One of those states in the middle that starts with “I”, Alex

The plan was to wake up at 6am, eat, get picked up at 7:45 and driven to the Westchester County airport. I woke up at 6, no trouble. But a second call came at 6:03. The call every traveler dreads – my flight had been canceled. Gulp. Luckily, my trip was arranged through Seagate Travel and they are terrific. They waved a magic wand and suddenly I had to pack my bags and get to LaGuardia Airport ASAP. The ride there was a little exciting, sort of like a theme park ride, but I got there in one piece. The security line was filled with people who have been sleeping for the last three years and had no clue about putting their stuff through the little machines (grr).

I was fairly stressed by the time I got to my gate. So I decided to perform a Japanese Tea Ceremony ala moi. I call it The Airport Tea ceremony.

Image hosted by TinyPic.comFirst, you buy tea. To do this, get in a line of snarling, vicious people, the ones who argued with the security guards about taking off their shoes before going through the metal detector. The ones with the holes in their socks. Observe how the vicious ones belittle and demean the young woman who is earning minimum wage serving jerks coffee and doughnuts. Contemplate how those jerks are accumulating massive bad karma points. Smile at them when they walk by you. (It confuses them.) Smile at the girl when it is your turn to order. Talk to her, ask her how her day is going. Take your time, life is too fast and we need to savor these encounters. If you’re lucky, she’ll offer you some honey from the staff’s secret stash. Honey is good. Life is good. Smile at her a lot more and wish her luck.

Add milk to your tea. Stand there for a minute and watch the colors swirl.

Walk back to your gate. There are no seats. There are never any seats. That’s why you wear jeans to the airport. Sit on the floor. Don’t worry about any critters or germs that live on the floor. We are all living beings. (See how easy this stuff is with the right attitude?) Plug in your iPod or music of choice. Smile. Breathe. Lean against the wall and be very grateful you got that 6:03 call. Take the lid off your tea and take out the bag. Sip the tea. Taste the honey. Life is good.

Image hosted by is Doris and me.) Blissful and relaxed I flew to Chicago where I was met by my author schlepper, Bill Young, who is the biggest and bestest author schlepper in the Mid-West. We drove Naperville where I signed many hundreds of books for their stock, with the help of the Doris the Cheerful. After Naperville, we drove to South Bend, Indiana, where the bookstore of the night was actually on the Notre Dame campus (it’s gorgeous, Mer!).

Image hosted by TinyPic.comYes, this is really the bookstore. They know how to do it up right at Notre Dame.

Image hosted by TinyPic.comI didn’t think many people would come (I remember my own college days very clearly) so I was pleasantly surprised when all these folks turned out. There were kids from first grade through college in the audience so the range of questions was amusing.

Friday I get to sleep in *cheering from peanut gallery* then Bill and I are going to drive to Indianapolis. I have one event there.

7:00 – 9:00 PM Borders, 8675 River Crossing Blvd., Indianapolis, IN , Store Phone: 317-574-1775

If you live in Central NY, please come to River’s End Books in Oswego at 2pm on Saturday – Wear your prom duds!! Drag out that hideous bridesmaid’s dress from the back of the closet!! We want everyone to come and party with us!


I’ve always had trouble spelling the name of this state.

New thing of the day: I flew on Independence Air, a small airline that flies between smaller cities. Cool thing about this company: their stupid safety instructions (like showing you how to buckle your seat belt) are delivered by comedian Dennis Miller who manages to be both snarky (“If the oxygen bag comes down from the overhead panel, it’s a sign that you are having a bad day.”) and informational. That was neat.

I visited two bookstores and snuck in two walks on a beautiful spring day. It’s hard to top that.

Stop one was Dandy Tales in New Canaan. I think the official colors of New Canaan are pink and lime green. Dandy Tales is their official children’s bookstore. It has only been open since August and already has a loyal following of kids and teens.

Image hosted by Some of the teenagers who came out.

Image hosted by Taylor made cookies.

