This is pathetic. In order to continue the tale of my journey to the Land of O’Keeffe, I had to reread my own blog. I forgot where I’d left off. So much for heart-pounding intrigue. So much for the pulsing, red hot narrative through-line.
The truth is, I lost interest. In the same way I wish I was one of those people who loves hiking, or farmer’s markets, or the Holidays, I long to be someone who feels committed to keeping up with her blog. To keep up with your blog signals an abiding interest in life and its vast complexity and variety of experience, not to mention your career (the debate limps on about what authors “need” to do these days, aside from writing the best book they can.)
But in my own defense, I was on book tour.
If you ever want an opportunity to get completely sick of your own self, go on book tour. It’s you you you for days on end. You and that infernal book, which you’ve grown completely sick of. Why did you write this book? wonderful people ask (anyone who cares about your book is wonderful) What were you hoping to achieve? What did you learn in writing this book? What’s next? I say all this knowing that I am lucky in these difficult times to have a book out, much less an opportunity to travel great distances to read to an appreciative audience of three (including the gentleman in the back row who just wants a place to nap undisturbed.)
I am grateful, don’t get me wrong.
Book touring ten years ago meant reading at book stores at night and doing the occasional print or radio interview during the day. It meant sleeping in and lounging around, waiting until the moment in late afternoon when it was time to don your Author Suit, grab your annotated reading copy (the degree to which one rewrites and edits post-publication cannot be underestimated), and figure out how to get where you’re going that evening.
Now it’s all that, and so much more. Synergistic (not quite sure what that means) opportunities abound for Blogging on Sites That People Actually Read; guest-posting, and self-interviewing. Now we spend our down time cranking out more words about the book we’ve already written. Now, there is not much sleeping in and lounging around. It’s all work and no chance (or desire) to update your blog.
Plus, I got laryngitis. Also, I was staying with a friend in L.A. whose deck offers a view of Mulholland that’s the same as the famous David Hockney painting:
So I had to spend every spare moment sitting on her deck, enjoying the view.
But the end result is that when we last saw our heroes — Jerrod, the Man of the House, Lolita Gordita, our blue heeler/Australian shepherd mix, and me — we were parked on the banks of the Colorado River in Bullhead City, Arizona, with a broken generator and no ice for our much-anticipated gin and tonics. We then drank some warm beers, ate a few Clif bars for dinner, read our paperbacks by flashlight (yet another reason the resist relying completely on anything e- or i- ) and went to bed.
The next day, we drove here: