If The Facebook is to be believed, it’s been a month since I’ve last haunted this corner of the internet. Also, if the Facebook is to be believed, Kyiie Jenner went out in public in a "low cut black gown" (duh), it’s the 61st Anniversary of the shuttering of Ellis Island (RIP) and like, everyone I know is having a baby and/or running a marathon. Ok those last two might be neurotic projections but yeah, somehow a full 30 days has passed without writing a word. Or one worth sharing, anyway.
In those 30 days I’ve been to one wedding, one christening and two book tours for two #1 New York Times bestsellers. I’ve taken 14 flights and one Acela train (so spoiled for regular trains ever again) across seven states (Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, BACK to Ohio) and one District of Columbia (You know, DC. The only District of Columbia we have...). I visited at least 7 independent bookstores and only purchased four books (!) (stay tuned for reviews, duh), but accidentally lied on Instagram and said I only purchased two books because sometimes my brain is mush, and did 14 crossword puzzles and only cheated a little bit and took countless clichéd photos out airplane windows and even more countless stupid selfies in fancy hotel elevator mirrors and deleted all of them so no one will ever know! (Well, except everyone because I just admitted it on the internet…pretend you never heard this!) I drank infinity cups of coffee and a surprising amount of wine, considering it was primarily business travel. #thatbooktourlife = the new #thatdondraperlife. I ate $23 worth of room service yogurt in Nashville, fried chicken in Cincinnati, dozens of weird pre-packaged hardboiled eggs in various airports and while in Portland, managed to drag my author to my favorite joint for the best fries in the goddamn nation.
This was on the very first day of her tour and I admit I was a little nervous for what the week would hold, we’d essentially be spending every waking moment together for the next six days – travelling for work is always a little awkward! But I knew we were good to go when, our first meal together, I said “Ok…so I know a place nearby and, well, all I’ll say is that it’s called LARDO…” and she said “Oh I am IN” and we proceeded to chow down on gigantic pork belly sandwiches together.
Like, what if I’d been out on the road with a vegan or something? I’d have had to sneak secret cheese in my hotel room every night. The horror!
Luckily it didn’t come to that.
It all was actually so much fun…even when it was completely draining. I got to meet one of my literary idols, Ann Patchett, and lots of super cool indie booksellers (American heroes, y’all!) and hang out with my bookstore buddies Niki and Mary Laura in Nashville and reconnect with a dear friend in Minneapolis who I haven’t seen in years and years and YEARS and on my last night on the road, and catch up with an author I used to work with (and adore!) in Denver and while in DC, my bff Mo met me and we snuggled and drank wine in my schmancy hotel room. And, professionally, it was just such an incredible opportunity. I feel like I’ve learned so much about my job and am going to be so much more thoughtful in planning book tours in the future and spending that much one-on-one time with these two authors brought us closer and (I HOPE!) helped them to know and trust me better.
I know, I know, it's really boring to hear other people talk about their jobs but just indulge me for a moment, ok?
That's me and Liz G and Annie P right there. #BFF. Keeping it very, very cool.
Mainly I’m only reflecting on the work travel at this point because the party stuffs, the wedding and the christening, seem like they were legit, decades ago. If I recall correctly they were a blast? I just feel like 2015 has been an utter blur. On Monday I called my dermatologist to schedule an appointment (PSA: get annual skin exams!) and had my work calendar open and she said “How about this Wednesday” and I said “great, see you Wednesday the 3rd” and she kind of stuttered and said “No...the 11th...it’s already the 9th of November.”
POR QUA?! What is happening in this world.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, into the future…”
Oh, no, wait, that was from the Space Jam Soundtrack.
It really does keep slippin’, tho! I am very happy that it has slipped me back on home to Brooklyn and to this hunka hunka Uniqlo model.
I missed him so much!
Barf I know but can’t stop, won’t stop. Try me.
I am sure you’re all wondering if I managed all these zillions of flights and things without a hitch (and by “you’re all wondering” I mean “is anyone reading this?”) and I can proudly say: NOPE. So! Quickly! Just a few highlights of what was keeping it awkward on #thatbooktourlife.
