I know you just did some touring around. You hit a bunch of conventions in Indianapolis, Chicago, and Seattle…
Why don’t you tell us about your trips? Not a lot of us can make it to your events, but we’d love to hear some cool stories from the road…
What was you’re favorite part of your travels?
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The truth is, I always mean to write about my conventions/readings/adventures when I get back from them. Because honestly, something interesting always happens.
The problem is, when I get back from these things, I’m exhausted. Plus the travel has usually put me behind on a bunch of other projects. So I spend a couple days answering e-mail and trying to get caught up with things. By the time I *am* caught up, the convention has usually been over for a month. Or two. Or ten.
In fact, when I was at Gencon, someone asked me a question similar to yours. Except they asked about the book tour I did last year. 21 events in 21 days, all over the country.
“You never wrote about it on the blog,” she said.
“Oh sure I did,” I said.
“A little,” she said. “But not much at all. And I should know. I just recently found your blog and read the whole thing.”
“Wow,” I said. “Seriously?”
I thought about it for a second, and realized that while I had *planned* to write blogs about some of my road adventures, I’d probably never gotten around to it.
Alternately, sometimes I start writing a blog, and never finish it because other things come up. I have a blog titled: “why people kill themselves in hotel rooms” that I’ve been trying to finish for more than a year now….
“So what was your favorite part of the tour?” she asked.”What was cool?”
I thought about it for a bit. Then told her the truth: There were a lot of cool things that happened. I met a lot of lovely readers. I got hugs and cookies and whiskey and knives…
I did a midnight reading in San Fransisco for the people that couldn’t fit into my earlier reading. Much to everyone’s surprise, more than 300 people showed up despite the ridiculously late hour.
My first signing was over 600 people. So many that I couldn’t take a picture of them all at once. So many that they filled two levels of the bookstore. I got to read in the Library of Congress. I met people that actually squeed with delight.
I met someone who had my name tattooed on her arm…
…which is a level of devotion that is equal parts flattering and terrifying. Especially given that book two wasn’t even out yet.
I got to do a reading at the Library of Congress. People dressed up in costumes….
But honestly? My favorite part came right at the end of the tour, when I met up with Sarah and Oot right at the end of the tour in Boston. I hadn’t seen them in a long while, and I missed Oot terribly.
Oot was barely a year an a half old at that point, so me being away for three weeks was a big deal. I got to see him at various points in the tour, but it was only for an hour or an evening at a time. And as I’ve made clear on the blog, when I’m away from him for a long period of time, I start to lose my shit. Around day five I become a wretched weepy thing, unable to go out in public without embarrassing myself.
It was even worse back then. He was so young. I was worried he wouldn’t remember me. Worried that he’d be shy of me….
So the first morning after the tour was over, we hung out in the hotel. We cuddled a little, and when he got bored with that, I asked him if he wanted to make a pillow fort.
He did. So we made a fort using the ridiculous number of pillows that those posh hotels feel obliged to put on your bed.
To all you parents out there. If you’re not making pillow forts with your kids, you’re really missing out. You don’t need a lot of pillows. Three or four is plenty. In some ways, it can be better without a lot of pillows, because then you can make yourself *part* of the fort. If your kid isn’t a big cuddler, you can get some clandestine snuggling that way.
Sarah and my dad went out for breakfast. Oot and I didn’t. We stayed in the hotel room and continued to made forts.
I told Oot that he better be careful, because there was a creature called the Goonch that would nibble his feet if they were hidden under the pillows. Then I would sneak my hand under the pillow and tickle him.
It has been more than a year since I started that little game, and it still hasn’t gotten old. Not for either of us.
He had a few plush toys with him, and I thought that maybe they would try to break into the fort. Add some drama to the game.
But Oot thought that if they wanted to come in the fort, that was fine by him. That made me unreasonably proud. No pointless antagonism. No warmongering. He just wanted to hang out in his fort with his friends.
So it went for about two hours, until Sarah and my dad got back from breakfast.
That was my favorite part of my book tour….
[Editorial note: I just searched my computer for an hour, looking for the pictures I know I took of little Oot in his pillow fort. I can't find them and it breaks my heart a little.
Instead, please accept this picture of comparable cuteness]
(Click to Embiggen the Cute.)
I know we’re all programmed to think our kids are cute, but seriously. Look at him.
And that hair. I can’t bring myself to cut it. He’s just too pretty. About 80% of the people who meet him think he’s a little girl because of it. But I love it. Plus can’t help but feel that will probably be healthy for him in the long run. Maybe if folks think he’s a girl for another couple years he’ll be slower to absorb some of the gender bullshit that’s constantly fucking up our culture.
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Anyway Joe, I hope that kinda answers your questions. For one, it’s not that I try to keep these stories secret, it’s just that I tend to be busy and forgetful.
For two, generally speaking, my favorite part of these adventures is coming home to my little boy.
Rest assured that I’ll be sharing at least one cool story from Gencon in the semi-near future. One that Scalzi has already mentioned on his blog.
In the meantime, here’s one cool thing that happened in Chicago.
I wore a tux:
Oot wore a tuxedo shirt. We were quite the dashing pair….