january things

So far 2012 has been cold. I always want to hibernate this time of year, post-holidays and winter chilled. Curling up in cups of coffee and trying to get the hang of a brand new year, though I also like to think of this time of year as a trial period, an in-between time before Chinese New Year arrives and the Year can be New all over again, and dragon-y as well.

It’s quiet here in these last year of the bunny weeks, which I need. Time off is not really time off when caught up in a rush of holiday stuff. I am cleaning my apartment and hiding from the cold outside. Slowly catching up on long neglected correspondence and apologizing to the patiently waiting books on the ever-growing to-read shelf. I am considering taking a week off from the internet next week, I’ll see how I feel on Monday. I am feeling extra thoughtful but the thoughts are all floating snowflake thoughts, drifting through my brain and not settling on anything.

Maybe I should just let them drift.

 

These are my January event dates, as far as I know. I’ll update any missing info when I have it.

Sunday, January 15

2:00-3:00pm Newtonville Books/Reading & Signing
296 Walnut Street, Newton, MA.

Tuesday, January 24

7:00pm Joseph-Beth Booksellers/Reading & Signing
2785 Dixie Hwy Crestview Hills, KY 41017

Wednesday, January 25

7:00pm Joseph-Beth Booksellers/Reading & Signing
161 Lexington Green Circle, Lexington, KY 40503

Thursday, January 26

6:00pm reception Salon@615 Series/Reading & Signing
6:30-7:30pm program Nashville Public Library,
615 Church St, Nashville, TN

Friday, January 27

7:00pm Foxtale Bookshop/Reading & Signing
105 E. Main Street, #138, Atlanta, GA 30188

belated post-tour musings & photos

I am always surprised by these last days of the year. They sneak up on me, hiding behind the holidays with a brand new year in tow. I think, “wait, what?” and then it’s January. Every time.

This year is probably worse than most, though, since the last few months have been so busy, though the fall tour is already seeming like a dream in these dwindling days of 2011. I know there are stories that I meant to share that never made it onto the blog (I had such grand plans to do a blog post per tour stop, I really did) but I suppose this will have to do, a late December post of camera-caught images and a few already gone moments in between.

Being on a book tour is a travel tease, you get to see cities from car windows and rarely if ever have proper time to explore. I found this particularly frustrating since I haven’t traveled much, but at the same time it’s like having a little sampler platter of cities. During my second trip to Toronto I had some free time and actually got to see the city from very high up:

One of many views from the CN Tower. I did get to see a fair amount of the city from the ground as well, including a lot of really good food, but it was the only city where I got to have a proper very high view.

Also falling into the interesting view category, on my second very short trip to London, this was the view from my hotel room window:

For those of you playing along, that is St Pancras station, and I was staying at the hotel that is the former Midland Grand, both of which appear in The Night Circus. Also I don’t believe I mentioned before that during that 24 hour trip to London I unexpectedly met Audrey Niffenegger because we both happened to be having lunch in the same teeny tiny restaurant and this is apparently the kind of thing that happens in my life now and also she is delightful & lovely.

I thought about doing book tour hotel superlatives, like Yummiest Room Service Breakfast (Raphael Hotel in Kansas City: portobello & goat cheese omelet with a parmesan potato cake!) or Largest Hotel Bathroom (the Alexis Hotel in Seattle, I have lived in apartments smaller than that bathroom) but then there were too many lovely hotels and I got into weird categories like Most Swoon-worthy Elevator Doors:

The Ambassador Hotel in Milwaukee, all fabulously art deco and you have to pull open those doors, of course. I have a thing for art deco anyway, I think the desk lady thought I was weird when I kept taking photos of the elevators and the light fixtures.

Also while in Milwaukee (in Oconomowoc, technically) I had an event I can’t say was Best or Favorite but it was a particularly nice, something extra thoughtful in the post-reading discussion, maybe I was in a thoughtful mood because I’d found out that Steve Jobs died just before we started (The Night Circus was written on several different Apple computers) and I don’t even remember everything I talked about but it stands out in my memory nonetheless.

There are so many things it seems like too much to have occurred in such a comparatively short amount of time. So many wonderful booksellers and red scarves and readers, it is still so strange to me that people can visit a place that existed in my head for so long, and it is so many people in so many different places. Maybe that’s why I am still dizzy from everything despite the fact that I’ve been post-tour for a while now, though the holidays are always dizzying in their own sugar plum way.

I took this photo in Austin, Texas:

I think perhaps it’s my favorite photo of the tour, for a lot of reasons but mostly because of that “so much” added in different handwriting. That’s what the tour was, really. That’s why it’s difficult to capture in words and pictures after the fact, because it was so much. So much. People and places and airplanes and books and wine and chocolate mice and love.

So much.

[enter title here]

This is what a book tour looks like in ephemera. In boarding passes and train tickets and accidentally retained visitor passes.

That’s not even all of it.

