That happens to be the name of the book I began reading on the plane ride home, after I finished Declan Hughes’ The Color of Blood, but it also seems a fitting way to wrap up this tour blog. Because the tour is – sorta kinda, — over as of today. There are some things in May and one in June, but none requires an overnight.
I had a 7:50 a.m. flight out of Los Angeles, but given that I hadn’t changed my watch since landing Friday afternoon, I didn’t see it so much as an early morning, just a late night. A group of Little, Brown folks allowed me to tag along with them to dinner at the Getty Museum and it was a collegial, relaxing dinner, especially after I was assured that the stinging nettles in the risotto wouldn’t actually hurt me. The other writers — this is going to sound obnoxious,but I’ve known two of them a long time — included George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly, Joshua Ferris (who wrote the book I’m reading) and Elizabeth Kostova. When Elizabeth introduced herself I squeaked “Oh,” in a geeky, breathy way. That was not however, my biggest fan girl moment. That would have been when Daniel Woodrell introduced himself to me and I responded as if I had just met a Beatle, or as if I were the crying girl on American Idol. Woodrell had that effect on a lot of writers at the LA Times Book Festival, but the consensus seems to be that I out-geeked, out-freaked everyone, even the Goldberg brothers. Other star sightings: Jane Smiley, Robert Olmstead (actually, guessing wildly about that one), Tim Gunn (!) and, in the airport, that bald-headed figure skater. You know the one. I’m too tired to Google my way to his name. Scott something?
Oh, I also had a lovely shuttle ride with Chris Moore, the nicest of the nice, the kindest of the kind, the funniest of the funny. KBO, Chris!
I was flying Southwest home and, having already embraced my geekiest self, decided I would sit on the floor in the “A” line to get a good seat. As I waited, a woman approached, her book under my arm. It wasn’t quite the coincidence/affirmation it might seem. (Greater coincidence: Lance Reddick of The Wire was on my plane.) The plane was going to Baltimore, after all, and I had met the woman seven weeks ago, I think, at one of the early events. She asked how things had gone and I gave her an answer that I’ve given a lot of people in the past few weeks: “This book has had a very charmed life.” I know the locution sounds a little strange, as if I had nothing to do with it. But then – that is how I feel. For a decade now, I have watched my books head out in the world, feeling as helpless as any mother who ever sent a child to kindergarten. Yes, it’s mine and I tried to do as best as I could by it, but the day came when I had to let it go out there on its own. And, this time, the world was very kind. What does that mean? That I’m lucky.
Uneventful flight home, gorgeous day in Baltimore. As I dragged my bags from the curb, a neighbor told me that the local paper had, against my wishes and without my cooperation, printed a cheeky little item about something in my life that I had tried to hold somewhat private. Certainly, you’ve never read about it here, or on my website. Sigh. In dreams begin responsibilities, in dreams begiin responsibilities, in dreams begin responsibilities . . . that’s my little poetry mantra. The fact is, things are going to change. The tour blog is ending, but the whole blog may end. If you’ve sent me an e-mail and haven’t heard back — well, the volume is up just enough so I can no longer be on top of it. IDBR, to shorten my new mantra. IDBR.
Thanks for keeping me company. I’m home now, drinking a Dogfish Head.