A day off the road in a hotel room is a glorious thing in the middle of a self-propelled book tour, although these door-hangers make me unreasonably grumpy:
Nope. I’m doing laundry, writing three different pieces on deadline, balancing the checkbook from afar, scheduling a colonoscopy (!), sorting the box of bills I brought from home, doing taxes, and trying to be halfway-decent dad/husband from afar. So the phrase you are looking for, door-hanger people, is DO NOT DISTURB.
I will now dismiss my inner curmudgeon and get back to gratitude. The ol’ 3-hubcapped Toyota van is holding up well, although that right rear tire is still slow-leaking and in Minneapolis someone dug through everything and stole my cash box. Good news is they left the defibrillator (but only after opening up the case) and also since it was early in the tour I only had the pre-event $100 in there. If it had been after the Stoughton event this Thursday, I’d’a been a tad sadder. This was a valet parking situation, which is exactly what you deserve when you put a three-hubcapped van in a valet parking situation.
Among the delightful conundrums of book tour is that day after day you meet people who are kind, thoughtful, well-read, gracious, hard-working, on and on, and yet they make time to show up and listen to a writer talk. You share a very intimate hour (some of the stuff I’m discussing on this book tour is intimate to the point of squirming, but we balance it all out with laughter), then, boom, it’s off to the next thing. My expressions of gratitude always feel utterly inadequate, but here it is again: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And then there are the booksellers. So much work goes into the preparations for that one short hour…not the least of which is a 365-days-a-year commitment to nurturing and hustling a business that is precarious but predicated on a love of words that can, when things come together, transcend economics, business, and sometimes good sense. Thank goodness. So thank you, thank you, to the booksellers and staff. You make us feel so welcome.
Finally, thank you to the other authors I meet along the way. I hope you know how you inspire me. I don’t use that word lightly. This job requires a whole lot more than inspiration, and I often say so. But I’m also not at all cynical about the boost available when artists in similar endeavor gather. In particular I’m thinking of two events in which I just participated under the guidance of the inimitable Pamela Klinger-Horn. I was allowed to share the stage and audience with Nicole Baart, Stephanie Gangi, William Kent Krueger, and Jacquelyn Vincenta, and left reinvigorated and yes, inspired to keep at it and do better. Here are some photos of the good fun we had.
And now, quoth the author, let’s get through those health insurance statements. See y’down the road.
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