Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tour, Week 1

The Earth w/o Art is Just ...Eh
This tour is crazy!

Why did all of you know that before I did?

And I took such efforts to be organized, too. Why can't I find anything?

At least the store visits have gone well. Four days, four stores...and we have met some outstanding people.

And four Sammiacs! (Well, five, if you count one of the  moms, who was up to speed on all things Sammy, too.) I am so excited to have met them in person, and it was wonderful to hand off custom Sammy Keyes shoelaces and horseshoes.

And Mark's book has gotten a great reception, which has been wonderful. Booksellers pre-read his book because he was coming and seem almost surprised when they say, "I really like your book!" Like they weren't expecting a book about a band on the road to resonate with them. Surprise!

My favorite thing so far (besides meeting Sammiacs) has been doing the "Booked" giveaways. It's like reverse punking. You go up to someone out of the blue and give them a book. I've taped a yellow slip of paper (like mini-caution tape) to each book that says, "You've Just Been Booked." Then I've been randomly giving books away at intersections, rest stops, and gas stations. Our van is packed to the gills with stuff, but by the time we get back home it will be mostly empty. There are boxes and boxes of "Booked" books, plus all the stuff we're giving away at the book signings. It's a pretty epic sleigh of stuff!

I've also really been enjoying our "windshield time" -- just driving across our country. The scenery changes so much in fairly short distances, and I'm really enjoying soaking it all in. (I may have a different view of this after the next two days, because we're going through New Mexico and across Texas. And even I know that Texas is more than a few inches wide!)

We've been doing a jogging tour of each new location, and in Prescott (at over a mile high, elevation wise), I was a winded l'il sea-level dweller. I love doing a jogging tour of new places because you see things you wouldn't normally see just driving around. Like the welding place in the picture. I could build a whole story around that place, and I like people/places that intrigue me in that way. What's the story here? What's the back story here? Don't you just want to know?

Anyway, enough for now! I've got so much to do before we hit the highway early tomorrow. Thanks for checking in, and to the Sammiacs who came to the events -- if you want to identify yourselves by all means, comment away. I'm hoping to meet more of you next week...

Meanwhile, keep your eye out for the tour van--maybe you'll get Booked!

25 comments:

Jessica said...

I did one last refresh before bedtime, not expecting the post (because my previous refresh was probably a minute before), and there it was. And my eyes were tired, so I read "wedding place" and did a double-take of the photo, clicked on it to get a bigger view, and sure enough, it was exactly what I thought it was -- and only then did it occur to me to reread and realize you said "welding place." My misreading would give it a very interesting backstory, though!

I've been checking the pictures on Twitter and Facebook, realizing how little of the country (and the world) I've actually seen. I've done many road trips, but pretty much only along the Eastern seaboard. (Is that something you West Coasters even say: "the Western seaboard"? Here it pretty much refers to the 13 original colonies plus Florida, Maine, and maybe Vermont -- even though VT has no coast.) I've never seen a desert, and people in Seattle laughed at me because whenever I was outside, I would just stare at Mt. Rainier -- they just don't make mountains that big over here! (And my hometown's highest point is Mt. Trashmore -- I'll let you make up the backstory on that one for yourself.)

Just thinking about your schedule and having to meet so many new people and socialize day after day exhausts me (I don't think the time in the car would be enough to recharge my introvert batteries). I hope it gets less hectic and less tiring (and easier to find things as the van empties).

Ryan said...

I usually say "western states," but that's only because the sea isn't necessarily close to everywhere in Washington, Oregon and California.

While hiking the AT, I was in Damascus, Virginia, and said I wanted to hike the whole AT to see a huge swath of the "eastern seaboard." The local looked at me like I was crazy. "The ocean is hundreds of miles away!"

Yeah, I know that.... *rolling eyes* But it's VIRGINIA! =)

I live in Seattle and still stare at Mount Rainier. How can you not?!

-- Ryan

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Wedding Place: That would make for quite a story!

And yes, Mr. Rainier is awesome, in the literal sense!

PS I didn't mention in the post, but it's Sammy's b-day today. I was strangely melancholy about it until a Sammiac showed up at today's event. It's nice being with people who understand.

Kylie said...

First thing first update on the road trip playlist: does the Twig Bookshop in San Antonio work? I am hoping to get it mailed tomorrow and it should be there in time. I got sick last week so I had no time to mail it, but it should definitely be by tomorrow.

Also I love that quote. In my freshman art class the teacher had a giant sticker of that on his laptop and he would always say it. It has become very important quote to me.

I have seen very little of our beautiful country. I have seen a lot of California, some of Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada. But nothing else. But in fact just this week I got the idea that I am going to visit every national park. They all are so beautiful on pictures and I have been to so few.

The booked thing sounds really fun! I hope that everyone that gets one of the books loves them.

Wendelin have you read I am the Messenger? It is a wonderful read and it is about helping people, although sometimes the main character has to hurt someone to help someone. But it is fantastic and if you have a chance you should check it out.

