The one thing I was worried about, how I'd look, was no worry at all. It was fun getting ready with Susan Brady of TT. She put a few curls in my hair and I was good to go.
The thing I wasn't worried about, what I'd say, was true to course. I had been riding on the fact that I'd done this before and wasn't too nervous about the spiel. But Conscience kept nagging, should you really be that confident? Don't get cocky now, Chica.
I spent half an hour choosing which stories I'd read and that was not as easy as I thought it’d be. It was hard to pick stories that were funny in a hurry, and I’m glad I read a few out loud before making the final decision. I know that audiences don’t have long attention spans, and if you go on too long, you lose them. I ended up starting us off with “On the Way to Shameless,” an epilogue by Loren Drummond, “Scared Shitless,” by Lori Mayfield, and “The Aunties” by Anne Lamott, and ended us off with another epilogue “Cairo to Istanbul in a G-String,” by Christine Michaud.
The real treat of the evening was having Jessica Maxwell participate. She read her entire intro, which roused several laughing outbursts from the intimate crowd of 20. What she said about why we travel connected with some of the audience members, but I enjoyed her humor, anecdotes, and whimsical interjections throughout the evening. We made a good team, and I’m eager to set up another event in Eugene.
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For the first time since I can remember, we had props. Not the normal blown up book cover on an easel which is in production, but a little stage decoration. Susan told me that they are going to have somewhat of a beach scene at BEA, so we got a start on that by filling blue childrens beach buckets with sand and propping up the post cards. She fastened one of the pails with a bright pink bra around the front. We also covered the podium table with a brightly colored and matching beach towel.
After the event, a bunch of us including Jessica and her husband Tom, Chris and Sean from BootsnAll, our friends Andy, Natalie, and Marilyn, and my friend from my Eugene writers group Tod, all went out for dinner and drinks at Lucky Noodle. A decidedly chic, but loud noodle bar for hippy Eugene. I indulged in my favorite poison, the Mojito, and was quite impressed they served it up in a pint glass.
All in all it was a nice easy start to the tour. While I thought the crowd was a bit small, it didn’t feel like it in the tiny Mother Kali’s. We sold four of Sand, and one of A Woman’s World. Admittedly, most of the crowd already had a book from me, but some bought additional ones as gifts for friends.