Tuesday, August 31, 2010

St. Louis, Not Cleveland, and Cincinnati

Once again, I find myself behind on blogging...and feeling the need to report on book tour before September (really? tomorrow is September? How did that happen?)

I've been so fortunate, with lovely crowds at my events both near and far.

On Thursday, August 19 I was part of the author series at the amazing St. Louis County Library. If you live anywhere near St. Louis, check them out. They bring in a diverse, interesting group of authors and have several events per month! Books were sold by great indie store Pudd'nHead Books.

The reception beforehand featured some of the yummiest desserts I've ever eaten—including something called sugar cake, which was divine.

The event was in an auditorium that filled up with fun, smart people with excellent questions. It's a joy
to be on tour with a new book getting to answer all new questions.

In the audience were Carla and Annette Beck—two friends from high school (in last photo). Ah, high school drama club memories...

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. I was on my way to Cleveland's Joseph-Beth Booksellers on Tuesday, August 24, when not one but two flat tires prevented me from getting there. That's right, I said two flat tires. At the same time. Along with two other cars near me who also pulled over with flats. Hmm. Something damaging was clearly in the road, but none of us saw or heard anything. Where is CSI when you need them? I had to call the store and apologize profusely. They were gracious and understanding, and the event has been RESCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY OCTOBER 19TH.
Someone teased me that I had horrible travel luck, but really, with all the traveling I've been doing lately, I feel like I have excellent luck. These days, especially, a flat tire (even two) is much easier to remedy than a missed flight!


The travel gods smiled upon me and I made it to and from Cincinnati's Joseph-Beth Booksellers with all tires intact. I absolutely adore this store and all its booksellers.

Wonderful writer friend Katy Yocom drove all the way from Louisville to join me for dinner and attend the reading. Lots of writer friends, former students, and book clubs I'd visited were also in attendance.

A sight that makes writers really happy? Seeing the event coordinator adding more chairs minutes before the event! Woo hoo!

One book club there was the Wine, Women & Words Book Club (middle photo) who once drove from Cincinnati to meet me for a book club at El Meson restaurant. They were such an interesting, great group of women, and if you read my acknowledgments you'll see that Jayne Patton of this group is the one who told me the "inexpensive Christmas tree" story that made its way into Blessings. Don't worry—she gave me full permission to use it, saying someone ought to get something useful out of it. (Just so you know, her story involves even more mishaps and expense with that "cheap" tree).

Annette, one of Joseph-Beth's event coordinators, gave me an incredible gift. When someone in the audience asked me about the Blessings of the Animals ceremony on St. Francis Day at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan, Annette scurried away and came back with a remarkable, stunning children's book called The Day the Animals Came: A Story of St. Francis Day, by Frances Ward Weller, illustrated by Loren Long. Many of the book's illustrations look just like photos taken when I attended the ceremony. The story is beautiful and I highly recommend it!

A full crowd, a successful event, and some delicious tiramisu? Who could ask for anything more?

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