Not sure why these pictures insist on being itty-bitty. I mooched them from Sally's friend Alan. Moving on. Next came the launch parties for Secondhand Charm. Part one, hosted by The Friends of the Maynard Public Library, took place Tuesday, October 12. Tragically, my husband and I forgot to take pictures. If anyone else took any, please send them along and I'll update this post. We had a great turnout, and fantastic octopus-shaped decorations, along with other creepy crawly fun stuff in a culinary tribute to the cuisine at Splurch Academy. We repeated the fun two nights later at The Wellesley Booksmith, that pearl among indie bookstores, where again we had a fantastic turnout. Here I am, signing books afterwards.
Jessica is an obsessive knitter, and while we took questions she worked on a sleeve for her son's Ron Weasley Halloween costume. Envy! I wish I were that cool of a mom, and that good of a knitter. My kids had to fish from last year's box this year, or make their own costumes.
The pictures above were taken at the art gallery next door to The King's English by my dear friend and superblogger, Stacey Ratliff (pictured with Jessica and me at our signing at The King's English, below).
Isa Ventura of The Purple Cow treated us like royalty and fed me my very own purple cow at a spiffy little bistro in Tooele. Fun town! The Purple Cow and me, we're bonded for life. But the fun didn't stop in Utah. I returned home for a breathless week tried to dig out from under all the mess. While there I paid a visit to the Peabody Barnes & Noble, as well as another visit to the Fowler Middle School. On the Thursday before Halloween, we had a wonderful event at the Belmont Public Library with a full crowd of young readers and their parents. Here's a picture of three adorable reader gals.
On Tuesday, November 2, I visited my old alma mater, Clifford H. Wise Middle School, in the morning, and another alma mater, Oak Orchard Elementary School, in the afternoon. In the evening I signed books at Lee-Whedon Library in Medina. I had a lovely lunch with the fifth-grade teachers at Oak Orchard. I saw many dear and familiar faces in Medina, who haven't changed a bit and still look fabulous. The Book Shoppe of Medina and the Lee-Whedon library hosted me in style.
On Wednesday I visited St. Joseph's Catholic School in Batavia, as well as John Kennedy Elementary School. In the afternoon I visited Present Tense Books in Batavia, another indie store that I adore, and not only because it's owned by my cousin, Erica Caldwell. While I was there, I lost my voice! I suppose the back-to-back events, travel, and lack of sleep were a bit more than I could handle. Erica's peach of a husband, Darrick, trotted right out and got me steamed milk from the local coffee shop, which wetted my whistle just right.
I got to see many wonderful author friends there, including Peggy Thomas, Elizabeth Bluemle, and Michelle Knudsen. Next year, if I'm lucky enough to come back, I'll make sure to eat more food with more authors. That's my new resolve. But my resolve du jour is to do less eating altogether ... ugh.
Now I'm back home, and the V.I.P. treatment has dwindled a notch, but there's no place I'd rather be. I visited the Russell Street School in Littleton and Merriam Elementary School in Acton, both yesterday, and there will be more events to come, though not with same machine-gun rapidity of the last few weeks. I'm happy not to live out of a suitcase. I keep thinking back, though, on how lucky I am that books give me an excuse to visit nearly all the places where I have dear ones, and reconnect with them in ways that otherwise might not be possible. I couldn't name you all by name on this blog, but if I got to see you this fall, I'm the lucky one. Please keep in touch.