Now in our Author Luncheon. Trying to listen in a room that feels like a meat locker! This photo shows Libby with her arms wrapped in cloth napkins to stay warm! Lorrie Moore, author of A Gate at the Stairs, a post 9/11 novel. Disappointingly, Pat Conroy, is unable to attend, but we’ve been given his new book, South of Broad. Next will be Mary Karr who wrote Liar’s Club and now has written Lit, a memoir. Daniel Pink whose last book, A Whole New Mind I thought was brilliant has a new work called Drive about what motivates us.
Published in: on May 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm  Comments (1)  

Craig Ferguson of the Late, Late Show is MC this morning of our panel of authors. Just heard Tracy Kidder talk about his new book, Strength in What Remains and I am excited to read it. I loved his last book, Mountains Beyond Mountains. Then we heard Jeanette Walls, author of Glass Castle, talk about her grandmother. The book is a true-life novel called Half Broke Horses. Might give us an insight into her quirky dumpster-diving mother!

Next up is

Published in: on May 30, 2009 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

“This is your Marriott Safety Director. Please disregard the alarms and strobes. We are handling the situation”. After a dinner at Juniors and propping our feet up to watch Coraline, we were almost asleep when this loud speaker announcement was piped into our room. Several times, causing it to be less reassuring each time. Libby called the desk and was told the fire department had given the “all clear”. Be still my heart.

Today we see the blue sky and sun we’ve been waiting for and a skyline has emerged from the must. We missed a walking tour over the Brooklyn Bridge, but we’ve seen it from several interesting angles.Stunning! Were heading in for another day on the trade floor at the Javitz Center, my Aleve is kicking and I’ll be seeking some coffee soon. Libby will be looking for some tickets to Mama Mia or maybe Jersey Boys while I haggle terms with reps, discover new books and swap good ideas with fellow booksellers. Yesterday, we were delighted to find our Inklings logo being used as one of four logos showcased at marketing booth! So
A give a shout out and thank you to Kori Corbin for her stunning branding for our store. That chair drawing draws a lot of oohs and ahhs every time I hand my business card to someone new.


Published in: on May 30, 2009 at 11:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Ow. Ow. Ow. OW! Riding shuttle back to the hotel and “my dogs is barkin'”. But I had a stout double shot coffee and Libby is going to check on tickets for a live show so I’m getting my second wind. Sightings today included Judy Collins (photo left) of folk music fame and Libby saw Neil Gaiman and Greg Mortenson who wrote 3 Cups of Tea. The publishers don’t seem to be giving away as many books but judging by the Huge crowds the publishing industry appears to be alive and well.
Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wow. I’m at the Children’s Author Breakfast. The MC is Julie Andrews. Yes, THAT Julie Andrews! What a treat! I’ll never forget seeing her in The Sound of Music at the Fifth Avenue Theater in Seattle when I was ten years old. She just introduced Peter Yarrow, a surprise guest who came out with his guitar and sang If You Take My Hand and Puff the Magic Dragon. What a fabulous way to start the day! He was followed by Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries, who had us laughing and now Tomi dePaolo started his presentation with a couple of acapela lines of The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music which brought down the house and ended with So Long, Farewell! Next up: Amy Krause Rosenthal author of one of my very favorite new children’s books, Duck! Rabbit and Little Oink. Wish you all could be here with me.
Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 1:30 pm  Comments (1)  

Libby is here. This whole NYC thing is so much more fun with a buddy! We are the number five bus just going through Soho on the way to the Javitz Center for a day of meeting authors, collecting advance reading copies and lots more.

Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 11:48 am  Leave a Comment  

Well, there seem to be fewer books and more people playing games on their mobile devices! But now, as my friend Rich says, I have found my people. These people speak Book fluently! I’m at the Javitz Center for ABA education. Trying my darndest to keep learning- to be the best bookseller I can be to serve the Yakima Valley. I an however fighting fatigue, and my sustenace today has been coffee, Starbucks oatmeal and a donut. Hmmm. Need brain food. I haven’t tried the subway yet. I’ll wait until my daughter joins me. I feel braver when I’m joined by someone else and she, like my other girls, is a most capable traveler
Published in: on May 28, 2009 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

I’m on my way to NYC for Book Expo. I will be experimenting with this mobile blog format – one finger typing. I’m watching for what fellow travelers are reading. Newspapers seem to be the order of the morning I’m eager to start Little Bee. Since I go to San Francisco first I’ll have many good reading hours if I can stay awake!

