First off, thanks so much, y'all, for the kind words and support about the stuff I talked about in the honesty blog.
It means a lot to me that that post resonated and that more than a few authors could related to what I was talking about--and that more than a few of my friends and readers got in touch to make sure I have my priorities straight and know where I stand in the world.
So, thanks. I won't stop writing, and I won't stop trying to be the best person I can be.
It's been quite a last few days. I flew to Phoenix on Thursday and touched down in 101F temperatures. It had been 63F in Minneapolis, 85F in Houston and about 40F, max, in the Yukon; quite a temperature fluctuation.
Obviously, I spent my afternoon lounging by the pool at my hotel.
My event that night was at Scottsdale's famous Poisoned Pen Bookstore. It was a joint event with Kelli Stanley, who writes the outstanding Miranda Corbie series of historical (1940s) mysteries, and moderated by Barbara Peters, who owns the bookstore and who even dressed in a nautical theme as a tribute to GALE FORCE.
I'd been lucky enough to get a copy of Kelli's latest book, CITY OF SHARKS, in advance of our event, which I always appreciate. It's always so much better to do an event with another author when you know their work, particularly when you know you like their work.
I did chirp Kelli on how often Miranda eats cheeseburgers, onion rings and cherry Cokes, though; if I were on death row, that would probably be my final meal (and a massive hot fudge brownie a la mode!), but in this current commitment to healthy living, the book was sweet torture.
Highlight of the night, though, was meeting Paul, the Poisoned Pen's new mascot. He's a rescue dog who belongs to Patrick King, and obviously I fawned all over him, as it had been nearly two weeks since I'd seen Lucy.
We swapped publishing war stories over Cornish pasties and beer (and broccoli), and as with all of my tour stops, I was left wishing I didn't have a morning flight, as the night ended much too soon.
Friday saw me fly to John Wayne International Airport in Santa Ana, California, for a reading at Anne's Book Carnival in nearby Orange.
It was a cool and overcast day in SoCal, which torpedoed my designs on more pool time, but I did kick my ass in the hotel's weight room, run the treadmill and then, thanks to faulty elevators, climb the twelve flights of stairs to my room a few times before it was time to head to my event.
Anne's Book Carnival is another wonderful indie bookstore, and the owner, the eponymous Anne, is another of my favourite people in the industry.
Despite it being a Friday night and some inclement weather, Anne stocked her store with a collection of eager and enthusiastic readers, including Mike "Hilldogwoo" Hillis a guy I know only from his amazing train pictures on Instagram, who was kind enough to make the trip.
I think it's safe to say we all had a blast, and the event was yet another reminder to feel grateful for what it is I get to do. I have faith that the sales will come, and even if they don't, I am immensely lucky to get to meet so many wonderful people and travel to such fantastic bookstores.
I celebrated with a veggie burger and a beer at the hotel bar. Subbed out the fries for sauteed veggies. It was the first veggie burger I think I've ever ordered, and it was so good. I might just do it again sometime.
On Saturday I flew back to Prince Edward Island. It was a long, long day, that began at 0830 with a car to LAX, and then an 1145 flight to Toronto.
I had a window seat with nobody beside me for the four-hour flight, in a brand new Air Canada Boeing 787 Dreamliner, so I couldn't very well complain.
I watched Three Bridges Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Only The Brave on the flight, which flew (heh heh) by, and then I was in Toronto, breezing through customs, and grabbing a quick bite before my late-night flight to Charlottetown.
My flight left Toronto at 2140 and arrived in Prince Edward Island at 0040 on Sunday morning. My poor dad heroically volunteered to pick me up, and he got me back to the farm safe and in one piece, if a little exhausted.
Plus I forgot my copy of Don Winslow's DAWN PATROL half-finished in the seatback pocket on the place. I've been kind of forgetful lately.
On the plus side, Lucy! The old girl was pretty darn happy to see me, and I was happy to see her, too.
Anyway, I have a quick turnaround. Tomorrow, I set out again for the pavement-and-rubber leg of this tour, a two-week road trip across America with eight more book events on the roster.
The trip will culminate in BC, where I'll spend the next few months, so in between trying to get over the jet lag, I've been packing my truck full of all of my stuff and preparing for the life nomadic again.
I'm excited for the next step in this journey, but I'm feeling pretty poignant, too. It's been really very lovely getting to spend the last four months with my mom and dad, and I know that this time together isn't something to take for granted.
I've made so many changes to my life since I arrived here, and I feel so much better about who I am and where I'm going. But that doesn't mean I won't take a long last look at the farm in my rearview mirror as I drive away on Wednesday morning.