And Now For Something Completely Different

Caroline

I’m taking a hiatus from the book tour this week. My favorite niece (See above. She’s bigger now.) is getting married and I expect to fulfill my auntly duties by running errands and tying bows on things. Apparently I am also the designated cake decorator, in which, fortunately, I will be assisted by a talented friend of the family.

I will make a strong effort not to drop anything.

Heigh ho, the Glamorous Life

Barnes & Noble

So many writers have written about the humiliation of book tours: the awkwardness of sitting at a table waiting for strangers to approach. There are people who don’t want to buy a book and feel that it would be a form of rejection to stop and not purchase (and they’re right),  but I hadn’t realized how many people are actually just shy. I watched today as people carefully turned their heads so as not to have to see me sitting alone at the table at Barnes & Noble. For the people who didn’t care it was easy. I could hail them and offer a bookmark which they could take or not, and they could then wander on. But there were several people whom I knew perfectly well wanted to engage in conversation, but who couldn’t bring themselves to do it. They lingered agonizingly near, sometimes for nearly an hour, but could never position themselves in such a way that I could catch their glance or smile and thus invite conversation.

I knew them, because they were me. I remember sitting next to Beverly Sills at dinner for an entire evening and hardly knowing what to say to her. I was 18 years old, and wanted so much to be an opera singer just like her, but I couldn’t think of a single thing to say. Ultimately she took pity on me, but it was an opportunity missed.

Today I am going to see if I can engage more people. If nothing else it will be a way to pass the time.

A Long Time Coming

I began this novel seven years ago. I didn’t know it was a novel then, and there were many times between then and now that I doubted it was anything at all. But here it is, a published novel, and tomorrow I will leave home–without dogs,and I haven’t explained that to them yet–to begin a book tour.

First autograph ever

I am nervous, excited, and have a certain wry awareness that the life I abandoned as an opera singer–living out of a suitcase in strange cities–has come back to find me. Why? I wonder. There are peculiarities about fate at work here.

Nevertheless, here we go. At least there will be no one with bulldozers to ask me about the water lines.

So:

Saturday, September 20–Shelby Township, Michigan–Book Signing

2:00 pm

Barnes & Noble

14165 Hall Rd, Shelby Township, MI

Sunday September 21 Northville, Michigan–Book Signing

2:00 pm

Barnes & Noble

17111 Haggerty Rd, Northville, MI

Tuesday, September 23–Muskegon Michigan–Talk, Reading, Book Signing

Hackley Public Library

6:00 Pm

316 W. Webster

Muskegon, MI 49440

I have to admit that I am using this as an excuse for a four hour ferry ride to Michigan. Who wouldn’t?