Have a great week everyone! And enjoy your road trip Wendelin and Mark!

Kylie

Kylie said...

It is her birthday! I feel so terrible about forgetting! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMMY!

Mark said...

We usually say 'the West Coast', or for us coastal dudes, frequently just 'the Coast' (like there's only one?). Or the unfortunate 'Left Coast'.

(And when referring to that other coast, it's always 'the East Coast'.)

Mark said...

And Kylie - The Twig would be cutting it close - we'll be there on Friday. How about:

Main Street Books
210 Main Street
Hattiesburg, MS 93401

We'll be there on the 17th - gives you 10 days to get it there. And thanks again for making the CD - we're looking forward to it! :)

Kylie said...

I definitely call the west coast "The Coast". But I have also noticed that NorCal people say a lot of stuff different from SoCal people. For example if I am going to say a highway I would just say its number, for example, 49, for hwy 49. But SoCal people tended to add in the. They will say take the 49 to the 20... So different places in Ca might refer to it as different things.

And thank you Mark. I will have it shipped there!

Yusa said...

I dont have time to read all these detailed comments tonight but just wanted to drop by and say Happy Birthday Sammy and Happy Great Road trip!

--Yusa

P.S. I'll check in again ASAP

Gabrielle said...

It took me a minute to figure out the picture above, but I got it! And I love how you guys are doing the booked thing, and giving out books to random people! I absoluty love road trips and seeing the new scenery, too!

And I can't believe I had completely forgotten it was Sammy's birthday until I went on Facebook and saw the post about it! I was like, how could I forget?!

Can't wait to see you guys on tour!

And hope everyone has a great week!



Gabrielle

Jessica said...

Well, we East Coasters sometimes refer to our coast as "the Coast," too (I say "I grew up on the Coast") -- which is especially confusing when you're talking to a Floridian, because there's nothing but coast there!

I've only heard people from the West mention numbered roads with "the" before them; it immediately marks you as being from far away. In the (deeper) South, people tend to personalize directions: "Take your second right" instead of "the second right." And in Atlanta, when you listen to a traffic report, they have special names for places that aren't labeled that way on the map (which I guess all places do -- DC has the Mixing Bowl), like Spaghetti Junction (the northern intersection of I-85 and I-285/the Perimeter) and the Downtown Connector (which is really only identified on maps and signs as "400").

Hope you're feeling better now, Kylie.

And Happy Belated Birthday, Sammy!

Debbie VH said...

I love following your trip on Facebook and Twitter! This is something you're going to remember for a long time. Things that seem like a disaster now will be funny later on. :) Thanks for keeping us all in the loop. Rock on!

Ryan said...

Kylie: There are 59 protected areas called "national parks," but if you include national historical parks, national monuments, and other properties run by the National Park Service, it's close to 400. Which is a pretty ambitious list!

Another option, though, is to visit every state park in the state where you live. Doesn't require *quite* as much traveling and you'll still find amazing places that you didn't even know existed! (Or, for the REALLY ambitious, hit every state park in the country, which is about 3,675.)

Or work on both lists. Hit state parks when you only have a weekend available, and national parks when you can plan longer road trips. =)

Hey, Wendelin--how many national and state parks will you be hitting on your road trip? =)

I'll start thru-hiking the Arizona Trail in less than a week and will hit two national parks (Saguaro and Grand Canyon). Not sure how many of Arizona State Park I'll be hitting, though.... I'll have to check. =)

-- Ryan

Kylie said...

Good news the CD's have been shipped, now I am just crossing my fingers that they get they quickly and unharmed, and that they actually work when you put them in the CD player.

Thanks Jessica! I am feeling a lot better, still have a slight runny nose and a cough, but a lot better than I was last week.

And Ryan at the moment is is just the 59 official National Parks, but I would love to visit all those 400 places. They all sound so wonderful. I am very fortunate about where I live in California as there are a lot of states parks close to me. In fact there was one right across from my elementary school and we went there all the time. It was wonderful. I am hoping to get started on my list soon, although it probably won't be until this summer. Have fun on your hike, it sounds like it will be amazing!

P.S. Wendelin I may have spelt you last name wrong on the envelope, once I mailed it I started questioning how I spelt it, but hopefully it is okay.

Kylie

Yusa said...

Has any bloglette met you guys yet??? I want to here more about it! Your road trip sounds super fun and "booking" people is the greatest idea ever.

I feel like i'm part of this journey and i'm happy to be even if Im not a spot on the map during this half of the trip!

--Yusa

P.S. If any of you meet them i suggest you go the Holly way and sneak into the back of the van with the books just a suggestion :)

Kylie said...

Oh guess what! I might have found another Sammiac, well kinda. I was talking to one of the aids in the Special Ed. class and she said her 6th grade daughter loves Nancy Drew, so I suggest Sammy Keyes and she is going to tell her daughter about them. I hope she loves them!

RowAn said...

ARGH! I really, really wanted to go to the Once Upon a Time event but I had an unavoidable school thing and I missed it! :'( So sorry I didn't get to see you. I hope the rest of your tour is fantastic!

steph hall said...

