian floral with aquamarine socks? I thought it was a great combination.
Mmm. I wonder if your painkillers aren't finally kicking in.
How's your shoulder feeling?
Come on, you can't give up. It's going to be a long haul.
I know everybody said that, but I figured I'd be fine by now, and the rest of the summer would just be a kind of vacation..
Honey, it's only been two weeks. And didn't the surgeon say that in all his years of practice, it was one of the worst he'd ever seen?
What does he know? He's just a surgeon... even if he does take care of an entire football team.
He seems like an okay guy, given that he spends his life slicing and dicing.
Yeah... It was nice of him to give me a DVD of the surgery, though I thought us watching it between Chelsea Handler and It's Me Or the Dog was a little strange.
Did you? I didn't...
Maybe it's the painkillers.
Janis, I'm sorry to bug you, but you need to do this update soon. You can't just sit around like this, it's not healthy.
I'm sorry, Pat... I just can't believe D'roo's gone too. It isn't fair, losing both dogs in such a short time. I start crying every time I think about it. I keep telling myself it's just the painkillers making me weepy, but -
- It's not the pain killers. I'm doing the same thing.
Oh. I hoped it was the pain killers.
Hey, I talked with Stefan this morning - Audible.com released your autobiography today! He says it's getting great buzz, that weaving songs and singing in and out of the narrative really worked. He says he's never heard anything like it.
Stefan said that? Wow... and he's so experienced. Fantastic!
Are you going to put that in the update?
Very funny. When do I get a physical copy I can play in the car?
I think physical copies go on sale October 6th, in time for my next tour. You can pre-order it in September, though.
You're not going to give me a copy?
Only if you stop bugging me about the update...
You'll also be carrying it at the shows, right?
Someone else will be carrying it. I'm not supposed to lift anything until next year.
Did you write that update yet?
Stop nagging! You've been asking me every hour for weeks now!
I have not! And where did you find those shoes?
My feet get cold.
I thought we threw out all our Frye boots back in the 80's...
Janis, you have got to write the update.
I don't have time. I'm in physical therapy eight hours a day; I have no energy left for an update.
What an exaggeration! It's just three times a week with the therapist, plus the hour a day you put in at home.
That's not possible. It feels like eight hours a day.
Maybe it's the painkillers.
Are you doing a Christmas in August sale this year? Because if you are...
I know, I know... better write the update. Blah blah blah.
Are you going to hold the sale?
I think so. A couple of people have stepped up and offered to help. There won't really be any new items, I can't play yet so going into the studio with new material is out of the question....
I'm sure the fans will be okay with that.
I'm not... <glumly sinks back in chair> I hate disappointing people.
Oh hell. Tell them it was the painkillers.
And the update is...
You don't really want me to tell you, do you?
My. Someone's in a good mood...
I just can't get used to this! I've been sleeping sitting up for months now! my entire backbone is bruised. I'm sick of being housebound. I miss playing the guitar. I miss playing the piano. I hate this!
And all my friends have forgotten me, and nobody calls, and I thought everyone would be sending me their manuscripts and e-books so I would have lots and lots to read but practically no one has, I'm reduced to reading physical books and you know I only have one arm right now so it's really hard to carry them around and no one ever visits to help me carry them...
<Nose starts running.>
And I'm tired of <hiccup> feeling lousy <hiccup> and cranky <hiccup> and useless <hiccup>!
Honey, you're not making any sense. Slow down and listen to me.
<Janis wipes nose with back of hand.>
<Looks at hand, looks at Pat.>
<Sheepishly wipes hand on back of pants.>
None of your friends have sent you e-books or manuscripts because everyone assumed you'd be fully recovered by now.
And you're always so self-sufficient, no one figures you need any help.
And no one's calling because you asked everyone to leave you alone while you recover.
Really. You did.
Oh... Why on earth would I do that?
Must have been the painkillers.
Hey, I just took a look at the Stars anthology digital version. Fantastic – all those links so when I'm reading a lyric, I can just click and bang! I'm at your website hearing the song. Whose idea was that?
It was the publisher I've been working with, Lucky Bat Books.
"Lucky Bat"? What kind of name is that for a publisher?
Come on, I told you the name weeks ago.
I thought it was the painkillers...
I have a plan. How about if you and I sit down somewhere and just make a list of everything you want people to know? I'll type it up, and the update will be done.
<Janis nods head in agreement, though in actual fact she's just nodding off from the painkillers..>
Okay, here we go...
The big news is the Audible.com release of Society's Child: My Autobiography. It took over two years to put together the right team and timing, but it's out for download worldwide, with the physical product coming in early October.
I've been working on a digital re-issue of the classic Stars: Songs Based On the Lyrics of Janis Ian anthology. It's been out of print for a few years, and we've only been able to offer expensive first editions - but now it's up now for downloading at a reasonable price. You can download it now from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords. More info and download links here.
Smartpop will be publishing a book of essays about Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game - I was thrilled to be one of the first authors Scott invited. Between getting called "an essayist", and giving the commencement speech for Warren Wilson, I'm starting to feel like I might have been to college and just don't remember it! (Must be the painkillers...)
We should have a Lucky Bat digital version of Society's Child: My Autobiography available for downloading by overseas fans before the fall touring season begins! A few of you have told me you've seen it up here and there, but this will be the "author's preferred version", with links, corrections, proofing, the works, and we'll be making it available in Japan, the UK, Australia, and other areas that haven't been able to order it before.
After I finished reading my own book, I got to do a bunch of narration for Gregory Benford's Galactic Center books (playing a hookah-smoking Snark against Harlan Ellison's Yiddish-accented character!), as well as a short by my old friend David Barr Kirtley.
The "Tiny Boat" is out on the charitable album Harbour of Songs, released on Proper Records July 23, 2012, and available from iTunes for US customers, and Proper or Amazon UK and Play for overseas. As you can see, the tiny wooden carved mouse that inspired my song is now in charge of steering the entire ship!
Well, that's about the size of it. Hope you are all well, and I'll see you when I have a working right hand!
What an Anniversary!
50 years since her first album, 40 years since her first Grammy.
$80,500 from Pearl this year!
$80,500. That's how much we just sent to our four current scholarship funds. $909,000. That's how much money the Pearl Foundation has now given to fund our five ongoing scholarships for returning students.
Patience & Sarah wins prestigious Earphones Award!
Patience & Sarah has won a prestigious Earphones Award from AudioFile. Here's some of what they had to say: "Janis Ian and Jean Smart bring exquisite joy, vulnerability, and honesty to their narration of Isabel Miller's 1969 historical fiction novel about the love between a poor farmer's daughter, Sarah, and a folk painter, Patience, in nineteenth-century New England."