From the Land of Pink and Green (and Cookies) I went to Greenwich, to Diane’s Books. Wow. Just wow. It’s one of those bookstores that smells great and feels cozy and you find yourself praying for a freak blizzard that will strand you there for three weeks or so. We had a great crowd, including members of the Danbury Daughter-Mother Book Club who read PROM and kindly gave me a list of their discussion questions.

Image hosted by Crowd to my left.

Image hosted by Crowd to my left.

Image hosted by Lauren and Elizabeth from Rye, NY who asked lots of questions and took notes and probably earned enough extra credit points to get them through high school.

Tomorrow I head west again:

1pm Anderson’s, 120 W. Jefferson, Naperville, IL 630-355-2665

7-9pm Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, Eck Center, Notre Dame, IN, 574-631-6320

On Friday night I’ll be in Indianapolis. Saturday is the big blow-out at The River’s End bookstore in Oswego, NY.

Raleigh/Durham Day & CT schedule

So, here’s the thing – if you want to live in an area with great bookstores, move here. These were outstanding bookstores.

I could leave it at that, but I promised I’d post photos, so here goes.

Image hosted by a small part of the group at Regulator Bookshop in Durham. Many thanks to the women of Durham Academy who turned up with teachers in tow, and the other teens who came even though they were on spring break. (We even had a teacher from Ohio who came on break!)

Image hosted by Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh was packed!!

Image hosted by One of my best buddies, Marnie, came out and brought me a corsage. *blush*

Image hosted by In a humbling and somehow appropriate display, Quail Ridge hangs nicely framed photos of authors who have visited their store in the bathroom. The tiny (yet powerful) sales rep you see is Doni Kay, who made my day fly with great conversation.

I have to wake up in five hours. Ack. I have set three alarms, and my BH has promised a back-up wake-up call so I don’t have another Kalamistake.

This is where you can find me tomorrow.

5:30am in line at coffee shop in airport.

3-5pm Dandy Tales, 13 South Ave., New Canaan CT, 203-966-7713

7-9 pm Diane’s Books, 8A Grigg St., Greenwich, CT, 203-869-1515

On Thursday, I’ll be in Naperville, IL, and Notre Dame, IN.

PROM Fanfiction Alert

Like to write? Want to win a boat-load of books or $$$ for a DJ for your 2006 school prom? Then listen up.

The nice people at Baker & Taylor just announced a fanfiction contest for stories based on my new novel, PROM!!!

Basically, you have to write a 1,500 word (or less) prequel, sequel, or alternate ending to PROM. These stories will be evaluated by a group of B&T and Penguin folks. I’ll help choose the finalists. The contest runs from now through December 31, 2005. (It’s only open to readers aged 12-18, BTW)

The Grand Prize winner gets either $500 worth of Penguin books, or $500 towards a DJ to play at the winner’s prom in 2006, and the winning story will be posted on (my website) for everyone to enjoy. Also, I will visit the winner’s school or public library in 2006, and an additional $500 of books will be donated to that school or library.

Two First Prize winners will also have their stories showcased on my website and will win a complete, signed set of my novels.

Go here and click on official Contest Rules for all the details and fine print.

I leave for the airport and North Carolina in a couple of minutes. I am feeling very optimistic today and am leaving my winter jacket at home. This means a freak snowstorm will probably hit the Raleigh/Durham region by dinnertime. You heard it here first.

Stop The Presses!!

I found the lost Easter egg!!

(Go me-e! Go me-e!)

In previous years, it took four and then six months to find the Easter egg (yes, a real hard-boiled egg) that I oh-so, oh-too cleverly hid. And for the past 24 hours my family has been mercilessly teasing me because yep, I did it again. At the end of the Easter egg hunt we were one egg short and for the life of me I could not remember where it was.

But – ha! Ha! I say, ha! to all you doubters whom I birthed or married. Because I just found it….

…hidden in the box of Diet Mountain Dew soda.

And no, I did not include it in the deviled eggs we ate for dinner. Because I am not spiteful. I am sweet and forgiving, if a bit scatterbrained.