A Pool of Sweat is Me

The reading last night at Paper Cone Stories at Jack’s in Manhattan was a blast. A sweaty blast. In typical smoove, classy authorial fashion I worked up a lather of sweat walking over to the place, and then continued to sweat for pretty much the rest of the evening. While actually reading under the lights up front I actually began to drip sweat onto my pages, making them blurry, and ended up my performance by toweling off and mopping my area, in consideration for the other authors. In truth, the reading was a smashing success, and I’m indebted to Sean Ferrell, author of the soon-to-be-released novel Numb, for inviting me to join him at his reading to celebrate the release of his book. We had a blast. A sweaty, sweaty blast.

Some folks from The Internet showed up (Patty Blount brought cookies! COOKIES, people. This is how to attend a reading. Booze works too.) and the place was packed tight with folks. I read first, and spent the first five minutes apologizing because I refused to explain anything about what I was reading despite the fact that it’s the fourth book in a science fiction series, meaning the audience would understand nothing. I made the bold decision to mystify everyone and hope I could get by on charm and charisma alone, which, as usual, failed. You can’t be charming when you’re sweating profusely.

Evan Mandery read second, and was hilarious. Evan also remembered to acknowledge Sean and thank him for the invite to read, as opposed to being a total jackass and leaping up there as if it was all about me. Like I did.

Sean ended the evening by reading part of chapter one of Numb, sitting on a stool that appeared to be slowly spinning away from the audience as he read. I was gratified to see that he was almost as sweaty as me by the end of it. For a moment I was wondering if my diet of bacon grease and booze was finally catching up to my cardiovascular system, but this assured me that I still have the constitution of an 18-year-old.

Afterwards, a group went out for a drink (my wife The Duchess bailed out, knowing full well how those evenings go: Me drunk as a skunk, everyone making obscure jokes about our agent, flat diet coke served up by the bartender) and the evening ended at one in the morning with a plate of freshly fried bacon on the table – nothing else, just bacon – which I eyed with appropriate unease and took as a sign that it was time to go home.

Photos! My lovely, talented, and tolerant wife took these with her iPhone before giving me permission to go out boozing with my agent, Ferrell, and others (After the break):

Sean Ferrell & I in a rare moment without violence and bitter recrimination.

Books were for sale. I gave away hats to people who bought The Terminal State.

Me sweating like a crack addict, though thankfully the sheen of perspiration doesn’t show here.

Evan Mandery was there! And was HILARIOUS.

Oh yeah, Sean Ferrell read, too. Almost forgot him.


  1. Patty Blount

    The annoying people in the foreground holding up cameras? Yeah. That’s me (left) and my son on the right.

  2. Harley

    This was a great post, Jeff. And I adore the way you talk about your wife. I should take a note from your book on how to immortalize ones spouse. This probably means I should stop whining about video games and football someday. That day is not today.

    Thank you for sharing!


  3. jsomers (Post author)

    Harley – Believe me, the greatest teacher I had on how to talk about your spouse was my spouse. I’m basically her mouthpiece when it comes to public speaking about her.

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