Tag Archives: book tours

Half a League, Half a League – – –

jackWhen Wendy and I first met she asked me if I liked walking. “Of course!” I lied. I was smitten and would have said anything.

Ever since, when given the option, she will walk rather than take a bus or taxi when we’re out of town on book or health business. Her preferred enticement for me to join her in this activity is to find an Indian restaurant nearby, knowing I love a curry dinner above most things in life.

“It’s only half a mile” is the usual precursor – –

On pretty much every occasion, however, the ‘half a mile’ turns out to be considerably more. I have learned to ask “a Wendy half-mile or a standard half-mile?”

It’s sometimes been necessary to cross busy highways, garnering strange looks from car drivers who are obviously wondering who these idiots are clamboring over guardrails. Sometimes the Indian place is no longer there, or it’s become a Mexican eatery, or it’s not open for another two hours – or it’s not open on Sundays.

That’s not the point, though – it’s all about the walk – – –

Yesterday we went to the Kennedy Center in DC to see ‘Evita,’ which involved a forty minute walk from the hotel to the Metro station. Because we had extra time, Wendy suggested a walk to the botanic gardens, which of course started with a twenty minute walk in the wrong direction. A suggestion from me that we avail ourselves of the shuttle from the wonderfully named Foggy Bottom station to the Center was grudgingly accepted, as was my later suggestion that we do the same in reverse going back.

Wendy always wins out in the end, though; she was saving the final ‘cherry on the cake’.

We still had a forty minute walk back to the hotel from the Metro.

The view was lovely, but my feet hurt.dc sunset

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Filed under humor, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, publishing, reading, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch, writing

Angelic Bookstore Owners

Bookstore owners are the sweetest, smartest people in the world. Trust me on this. ;]

Jack and I had a really busy month in July, with a sick foster cat (TEAM HAZEL FOR THE WIN) and a final push on finishing our basement so we could get moved in and turn upstairs into the SECOND STORY EATERY.  Jack was just back from leading his annual Scottish tour (next year now booking) and he was the wee bit under the weather. Yuppie stress in the grand scheme of the world, but it induced an aversion to doing anything besides sitting quietly on a Friday evening, staring at the wallpaper.

But Angelic Towe, owner of MariaJoseph Books in Wallach House, downtown Eureka, Missouri, had asked us ages ago to come do a book event in her bookstore. The store she started after reading my book. (Does this make me legally culpable?)

And poor Angelic, the week before we were to sojourn at her lakeside house for the event plus an extra day of swimming and sunning, was descended upon by family members under some surprise stress. En masse. Her bedrooms filled, her fridge emptied, and her Mom heart expanded.

We said, “Let’s just reschedule.” She took it bravely, but it slipped out that she’d “done some publicity.” So we said “OK, let’s get ‘er done.”

And when we arrived last night to the hotel she’d booked for us–gorgeous and with a SWIMMING POOL–in the midst of her own stress, she’d left us a chocolate bar and a gift card to a local restaurant. When we went to the first gig she’d arranged, we saw the “publicity”: elegant postcards in lovely color tones with antique script, touting the event at Angelic’s store.

Plus, her kids helped make cookies for today.

On the way home from Angelic’s, we will make a swift detour through Granite City, IL to BSR Used Books. Owner Bruce Campbell coined the phrase TEAM HAZEL FOR THE WIN while keeping up with the saga of our elderly, sick foster cat. He’s been one of her staunchest supporters in her new life in North Carolina (complete with her own Facebook page, as befits a celebricat). We look forward to meeting him.

And we will be stopping off in Indiana as well, but that’s a surprise we’ll keep for a later blog. Suffice it to say we’re meeting some (more) very cool people for a very fun reason.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it behooves us all to make friends with independent bookstore owners: sweet, cool, smart people. They care about cats, and they make cookies.

In fact, I’m pretty sure it is independent bookstore owners and school teachers who form the safety net enclosing the world, keeping it from flying apart.

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Filed under book reviews, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, publishing, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, writing