Last weekend, a total stranger cut up my one advance, unbound copy of The Day-Glo Brothers.

I guess I should state that 1) he put it back together, 2) it was mostly my idea, 3) I paid for the privilege, and 4) I’m happy with the results.

See, I’ve been invited to present my first public reading of the book (yeah!) nearly four months before the publication date (wow!). But I have a hard enough time keeping an f&g (for “folded and gathered”) together here at my desk, and I couldn’t imagine reading aloud to an audience (even, at this point, a purely theoretical one) while trying to manage one of those slippery things.

So, I took my f&g to the Copy Shop Formerly Known as Kinko’s, and on the fly the young guy at the desk and I came up with a solution: cutting each four-page sheet down the middle, so that we’ve got 24 individual pages instead of three sets of four four-page sheets, and then spiral-binding the whole thing.

To the pages being bound, we added a couple of sheets of 100-pound paper at each end to make the whole thing a little more rigid. I plan to glue the front and back pages to the inside of the cover, and have myself something that resembles a picture book — albeit one with a plastic black spiral in place of the gutter — and holds together in one piece at that March reading.

Maybe that spiral will go as unnoticed as the scar on the forehead of Frankenstein’s monster. I’d take a picture of this Day-Glo monster of mine so you can see for yourself, but I’m out of natural light for the day, and fluorescent lighting doesn’t do the colors justice. I don’t want anyone (especially the illustrator or designers) coming after me with pitchforks.