Book Tour Day : My Secret Fear

I am on a book tour!

Since this is mostly school visits, the only public appearance I’m making is in Richmond VA, at BBGB Books, on Tuesday evening. (I think it’s at 4:30, but you might wanna check their webpage.)

Book tours are kind of lonely and weird and exhausting, but I’ve got a lot of editing to do while I am on trains and lurking in airports, so I should hopefully get plenty done. (For a bit it looked like I’d get to be on trains for most of the travel, which would be awesome, but alas, that got switched around back to planes.)

On the bright side, I wandered out behind the hotel with my binoculars and spotted a Northern Waterthrush bobbing its butt in the bushes, which is a life bird for me and not a bad one, either. And then I realized I’d forgotten my iPhone charger and walked over to the mall and did a little recreational shopping at something called “Lord & Taylor” that does not exist in the South.

And the food budget they give to authors–christ, I’d have to drink heavily and live on sushi to burn through it, even at East Coast prices.

Still, I’ll be glad when it’s over. Doing my little song and dance about comics five times a day in rapid succession for cafeterias full of fourth-graders doesn’t just take all my energy, it writes checks for energy that won’t technically exist for weeks.

Fortunately, my editor, agent, AND publicist from the publisher all know what I’m like…

AGENT: This is like hell for an introvert, isn’t it?

ME: Yes.

PUBLICIST: Cocktails are covered.

EDITOR: Maybe not Bloody Marys in the morning, but sheesh, afterwards? Treat yourself. Get room service!

ME: …I’ve never had room service…

ALL THREE: You’ve never had room service!?

(They find it odd when I pull weeds during conference calls, too. In some ways, we come from very different words.)

And then there was the incident with the TSA…

ME: Gonna need a female assist for an opt-out.

(I may have done this a few times.)

TSA: (gets my stuff, takes it over.) Stand with your feet outside the yellow marks. What are you afraid of?

ME: …huh? What?

TSA: I’m s’posed to ask the opt-outs what you’re afraid of.

ME: Ducks.

(I panicked, okay? I know, I know, I should have said something about a police state or loss of liberty or radiation. I’m not good at this.)

TSA: …ducks?

ME: They’re all pinchy, with the bills, you know…

TSA: (blank stare)

ME: (making duck bill hand gestures to try to communicate pinchiness.)

TSA: …

ME: I was attacked by ducks as a child.

TSA: ….

ME: ….

TSA: So, I’m gonna use the back of my hand on your sensitive areas…


(I KNEW somebody was telling them to hassle opt-outs! I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!)

(Incidentally, they have no script whatsoever for “fear of ducks.” She didn’t even tell me to have a nice day afterwards.)

4 thoughts on “Book Tour Day : My Secret Fear

  1. Tara says:

    My one experiences of TSA was a picnic compared to the Very Efficient Lady who felt me up in Frankfurt (and again on my way home in Munich). Seriously, I felt like I needed to tip her or…something.

    The Germans do not mess around.

  2. Liddle-Oldman says:

    First, the sushi and whiskey diet sounds really attractive.

    Second, perhaps the TSA lady was struck dumb with horror at the mental image of hordes of ducks nipping, nipping, nipping…

  3. tanita says:

    Giggling at your TSA story. I just got stopped with a teensy knife in my purse… yes, I am THAT GIRL who forgets to take the knife that she cuts the tape with at the post office out of her purse, and thus gets run through three times, and pulled out for the full-on pat down, dump purse, body check, hand-swab…


    Next time: ducks. For sure.

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