Richland, Washington is where I am today. (Having survived Denver, Boulder, and Salt Lake and left my talking car behind for an ordinary sedan.) I am also off the book tour beat, and on the grandmother beat for three whole days. (And the familiar faces beat.) We are all here for Lexie and Stuart's wedding on Sunday.
Last night I was driving the rental car I call Starship Enterprise back from Boulder to Denver - the Boulder Bookstore is terrific, three floors of books, a cafe, and outdoor courtyard, smart staff who like to read-- anyway, I'm on the four lane highway, in the dark, flying along at about 70 the way they do here in the wild west, and the radio station goes static. I try to fix it by pressing every lit up button and dial I can find on the steering wheel and control panel, and I end up leaving Colorado for outer space and land on satellite radio of some sort.
I was in a hurry and cut and pasted the Globe review right in, loving the first line, and not really reading the rest. Well, I just did, (I'm back from Boulder and winding down before another big day tomorrow- ) and so I need to make a correction or perhaps a clarification-- Kevin is not careless. I don't say that in my book. I say he just didn't see me, and it could have been any one of us driving- it could have been me in the truck and him on the bike-- I've had those hand tingling moments at the wheel, haven't you? That's the thing with reviews, they are not always spot on.
The Globe has weighed in... and they like it! (I love the first line...) Here's the whole review:
TAKE GOOD CARE OF THE GARDEN AND THE DOGS:
Family, Friendships, and Faith in Small-Town Alaska
By Heather Lende
Algonquin, 304 pp., $22.95
The first two events of my book tour went well, I think. Title Wave in Anchorage and Fireside Books in Palmer both sold out. (And so people bought a bunch more of the first book, If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name.) I blogged about the Title Wave reading for the 49 Writers site and it will be posted Monday. I was so tired from all the hulabaloo that I slept until ten this morning. Being nervous is exhausting, apparently. That, and I stayed up too late. Here in Anchorage dinner out can begin at nine, or, as in my case last night, about ten.
See you in Anchorage tonight, if you live there, and know my name, that is. I'll be at Title Wave books at 6:30, with a Haines slide show that wowed Eliza's second graders yesterday when I practiced my presentation on them. They helped me plant the garden, too. I'll be at Fireside books in Palmer 5-7 tomorrow (Friday) and at the new Raven's Place Alaska writer's center in Anchorage Saturday evening, see the 49 Writers web site for details.
I am a little wiggy, preparing to be away for three weeks on a book tour. As most of you know, I get homesick in Juneau. And now I have Fireman Al, the safety guy, talking on the radio about the hazards of travel. Today? Why? Well, there are more hazards for the bumbling traveler than you'd think. Al said the gate could change on your flight and you may have to go to a different terminal and miss your plane. You could accidentally have a pocket knife in your backpack and be searched and seized and end up at Guantanamo Bay. (He didn't say that, I did.
I'm missing JJ's blog, which she says is over because she is not studying abroad anymore. I hope she'll start a new one, say, JJ's Adventures at Home. This morning I told her that she will be the next writer in the family and suggested she take some creative writing courses next semester at UAA. She said that having a mother as a writer made her think she is better off being a teacher like her sister. "No offense, Mom," she said, " but you've been writing forever and your fifty and only on the second book.
The bear was the size of my Subaru, at least, and eating dandelions on the side of the road. It would have been nice to slow down and look at her, except that Chip and I were on bicycles. Bears can run faster than I can ride even with my sympathetic nervous system doing the best it can to pump me full of adrenaline. I turned around and headed back toward the airport, where I could call for a lift home. But Chip clapped and yelled, "hey bear" and he, or maybe she, beat it off into the thick roadside brush.