NET­WORK author Joel Chas­noff (The 188th Cry­ba­by Brigade: A Skin­ny Jew­ish Kid from Chica­go Fights Hezbol­lah) will be blog­ging for the JBC over the next month about his trav­els around the coun­try for Jew­ish Book Month. Be sure to check out his web­site to see if he’ll be vis­it­ing a city near you…maybe you’ll even end up in one of his posts! And, if you haven’t read his posts for the JBC/MJL Author Blog, you can find them all here.

Just land­ed in Mia­mi for tonight’s event at the Alper JCC, and already it’s been a har­row­ing day.

The chaos began at 7:30 this morn­ing. I was in the cab on the way to La Guardia when my wife called to thank me for leav­ing her the Mac­book. In our house, we have two com­put­ers – an 8‑year-old Dell desk­top that couldn’t detect a virus to save its life, and a glo­ri­ous new Mac­book Air that detects WiFi like a dream, weighs less than a glass of milk, and that I pur­chased specif­i­cal­ly to take on busi­ness trips like this one.

What do you mean?” I asked.

The Mac­book,” she con­tin­ued. It’s sit­ting right here on the kitchen table. You didn’t leave it on purpose?”

So instead of blog­ging from the con­fines of my lux­u­ry hotel room, I’m sit­ting in the hotel Busi­ness Cen­ter three feet away from a 50-ish woman in faux pearls and a pants suit, whistling This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land” while Xerox­ing flow charts on the pub­lic copier.

It’s just as well. Because to real­ly get a sense of what it’s like to go on book tour, you need to under­stand the ins and outs of life on the road: the ear­ly morn­ing taxi rides, the missed flights and ran­dom secu­ri­ty checks, the hotel rooms that could be in any city in Amer­i­ca, and the scroung­ing through air­port garbage cans for the receipts for your bagel and tea because you just remem­bered that you actu­al­ly get reim­bursed for food as long as it’s less than twelve dollars.

Not that I’m in any way com­plain­ing. In fact, what makes all of this bear­able – no, enjoy­able – is the chance to talk about my book to an audi­ence who actu­al­ly cares. We authors spend years craft­ing our books. (In my case, my con­tract with Simon and Schus­ter spec­i­fied that I write the book in nine months; in the end, it took three years.) We fret over com­mas, spend hours debat­ing whether or not to split one sen­tence into two, and watch in hor­ror as edi­tors cut entire chap­ters from our work…

Then, final­ly, the book comes out. And we won­der, para­noid, if any­one will even both­er to read it.

Which is why every author, deep down and no mat­ter how much he or she com­plains, is thrilled to go on book tour: it’s the only way to know for sure that some­body gives a damn about our pre­cious baby.

More thoughts lat­er after tonight’s read­ing in Miami…

Joel Chas­noff is the author of The 188th Cry­ba­by Brigade, a comedic mem­oir about his year as a com­bat sol­dier in the Israeli Army, pub­lished by Simon and Schus­ter. This fall, he’ll blog his book tour across Amer­i­ca for the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil. Vis­it Joel and read excerpts from his book at www​.joelchas​noff​.com