Mailing continues! I would estimate that I have three trips to the post office left to go, one domestic, two international (since I am only allowed to bring so many international shirts to the post office at one time). This has taken so very, very long, and for that I am genuinely sorry. This batch was more than twice the size of the last, with the associated administrative headaches (people asking for color/size/cut combinations that didn't exist, shirts not included in the batch from the printer, people not paying when prompted, which meant that we couldn't send the order to the printer in the first place, etc.), and as a consequence, it ran headlong into my convention season, which slowed me down like whoa.
There are a lot of reasons we're never going to do this again—this batch was the last, or at least the last "bespoke"—but the biggest is the scale. When I did the first T-shirt run, I was still a relatively new author, and so there were fewer people who cared enough to want to wear me on their chests, so to speak. The number of interested parties has increased with each run, and it's just become unmanageable. Thank you all for your patience. For the most part, you have all been incredibly kind.
The missing shirts have finally arrived, and are in their nicely sealed box, waiting for me to finish getting the first batch out the door. I will not open this box until I have cleared the space for immediate packing and shipping, to prevent excessive cat hair (or possibly a cat) from accompanying the shirts to their final destination.
The point of apparently vital clarification.
This past week, someone who knows me well enough to know my overall living situation, asked if something could be sent priority. I said that wasn't going to be possible, as I wasn't going to be able to get to the post office immediately, and would be putting stamps on the item and shoving it in my mailbox. My friend responded with, essentially, "Have your PA do it."
Y'all, there is no PA for this sort of thing. There is only me.
I have two functional PAs: Kate and Vixy. On a day to day level, this means they go through my website email before I see it, so that we don't have to deal with me going into a tailspin the next time someone decides to tell me that they're going to kill my cats. (A real thing, that people have really emailed me about, because humans are sometimes awful.) Vixy has a good grasp of my schedule, and while she cannot accept convention invitations for me, she can usually say whether or not a thing is likely. Kate knows when I am over-committing myself, and will smack me with a rolled-up newspaper. Kate is local enough that I see her about once a week (roughly). Vixy lives two states away from me.
When I talk about mailing things, I am talking about me, just me, going to the small, rural post office near my house, and mailing them. When I talk about doing inventory, or packing things, or sending CD reships, I am saying "these are all things I do personally, after I have finished making my word count for the day." And this is why sometimes CDs go out of stock, or it takes a long time for me to carry a large shipping batch, ten or twenty items at once, down to the post office.
I don't want sympathy, and I don't mind doing what I do; I wouldn't volunteer if I minded. But I would like people to keep in mind, when their giveaway prizes take a while or their customs forms are filled out sort of sloppily, or when I say "this is not open to international winners, I am so sorry, I just can't handle the customs forms right now," that it's just me, and I am just one person, with two hands, trying to climb an avalanche.