2011 in Review: facts & figures

Hotel rooms occupied: 13

Flights taken: 19

Rental cars driven: 3

Roughly estimated number of book events: 21

Attendees at first Barnes & Noble event: 5

Attendees at second Barnes & Noble event: 125

Total pounds of butter churned at book events: about 4

Percentage of above flushed down hotel room toilets: 20

Estimated number of times Chris had to carry the butter churn to or from the car: 8

Public churning failures, attributed either to the half & half instead of cream or to improperly sealed container: 2

Pieces of storeboughten candy distributed at book events (approximately): 450

Instances in which I trekked down to WBEZ studios to remotely record content for public radio: 4

Instances in which I had to conduct a live radio interview via cell phone in a NYC cab stuck in traffic on the Willamsburg Bridge: 1

Words in The Wilder Life, not including front and back matter: 98,547

Words in The Wilder Life that are legally considered profanity, according to FCC guidelines: 3

Words in The Wilder Life legally considered profanity occuring in a quote attributed to Michael Landon: 1

Written complaints about “excessive profanity” in The Wilder Life, either by Amazon reviews or handwritten letters: 3

Highest Amazon sales rank: 104

Books ordered for relatives in fruitless attempt to bump sales rank into coveted top 100: 2

Seconds the animatronic figure of William Clark at the Museum of Western Expansion in St. Louis spends twitching: 25


YA manuscripts considered at day job: 41

Yards of bubble wrap accompanying wedding presents, estimated: 25

Minor finger injuries sustained while making brooch bouquet: 7,200

People who misheard the phrase “brooch bouquet” as “roach bouquet”: 5

People at our wedding who asked us, “Wow, who’s that guy with the kilt?” (It was Eben!): 8

Requests I have made to my husband to sing like Gordon Lightfoot: 11

Hours of delight this video, involving weird perspective and a very tiny complimentary soap in our hotel room in Minneapolis, has brought our household: MILLIONS:

I’ll stop here because I don’t think I could make a list long enough to convey what an incredible year 2011 has been.

And here’s to 2012—”this is now,” as they say, and may your now be a happy one.