Well, I haven't commented in forever, but I have been keeping up with your tour via Twitter and this blog. Your van = way too rad. I would probably pull out my phone and start taking pictures if it passed me by like some random crazy tourist.
Also, sine I can't really connect to any of the West Coast conversation going on, being from Chicago and all, I'll just mention how my 10 year old sister finally started reading all the Sammy Keyes books and it makes me so proud. :') I'm passing on the Sammiac legacy.
But what bothers me is that since I wasn't around (I dorm at University of Kansas) to instruct her on the order of the books, she read KILLER CRUISE FIRST. I almost killed her for it and then I was like, "Now you know that Sammy's dad is ____!" (I'm sure everyone here has read Killer Cruise but just in case I'm not writing it haha). And she was like, "Wait, THAT'S HER DAD?!"
So clearly she needs to pay attention to her reading a little better if she read all of Killer Cruise and didn't realize who her dad was. I mean, honestly.
On the bright side, she may not have had the real journey of reading them in order and waiting patiently for them to come out, but at least she's enjoying them. I won't be too picky. She seriously calls me all the time and texts me to discuss it. Today she called me to gossip about Art of Deception and she was like, "Is Diane the bad guy? I really hope she's not, I like her!"
And I was all, "Wait you must, Young Padawan, and you shall see."
Also, she was kinda hating on Hudson which confused me at first, but then I realized that Hudson was kind of an ass-butt in Art of Deception so I laughed a lot and told her to let her anger out at him now because she'll love him again by the end. :)
It reminded me of the first time I read each individual SK novels, and I hadn't read them in order either... Art of Deception was, ironically, the first one I read, too. And it brought back all sorts of nostalgic memories. She even asked me--"Can I have your copies? Or should I just re-buy them for myself?"
I think she thinks I'm going to get married and move out pretty soon and take my whole set of SK books with me. Right on, sister. (Just kidding. Totally off base there..)
Usually I give my little sister everything, like the second she called me asking me for my old Miley Cyrus CDs from under my bed I said "Yeah sure take them please!"
But seriously, this is Sk we're talking about here. My beloved copy of Dead Giveaway with the cover taped back on, and Skeleton Man with pages 34 and 35 that fell out and were stapled back in (I was a stupid kid). And my Art of Deception copy, which fell in water once and now it feels kind of like turning rocks instead of turning pages.
So yeah, I was all selfish for a moment and told her to get her own dang copies.
;)
However, until I do get married and move out, I'm totally cool with her sharing. It fills my heart with joy to see her read them finally and appreciate them.
I really wish you'll stop by Kansas sometime! (Unless you did already and in that case, I'll feel really stupid for not knowing and probably kick myself.)
Also, I really want a picture with that van...
That will be all.
-Steph

Yusa said...

STEPH YOURE BACK AJKDSLDFJSLJDLHKFELKFIJEJSJJIWLA:JDHFIU

Welcome back. Long time no visit. Like seriously I miss your comments.

That's so great your little sister is reading them now! I know i got into them because of my older brother even though he stopped reading them long ago but I continued. It's probably a guy thing.

I think they're going to Kansas in the beginning of May because of https://twitter.com/WendelinVanD/status/441780832630370304 so you still have time to meet them!

--Yusa

P.s. you better be back to commenting for good again Steph

Kylie said...

Steph! How are you? We've missed ya! I love sharing books with little sibling or niblings right now my nephew is borrowing my Spiderwick books and loving them.

And they are going trough Kansas! May 7th and 8th in Lawrence and Wichita.

Hannah Wade said...

Well, the blog must have been pretty hungry last night, because it totally ate my comment telling you we got home alright....So, yeah, we had a mostly uneventful, (If a bit Mustache-Mary reminiscent) ride back.
Anyway, meeting you was awesome, and thanks for signing ALLLLL of those books!! :)

Corazon Nunez said...

It was AMAZING to meet you! So exciting. You wouldn't believe how many people are asking me about my shoelaces! I think I've gotten at least two new people to read Hotel Thief.

Oh, and I read Runaway! So good. I loved the poetry, especially. Normally I get frustrated with poetry because it's so incomprehensible and abstract, but that was really down to earth and moving.

Thanks so much for coming to Tucson!

Corazon

Corazon Nunez said...

It was AMAZING to meet you! So exciting. You wouldn't believe how many people are asking me about my shoelaces! I think I've gotten at least two new people to read Hotel Thief.

Oh, and I read Runaway! So good. I loved the poetry, especially. Normally I get frustrated with poetry because it's so incomprehensible and abstract, but that was really down to earth and moving.

Thanks so much for coming to Tucson!

Corazon

Yusa said...

Hey you mysterious Sammiacs! Ah lucky you've gotten to meet them!
Come on here more often!

--Yusa

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Hi, guys. Internet access has been spotty and I'm no good at typing on my phone, but I'm happy reading all the comments and love hearing from y'all. More when I have a better connection situation!