Published in: on May 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

This is a test post to my blog from my iPhone. Let’s see if it works!

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 2:44 am  Leave a Comment  

The Disconnected Blog

Hmmm. The Disconnected Blog. No service. No bars. We are on Lopezian time today. Things are simpler here, but I’m recognizing the symptoms of withdrawal. A sort of twitchiness, a yearning to check Facebook for a peek into my kid’s lives – Piper’s new scooter, Nathan’s job, Libby’s Mexican sunburn and Carrie’s newest discovery, the latest of which is the surprise of a slug in the bottom of her washing machine. Or maybe there are new baby pictures of Isabella, Lily and Katie, an inspiriting quote or an interesting link. I’m not typing this, I’m writing it in a little notebook – what a concept!

Do I need a always need a link to someone else’s interests and life? Am I neglecting my own interests, living vicariously through texts and Tweets?

My soul really needs this quiet. Here on the beach in the San Juan Islands the birds are singing, the waves gently slapping the rocky, gently sloping shore and the sky is the kind of surprising blue that makes everyone you meet comment about it.

Jim looks only about an inch high from here. He is on a high rock watching the tide and feeling the day soak him with its healing, restful serenity. I’m sitting on some well-bleached driftwood marveling at the multitude of colors represented in the smooth stones all around me. From deep rust and maroon to speckled grey, the rocks are set off by white pieces of clam shell, dried seaweed and an occasional pine cone – all clean and lovely.

The tide is coming in. The view across the bay is framed by craggy, evergreen-topped cliffs to the right and left and ahead by hills in blues that start out nearly navy and fade to a paler cornelian with each successive range until the finale, the encore is the glorious Olympic range.

The only other two people nearby are slowly getting ready to push their orange kayak into the water. Chatting quietly and comfortably, enjoying the warm sun on their shiny hair, they seem to sense a long, pleasant day ahead – no reason to hurry.

Some kind of hawks are riding the thermals on my left. The sun shines through their perfect pinons as I memorize the shape of their wings and tail so I can look them up in my bird book at home and add them to my list of sightings.

Last night, at our bed and breakfast, we watched several types of hummingbird fight for the feeder. The hostess had filled the feeders with red nectar and I decided to try that at home in spite of dire warnings against it. You know, Red Dye warnings. Our hostess is a talker. We know a lot about her now. Our breakfast included the tip that she always uses self-rising flour in her cookies and sweet breads – a tidbit worth tucking away, I decide.

Our flight over the Cascades yesterday was uneventful – the best type of flight. I’m grateful that I’m no longer seized with fear at the mention of an airplane trip. I used to be relieved when landing in our destination only to be gripped immediately by the fearful thought of the return home, effectively unable to enjoy the moment where I was. This time, only when flying through the snow-covered, close and jagged mountains did my heart skip a beat or two as we looked for mountain sheep in nooks that few people ever glimpse. I love to watch the back of Jim’s head as he scans and skillfully flies through the passes. He is a great pilot. Not good. Great.

What a gift this weekend was in a very busy spring. Two Texas trips coming up and one to New York are things to look forward to, but bittersweet when one of us has to stay at home alone. But this weekend was all ours. Not only did we have perfect weather to fly, the island was empty. We laughed, we talked, we rested.

Coming into Yakima in the early evening, the unseasonably warm evening air starts to fill the plane. This valley is as beautiful as anything else we’ve seen. Patchwork orchards blooming their heads off, newly plowed, fertile soil, rivers running high. This valley is home and it’s always good to come home.

Published in: on May 22, 2009 at 12:19 am  Comments (1)