Book Tour Day 10 Report – No Problems, Houston

I can’t believe I got up when the alarm went off, but I did. I do not remember the shuttle ride to the airport, but once I got through the security ritual, I found a Starbucks and stood at the gate until the barristas took pity on me and opened up a few minutes early. Another morning, another Powerbar.

On the plane I did that thing where you fall asleep and your head drops forward and you jolt awake because you think you are falling 30,000 feet and then you fall asleep again and your head drops forward and you jolt awake because you think you are falling 30,000 feet and then you fall asleep again …. I did that about 10,000 times before we landed in Houston.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicBest sign I saw all day.

I spoke to about 175 teens from four Houston high schools. I promised them I would post their pictures.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Auditorium, stage right.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Auditorium, center.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Auditorium, stage left.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Auditorium, center, again, because the ladies in the middle felt like they deserved a little more air time.

The best part was signing books and visiting with everyone in the library after the presentation. The students had all read at least one of my books and had a lot of interesting comments and questions. (Thank you, Valerie from Blue Willow Bookshop for putting this together!) I was sorry that I had to leave.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Next stop, a giraffe by the side of the road. No, the next stop was the St. John’s School.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Where the kids wear uniforms that not all of them are thrilled about.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic But I think they look slick.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The evening event was at Brazos Bookstore, where this sign was on the wall.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic There was a little confusion about the correct date and time of my event. I know one group of students from Rice showed up the day before, and a bunch more came after I left. I apologize to all of you guys – I hope I’ll get to see you the next time I’m in town. But a lot of librarians – oh!!!! collective noun!!!! a collection of librarians spent the evening with me. (Hi, Mrs. Wilkens!)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Dinner was with the bookseller Jane and some pals. They took me to a real restaurant with real food. I had the crab cake. It was much nicer than a Powerbar.

When the dinner was over, around 8pm, my author schlepper went into the parking lot to look for the car and driver that had been hired to drive me to Austin. She came back in with her eyes as big as grapefruits.

“You are not going to believe the car they sent for you!” she gasped.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I went into the parking lot. She was right. I did not believe it. NOBODY gets a stretch hummer on booktour.

There was much confusion because the guy driving the Hummer was new to America and was still working on his English. He loaded my suitcase and other bags into the car. Rather, he loaded them into the land yacht.

“Are you sure this is my car?” I asked one hundred million times. “I’m pretty sure this is not my car.” I kept walking around it, already feeling guilty and apologizing to the planet about the extra hole that the emissions from this beast would create in the atmosphere. This couldn’t be my car. Publishing does not have a ton of money. Definitely not enough money for something like that.

Finally, we looked at the gentleman’s paperwork. He was hired to take a large group eating in the restaurant seven blocks. Not to take me to Austin. No limo for Laurie, thank goodness. Another gentleman, David, approached us. He had a normal-sized car, one that got much better gas mileage. David drove me to Austin. Which was a relief.

I got into my hotel room around 11:30pm. I paused long enough to appreciate the yellow rose on my pillow (I do love Austin) and crashed.

TODAY’S EVENTS

Lunch with another collection of librarians

2PM – Talking and signing at Lamar Middle School (not open to public)

4PMish – Sign stock at Book People (one of my favorite stores!)
603 North Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703
Store phone: 512-472-5050

Evening – Hanging out with the nice booksellers in town for the Mountain & Plains Booksellers Association Spring tradeshow. Then a late dinner, a date with my pillow, and yep, you guessed it, another early morning wake-up call.

6 Replies to “Book Tour Day 10 Report – No Problems, Houston”

  1. Hillel?

    I know that quotation as “Be kind, for each that you meet is on a hard journey.” It may be by the philosopher Hillel, but an hour of desultory searching a few months ago did not produce the desired result, that is, a real answer.

    Kindness is the most underrated of virtues, and one of the hardest. Actually, the are all hard.

  2. Houston Texas

    We loved your visit, and yes it was too short. I actually was the keeper of the purse for your morning presentation. I am an elementary librarian and I snuck out to see your presentation. I was glad to hear how honest you kept things with the kids. I think they truly appreciate that. Amy

  3. Thanks from O. Henry Chicklits

    Dear Laurie,
    We had a great time getting to go on a book club field trip to see you this afternoon. You were wonderful: funny, engaging, but also serious and real. Unfortunately, Latovia’s camera ran out of power, so the only picture we have of our group with you is the one you took. We would love for you to post us, and then we can copy our picture.
    P.S. Favorite quote from 8th grade guy who is halfway through and loving Twisted:
    “Miss, how does she know how teenage guys feel? Yeah. It’s weird. I mean, how does she know about “the snake?”
    You’ve got a big hit on your hands. Twisted is the new Speak. Thank you!!!
    O. Henry Middle School librarian
    Sara Stevenson

  4. My dad is a race car driver and when we travel with it (which consists of me sitting between my dad and grandpa in a truck for hours on end) I always do the falling asleep, head bobbing thing about 100 times each trip. My dad thinks it’s absolutely hilarious and refers to me as “Bobblehead”. At least it entertains him.

    I saw your book at Barnes and Noble today and wanted it sooooooooo bad. Damn the stupid car payments and whole being responsible thing. I wanted to buy it!!!!!!!! Guess I’ll just have to wait for paperback =( It’s torture I tell you.

  5. Argh! This is killing me. When I lived in Houston, I actually lived in Alief. And I’ve lived in Austin. Jim has family who live in Austin. Did you drown in the rain anywhere, or miss it? Wish I could have seen your face looking at the Hummer. Texans are good people.

    1. It rained in Austin all day and it rained on one of my Michigan nights, but I’ve been pretty lucky.

      I sure hop Jim is feeling better. That tornado was too close for comfort.

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