On the Road: Cincy and Dayton

I know, I’m a slug and should have done two different posts here but you have no idea how tired I was. (Somewhere, Bob is saying, “Wimp.”) The Cincinnati signing was fabulous, even more fabulous because Lanie wore her flamingo shoes, just a great crowd with great questions. I honestly don’t remember what we said; we get up and talk and I have no recall when we’re done. So if we insulted anybody, I apologize profusely. You could probably make something up and I’d believe you (although Bob was there . . . no, he won’t remember, either).

Then we went back home (well, my home) and we meant to get some work done but pretty much said, “Good night” and went our separate ways because we needed sleep. The next morning, Bob was still trying to figure out the start of the next book, but I was having trouble choosing a heroine–our conversation was long and not very interesting–and then I said, “Well, what about Petal?” who was a supporting character from another book I’d intended to write and then got sidetracked on. Petal was an astrologer/tarot card reader, and Bob said, “Tarot cards, I know nothing about tarot cards, that’s good.” So I dug out all my tarot books and decks while he went out to the road and installed my new mailbox and complained about the ants that were crawling up the post–they’re evidently the kind that bite and he was fairly indignant about them–and then looked at all the tarot stuff I had spread out on the kitchen table and said, “Uh huh.” So never mind on that.

But in a huge violation of his basic personality, he decided he wanted his new Mac now instead of being sensible and waiting until Leopard came out, so we called Kathy, the fabulous Cincy/Dayton escort, and left a message that we’d meet her at the Union Center B&N where we were doing a stock signing with Linda Keller so that I could take him to the Kenwood Apple store to buy a new computer. And by God, he did. I thought for sure his normal cautious, better wait and see and just talk about buying it for two years, sensible self would overrule him, but he bought the computer. And then didn’t open it. I’d have been playing with it in the car, but when he left for the plane, it STILL wasn’t open. Oh, and I bought a new ergonomic keyboard to keep him company buying things. Which I opened immediately while he snorted.

Then we drove up to Union Center and had something fattening at the Panera there while he haranged me about this idea that he was fixated on about some island and a hundred million dollars, and I kept saying, “Theme park. They don’t leave the theme park. This isn’t a thriller they don’t have to go all over the world. THEME PARK.” And then he’d say, “Get a heroine, then you can tell me no island.” We were still arguing about it when we met Kathy, who has been with us before and is used to the arguing, and I kept saying, “Well, I like the librarian idea,” and he kept saying, “A hundred million dollars is not too much,” and we signed a lot of books. And that was pretty much the afternoon, Kathy schlepping us from book store to book store while we argued about who the heroine was and where the book would be set and who the hero was (although Bob pretty much had that down) and every now and then one of us would say, “We don’t even know if we’re going to DO another book,” which is still true. At some point in there, Bob suggested that I do a stripper nun, but I think he was just really tired. And then we did cable TV in Kettering, which is always a great show to do, and then it was time for the Last Signing. Five days. It seemed short but we were holding on by our fingernails by then. Thank God for Kathy, a goddess among escorts.

Kathy dropped us off at the Cheesecake Factory where we were supposed to meet a couple of Cherry Bombs, but it turned out they’d taken over the whole place, Cherry Bombs to the right of us, Cherry Bombs to the left of us, zillions of them, all bearing flamingo gifts (except for one rebel who brought us another Moot, which made Bob look at me and say, “You know, I have no idea what I did with Moot” and for the first time, I believed that he’d really lost the poor baby) and chocolate, and Dee and Gret had hit every Cracker Barrel between here and Canada to find pink flamingo T-shirts with gold sequins, so I changed into mine and it’s fabulous. And bright. But we got to see everybody before the signing including Jill who’d managed to spill something that looked like coffee or Coke all over her Agnes t-shirt but she looked fabulous anyway (we can dress her up but we can’t take her anyplace; sigh). Such nice people, really. Well, strange, of course, but LOVELY.

Then we went to the new Books and Co. which is fabulous, and there were a zillion people there, many of them from my past life including great people knew from Beavercreek Schools like Mollie’s first grade teacher who was so good to her (Hi, Linda) and Stephanie, one of Mollie’s best friends from high school, who said “Thank you, Mrs. Smith,” when I signed her book and made Bob snort his KitKat and choke. He keeps forgetting I had a life before I met him. “Mrs. Smith? MRS. SMITH?” Yes, Bob. I was married, I taught elementary school, junior high, and high school, and I raised a kid all in Dayton, OH. You have no idea of the stuff you missed. “MRS. SMITH?” I’m going to be living with that one for awhile.

But the signing was great, and Bob even had an epiphany in the middle when he was explaining that DLD had a High Noon theme and that some of Agnes was based on Shane, and then he stopped and said, “Oh. Maybe I should look at a Western for the next book, too,” and I was in Speaking Mode and just kept talking. So this morning, he said, “Westerns,” and I said, “Uh, Stagecoach, The Searchers, Liberty Valance,” and he said, “Liberty Valance, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart,” and we’d already talked about belief as a theme, and there’s a line Bob loves from Liberty Valance that some journalist: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” and we’d been talking about a paranormal theme part with legends like the Bermuda Triangle and the Marie Celeste, and it started to feel like a book, depending on whether we go with Petal or the librarian, although I’m starting to think maybe I’ll make Petal a librarian, and of course, we still don’t know if we’re going to do another one since we don’t know how Agnes will do and if she tanks, it’s back to solo novels.

And then I drove him to the airport, and since he hadn’t bitched about the wastebasket (which I’d emptied) or the coffee pot (which was clean), I actually stopped the car and helped him get his stuff out of the back. And now he’s gone and I’m curled up in bed typing on the laptop (I love wireless) and tomorrow I will go back to Always Kiss Me Goodnight and Dogs and Goddesses and clean my office.

So we survived the Flamingo Tour. A huge thank you to anybody who came out to see us–you all made us feel wonderful–and another thank you to anybody who bought the book. And don’t forget to save your receipt to get the $3 rebate from the coupon on the website. It’s the least we can do for you.