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Like everyone else, I wear many hats. The Author Hat, however, is a rarer one, that lasts for about six months after publication. I put on that hat back in December when I was interviewed for a feature in MARIE CLAIRE and went on to do some television and radio interviews in Phoenix and elsewhere.

How is the Author Hat different from my other roles?

I'm a dog-walker in between advances. My vocabulary is studded with words like, "Out!" and "Wooza-wooza-wooza." My wardrobe is even more limited. I let my hair go, struggle to shower, my fingernails are a wreck and my nose looks like Bozo's.

As a writer, I'm quiet. My words are dedicated to getting them on my computer and get used up by the end of a day's work. I let my hair go, struggle to shower, my fingernails are a wreck and my house, which I call the Bat Cave, is even worse.

You get the picture: I have to groom more to be an Author and I have to have words for the world. It's exhausting to a classic introvert like me.

Today is an Author Day in that I finally unpacked my book of Secret Codes that allows me to work on websites and deposit my advance check at the bank. I took a wonderful bath this morning after walking Daisy and Hero and before walking Molly, so I'm in clean plain clothes although my last manicure is peeling and I need to go spend a fortune at the beauty salon this weekend.

I got back to Brooklyn on Monday night after a two-week visit to my father in Phoenix over Christmas. I didn't sleep the night before I left and Tuesday was the official publication day with a lot of catching up with my publicist and agent after our collective holiday hiatus. From there I swam into radio interviews for two days. This afternoon I emptied my suitcase; I hope I'll actually put the stuff away before bed.

It's fun to be an Author, don't get me wrong. I went to WOR on Wednesday to do an in-studio interview with Joan Hamburg and my publicist thought it was too cold for the subway and asked if I wanted a car service. I laughed and laughed: am I gonna turn that down? And because it was an important live interview, I did my hair and put on a skirt and new riding boots, for which I was glad when I saw that Ms. Hamburg was wearing at least a suit jacket.

Not to mention that we all shook hands with her next guest as we crowded out into the narrow hall. Alan Alda looks great, by the way.

Still, my favorite part of that day? My car dropped me at the Trinity Building in the Wall Street area and I watched kindergarten-aged kids running around the Trinity Church graveyard. There's nothing very spooky about it -- the graves are so old that it's hard to read them. Old as in the 18th century.

So why, I mused, did half of them have wreaths? Are there family descendants that take a little Christmas to their dearly departed?

Can't be. All the wreaths were the same. Had half been stolen?

So many bodies underground on that cold, cold day, so many roles they played 300 years ago.
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