Archive for October 2011

Book Tour, Part Two

October 30th, 2011 — 7:53pm

Today’s Special:  Farmer’s Omelette with homemade toast.

Yep, the bagels are gone already.  I had a garlic with jalapeno cream cheese at home this morning, sitting out on my deck.  I was cold but happy.

Our front deck, a good place to eat a garlic bagel, even when it's almost November in the U.P.

Rick was busy planting a yellow birch tree just around the corner.

The new yellow birch tree, headed for the big hole Rick dug for it.

Sallie was busy being a happy dog, as usual.

Sallie, busy and happy with her own dog business, not looking at the camera.

Sallie still not looking at the camera.

Sallie really not looking at the camera at all.

Sallie thinking, "Would you please stop saying 'Sallie, Sallie,' because I am busy smelling things here and even though I'm really fond of you, you're annoying me.

As I munched my bagel, I was thinking about writing this post.

The second stop on my recent book tour was in Flint, at the Barnes and Noble at the Genesse Valley Mall on Miller Road.  My sister was kind enough to drive me there (please remember that in all of Alger County, where Rick and I work, there is only one stoplight, and it’s sixty miles away.   Not a lot of traffic or freeways or on/off ramps, either).  On the way there we stopped in Fenton, at Fenton’s Open Book, to say hello.  I liked the banner they had hanging on the wall.

Please support any and all bricks and mortar (and in this case, actual bricks and actual mortar, how cool is that) bookstores, everyone! More on this another time.

Not much later, we were at the mall.

The Barnes and Noble in Flint, Michigan.

I don’t know for sure if the Flint B&N was prepared for the Airgoods’ family reunion to be held in the front of the store, but they we were!  It was great.  Thank you Barnes and Noble and Katie Hugelier for such a warm, gracious welcome.  I had such a good time.  I love my family, even though I don’t know a lot of them very well at all.  They’re loyal and dear and a lot of them drove quite a ways to come and see me and my novel hanging out at a real live bookstore near-ish to them.

Me and my cousin.


My cousin Rod and I, with more cousins in the background.


Cousins (and sister!)

Me and sis and cousins



Well, that’s probably enough pictures, but you get the idea.  It was a very happy time, and I’m so glad my book tour included Flint.  Both of my parents grew up in the area; I have a lot of family there (well, obviously); and I spent quite a bit of time there myself as a kid, so it was another stop with a good feeling of circularity to it.  It’s a city hard hit by unemployment, poverty, and violence.   But that’s not all there is to say or think about it.  It’s a well-loved hometown to a lot of people.  For me, it’s where I first ate a pasty (King Arthur’s).  Took private clarinet lessons (Paul Torre and the Flint Institute of Music).  Made a fool of myself in Whiting Auditorium (forgot part of my clarinet back home in Caro and was supposed to play a solo).  Checked books out of the library.  Visited my aunt and uncle and cousins on Begole Street.  First ate in a McDonald’s (I was eight, maybe.  Filled out a customer comment card; figured that was really imnportant thing to do).  First went to an art museum.  Etc.

Cheers, Flint, Michigan!

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Book Tour, part one

October 30th, 2011 — 2:13am

October 29, 2011

Today’s Special:  Steak, Egg, and Cheese Bagel.

I got the bagels in Ann Arbor last week, the first stop on my downstate book tour.  It seemed good in a special way to be back in Ann Arbor where I went to college in order to talk about SOUTH OF SUPERIOR.  There was a nice feeling of accomplishment and circularity to it.  Also it was fun.  I saw my sister and lots of friends and was treated to a lovely dinner party and ate at the Northside Grill twice and bought some cool notebooks to write in as well as some new shoes that may or may not turn out to be as comfortable as advertised.  So far not, but I keep hoping.

Dinner Party at Mike and Karen's

Lunch at the Northside with Lisa

The Northside Grill (it was the Cloverleaf 25 years ago when I was on grounds crew at the Burns Eye Clinic, right across the street)

Breakfast at the Northside with my sis, Mariann

My talk and signing was at Nicola’s Books, an impressive, wonderful store. I remember specific titles I’ve gotten there over the years:  The Journals of Lewis and ClarkSaving GracePopulation 485.  Lot and lots of books about writing.  Also a salt and pepper shaker shaped like a snowman and snowlady riding a sled, a snowglobe, gorgeous wrapping paper, and calendars.   Right next door is Barry’s Bagels, where I was always a devotee of the double garlic.

It was a rainy Thursday night, and Lynn, who greeted me, told me very kindly not to feel bad if the crowd was small, that it’s hard to get people to come out in the rain.  I told her okay and meant it sincerely, because so far I’ve had a lovely time at these events no matter what the turnout,  small, medium, or large.

I’m humbled to say that the turnout was huge.  It was an amazing audience replete with good questions and comments and warm smiles.  My thanks to everyone for coming.  Also, thank you Jane for the delicious ginger cookies, and thank you to the woman who gave me the cranberry walnut bread that I’ve been enjoying with coffee in the mornings all week.  In the hubbub, I am sorry to say I lost track of who you were but I think of you daily.

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