south bend pin

We spent the first weekend in May in South Bend, Indiana for their One Book, One Michiana celebration of The Night Circus. The weather was perfection, the city is absolutely lovely, and I was incredibly impressed by how much enthusiasm and effort was put into every detail. They have the loveliest librarians and the most extraordinary library, I wanted to live in it.

From the pins and the programs (some of which had moving parts!) everything was so detailed and thoughtful.

south bend program

I have been in my writing cave for so long I was a bit concerned that I might not remember how to speak in front of people but everyone was so delightful and welcoming. All of the events were wonderful, there was delicious food and chocolate and it was a flattering if slightly surreal reminder that there are still people reading and enjoying and celebrating, even when I’m getting used to being at home staring at blank pages and trying to make them not so blank.

I wish I could explain properly how much fun it was. I didn’t take enough photos but there are lots over here. There were cocktails and fancy dresses and I had an excellent tarot reading (someone please tell Barbara the Gray Witch I did get a new pillow, she was right about my neck). The children’s section of the library had a tunnel made of vintage luggage, I was serious about wanting to live there.

My gratitude and appreciation to everyone in South Bend who put so much time & energy into creating a truly wonderful experience.

south bend library sign

Home now, back in springtime NYC and blank pages waiting to be filled. No more appearances for awhile, so this was a very good high note to end on.

springtime

blooming

My apologies for the lack of blog updates. I haven’t had much to update about, I have been hibernating and writing and re-writing. Apparently writing a book entirely wrong the first time is just a thing I do. I think it is back on track now.

Months ago I said aloud (Twitter counts as aloud) that I wanted to have a draft finished by spring and here we are in spring and well… not so much.

But I have made a lot of progress. More than I have in a long time. Maybe I should aim for progress and not use the f-word. Art is never finished and all that. Still working. Still writing and probably re-writing. Not quite book-shaped but it’s getting there. It’s still surprising me, which is fun.

New York is turning blossomy and proper springtime-feeling when it’s not raining. I hope it stays this way for a while and doesn’t rush headlong into summer.

On May 1st & 2nd I will be in South Bend, Indiana for One Book, One Michiana with the St. Joseph County Public Library. There will be a reading/q&a/signing, a tiny story workshop & a circusy soirée (oh, how I love the word soirée). Detailed schedule can be found over here.

Given what’s been going on in Indiana I thought about cancelling but considering how much planning and preparation people have put into this event that didn’t seem right. I will be making donations to freedomindiana.org and the Human Rights Campaign with my speaking fee.

This is, at the moment, my only scheduled appearance for 2015. I should really figure out what I’m going to wear since I’ve been living in my yoga pants lately.

I’m going to attempt to blog more frequently over the spring/summer. I am still Instagraming & Tumlbring & I may be on Twitter periodically but mostly I will be writing (and re-writing) so the majority of my words need to be focused there. If there is news I can share, as always, I will share it but most of the time it seems things are either not shareable or not news. Maybe I’ll post ice cream recipes and things like that.

tulips

I am attempting to not do many events this year because I have a book to write, but when I was asked to go to Lexington, Kentucky because they had chosen The Night Circus as their One Book, One Bluegrass community read the invitation said something about a “gala” and who am I to resist a gala?

First, though, there was proper library talking and book signing in Frankfurt on Friday night and then on Saturday during the day there was pony racing! (I admit, beyond the word gala the whole “ponies” and also “bourbon” thing made the entire weekend appealing, and it more than lived up to my expectations.)

ponies

Kentucky is just gorgeous, with stretches of green field and blue sky and wooden fences stretching as far as the eye can see. And I had never seen proper in-person pony racing before. I am really, really bad at guessing which pony is going to win. I didn’t loose that much money, though.

And then on Saturday night there was the gala. I’m not sure it can be properly explained, but it was amazing.

barn

 

My original event info that said “gala in tents & barn.” Now, I’m from New England. When I hear “barn” I picture something boxy and red or possibly white.

Barns in Kentucky do not look like that. Barns in Kentucky have chandeliers.

enter

I’m not sure I can even explain it properly. It was big and buoyant and there was so much to look at, from performers and musicians to countless guests in amazing costumes. (I had considered that I might be overdressed when I was packing my corset, I really had nothing to worry about.) There was an aerialist and a marching band and the whip guy! And cocktails in commemorative glasses and food and a silent auction of of beautiful art and jewelry and things and really the only minor negative is that it was chilly, which I realize upon re-reading the prologue of the book was probably my fault. Sorry.

And seriously, the most beautiful barn. It looked like a cake! All round layers and twinkly lights. I am told there were over a thousand people there, yet it always felt busy and bustling and not crowded, and everyone appeared to be having a fantastic time.

I’m already not entirely sure it actually happened, or if I dreamed it, but there appear to be a great deal of photos. (There are a few more over on my tumblr.) Even the next day when I spoke at the beautiful Lexington Library it seemed far away in a dreamlike haze. And now I’m home in NYC. No circus, no ponies. At least I have bourbon.

I am eternally grateful to everyone who spent so much time and effort in planning and coordinating a truly astounding feat, and to the performers and vendors and all the deliciously lovely people who attended. I was honored to have been there.

For future circus events, the bar has been set. It’s been set really, really high.

Tomorrow I am heading to Kentucky for a number of events as part of One Book, One Bluegrass. They chose The Night Circus for their 2013 community read.

I am keeping events to an absolute minimum this year because of that book I need to be writing, but this proposal sounded too fun to decline. There’s a gala! How could I refuse a gala?

So, my schedule is as follows:

Friday April 19th at 6:30pm – reading/babbling/signing/etc at the Paul Sawyier Public Library 319 Wapping Street, Frankfort, KY.

Saturday April 20th 7pm-11pm – The Night Circus Gala at The Red Mile-Round Barn 1200 Red Mile Rd, Lexington, KY. There will be magicians and dancers and fire and a whip guy and tarot readers and costume contests and all sorts of circusy wonderments. (And bourbon, I was told there would be bourbon.) Also I will be signing books and possibly wearing a corset.

Sunday April 21st 2pm – reading/babbling/signing/etc at the Lexington Public Library 140 East Main Street, Lexington, KY.

It should be great fun and these will be the last proper events I do for quite awhile, so I will try to babble as much as possible before I come home to NYC to shut up and write another book.