Archives for July 2010

I showered!

Okay, here’s my first attempt at video blogging. It’s also only the second time I’ve ever used iMovie, so it’s all a little weird. And, quite frankly, I’m a little weird, but, you know . . . Anyway, I won’t do the whole vlogging thing to you all that often, but if you have questions you’d like me to answer via vlog, leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. (BTW – I think I kind of hate the word vlog. It sounds like something you cough up when you’re sick.)

So, tomorrow (Saturday, July 31st, 2010) I will be at the Syracuse University Bookstore Book Fair from 1-5 PM, along with adoptable German Shepherds from and a bunch of fantastic New York State writers. If you’re local, I hope to see you there!

Video blogging would mean I’d have to shower . . .

Well, I am back home from this whirlwind leg of my book tour! I’m going to be in Syracuse on Saturday (and there will be rescue German Shepherds!), but that’s just a day trip from Rochester.
I had a fantastic time on tour! I got to meet some of my favorite bloggers and see some dear old college friends. I stayed in a hotel I would have sworn was haunted if I actually believed in ghosts, ate more french fries than I’d care to admit, and almost learned how to live out of a suitcase effectively.
I missed J and the dogs terribly, especially Argo, who had surgery while I was gone. We were worried, again, that he might have cancer. I found out on Friday, as I was leaving Hamilton, NY, that his growth was benign and he’s okay and I have finally started breathing like a normal person again. We didn’t tell anyone about the surgery, because I was a little worried someone might ask me how he was doing at one of my tour stops and I’d turn into a big teary mess. On a good day, when everything is fine, there’s a good chance I’d get teary telling you about Argo and what he means to me. That dog is a damn good friend, I tell you. Even though I’ve been home since Friday, Argo and Stella are both about as clingy as caninely possible right now. I think they missed me as much as I missed them.
I’ve been thinking about the best way to show and tell you about my travels in a little more detail. For the past two days I’ve intended to vlog about it, but I’ve been wallowing a little in the comforts of being home and for the past two days the idea of wearing clothes other than my Ithaca thrift store bowling shirt with the holes in the sleeve has been a hurdle I just can’t make myself jump. Quite frankly, I’m not sure we know each other well enough yet for you to see me in my bowling shirt, and I’m not sure you want to get to the point where we know each other that well. Let’s be like the close friends who tell each other almost everything, but refrain from talk of bodily functions and usually bother to put on pants that don’t have an elastic waistband when we hang out together in public. At least 60% of the time . . .
What are your thoughts on vlogging? Please share.
In Mrs. X can suck it news, STAY made the local best seller lists in The Post Star, and the Denver Post and was a WAMC Weekly Roundtable Pick and an Orangeburg Library Patron Pick! I did a radio interview with the ladies at Who You Calling Old? The Miami Herald asked me what I’m reading! And, while I was away the links piled up a little bit (linking + iPad = huge pain the rear end). If I missed some links, please let me know! A HUGE thank you to everyone who has been putting kind words about STAY out there!! Your support really and truly means the world to me.

Pop Culture Junkie

Notes from the road

I’m in Denver! I haven’t seen much of the city yet, but from what I’ve seen, I love it! And, as someone with asthma, I am amazed by just how well I can breathe here. I can totally understand why Asthma Mom moved her family here. I went running this morning and my body tired out (altitude) but my lungs didn’t. It’s wonderful! And gorgeous!

And I get to stay with my dear friend, M, her adorable fiance, and their sweet, sweet dogs (one of whom is lying at my feet while I type).

I’m speaking at a creative writing class at Regis University this afternoon, and reading at Tattered Cover tonight. I am SO excited! I am addicted to the Authors On Tour podcasts and have been hearing about the legendary Tattered Cover stores for years and years now. To be completely honest, I would be in total awe to just get to visit Tattered Cover, so to get to READ there is just beyond my comprehension. And I’m going to get to meet some blog friends I’ve known since I started blogging in person (finally).

Also, if you see pigs flying around, it’s because . . . . I IRONED. I’m not joking. I actually ironed the dress I’m going to wear tonight. Ten bucks says I’m all wrinkled my the time I get there, but I will have started out the evening neatly pressed. That’s got to count for something, right?

The event at Treehouse Books in Holland, MI was wonderful! I had so much fun! The room was completely packed and we had a great discussion going. I really love getting to talk with people who come to readings. I learn so much about how other people approach writing and reading. J’s family and family friends came out in full force! And I got to meet a blog friend I’ve known for years.

On Saturday, we spent the day out on Lake Michigan with the family. Perfect weather, so much fun, and a chance to make sandcastles with my niece and nephew. Awesome!

I think I did a pretty good job packing for this leg of my trip, thanks to all of your tips, but I still feel like my suitcase exploded everywhere the second I opened it. I’ve seen some travel pouches for clothes on a few sites. Maybe I need to consider packing every day’s clothes in it’s own pouch? Is that going too far?

