Yes yes yes, spiritual lessons from dogs whose insides seem to be half-bladder yesterday, spiritual lessons from dogs whose insides seem to be half-bladder tomorrow, but NEVER, it seems, spiritual lessons from dogs whose insides seem to be half-bladder TODAY.
SOCK ME NON OF YOUR PINK SOCKERIES, oh best of all possible beloveds, because I want to tell you about yesterday, because it explains in narrative form what a book tour is truly LIKE.
Finishing up the GROWN UP KIND OF PRETTY tour in Virginia, and last night a CRAPTON of hella-longtime-best-beloveds showed up, even though it was raining. It was so cool to meet people with WEIRD NAMES I KNEW. A pretty redhead said, “Sign it to Mit,” and I screeched, “Mit MOI????” And she was all, “Indeed.” It was like we were speaking a secret language.
This is why it is good to, on a blog community, not to call yourself Lisa, even if that is your name. It is better to be Michelle Who Is Shelley, or Leslie in Hiawatha, for examples.
This is why I have decided, when I blog stalk my next internetzian crush, to name myself in the comments, “Skunkpatch Bushwanga,” so that one day, when we do meet, I can say, “I am Skunkpatch,” and my crush can screech, “NOT SKUNKPATCH BUSHWANGA????” And I will modestly nod and blush and say, “The very same.” I hope that when that frabjous day arrives, I will have had the presence of mind to bring a plumed hat to flourish in a Frenchish Muskateery way.
I am very bitter that I did not know to stalk Jenny Lawson earlier, so that someone would have asked me to blurb her book, so that I could have had an ARC of it, and NO BOOKSELLER ON THE PLANET would let me have theirs this whole tour. Probably because it has a taxidermied mouse on the front and is awesome.
SO. YESTERDAY. My publicist had asked if I could do a really cool talk show called Virginia This Morning, and I thought I would be staying in Norfolk, and the call time was 8:30, so I figured I could get up at 6 and leave by 7 and drive the 75 minutes there, no problem.Except it was the morning after RALEIGH. Heh. So I arrived in Raleigh with 3.5 hours before a one-two fun-punch of dinner with Lipstick Chronicles Homeys and my event, and instead of checking onto the hotel, I went to a 105 degree ninety minute GRUELLING hot BIKRAMMY HATHA-Hell kind of yoga peopled entirely by HUMAN WRITHEY SNAKES. These folks were made out of pipe cleaners and bendy straws and they ATE SUFFERING WITH SPOONS and then lip-smacked their bendable mouths and said “Please sir, may I have some more SUFFERING?”
It was AWESOME.
By the end of it I was almost morally destroyed. I was so befouled and slick with vile human juices that I went into their showers FULLY CLOTHED — my yoga togs could NOT GET PHYSICALLY WETTER— and stood panting and heaving in icy water, peeling way the awful layers and then scraping at myself with loofahs and bleachy soapages until I smelled less like a yeti and felt clean inside and out.
Then I pulled new clothes onto my damp corpse and RAN, still sweating a little, to dinner with the frabjous Margaret Maron et al, from there directly to an event at a wonderful indie called Quail Ridge Books, from there to the hotel, arriving at 10 or so. I slept from 11 to 3, then leapt up and scrambled into clothes and got on the road by 4 to drive to Richmond for the morning show’s call time.
After the show, I headed for Norfolk. When I arrived at Lydia’s it was in this staggering cackley ruined state of moral turpitude and reprehensible giggle-weep exhaustion. She immediately let me borrow an EXCELLENT dog and put me to bed with him, where the soothing snorty noises of his relentless grunting and farting knocked me into a bliss-coma for 4 hours. She woke me up ten minutes before we had to leave to go back for the Fountain Bookstore’s Richmond event.
I staggered out to the car in my same clothes and smeared new make up on over the old make-up, and that’s why, if you came last night, I had a ragged wild-eyed lunacy about me that was about 3 notches up from my usual level.
It was kind of…awesome. But in the same way the yoga class was awesome. Painfully, truly, stinkilly awesome.
This is a microcosm of exactly what a book tour is like—it is both ends of the misery-pleasure spectrum with very little middle. You meet beloved people from the internet and speak secret languages and you sometimes smell like a yeti and you drive down awful bleak gray highways and make out with kindly new dogs and sit endlessly in awful airports that smell like the feet of a thousand teenage athletes and go to rocked out Indie stores and meet your most favorite readers and laugh until your throat hurts and weep and sniffle your way down concourses dragging hundred thousand pound suitcases and drink until you go blind and it is wonderful-awful-amazing-miserable-great in a long spastic unstoppable chain.
Every time I do one of these, I come to the same conclusion near the bloated, red-eyed end, and the conclusion is this: I am probably a masochist.
Because I really, really, really just…like it.