The Friday Five!

1. This week, to put it bluntly, kicked my behind. It’s bad enough when my kid is sick. Throw in my husband also down with flu-like symptoms and then ME going under, and it’s a full on DEFCON 5 situation. There were points on Sunday and Monday night, around 3:30am approximately, where I wondered aloud to the Universe why, oh why, it was out to get me. We were all a hacking, sneezing, snotty mess. It sounded like a TB ward around here (with the Franklin theme song in the background). Finally, on Wednesday, my husband’s cough began to subside. Then we found out my kid had an ear infection, which explained why SHE was still so miserable. A few doses of pink bubble gum medicine and she was sleeping through the night. YES! Then I started to stop coughing. YES YES! Now we are ALL officially on the mend and the world is a brighter place. Or at least our little corner of it. Whatever, I’ll take it.

2. This week, the awesome Laurie Halse Anderson announced that she’s teaming up with the publisher of her book SPEAK, MacMillan, to raise money for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. If you’ve ever read SPEAK, you know what at amazing story it is, and for years it’s helped survivors of sexual abuse in their healing process. Just a ten dollar donation allows RAINN to aid one survivor in getting the help they need. And if you give $75, you get a signed copy of SPEAK! What’s not to love about that? You can get all the info (and see Laurie in a video discussing all this) by going here.

3. In other news, I’m having to start thinking seriously about my tour for the paperback release of WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE, which begins a week from this coming Wednesday. Yikes! Regular readers of this blog know that I am sort of a neurotic freak when it comes to packing for trips. (Okay, fine, total neurotic freak.) But I think anyone would be challenged by a week-long tour that involves stops in Miami, Chicago and Texas. I mean, how to even plan for those kind of climate changes? Also, I don’t think I’ll have time to send out laundry at all, which means…the big suitcase. And I always feel judged with the big suitcase, especially when I know authors who tour with only a carry on, somehow. I know enough to plan for layers, but between school visits AND bookstore events, I’m going to have to have a lot of options that fold down SMALL. Oh, I’m already getting all nervous thinking about it. Maybe I should just bring a stack of caftans? Muu-muus? Onesies? Um, maybe not.

4. Last week, I mentioned how much it means to me that my character Dexter, from This Lullaby, is such a reader favorite. People always pick him in their top two or three of my boys, as he was honestly probably the most fun character I’ve ever gotten to write. I think I’ve mentioned here before that I took Dexter’s name from a local musician here in Chapel Hill named Dexter Romweber. THAT Dexter was several years ahead of me in high school and one of those people that everyone knew by sight if not by name. When I was in college, in 1990, he was in a band called The Flat Duo Jets, and that’s when I really started getting into his music, not just the local myths about him. Anyway, when I needed a name for a boy in a band who played guitar, it just seemed perfect. My Dex is forever on the page, but Dexter Romweber is, well, all over YouTube, as well as still playing regularly here in Chapel Hill. I went to see him the other night, in fact, at a local bar with my husband, and he played as a special surprise at my last birthday party. (I.Died. I truly, truly did.) Anyway, in the interest of sharing where things come from, I wanted to post a link to this clip from a documentary that was made about Dexter Romweber a few years back called Two Headed Cow. It shows The Flat Duo Jets performing on David Letterman AND has some great commentary from Jack White and Cat Power, among others. If you’re intrigued, there are lots of other performances you can find online. Or just come to Chapel Hill, hit The Kraken some weeknight, and be prepared to be awed.

5. Finally, in my OWN appearance news, my fab publicist Elyse has given me the go-ahead to post the dates for my June tour for THE MOON AND MORE that are now confirmed. This is not a full list, as details are being worked out for a few others, and I’ll be updating them as I can over on my News and Appearances page. But for now, here you go. I’m so pumped. I cannot WAIT to get out and talk about this book!

Monday, June 3, 7pm
The Regulator
720 Ninth St
Durham, NC 27705

Tuesday, June 4, 7 pm
Martin Luther King Jr. Public Library with Politics and Prose Bookstore
Great Hall
901 G St., NW
Washington DC 20001

Thursday, June 6, 7 pm
Off-site event with Blue Willow Bookshop
West Houston Community Center
725 Bateswood
Houston, TX 77079

Friday, June 7, 7 pm
On-site event with Joseph-Beth Booksellers
2692 Madison Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45208

Monday, June 10, 7pm
On-site Not Your Mother’s Book Club event with Books Inc.
Opera Plaza
601 Van Ness
San Francisco, CA 94102

Wednesday, June 26, 7 pm
On-site event with Quail Ridge Books & Music
3522 Wade Ave
Raleigh NC 27607

This year, on my birthday, I won’t be dancing to Dex but hanging in Houston with the folks from Blue Willow. And it will be AWESOME, I just know it.

Have a great weekend, everyone!