Janette and I just got down from the St. Louis Arch. We rode up in a tiny pod with three other people. The pods are about the size and depth of a large tube television from about 10 years ago. We were all very sweaty and sick of each other by the time we got to the top.
Let’s back up.
So yesterday we got up and stalked into the Atlanta humidity, looking for adventure. We got really hot and gave up quickly, retreating to the hotel just in time for our media escort to pick us up.
A word on the escorts. I thought I’d feel snooty being driven around everywhere, but now that I see how many details have to be in place for a book tour to work, I can only see how many things I’d get wrong if I was left to my own devices. If I didn’t have help, I’d no doubt still be stuck in the elevator in New York, trying to figure out how to time my key card in sequence with the correct floor number.
Our guide knew everything about Atlanta. We went to the Margaret Mitchell house and I got to see where Gone With The Wind was written. I also got to type on a really old typewriter in her office. I typed, YOU SHOULD BUY THE WORLD’S STRONGEST LIBRARIAN.
Then we went to a real southern diner, where I realized I had never actually had:
- real lemonade
- hoppin’ John
- Brunswick stew
- collard greens
- fried chicken
- fried green tomatoes
- cheese grits
- and so on
Then we went to two local bookstores and I signed books. A secret for you aspiring authors–if you sign books in a store, it makes it harder for the publisher to return them. Such cunning! Oh, and the driver set all this up, it wasn’t even my idea, but it was fun.
And in one of these stores, I bought a copy of the new book of Kurt Vonnegut’s letters. It was so good that I was tempted to cancel my event to read. Almost.
My event was at the Decatur Library, a beautiful place. Actually, all of Decatur looked really cool. Lots of personality. I spoke to a big, eclectic group. There were also some Tourette’s folks there, including Brad Cohen, a true hero of mine, and one of the greatest TS success stories around.
Me and Brad. The guy is legit!
The talk went great and the signing was a lot of fun. The Loopy Librarian made an appearance, and I forced her and her husband to come with us to a nearby cafe before the talk started. She was wonderful, so was he.
No missing family members this time, but I did meet someone who worked for my Grandpa Hanagarne about 55 years ago. I’m just going to start assuming that everyone is related to me or knows my Grandpa.
Then it was back to the W hotel, where our insanely cheerful concierge greeted us as if he’d been struggling to breathe since we left. We watched X Files and fell asleep.
The flight to St. Louis this morning was uneventful, but I had the exit row seat and felt pretty sassy. I read Vonnegut’s letters and did some writing.
On that note–I haven’t talked much about what I’m going to write next, but there will definitely be a children’s series coming, assuming I can sell it. I’m very excited to tell you more when it’s time.
In St. Louis we’re at the Four Seasons. When we arrived, about eight people–most of whom seemed to be stunning blond women of at least 6′ in height–surrounded us, saying hi, opening doors, etc.
I laughed out loud when I saw our room. It is so nice I just keep saying, “What am I doing here?” We’ve got an amazing view of the arch, we’ve got a chaise lounge I have no idea how to lie on, and, prepare yourselves, there is a TV in the bathroom mirror. It just appears like on Minority Report. This might not be news to you, but it is to me.
There’s a safe, too. I don’t have anything valuable to put it in, but I stuck a sock in there for a few minutes just to see how the codes worked. Success! The sock is safe and sound, and will soon be reunited with its mate, which is currently on my left foot.
Oh, and there’s a bathtub that I can fit it. Me! I am about to take a, I am not kidding, bubble bath, for the first time in about 30 years. Maybe I’ll feel stupid, but I have to try it. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve seen a bathtub I can actually fit in? Me either, but a long time.
I’m actually off tonight, so we’re just going to go eat and then I’m going to write some more. And then I’m going to master this chaise lounge.