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.
I spoke to about 175 teens from four Houston high schools. I promised them I would post their pictures.
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.
The evening event was at Brazos Bookstore, where this sign was on the wall.
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!)
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.
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.
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.