Ok not this exact sandwich, that's a stock image from Arbys.com (We have the meats!) but close enough. So I was flying from Asheville, North Carolina back up to NYC which involved a layover in Charlotte. This is unrelated to the tale at hand, but let me tell YOU the flight from Asheville to Charlotte is THE PRETTIEST! You get in a teeny tiny, surprisingly not that scary plane and putter on over the mountains really low and close and the foliage was redonkulous.
FOLIAGE. WAS. REDONKULUS.
Anyway not the point. So initially my layover time was about 14 minutes, coming into Gate E32, leaving out of Gate C11, clear across the airport. I swear, every time I’m in Charlotte it’s just to sprint between terminals. My author had headed off on another flight ,so I was on my own. I was a pinch nervous about making the connection and admittedly relieved when we landed and our connecting flight back to NYC was now an hour delayed.
I moseyed (LOL as if I’d ever “mosey”...I calmed my manic sprint-walk to a medium trot) from gate to gate, stopping to pee, grabbing a big sandwich and when I arrived at Gate C11 there were many people seated around, so I plopped myself in an open chair and started to go to town on my sandwich. Time passed, lah lah lah, and suddenly I heard a low, garbled mumble over the loudspeaker:
“Largst coall flerght 893 ter Lorgordora”
Did that man just say “last call flight 893 to La Guardia?!?”
I grabbed my sandwich and my bags and ran to him AS HE WAS CLOSING THE GATE and yelled “Sir! Sir! Wait! Is this flight leaving now?? But you said it’s delayed?”
And he just stared at me and then scanned my boarding pass and pushed me through, slamming the jet bridge doors behind me.
Turns out, though the flight was delayed by an hour, they went ahead and boarded as planned and made us sit in the plane during that time just in case.
THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW!!!
So yes, made the flight by the skin of my teeth. It almost left without me! It’s not even like I was running to catch a plane! I was sitting there the whole time! I was just chilling, eating a sandwich. My full transformation continues...
So now we’re on tour two, with the author of THIS blockbuster (she’s very fun, in case you’re curious!) and our last leg was an Acela train from DC up to NYC. ‘Twas noonish on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon and we decided, for the instagrams, of course - anything to sell the book! - that there was only one thing for us to do: drink some gin & tonics.
(The meaning of this is known to anyone who has read this book and to anyone who hasn’t, I ask yet again, what are you waiting for?! )
So! We get some gin. Well actually P went first and the snack stand lady accidentally gave her little vodkas, instead of gin, so I went back and was like um, we actually ordered gin?” and she was like “IT”S NOON GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!” No she wasn’t, she was totally nice about it, but I did have to resist the urge to over-explain that we’re not total lushes, we’re just doing it for the ‘gram.
(And ok...maybe we’re a little lushy.)
So we get our gin and pose our pics and make our cocktails and we sip and sip and laugh and laugh and realize we’re pulling towards our final destination, so we begin to ready ourselves to deboard and I somehow end up pouring half a gin and tonic all over my chair.
Which, of course, brought me to a crucial dilemma in that I KNEW I had to snap a photograph, duh, but I’m on a frigging work trip and as unprofessional as spilling a cocktail in the middle of the afternoon is, then pausing in the clean-up with the excuse “oh it’s for my blog” is verrrry unprofessional, so I grabbed my phone in one hand and some napkins in another and snapped a very surreptitious photo while she helped me clean up and she felt so badly for me and I was just like GURL you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. I managed to keep myself relatively cool out on tour, but the magic is wearing off. Cinderella is leaving the ball and turning back into a hot mess of a pumpkin housemaid.
And that, my sweets, was that. I'm sure a zillion more things happened and I could keep you here all day but I shan't because honestly enough's enough, right? And now I’m back to reality, here in NYC being normal again. And by normal, I mean posing for selfies while eating a pickle on a stick.
You know, "normal."
Did you miss me while I was gone? Betcha didn’t! But here we are again. As always I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to! And as always, I'm sure that no one will indulge me with an answer but I'll still ask, you know, just in case.
Happy Friday, loves. Friday the 13th, even! I just realized that. Spooooooooooooooky. Be careful out there!
xoxo Liz Hott