I’m traveling with just an iPad and cannot for the life of me figure out how to get photos into this post. So, I’m going to just direct you over to my flickr page to see photos from the Treehouse Books event. I’m really not sure what I think about this iPad – on the one hand, watching Entourage on the airplane = awesome, as does not lugging my big heavy laptop. On the other hand, no track changes in Pages KILLS me, and all my blog posting interfaces feel kind of buggy. So, I feel like traveling without my laptop is still a bit of a handicap. The jury is still out on this one.

On the road again!

So, I am feeling better! That was not pretty. I was getting to the point where the sound of my own cough was annoying the crud out of me.
I’ve finally unpacked from my Seattle trip…so I can pack again to head to Holland, MI for a reading at Treehouse Books on Friday night. The big suitcase we took to Seattle never made it past the kitchen. Right under the toaster. We’re good like that.
Do you travel a lot? Do you have travel tips? If so, I would like to hear them. I feel like I pack too much, but not the right things, and the second I open my suitcase there’s a huge explosion of clothes everywhere. I long to be one of those super organized travelers who has everything they need and nothing more, folded neatly in perfect little compartments. I do suspect that super organized and me are not congruent terms, but I’d settle for less messy.
In Mrs. X can suck it news, The Miami Herald included STAY in their list of beach reads and said some really nice things!
And here are more amazing links:
Inside the Writer’s Cafe – Radio interview with Cheryl Nason

Bright Yellow World

The Dreaded Lurgy

There were kids coughing in the waiting area for the plane to Seattle, and clearly remember thinking, Please don’t make me share a big flying germ box with them. Please let them be on another flight.And then I heard coughing when we boarded the plane.

By the end of the trip, I had a nasty sore throat, but I convinced myself it was allergies. Then it got worse, and the cough started. On Monday, I went to the doctor because I couldn’t stop coughing, and she sent me home with a fist full of prescriptions. I am not a graceful sick person. I have no patience for it and it makes me crabby.
One of my dear British blog friends, taught me the term “dreaded lurgy” to describe this kind of ick, and it fits so well with my need to be overdramatic when I don’t feel good. “I have an upper respiratory infection” doesn’t sound half as good as “I’ve caught the dreaded lurgy.”
Luckily, I have a little bit of downtime before I hit the road again, and I’m on the mend.
If you haven’t checked in on the events page, we’ve added a few dates, including Chicago! (Chicago! That toddlin’ town! – Thank you to my 3rd grade chorus teacher for the fact that I can’t even think Chicago without starting to sing the lyrics in my head), and an outdoor reading in Glens Falls, NY where dogs are welcome to attend too! Next stop – Holland, MI!
Anyway, despite my acquisition of the dreaded lurgy, the rest of our Seattle trip was fantastic.
We spent two nights out at Snoqualmie Falls, at a certain familiar hotel.
We had breakfast with a high school friend who moved to Seattle after college. I love the way it’s possible to feel comfort with old friends even when you haven’t seen them in fourteen years. And meeting her husband and little boy – just amazing.
I happened to be in town for Allison Winn Scotch’s Seattle reading and signing (She’s so great – go see her if you have the chance!) and met Sarah Jio and Theo Nestor, too!
Getting to spend lots and lots of time with both J and Lady was absolutely wonderful – two of the best parts of my life together at the same time. It was so hard to leave.
And then, literally, it was so hard to leave. Our flight got cancelled due to the storms in Chicago, so we ended up at an airport hotel by SEATAC for the night, even though our checked suitcase left us for Rochester. We got switched to another airline, that insisted on checking our carry-on, and flew to JFK, only to have our connecting flight to Rochester cancelled until the next day.
At this point, we had no overnight stuff left, and couldn’t get our carry on back. So, we rented a car with a fellow Rochesterian who was also stranded (and turned out to be darn good company), drove back, and got home safely – only 25 hours later than scheduled. Then, of course, we had to go about getting our luggage back from two different airlines. Travel is just so glamorous, isn’t it? But it was an adventure, and it’s not like I wanted to be stuck in a big giant germ box flying through tornados or anything.
First up – if you’re in a book club, you’ll want to check out this amazing contest – Four Book Clubs will win a years worth of books! STAY is in the mix of prizes, and the line up of authors involved is staggering!
STAY is the Crazy Sexy Life newsletter pick of the month!
Ashley at Our Little Apartment (is so adorably pregnant) and would totally throw gum drops out the window too.
Liz from Mabel’s House and wrote about STAY, too (be warned, one can spend hours looking at Liz’s pictures – so gorgeous!)
Kate from New Life ignored the laundry for awhile while she read STAY.
If you missed any of my Penguin Blog series – including a video of Argo & Stella – you can catch it here.
And, if you missed any of STAY week at The Greenists, you can catch up here.

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