Couple quick pics

I have an early start today, so only have time to post a couple pics.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic My first llama sighting!!! This was at Huaca Pucllana, the pre-Incan ruin in the middle of the city. EXTREMELY interesting place!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Crime can be a problem here, but the government has responded with a visible police presence. The police are the nicest I’ve ever met.

More later!

Still llovely in Llima

Am dashing off to the school today. Will try and post blog and photos from the weekend tonight.

One fascinating point – most of the web pages I look at are coming up in Spanish first, like MySpace and Facebook. LJ comes up in English.

More airport coffee, llooking for llamas

I’m back in the Atlanta airport, waiting, this time, for the plane that will take me to Lima, Peru. No, this is not part of the book tour. I am going to Lima to speak at an American School there, the same way that I went to Warsaw, Poland in 2007.

Many people have written to ask if I’ll be going to Machu Picchu. Sadly, the answer is no. I get altitude sickness easily and I have wicked asthma – the combination of the two makes it unsafe for me to travel to altitude alone. But I hope I can come back with the Beloved Husband one day. He will take many photos of me wheezing or passed out amongst breath-taking scenery.

I am under strict orders from BH to avoid wheatgrass, btw. He would be happiest if I abstained from all adventurous eating on this trip. Not sure I’ll be able to comply fully (I’m going to PERU, for crying out loud. Must try new food!!!) But no wheatgrass. Never, ever, ever, ever again. And no llama beans, thunderchiken. No, thank you.

This weekend I will be absorbing a tiny bit of Lima courtesy of the peripatetic Hoiseth family. Monday – Friday I’ll be giving presentations about my books and writing workshops at the Colegio F. D. Roosevelt. Late Friday night I start the long journey home. I would have loved to schedule some vacation time, but the next week I head to California for the LA Book Festival, and shortly after that is the International Reading Association Conference in MN.

At this point, being able to wake up in my own bed for a week running will feel like a vacation.

I am not sure if I’ll be able to blog or tweet from Peru. So I will post a bunch of links right now to keep you busy while I’m gone:

1. Publisher’s Weekly has a nice article (with photos!) about how I used Twitter on the book tour. Hello new media! You can read my Twitter stream here, if you want.

2. The YAthenaeum has posted a terrific recap of the poetry slam, Time Warp, and my time at Books & Books, complete with video. Booksellers – if you’re looking for a model of how to run a teen book club, here it is.

3.

Watch my Q & A session from my book tour stop at Kepler’s in Menlo Park, CA. Really there was a BUNCH of people there, but no one wanted to sit up front. They had no doubt heard out my tendency to foam at the mouth and spit (unintentionally, of course) when I get on a rant.

And spitting brings us, at llong llast, to llamas. I have been assured that I won’t see any llamas in LLima, but I might get llucky. I am llonging for a llama encounter. I am playing with all kinds of multi-llingual puns along of the lines of “Como se llama, llama?”

(If you were walking with your dog and you saw a llama who resembled Perry Como, you might ask your dog, “Perro, como se llama llama?” And then, if LLorenzo LLamas joined you….)

I definitely need to get more sleep.

I’ll be back here sooner, hopefully than llater.

Tour recap!!!

I’m about halfway packed for Peru and halfway caught up on business stuff, so I think I deserve a little break to fill you in on the second half of the WINTERGIRLS tour.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
This sums it up nicely. (One of the lovely things given to me by a reader while I was on the road.)

The last time I posted anything of significance, I was in Salt Lake City. From there, I went to Phoenix, then Houston, then Austin, then Oxford, MS, one of my favorite little towns in the South. Paid homage to Mr. Faulkner by visiting his house and

Image and video hosting by TinyPic his grave.

There was one minor hitch in Oxford. I drank wheatgrass juice. Why? Because everyone said how healthy and wonderful it was. (Can you hear my grandmothers asking me if I’d go over Niagara Falls in a barrel if everyone said how healthy and wonderful it was?)

Wheatgrass is healthy for some. Cows for example. And goats. Maybe pigs.

Not me.

I am deathly allergic to mold. The mold that grows on wheatgrass (not visible, btw) does not hurt cows, goats, pigs or most people. It made me into one very sick author. Combine 48 hours of food poisoning with a severe asthmatic reaction and you’ll get the picture. It wasn’t pretty.

But the worst of it occurred in the airport and hotel room, and I was able to (ahem) gut out all of my events and interviews. Two days later, I was perfectly fine. I bet William Faulkner and my grandmothers had a big old laugh.

After MS came St. Louis, and after St. Louis, several days of speaking at a conference, schools, bookstores

Image and video hosting by TinyPic and going on television. “Good Morning, Atlanta” to be precise. With massive amounts of make-up on. The woman who interviewed me couldn’t remember how to pronounce my name and became so flustered I felt really bad for her, which was good because I totally forgot to be nervous.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic A great tee-shirt spotted at the conference. The phrase originated in a conversation I had with Gail Giles at an ALA cocktail party one year. Librarians are always listening, don’t you know.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic While in Atlanta, I spoke at the Georgia Center of the Book and got to see my friend Terra Elan McVoy whose new awesome book, PURE, was published this week. You should buy it right now.

A bunch of bloggers came out to my Alpharetta signing. Not surprisingly, they blogged about it!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic After Atlanta came South Florida, including a memorable stop at Books & Books In Coral Gables, where I got to finally meet the YAthenaeum girls, who all came dressed in the their winter(girls) whites and were patient with me as we tried to do the Time Warp. In addition to our dancing, the store hosted a wonderful poetry slam with area teens!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic In Raleigh, North Carolina, I did not get to see David Macinnis Gill, because he is a really good dad and needed to be at one of his kids’ tournaments. His book, Soul Enchilada, came out this week, too. Please go buy that one ASAP and thank me when your ribs are aching from laughing.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic However, I did get to meet the Eva Perry Mock Printz Book Club!!!! I LOVE these kids! I want to adopt them all. They won the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award for Best Literature Program for Teens, so I’m hoping I’ll get to hang out with them in Chicago at ALA this summer.

The crowd in NC was HUGE – the perfect way to cap off a spectacular tour. And then I got to fly home, where it was snowing sideways, but it didn’t matter because my BH was waiting for me.

Thank you, thank you to everyone who came out to see me!! And everyone who has purchased WINTERGIRLS – I got word today that the book made the New York Times Bestseller List for the third week in a row.

Now I just have to figure out what to wear in Peru…..

Update on that update

I am home for a few days and not drowning in the backlog of mail, thanks to the gloriousness that is Queen Louise. Plus, she’ll totally organized the office in my absence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Yes. I would take a bullet for La Queen.)

The, erm, somewhat frantic news is that I have to repack my suitcase because I leave again THIS FRIDAY, at 6am, for LIMA PERU.

Right.

Another country. Another continent.

Right. I should have my head examined. I think Queen Louise is organizing that.

So I am in triage mode, trying to make sure that the things which Absolutely Must Be Done get done by Thursday night. And there are a couple more interviews I have scheduled, not to mention an itty-bitty basketball game tonight.

(Which, btw, I can’t lose. IF UNC wins, I’ll be happy for Sarah Dessen and cheer on her boys. I already lost our bet, so what’s another loss? If Michigan wins, I’ll be even happier.)

If all the critical things can get done, I’ll post a tour recap to the blog, and a couple of fun pictures. This was hands-down the most fun and the busiest tour I’ve ever had. Thanks a million to all who made it such an adventure!!!

And thanks to all for buying WINTERGIRLS – it has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for two weeks in a row!!!! W00T!!!!!!