I’m back, sitting comfortably in my Curious George jammies in my very own apt. in Brooklyn. Ahhhh. Heaven.
* Meeting with girls from Dana Hall in Boston, Hockaday in Dallas, Holy Names in Seattle, and The Archer School in L.A.
* Doing writing workshops with girls in Boston and Dallas and getting to hear some absolutely kick-ass, honest, amazing writing from them. Rock on, ladies.
* Getting to meet some great booksellers during my stock signings. You gotta love people who are passionate about books. Or at least, I do.
* Having a lovely dinner with the faculty of Hockaday and discussing writing and literature and our favorite books of all time.
* Laughing till I cried at a book signing at All For Kids in Seattle. Those ladies are INSANE! And they let you write on the walls.
* Bumming around Seattle with my friend Angelina Benedetti and doing some serious shopping. Whoo-hoo on my new cowboy boots.
* The weather in Seattle: sunny, blue skies, crisp but not cold. Who’d a thunk it?
* Those cute boys who throw the fish at the Pike Street Public Market. It may be a cheesy tourist attraction but I’m there.
* Going for a run first thing in the a.m. and getting asked for directions by two guys who turned out to be from NYC, too.
* The lady at Bohemia Massage who gave my aching neck a ten-minute rub and told me about all the communist newspapers she writes for in Europe and about her sons who just got back from fighting in Iraq. At play in the fields of the irony gods.
* The coffee in Seattle.
* The Tex-Mex in Dallas.
* Seeing my best friend Eleanor in Boston, having her spend the night at the hotel and giggling like the 15-year-olds we still are at heart while we threw ourselves on the cushy hotel beds and smelled all the little soaps and shampoos and couldn’t believe that we were dorky music geeks from Denton, Texas, who once choreographed a disco dance for the talent show with a patented move we called “Digging the Dirt.” (Thank god we never finished the dance….Somewhere, a yearbook photo was not taken, and that is a very good thing…)
* Seeing Cecil Castellucci and Cylin Busby and Morgan Bolah and her mom at Vroman’s bookstore in L.A. and gabbing with Cecil on the phone later. Thanks, Cec.
* Meeting Tricia Nelson at marykateandashley.com for our interview and discovering that she was more fun than shoe shopping at Nordstroms.
* Meeting all the media escorts who were fabulous and fun.
* Showing up for an interview on Evergreen radio and discovering that my interviewer was the wonderful Linda Johns, a fellow Y.A. writer.
* Finishing up my signing at Holy Names as a girl band was cranking up behind me–serious power chords. When we asked for their band name, they got all sheepish, and, after much prodding, finally admitted their rock ‘n’ roll moniker: “Dickless.” Yes, folks, it’s Catholic school. Jesus wept. But I laughed my a– off.
* Having a delicious, much-appreciated home-cooked meal at Angie’s house. Mmmm…butternut squash lasagna…
* Getting chased by Hurricane Rita. Had to cancel the Miami portion of the trip. Went on to Dallas only to have to cancel some things there and leave early in order to miss the storm again. I was waiting for Mount St. Helens to erupt in Washington and an earthquake to hit L.A. so we could call it the “Rebel Angels Tour of Natural Disasters.” Fortunately, that didn’t happen. But I feel for all those kids in Houston and East Louisiana who had gotten settled into new schools only to have to evacuate again.
* Not getting to see friends and family in Dallas because I had to leave early.
* Missing my son and husband.
* Showing up in L.A. straight off the plane having eaten only a handful of Skittles washed down with Starbucks and subsequently feeling like a drooling, psychotic woman at the school there. I’m not sure I actually spoke English. I noticed people inching away from me in that I-think-I’d-actually-rather-be-in-study hall kind of way. Sorry. Note to self: inhaled candy does not constitute lunch.
* Running late and not getting to see my dear friend Laurie and her new baby, Raine Felicity when I’d brought presents with me and everything. Major bummer.
* The guy in L.A. who, when hearing about my book tour, asked what I wrote. When I answered that I write Y.A. lit, he said, “Oh,” and walked away. Thank you for caring.
* Finding out that the New Pornographers were playing a show two blocks from my hotel…the morning after the concert.
* Discovering that when I’m nervous, I break out in a flop sweat like Albert Brooks in “Broadcast News.” I’m thinking of handing out complimentary towels at all bookstore signings.
Most interesting questions I was asked on this tour:
Q: “Do you know you look like Martha Stewart?” (Um, with or without the ankle bracelet?)
Q: “Can you take your eye out for us?” (Yes, I can. No, I won’t.)
Q: “What three people would you invite to a dinner party?” (Stephen Sondheim. Edward Albee. And Jesus–because I have a few questions for him.)
Q: “We know it’s been a really, really long time since you were in high school, but…” (Okay, truthfully? I don’t remember the question. I was too busy wondering if I should run out immediately and apply for Medicaid. Jeez, isn’t my moisturizer doing anything for me these days???)
Q: “Can you speak with a British accent for us?” (Some backstory here: one of the stories I told on this trip was about one of the stupidest things I’d ever done which was to go to a party when I was seventeen, I think, and, for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON I CAN THINK OF, pretend to be British. I just invented a new, totally random me, and she had a veddy posh accent. So it was all good until I started dancing with this really cute guy who asked me where I was from. “London,” I answered. “No kidding! My parents are from London. Where in London are you from?” Oh….crapola. I squeaked out something like, “Um, a suburb” and excused myself. What could I say? Dude, I made everything up but really, I’m not psychotic–would you like to go out? Of course, I had to leave the party and my friend was pissed. Friends should not let friends pretend to be British. That’s my bumper sticker and I’m sticking with it.)
I’m sure there’s much more to tell but it’s late and I’m still adjusting to different time zones so I’ll sign off for now. But here’s some info for anybody in the NYC area. Tomorrow (Sunday, October 2nd) is A Great Read in the Park in Bryant Park. It’s a whole day of literary festivities starting at 10am. I’ll be there for a panel on teen lit with the fabulously talentled E.R. Frank, Francine Pascal, Rachel Vail, and Maureen Johnson, with a signing afterward. Here’s the scoopage:
A GREAT READ IN THE PARK
2-3PM panel discussion
3-4PM book signing
And next week there is this:
BOOKS OF WONDER
There will be other authors there and for some reason I think Alice Hoffman is going to be there. I’ll double-check.
So show up if you can. It would be great to see you there.