Well, I'm back from my tour--it was great fun, but I'm beat. Thank you to friends and family who came to events, who shared such wonderful meals and car rides with me, who made the whole experience so rich; thank you to booksellers who were so generous and enthusiastic, even in the face of small audiences; thank you to author escorts who were such fabulous guides, to media people who welcomed me so warmly. There were so many memorable moments, but I'm only going to list a few since I am so tired and have so much to catch up on...
--Reading at my cousin's bookstore, De Colores, in Olympia, WA, which was both sweet and a bit bittersweet; the last time I read there, I had a coughing fit, and my lovely aunt Mimi handed me a cough drop. This time, I had another coughing fit (strange--this is the only bookstore where that has happened!) and it made me miss Mimi, who died two years ago, tremendously. The next morning, we went back to the store and folded dumplings and did calligraphy as part of Chinese New Year storytime--so much fun!
--Wondering what to do about the drunk kid who read along with me out loud in Seattle and laughed and muttered throughout my reading until he was asked to leave. Probably the closest thing I've had to a heckler so far!
--Soaking in the bathtub at my hotel in Seattle--a huge jacuzzi tub at the top of several majestic stairs. I want to live in that bathtub.
--Being on not one, but two flights with Chris Abani, who was also on tour.
--Being able to wake up in San Francisco and walk across the street to have breakfast in the Ferry Building.
--So many sweet and fun and yummy unexpected moments, I can't begin to list them all...
I was home for a couple of days in between legs of the tour, and managed to spend one of those days throwing up. Ick. My mom was worried, so she ended up flying with me to Atlanta for AWP. We had a true adventure together. A few highlights from Atlanta:
--Learning there is a waiting list of over 250 people for Self Storage at the library in Lawrenceville (meeting with the book club there was a real highlight in itself!)
--Seeing a review of Self Storage in the Atlanta Style & Design Magazine in the hotel room
--Feeling like part of a tribe at AWP (and running into so many great people! Although it was a bit disconcerting when we first got there--I suddenly felt like a huge cliche. So many other women with long curly hair, not wearing makeup, wearing similar clothes to me!)
--Dancing wildly with my mom at one of the AWP dance parties
--Meeting a long lost cousin and his wife (what fun to learn I have a cousin with a southern accent!)
--Tasting boiled peanuts for the first time (yum!)
--Missing our connecting flight in Vegas and getting a free unexpected 24 hr Vegas vacation (the airline put us up for the night in a nice hotel and gave us meal and taxi vouchers for the whole next day. My mom and I saw two shows and even won a little money in the slot machines. What a surreal and spontaneous and delightful day! A great way to end the tour.)
I still have some events and travel ahead of me, but the big push is done for now. Please excuse me while I melt into a puddle on the floor...