Portland was up first, greeting me with snow(!), but also a bumper of a turn out at Powells on a Weds night, upwards on 120 people! So many for little ol' me. I was charmed and mildly terrified. Interestingly, my demographic seems to be shifting, there were a lot more men (and not just long-suffering husbands), and a representation of the local steampunkers dressed to impress.
I was given much loot (mostly tea and cookies ~ you know me too well) and then whisked away by my local friends to sample my first pork belly. Which, apparently, it like a great big soft piece of bacon. I love bacon, but it should be crispy, so I wasn't overly impressed. The company, however, was magical.
Next up, I was back down south to San Diego. I found my way to the hotel and had my best meal of the trip at the attached restaurant, southwestern style crab stuffed avocado. Somehow, they had managed to bread and sear the outside of the avocado so it was all crispy. Oh so yummy!
The peeps at Mysterious Galaxy were as charming and delightful as ever. With standing room only and an epic signing line my guess was about 100 or so. I got to see my first copy of the second Omnibus in the wild, it's not *quite* supposed to be out yet. Never underestimate the power of a persuasive fan. Again, I was kidnapped by friends. One of the side effects of my travel, podcast, and convention habits is I now seem to have local lovely companions wherever I go. I love this, as book tours can get a little lonely.
After San Diego it was on to Murder by the Book in Houston. I was in Texas for FenCon last year and delighted to see a few familiar faces in the crowd, not to mention returnees from the first time I signed there. Murder claims a 150 turned out, which makes them the unofficial champions of the tour. They also sold out of Timeless. Karen of Locus Roundtable fame met me and whisked me away for delicious Italian food and an unplanned jaunt to the most amazing late night candy shop. I have only one thing to say ~ chocolate malt ice cream! Mmmm.
Epic struggles with a confusing under-construction airport and the great hunt for lunch the next morning, landed me and my dear companions in the soup ~ lobster bisque to be precise (or not, as it were). After much hilarious driving around and around we concluded the restaurant was inside the terminal, and went elsewhere. Getting lost seemed to be the tenor of the day as when I landed in Austin, my ride and I got promptly lost trying to find the hotel. Google maps to the rescue both times! How did I survive before my iPhone?
One bagel and cream cheese later, it was on to Book People. Austin is a new city for me and I wish I could have spent more time there, the vintage and thrift shopping looked amazing. Arrived at Book People to find my name in lights! My goodness, authors are rockstars.
A small but highly enthusiastic group met me, probably of about 50. I didn't put on the best show, since I was a quite out of it and sleepy. Lucky everyone there was very gracious about my bumbling. (For the record the answer to that Lord Akeldama question is . . . Scarlet Pimpernel and Oscar Wilde.) Was taken off after by a dear old convention buddy from my fan-girl days for some delicious Thai food. It was sublimely spicy and the Thom Kar Gai practically perfect (I have very strict standards for Thom Kar Gai.)
- Once you get a nail shellac, you never go back.
- Chocolate malt ice cream should be a regular flavor offering, everywhere. Why is this not the case? Why?
- Pork belly is probably not for me.
- The surest sign of a tourist in Portland is someone with an umbrella when it's raining, apparently this is a crazy idea. Crazy! Ah those wacky Portlandians. (What about an umbrella with a bird on it?)
- Always open the creamer away from your face on the plane.
- Bacon is a remarkably good addition to a veggie burger.
- A girl only needs one pair of flats for a trip under a week.
- Look at the conditioner bottle before applying to hair, it may actually be body lotion.
- Coffee Been & Tea Leaf's English Breakfast tea is nasty. Starbucks's Awake tea is OK in a pinch. (I will still order a "small." You can correct me to your weird Starbucks cult language Little Red Riding Hood, but a small is a small, medium is medium, large is large. Why the vanity sizing? Nash.)
- Strangers are nicer in Texas, but everything isn't bigger.
- The iPhone maps app works in Houston and in Austin, look at me giving directions. Me!
- I do not need both my iPod and my iPhone.
- Must stash teabag in bra before boarding for ease of accessibility in flight.
GAIL'S DAILY DOSE
Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Vogue Puts Woman with a Rack on the cover! Amazing.
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
PROJECT ROUND UP
Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Working rough draft.
Derailed by Book Tour.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ The Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 2013. In production. Have seen initial cover mock-up and it is stunning!
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 1: Printed volume avaible in some bookstore now! (Have seen cover sketch for Soulless Vol. 2 (AKA Changeless) and it is beyond fabulous!)
Timeless ~ Parasol Protectorate Book the Last, official release March 1. Some stores have already shipped.
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Release date fall 2013. She's started waking me up in the middle of the night with ideas.
BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!
One of the attendees talks about the Goodbye Parasol Tea Party.
Quote of the Day:
Sunny reads interview is up.