I am in something that I could probably call Tour Recovery Mode right now. It mostly involves looking at all the stuff that has been neglected in my absence, from several email inboxes to that not-a-novel-yet to the newly-home fluffy cats and not having the mental capacity to deal with any of it. I’m feeling really guilty about it, too, but it seriously took all my energy just to make myself gluten-free pancakes with strawberries this morning and I have been trying to write this blog post for three days. Make that four days, pancakes were yesterday. Also it’s dark at 4pm lately and that makes me extraordinarily sleepy.

Speaking of extraordinarily sleepy, Tessa is in love with the faux-fur blanket I got to warm up the sofa. Maybe because she so nicely color-coordinates with it.

I’m exhausted. I thought after a few days of sleeping in my own bed and not having to be on airplanes I’d feel better but I’m still exhausted. I think I feel worse, actually, that whole object in motion stays in motion thing, and that object in motion suddenly taken out of motion feels dizzy and nauseous.

I’m not sure what I really want to say in this post. I’m not sure I’m coherent enough to say anything, really. Here, let’s have some points in something resembling an unnumbered list, because I can totally not handle lists with numbers right now.

  • If you are waiting to hear back from me about anything, please be patient. I am only one person with a very overwhelmed brain.
  • My brain would be overwhelmed even if I were only dealing with book stuff and nothing else, but I have a lot of other things going on requiring brain time right now. A lot. I will spare you the gory details but I think the internet already knows I’m getting divorced and that’s just one of the non-book things. Life has a way of happening all at once.
  • I straighten my hair nearly every day and yet I still managed to burn my ear on my straightening iron this morning. This is likely indicative of how I’m doing right now.
  • I would really, really like to be able to write now that I’m a real writer and all, but it is baffling how many non-writing things are involved in being a writer. I did look at the novel-in-progress today and it didn’t look half-bad considering the unfinished messy draft stage it’s in, so that’s something.

Okay, I can’t handle any more list things. I think my attention span has taken a vacation with my short-term memory. I hope they’re somewhere warm with umbrella drinks.

I should probably wrap up this post before my typing skills and ability to form sentences decide to join them.

To those still NaNo-ing, I raise my coffee to you in a caffeine-driven salute for these, the Final Days. If you’ve already won: Congratulations!!! You rule. If you haven’t yet crossed the finish line: You can do it, you still have time! If you’ve already thrown in the towel: It’s okay, and remember you wrote more this month than you might have otherwise. Also, remember where you put that towel because a towel is the most massively useful thing you can have.

I am working on a proper post about writing-related things to cover some of the more frequently asked questions of late. It’s like a baby step toward having a proper FAQ. And I will have more tour musings eventually, possibly with photos if I can figure out how to get them off my old phone.

For now I am going to give up on figuring out what to title this rambling ramble of a post and actually post it.

how it ends.

I am done with touring for 2011.

I don’t think Thank You is enough for all the wonderful bookstores and booksellers, for all the readers (whether they’d read The Night Circus yet or not) who came to events and for everyone who organized so many festivals and signings and interviews and flights, but Thank You.

I am slowly re-acclimating to my normal time zone, which has involved sleeping a lot. I am also trying to catch up on things around here that have been neglected during the tour, like cleaning and unpacking things that somehow never managed to get unpacked over the summer.

I uploaded my photos from foggy Amsterdam:

 

More photos (and more fog!) over on my Flickr photostream.

It’s strange to be done, at least with the travelling. I have things to catch up on (if I owe you an email I’ll get to it soon(ish), hopefully) and the to-do list still seems never-ending and despite all that I know I need some rest. I am not used to so many things and people requiring my attention and I am still adjusting. Also, I’d like to be able to write again at some point.

It is an open-windows, reading in the park sort of day which is rare for this late in November. It’s lovely but not helping me regain my concept of time.

On the flight over to Amsterdam one of the in-flight movie options on the individual embedded in the seat in front of you televisions was Midnight in Paris. I had been told by several people that I would love it and they were correct, it is a marvelous magical fairy tale of a film and I loved it more than I have loved any new film in recent memory. And I’m not even much of a Woody Allen fan.

On the flight back to Boston I half-slept with DeVotchKa’s How it Ends on repeat. So I suppose that makes this the song of the end of the book tour:

greetings from amsterdam!

Hello internet!

I am in Amsterdam. I have a crush on this city. It has canals and kittens and art and pretty, pretty architecture! I wish I had more time to spend here, and I feel I simply must return when it is slightly warmer.

I have been here courtesy of my lovely Dutch publisher, De Bezige Bij. They have my gorgeous Dutch cover all over the place:

Including on the street, which is both bizarre and delightful:

(Am not certain what the pile of dirt was about. It adds to the surreality of it all.)

Headed back to Boston tomorrow but have had a splendid time here & I believe I am done with travelling for 2011 once I’m home, so I will hopefully be able to catch up with blogging and email replies and everything else that’s been neglected during the whirlwind of the tour.

Also, I have lost all concept of time. Am hoping I’ll re-adjust once I’m in one place for a while.

playlist

I keep meaning to post proper links to my Night Circus playlist & I keep forgetting, so this time I shall not forget and even give them their own post.

The playlist is up on Spotify, here.

It is also up on 8tracks, which gave me a nifty little code for embedding:


You can also read explanations of all these songs over here via largehearted boy’s Book Notes.