Saturday morning’s airplane delivered me to my favorite city in America.
I love, love, love this place!
As you’ve probably noticed, there has been exactly no time for any kind of sightseeing on this trip, with the exception of lunch at William Faulkner’s house. (Yes, I am still dropping that phrase wherever I can.) I haven’t even had time to work out at a hotel gym or go for a quick run. Every time I opened my suitcase, my running clothes and sneakers mocked and taunted me.
But after I checked into my hotel on Saturday, I had a free hour. My author schlepper suggested I check out a nearby attraction.
Grace Cathedral – a sanctuary for all, regardless of faith community. It is a true sanctuary in the purest sense of the word. A holy place of peace – no dogma, no one beating you over the head with their brand of religious experience.
I really needed a quiet place and I found it. Serenity and bliss. I recentered myself, reconnected with the Universe, and emerged restored.
I was treated by Uncle Penguin to this magnificent lunch (they called it Crab Dungeness Salad. It was even better than it looks).
I lunched with a group of dynamic YA librarians from the San Francisco Public Library. It was a little dark in the restaurant, but really, if you squint, you can see us. I was particularly interested in learning about their outreach to teens who are incarcerated, and the city kids who are looking for books that reflect their urban experiences. We need to write more books for them.
You see interesting things in San Fran. These little rolling pod contraptions can be rented for the day and driven around the city. You have to wear a motorcycle helmet while you are driving or riding in them.
After lunch we headed for Keplers, in Menlo Park, for a near full-house event. (Hi, Adrianna! Hi Vivian!) At the end of the presentation I was solemnly informed of the tragic defeat of my Georgetown Hoyas. Since I was in California, I pledged my new allegiance to UCLA. And then UCLA lost. I can’t decide if I am going to support Ohio or Florida in the Championship game. (I’m leaning towards Florida, since Ohio beat my boys.) Despite the loss, it was a great afternoon. Thank you very much to everyone who took the time out of their gorgeous afternoon to spend time with me.
Dinner was quiche in the car as we drove back to the city for the last event: Not Your Mother’s Book Club, notyourmothers. A couple of friends were in the audience which made it even more special than it already was – Shari and Richie Partington. (Thanks so much for coming out! Say hi to the kids and the other kids from me!)
Here you see Debbi Michiko Florence, Jen, and me. And another random giraffe. It is so nice when I get to see old friends on the road. Debbi d-michiko-f and I met six or seven years ago at the Poconos SCBWI retreat. Since then I’ve moved twice and she’s moved about 100 times, but we’ve kept track of each other through email and LiveJournals. It was a blast to see her again and meet her daughter. (Hi C!) Jen is the Evil Genius and Awesome Babe who powers Not Your Mother’s Bookclub, putting great books into the hands of teen readers and making YA authors feel very, very special. Thanks to Jen and everyone at Books Inc. for ending my tour so perfectly. I owe you all a night on the town when I come through again.
And now it is time to fly back east to my Beloved Husband and my dog and my pillow. I am writing and uploading this in Chicago’s O’Hare airport, about to get on the plane bound for home. I think I’m going to take a couple of days off to catch up on sleep and life, if you don’t mind.
I’ll post later in the week with my reflections on the tour and the book launch; coherent, rational thoughts. Right now all I can say is THANK YOU!!! I am humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude to everyone who went out and bought TWISTED, who came to an event, who wrote with comments about the book, who worked so hard to make all of this magic happen.
I am a tired, happy, lucky author. A thousand thank-yous to all.