Diary: Pancake Makeup (Conclusion)

Pancake Makeup (Conclusion)

Back to the room for a quick rest while the story in Oregon unfolds. He shot his parents, too! I change my clothes and eat a bowl of pasta from room service while glued to the tube. At 5:30 the author escort pick us up to head out to Winnetka for tonight’s signing.

I’m feeling down. The news story? Today’s personal disappointments? I’m beginning to wonder – again – what good it does to travel from city to city promoting a book. Based on today’s experiences is it really worth the publisher’s bucks or my time and energy? I try to talk myself out of my bad mood before we get to the bookstore.

7-8 PM: We get to the Book Stall at Chestnut Court in Winnetka fifteen minutes early. It’s a small independent store but they’ve set up chairs for maybe thirty or forty. It’s a good crowd, standing room only. I’m so grateful to them for showing up! They think I’m bullshitting them when I tell them what a difference it makes. Since there are only two or three kids in the audience I can focus my talk on Summer Sisters and how I came to write it.

Phyllis Fagell, a graduate journalism student at Northwestern who interviewed me by phone a month or so ago, has brought a group of classmates, men and women, to the signing. They smile a lot during my talk, which makes up for the three women in the front row who show nothing (but later turn out to be friendly). Phyllis’s friends ask intelligent questions after my talk. During the signing two other young women tell me they left work early and drove three hours to get to Winnetka to meet me. I no longer wonder what I’m doing on the road. With such loyal readers how can I feel down? Someone snaps photos of the three of us. I tell them to be careful on the long drive home. They promise they won’t speed this time. We don’t leave the bookstore until after nine.

Back at the hotel I wolf down a pack of Oreos from the mini-bar. Too tired to pack. Will get up early tomorrow instead.

Still Chicago, Friday, May 22
Get up at 6:30 am to pack. Order a good breakfast from room service (I almost never eat on planes, aside from pretzels and rolls) and I know my next meal won’t be until tonight in Santa Fe.

The author escort picks us up at 8:40 and we drop in to sign books at Borders. (I was supposed to do this yesterday, but they had no books. Now their order has come in.) Then on to O’Hare where Vicki and I say goodbye. For the next five cities George will be traveling with me. Vicki is heading back to New York for the long holiday weekend and next week she’ll be in the office.

For me it’s off to Santa Fe for a weekend with family and friends. I lived in New Mexico from ‘76 to ‘84. George and I met there almost nineteen years ago so to us it’s like going home. Amanda, my stepdaughter, lives in Albuquerque now, and three of my closest friends still live in Santa Fe.

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