The Book Tour Diaries, Indiana


Thursday, October 6, 2005

Dear So and So,
There are two things I’ve learned since I started doing book tours:

1. Driving around in a car day after day with the air condition on will give you six wrinkles per eye. Some years, seven.

2. Every fast food establishment has the magnetic strength comparable to the suction of a jet engine. I don’t even know if jet engines suck, but they’re big and I saw a man get sucked into an airplane’s jet last night on TV. He lived, but they couldn’t find him for an interview.

These two things are guaranteed. Having people show up at your signings is not. Having bookstores keep their dateĀ—is not. I really wanted this year to be different in regards to the effects of book-touring on my body. I wanted to be the girl that could drink four liters of water in a day, get collagen facials before and after the tour, drive with the AC off at least half the time, and not eat any fast food.

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But I’m not that girl.

I have, however, improved my habits since the last tour. This time, instead of downing Starbucks DoubleShots and Diet Cokes like I needed five pints to the tank, I have made some new rules. I can have one cup of coffee per day but half of it needs to be decaf. This, I’ve been able to maintain. And instead of sodas, I made a deal with the girl behind the wheel that I’ll only drink water based liquids. I know, soda is water-based somewhere deep down beneath the sugar and bubbles, but I meant iced tea. Or water itself. At the top of the list is my beloved Vitamin water, but I haven’t seen any yet. Can we say withdrawals? John made it harder by telling me on the phone today that he bought me a bunch this morning. Why he feels the need to prep two weeks in advance, I don’t know, but I can’t complain because it’s wonderful to have such treatment.

So, with the event at Big Hat Books cancelled for no good reason other than they never set a time or told anyone about it, I thought I’d make my way to Bloomington and do some stealth promotion at the University.

I did a good job eating-wise starting off at Panera for soup, salad, and WiFi. But I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t hungry a few hours later. My first stop at the golden arches included a large iced tea, small chocolate shake, and fries. I didn’t feel too guilty because I’d already said no to White Castle at least three times, a big Chipotle burrito once, Big Boy’s once, Arby’s once, and Taco Bell once. I mean come on, they’re everywhere.

Tonight I’m at Days Inn, which promised FREE WiFi, I double checked at the front desk when I checked in, took a shower, and found it’s unavailable. I complained, so we’re down to $45. Too late to leave. Best Western clearly needs to expand to Bloomington.

Ok, tomorrow should be a good day. I drive to Madison and will have dinner with Frank Bures before the event at A Room of One’s Own. Last year this event drew a packed house with standing room only, I’ll let you know what happens this year.