I recently came back from the trip of a lifetime. Never in my wildest imagination did I think I’d be going on a “book tour” and speaking to people about something I created—something I never thought would come into existence. I guess my imagination isn’t wild enough, because that’s exactly what I did on my vacation. I’m still pinching myself for the fact that the Boston Public Library has my book available for check out. It’s times like these I am in awe of the blessings and opportunities presenting themselves in my life.
I left for Boston on Monday night, October 1st, with one of my assistants, Jesse, in tow. He came along as my bodyguard, extra set of muscles, person to remind me of items needed for events, personal map, general entertainment…You know, all the things any fabulous assistant must be. We were missing one third of our triad, however: the lovely Jessica who arranged all the events. Thanks to her hard work, all our events went very smoothly and were more than I could have ever hoped for.
Tuesday morning, 5:35 am, Boston time, Jesse and I slumped off the plane like tired pilgrims from a long journey. Overnight flights will do that. After grabbing our luggage, Jesse bought us passes for the T—Boston’s subway system—and we set off to find our hotel. The hotel, supposedly on Shirley Lane, was not on the Shirley Lane we found. Turns out, there are two Shirley Lanes in opposing directions. But staying in high spirits, I suggested we eat breakfast before setting off on another adventure.
Hours later, we arrived at the correct Shirley and took a long nap after checking in. The afternoon greeted us with the doom and gloom of rain clouds, but no matter—we bought tickets for the famous Boston Duck Tour anyway and were true tourists, sightseeing in the city. It was great.
Wednesday was our only sleep-in day of which we took every advantage. The afternoon would bring a hotel change, equaling the hauling of heavy luggage on the T, and our first event at the Brookline Public Library in the evening.
Wen we reached Brookline, Megan, the college intern who had arranged this event, greeted us warmly and made us feel at ease. Then it was time to begin. I turned on my public speaking brain and spoke about my book, my life, my opinions…it seemed long and short at the same time. There was another author present, who also shared about her writing process, opinions, challenges…it was so interesting and inspiring to hear from someone who shared my passions in a different way.
A short reception followed where we mingled for a while. That night, my mom and her best friend flew into Boston and picked up Jesse and me from a nearby cafe. The evening ended with a light dinner, and thank goodness—a car ride rather than the subway—to take us to our hotel.
Thursday…I was exhausted. We woke up at 5:40am to prepare for a two-hour drive to Hanover, New Hampshire. The drive, though rainy, was breathtaking. We were in awe of the beautiful and majestic landscape. I have never seen fall colors like THAT. Even the pictures I have don’t do the real deal justice. Upon arrival in Hanover, we found a local cafe, The Dirt Cowboy, and became nicely caffeinated before heading to Hanover High School.
9:50am was our first class. The kids were a riot! I spoke for the entirety of the period and did a book giveaway. The remainder of the day was similar. A very different school system intrigued us, since we found out the kids did not have a lunch period. They were allowed to eat in most classes. They enjoyed an open campus forum, and had more of a collegiate atmosphere than the typical high school.
Jesse and I took a very short lunch break, in which parking was a pain in the arse, BUT we had success and found parking in a garage for—get this—twenty-five CENTS!!! Unreal. After school, our drive back was amazing. We stopped a few times, but the best stop was at this lake that was completely serene and unlike any like I have ever witnessed. I cannot properly describe its beauty, so it is pictured here:
Friday was the final event day. In the morning, I spoke to a freshman English class at Snowden International High School in Boston. It was very different than Hanover High. I enjoyed the kids, played a game with them, gave away lollipops and bookmarks, and two books.
My last event with the Boston Public Library was not until 3pm, so Jesse and I killed time by finding me a dress for the wedding I was to attend on Sunday, eating sushi outside (gorgeous day that day), and trying and failing to print more bookmarks at Kinko’s. Then we headed to the library. It turned out to be my favorite event.
The Teen Room was set up for my visit. Six girls came to hear me talk about my book and ask me questions. I wanted to know about them, too. We had a very intimate setting with snacks, a small table, and bright red chairs. Jesse, my mom, and our friend sat to my left. The librarians sat behind the girls, beaming at me.
We talked and exchanged opinions, stories, questions and answers, and reflections for almost ninety minutes. It was great. One girl left immediately after I spoke; the other five stayed a bit longer. Lucky for them: I had exactly five copies of my book and gave them each a signed book. What a fun afternoon. Finally, we headed to dinner at the oldest restaurant in the U.S.: The Union Oyster House.
After that, it was late and we headed back to the hotel so Jesse could get his bags before going to the airport at 2am. Around 12am, Jesse and I headed back into Boston’s Little Italy, where we drank espresso and laughed at the funny, crazy adventures we had on our trip. 1:40am, the cafe/bar began to shut down—our queue to leave. I dropped him off at the airport, wished him a safe journey home, then drove back to Andover in the eery silence of 2-something-AM, without traffic.
And that, my friends, was the majority of my journey. I hung out with friends in Salem on Saturday, went to a good friend’s wedding in Ipswich on Sunday, traveled to New York on Monday, and flew back to California on Tuesday. About eight days of travel, entertainment, new places and faces, good food, friends, and opportunities for which I will be forever grateful. I can only hope that this is the beginning of something great and cannot wait to see where these new connections may lead.
I have one more book/author event on October 20th, at the Santa Clara Public Library. After that, it’s time for an event hiatus in order to finish book two! I think I have the energy to write 60k+ words…maybe. In the meantime, I am planning a huge Halloween event for my work. Once that’s done, it’s NaNoWriMo time, baby!
Here’s to more writing, stress, and wonderful chaos. May I continually be humbled by the unique and incredible opportunities that seem to be flooding my life at the present moment. Below are some fun NYC photos… And, cheers to Boston!
Until next time…