Sunday, January 23, 2011

Home, Sweet Home

There was no room for ruby slippers in my carry-on, and the Converse didn't seem to have any transport magic in them, but the United puddle-jumper was on time and San Francisco had clear skies, and I got a fantastic sky view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, and the City as the pilot circled and banked and gave us quite a show on the final flight of The Running Dream tour. I came home to flowers and a welcome-home cake and an impressively tidy house. And I just didn't want to stop hugging m'boys. If you've been following my posts for the past two weeks, you know that going on a book tour like this is not the glamorous excursion one might think. It's a lot of hard work. School visits during the day, presentations at bookstores at night. And it all starts to blur together, which can be disturbing. What day is it? What is my hotel room number? Who is my driver today? It gets pretty lonely. I only had one meal in the company of people I knew. The rest were on the run or in my room....or just skipped. So seeing familiar faces, or getting little comments on the blog, or mail in my all helped more than you can imagine. Thinking back on the bright spots, here are some that buoyed me along:
  • Having a former student show up at a Chicago booksigning. It was nice to just sit and chat and talk about writing. It was also great to see him again!
  • Meeting my "twisty-tie" pen-pal and her family who drove 2 hours to meet me at a library event in St. Charles.
  • Getting a picture of my two darling nieces (who I think are actually second cousins?) from my cousin in California (the picture posted) to let me know they'd bought the book and were reading!
  • Getting messages from Mark and Roberta and Caradith and Elizabeth and Brenda and Greg and Mary-Mary and MaryLou...just checking up, checking in. Friends indeed!
  • Seeing The Wadhams! Blueberry Hill Diner! Chuck Berry! The Duck Room! Burgers and PIE!
  • Meeting optimistic4ever -- good grief. I can't believe you weren't going to tell me!
  • Discovering "Amy" is...Amy! Good grief. I can't believe I can be so dense.
  • Walking into Hicklebee's and hearing our Risky Whippet CD blaring over the speakers.
  • My "homecoming" at Hicklebee's -- what a store, what a staff, what a home-away-from-home.
  • Hugging Walter.
  • Having my cousin Rolf and his family and dad show up at a booksigning. It's really nice when family doubles as friends and makes the effort to turn out.
  • Having people in three different cities come because they read my post on John Scalzi's blog.
  • Discovering that the two couples with big bags sitting near the front of the room during a bookstore event were collectors...and had first printings of all of my books--even How I Survived Being A Girl.
  • Meeting Amanda and seeing Ryan. (who I met at an airport years ago)...and reading their package of letterboxing fun (Sammy Keyes and the Ham Sandwich!).
  • Having a principal tell me I was a "firestorm of inspiration."
  • Reading the comments posted on this blog--thank you for following along and for taking the time to write.
  • Discovering that the audience at my last bookstore event held two sets of three-generation Sammy Keyes readers--Grandma, Mom, and Daughter--all having read every book.
  • Hugging Mark at the airport.

Thanks to everybody, vocal or not, who traveled along with me through the past two weeks' posts. And thanks to my awesome in-laws for holding down the fort while I was away. It's good to be home.

For next week, if you're curious about some aspect of touring that I didn't touch on in the last two weeks, ask away -- I'll do my best to answer.

See you then!


Ashlee said...

It sounds like you had a lot of good experiences along the way, even though it may not have all been "sunshine and daises," as I like to say. You were/are in my thoughts often :)

g said...

Oh cool! Yeah, your tour sounded really jam packed! Your a very talented writer and what can I say, the people adore you! I'm glad your back home and was wondering if you ever had a Sammy Keyes tour? I just got a google account this month so I kinda don't know. Take care!

Rose Sellman said...

-sigh- i wished i could of gone to the one near me :( btw what was your first ever published writing?

MrLee17 said...

I am so glad you made it to Hicklebee's. One of my students who is reading Flipped was there and was so thrilled to get to meet you. I love it when children can connect with the people who write the books they read. They realize that authors are regular people who have extraordinary talent. Glad the weather was nice for you too. Enjoy the central coast.

Alexa said...

Sorry I haven't commented in a while! I've been REALLY busy with my writing. I got like...10 chapters and 5 songs done (I think that's about right).

Your tour sounded like it didn't leave too much time to spare.

See ya next post!

Anonymous said...

ahh, home really is great :) im glad that the tour was successful and i WISH that i lived in one of the cities where you went, but alas, it must be meant for another day.OOOOOh it was really sad over the summer because another one of my favorite authors Lisi Harrison (the Clique, the Alphas, Monster High) was in Boston (an hour away from my house in NH) but i ended up having to go to NY to visit family and I MISSED SEEING HER!!!!!!!!!! it was sooooo terrible but if you came up to the north east, wendelin, i wouldn't miss it for anything!!!!! for christmas this year, i got a nook, so (naturally) i got all the sammy books i didnt have already in book-form and im re-reading the series (this is my 7th or 8th time reading them all in a row, probably, and i've read SK and the wild things 13 times...but thats another story :D) and im on kitty queen and i had forgotten about how heather went crazy (when is she not) and tried to fight sammy for her horseshoe and lost epicly :D it just totally makes my day...ESPECIALLY when casey comes to sammy's "rescue" and then they go hang out hudson's and everything is just great :D:D
wow ok this is long so im just going to let all of you still reading this get back to your lives and i will tune in soon for a next post!! hopefully im gettting running dream this week!!

Unknown said...

It's great to hear that you have made it home safely. Continue with the amazing work you do, you are a great inspiration to all of us trying to become children's authors.

Anonymous said...

Your tour sounded so amazing! I read every blog you posted and I loved hearing everything that happened. I really like the highlight from this week about the three generations of Sammy readers. That is astounding! Anyway, see you next Sunday! Oh! And any chance you could swing by Colorado anytime soon for a tour?! 'Cause I would totally go!

N3WYORKD3VIL said...

That sounded so awesomme. And here I was, grounded from the Internet, going insane from mid-terms. But they're done now and I'm freeeeee! I got awesome grades on them. I didn't even study. For ELA I got 100, yaaaaay! I got extra points cuz of my superlong five paragrapg essay. Who is my hero? Verysupereasy. Wendelin van Draanen. I didn't even know that I could write five paragraphs. But I did :)

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

No sunshine and no daisies, but some really good people, so it was worth it.

Julie: I doubt any authors are visiting Boston right now. Good grief, how do you manage with that weather?

capi1268: I caught a connection to Seattle in Denver...but that doesn't count, does it :)

N3wyourd3vil: I am so flattered!

Everyone: Thanks for commenting!