Monday, November 2, 2015

In Recovery

I am back from my book tour. It was a good book tour, although I acknowledge that, as it was my first, I don't really have anything to compare it to. I met a lot of passionate readers and librarians and teachers; I talked a lot about my books and about other books. I spent a week immersed in books in the company of other people.

It completely wore me out.

I am an introvert, which you might not guess if you met me on book tour. That's because I'm a chatty, apt-to-be-overenthusiastic introvert (one librarian, after having lunch with me, introduced me to her colleague by saying drily, "she's like you--no opinions at all."). But spending a week acting extroverted wore me completely out. I slept a good part of the weekend and would go back to sleep right this minute if I didn't have an appointment to get to. Also a novel to finish--deadline is 11 days from now--and some other stuff, like all the laundry.

My favorite bits of book tour: the Chatsworth Elementary kids who squealed and high-fived each other when I told them I was writing a sequel. The child who came up to me after that talk to ask what happened to Mam in the sequel, and when I said I wasn't going to tell him, offered suggestively, "You know, an awful lot of bombs fell on London."

The boy who wanted to know what else I'd written about wars (he left the library with For Freedom tucked under his arm). The class whose faces changed when I told them that in Kent, Ada got a pair of crutches--when they realized that something as simple as crutches could have changed her life in London. The girl who--oh, all of them, all the children who were engaged and caring and true, which was, honestly, most of them. These were great kids. I'm proud to have written something they cared about.

On Tuesday, when I had a few hours of free time, I finally met Karen Block Breen, my former boss at Kirkus, over tea and blueberry pie. Karen was exactly who I thought she'd be, and we had a great time, and I wish we could meet for pie every week.

On Wednesday, when I had a few hours of free time, I met an old college friend for wine and quesadillas. I hadn't seen her since college graduation, which is longer ago than either of us had been alive at the time, and yet we were back instantly to easy intimacy. I'd not realized how much I'd missed her.

On Thursday, when I had the evening to myself, only in Greenwich, CT, instead of Manhattan, I pulled the curtains, got into my pajamas, rolled out my yoga mat, and ordered dinner delivered to my room. The guy that brought it took one glance and said, "Long day?"

Long day. Long week. But oh, such a good one.