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Book Tour So Far March 23, 2014

I wanted to tell you about book tour, but I don't think I can. It's been too much, too wonderful, too inspiring and humbling. I'll throw a couple of things at you, but mostly I want to tell you about Niagara Falls. 

I got up at 5:30am yesterday in Indianapolis. I drove to Hudson, Ohio, and had a marvellous reading/gabfest/knitting party in the early afternoon at the Learned Owl bookshop. Then I got in the car and headed toward Toronto, another long, ambitious drive. 

After about ten hours in the car on a day that was already busy, I decided it wouldn't be safe to go all the way to Toronto. I called my sister Bethany (of the 18 month road trip) and asked for advice. She said: Niagara. I said where? She said, "Call you back." 

She did the research, which included two main points: Get to the Canadian side, and get to the Tower Hotel. I do anything she tells me to (this is true), so in the dark, I got Niagara.  

I have to confess something: My image of Niagara Falls was apparently a postcard from the fifties. I'm not sure how this got so impressed upon my brain (probably from looking at postcards from the fifties) but this is what Niagara looked like: A large waterfall. At the top of the falls, to the right, stands a twenty-room low-slung pink wooden motel. At the edge, almost ready to fall over the railing, a buxom cartoon blonde waves at the camera, her arm draped around her newly-wedded cowboy husband. In my imagination, there are maybe a couple of other little motels in the area, but that one, the little pink one right at the falls, that was the one to stay at. 

Instead, I drove up to the Canadian Vegas. Neon raced across the top of skyscraper hotels! Music boomed from nightclubs! There was a casino so casino-ish I could almost put a quarter in the side of the building and pull its slot. 

Overwhelmed and tired, I almost checked in at the outskirts of town. The La Quinta, or the Motel 6 - those would have been fine. Then, in the morning, I would go look at the falls and continue to Canada Proper. 

But I heard Bethany's voice in my mind. "Just go look at the hotel. It'll just take a second." It was Saturday night, I told myself. Of course I can't stay at a fancy place. 

I found the hotel in a warren of tall boxy hotels. It was, actually, a tower. 

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My heart was racing at this point. I had to stay here. The gal at the front desk bit her lip when I said she probably didn't have a room, but could she check? "Well, I do have one left, actually. But it's kind of an obstructed view. I could do…" Pause. I mentally the math that I could afford. How much would I pay for an awesome view? Two hundred? Two fifty? (In a fluke, I'd gotten two comped rooms in Indiana due to an overbooking problem. I had a little extra in my hotel budget.)  "I could do $89? Would that work?" She was practically apologetic. 

"I WILL TAKE THAT ROOM PLEASE," I boomed as casually as possible. "THAT WOULD BE FINE."

I room up the elevator (the rooms start at floor 27 and end at floor 29). This was what I got. 

 

Also: there was a jacuzzi tub which also had the huge windows and the view (I had a little single malt Macallan and two Cadbury creme eggs in that magical tub). 

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It snowed and the falls sent up steam. At 10:30, suddenly revived again, I ran to the elevator and then outside and watched the flakes swirl and the falls steam.  

I slept to their roar and woke up thinking I could hear the ocean. 

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I took a picture of my face as I explored the room last night. This is how I felt: 

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That's not what this book tour is about. This tour has truly been about connecting with readers who are also friends. (I repeat: I am the luckiest.)

Chicago: A whack of knitters and these tulips, sent by my sister Christy (which made me cry) at Women and Children First, followed by dinner with friends. Oh, happiness. 

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Cedar Rapids: A tiny (really lovely) store in a tiny (honestly, not that lovely) town, and in a surprise twist, a whack of NON-knitters at New Bo Books. A town that cares about literature! It was humbling. Also, yarn was delivered to me (because I'd lost my own) by Perclexed (FROM WASHINGTON STATE!) and Catherine, local. Also humbling. Dinner with darling knitters and good friends Greg and Erick (I stole them from the FeralKnitter and I'm not giving them back). 

Indianapolis: A surprisingly awesome town! I really liked it. Fun reading at IndyReads which was everything I'd been scared of. Only seven people came--something I'd thought would throw me, something I thought would make me want to cry. Instead, it was intimate and SO FUN. Two of my Rachaelista street team members came! 

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 (Not pictured: The Two Kates!)

Hudson, Ohio: I have to tell you, Jeremy and I have been friends for a long time. I hadn't met him in person, though. Until WE RAN INTO EACH OTHER AT A REST STOP ON I90. 

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Our "cute meet" story will always be that: that we met at a rest stop. He was on the way to my reading. For that matter, so was I. That reading at the daring Learned Owl was also intimate (seven? Eight?) and RAUCOUS. Old friends and new ones (thank you, Rachel, for the g/f brownies -- they are breakfast today), and I was so happy. 

