Yep. I'm still touring, and it's still incredibly fun. But besides being the Vintage Beaded Cardigan and Red Cowboy Boots Tour, it's also been the Blizzard/Freezing Rain/Subzero Temperatures/Tornado tour. Even when I got to Los Angeles, after tromping through the snows of Boston and Chicago and Ohio, it was...well, rainy and freezing! This weekend, I was in North Carolina and a University Women Book and Author Luncheon in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just in time for the tornado watch! But I've learned I don't really mind the bad weather, and if anything, it gives you a closer connection to the people who do brave the elements to come and see you!
I've discovered that I love to speak in front of crowds--something miraculous for someone who always thought she was shy (Ha! Me, shy! Not anymore!) I love to just stand up and talk and interact with people, so much so that I signed with a speaking agency. (Imagine that!) When I first started, I wrote out speeches and memorized them in front of the mirror, complete with hand motions! I was terrified of forgetting a line, let alone a paragraph. I was third up in Charlotte, and after listening to the first two speakers, I realized my speech was all wrong. It was in the wrong order, it was too mannered, it wasn't funny, enough. So when I finally got to the podium, I told everyone I was throwing the speech out and just speaking from my heart. And wonder of wonders, it was easy, it was fun, and I wasn't nervous about forgetting anything. I was just talking.
Every way of going will have a problem so relax and be prepared. Planes are always delayed. In Chicago, it was two hours, because they couldn't find the pilot. ("He's out drinking," the person sitting next to me said.) Last night, the plane was delayed an hour because "A passenger who should not be on the plane is on the plane." Worse, planes have turbulence. Last night, coming in from Charlotte, there was so much turbulence, that the woman beside me began crossing herself and shouting, "Mary, Mother of God!" while clutching the seat. When the plane landed, we all cheered.
Trains, though an easier ride and smoother (I love trains) have their own issue. Coming in from Boston, I draped my favorite blue chiffon scarf from Korean, a present from a friend, over my face, to sleep. I was sitting next to some guy, and when I woke up, the guy was gone, and so was my scarf!!!
Airports can be your friends. I first saw my novel with New York Times Bestseller printed on it in the Hudson Bookshop and I nearly burst into tears. I was so excited, I bought my own novel!
In this new age of publishing, not everyone gets a tour. It is an incredibly wonderful thing to be going to so many places and I always remember to thank everyone I meet profusely, and to be grateful. If there are any problems--well, aren't these the problems I always dreamed of being able to have?
Causes Caroline Leavitt Supports
The Writers' Strike Writers Against the War PETA