The Friday Five!

1. So this has been quite a week, to say the least. I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to be blogging at all, actually, considering everything that is happening in the news. The Marathon bombings, the explosion in Texas and now a manhunt that has everyone in Boston on edge. I’ve been traveling since Wednesday, and so only catching up in bits and pieces, but it all makes me SO sad. Who knew that a dull stretch would seem like such a wonderful thing? I am sure I am not the only one who would welcome being bored.  But I will do this week’s blog, if only for the distraction. So here goes.

2. On Tuesday, I did my first event for the paperback tour of WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE, at my hometown bookstore Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. It was SO fun to see so many local faces, as well as eat beforehand at Lucha Tigre, which is in the exact same spot as the restaurant where I worked for many years, back in the day. I’d been sort of a nervous wreck about being away for a week—okay, I’d been losing my mind, I can’t lie to you all—but starting at home was the best possible way to ease in. Also, two people brought me cupcakes, and we all know that those make EVERYTHING all right. If I could buy a cupcake for the world right now, I totally would.

3. Then it was off to Miami, VERY early the next morning: 5am to be exact. Which meant getting up at 4am, which is hard even for an early riser like myself. We got to the airport, flew into gorgeous Miami, then had a school visit at Carrollton School, where the reading club gave me a great welcome. Then, a quick rest before the store event at Books and Books, which was awesome. Whew! Also in Miami, I got to meet my newest cousin, Antonella, six weeks old and already a heartbreaker. I could have sat and held that baby ALL day long, but I had to work. Still, that infant thing: the cheeks! The toes! That baby smell!

antonella

Okay, I better stop. I miss my kid enough as it is.

4. The next day, I got to sleep in until 5am (yay!) and we headed to the Miami airport to fly to Memphis. There had been some sort of suspicious package found in the American terminal, however, so the security lines were HUGE and everyone was very on edge and stressed. I have not been able to work out on this trip, so perhaps it was a good thing that I had to sprint through the terminal to make my flight just as the doors were closing. A lot of other people were not so lucky. When was the last time you had a whole row of seats to yourself? I think for me, it was never. Once in Memphis, we got to stop for barbecue at a famous place called Corky’s, where my fab publicist Elyse had sweet tea for the very first time. As you can tell, she approved:

elsysebbq

Then it was off to the Hutchinson School, where I spoke to a bunch of middle school girls, who had GREAT questions about writing and books and, also, One Tree Hill. Of which I am no expert, but they were kind anyway. Then it was BACK to hotel, change clothes and off to The Booksellers at Laurelwood, where I had a GREAT crowd despite the fact that it was basically monsooning outside. Those Memphis girls are not afraid of a little weather, y’all. Also notable from this event was that I actually stumped the audience with my trivia challenge, a total first. I asked a question about Dreamland: what was the name of Caitlin’s waitress friend? Nobody knew it. Victory!

5. Which brings us to today, Friday. Which I actually thought was Thursday, because this travel schedule has me completely out of it. Also I was so tired yesterday I couldn’t even open my hotel room door without trying multiple times (I had the key backwards, d’oh!). I am approaching total slap-happiness, and we’re not even to LA yet. The sad thing is that I was SO EXCITED for my school visit today to Granger Middle School in Aurora, and they had big plans, probably the best welcome I was ever going to get. But the weather did not cooperate. It has rained like crazy there, flooding the streets, and the schools were closed. BOO! In fact, I am driving through that area now (or riding: safety first!) and I see standing water everywhere. Yikes. Am hoping I can come back later and make it up. But my signing tonight at Anderson’s in Naperville at 7pm is still on. So come out and say hello, if you’re around! Next stop is Huntington Beach, CA, and then the LA Times Book Festival, where you can catch me here.

Okay, time to crash and try to get some rest. Wherever you are, be safe and take care. It’s all we can do, right?

Have a good weekend, everyone!

P.S. Caitlin’s friend in Dreamland was named Corinna. Did you know?