Then the Falls. 

I woke this morning to wonder how I'd ever work on my necessary book revisions in this room with this view, and then I just realized, I can't. I can write to YOU, friend, but not to my book. For that I need a beige wall, and the sound of housekeeping rolling loud carts in the hallways. I need an uncomfortable chair and a view of a dumpster. Not this heaven. So I'm checking out soon, going to meet the Falls in person (there are still occasionally flurries of snow floating past the great windows--last night I thought, why is there ash floating outside? THAT'S SNOW PUT ON CLOTHES PUT THEM ON AS FAST AS YOU CAN I MIGHT MISS IT!). 

I hope to see the Torontoians (?) in the house at Ben McNally on Monday night, 6pm. The rest of you I'll see on the next tour, hopefully. This is amazing. I'm the luckiest one. 

Comments

That's "Torontonians," kiddo -- gotta add an 'n' :) I grew up there, and have been moving heaven and earth this week to try and get back for your reading but finally have to admit to myself it's just not going to happen. So am now working on my sister to be my proxy... Enjoy yourself, enjoy the snow (take some home with you, please! No really, take it, as much as you want!!) and safe journey when you eventually turn to the long road home.

There are times when you shouldn't be writing, and this is one of them. Get out there and experience it in person! Tell yourself you're doing research for a future writing project if you need to give yourself permission.

Niagara is amazing! I saw it from the Canadian side a few years ago. Blew my mind too. Glad you enjoyed it. Sounds like a great book tour. Safe journey home.

Am so sorry I could not make Indy....it is two hours south for me and I would have been clueless to find the bookstore. It made me sad. I love your books and I love you!! Sniff. That said....yes, Niagara Falls is so totally awesome. When I was there years and years ago, there was not much there. Certainly not a damn casino. I wanted to take the boat under the Falls but my ex did not. So. We did not. The power and the glory that God has created.

miss you miss you miss you

Love this story...so glad you are having fun. I have the same idea about N. Falls, having never been there. Thanks for your great visuals, as always!

dang, girl. that view ain't obstructed. :)

What on earth was obstructed in that view!? Wow!!! And what a nice desk person too.
I wish you were coming near enough me. Maybe another time...

Just did a total catch up on the blog! So happy to hear that THE BOOK TOUR is going well and yes, drop that phrase into any sentence you possibly can!
LOVED the Clara and Lucky video. Stay busy, be (relatively) safe and enjoy every minute!!! xo

If that was an "obstructed view" I wonder what a "good" view would be. Looked awesome. Missing you. Travel safely.

What a treat! Glad you are having adventures. I am so sorry I missed you in Cedar Rapids :( I couldn't work out the transportation issues for the whole family.
Diane in Galena (dianelaces)

So much love for this entry. It was lovely to sit in that room in Hudson and knit with people I had never met before and just have a good time. You are awesome!

I am so happy for you! Say the words: Book Tour. You are on a book tour. How freaking cool is that? And the room? How the heck is that an obstructed view? Looked fine to me! Yay you!

I'm so glad you liked Indianoplace! That's where I used to live before I came here. :) It's a real nice place to visit... They used to have a women's book store called Dreams & Swords and I always wonder if it's still there. Have a great trip and come back home soon!

Oh my goodness Rachael!! How wonderful your trip sounds!! My stepfather was stationed at West Point in the early 60's and I got to see Niagra from the US side when I was 12!! It was a sight I will never forget and hope to see again before I leave for another world!! lol ........I love reading your adventures sweetie....I feel like I am there too!! And thank you for the video!! Be safe and hurry home we miss you!!

What a great tour! I'm LOVING your book. Can't wait for the next one. :)

I tried my darnedest to get to Toronto on a Monday. It's only about 35 miles across Lake Ontario but around the lake it's a 3 1/2 hour drive. Next time add in Buffalo and you'll get people from there, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Cleveland and from south to the Pennsylvania border. Sorry I missed your book signing. Can I ask a favor? Could you send me a signed book plate? I bought Pack up the Moon yesterday for a b'day gift for my best friend, Brenda, (who was with me when we met at Rhinebeck), and I can surprise her later with it. Diane York ,247 Mason Ave. Rochester NY 14626. I'm so glad your tour went well and can't wait for the next book.

From now on, I'm going to do whatever your sister Bethany says to do, too. That room was amazing.

Ahhh! There's a pic of me on your blog! Love it and love meeting you! You're s'wonderful!

I hope you had a good time in Toronto. Sorry I couldn't buy you a coffee this time.
Congratulations on the excellent book tour!

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