Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Book Expo 2009

Bao and me and Sea Changes at the IBPA stand -- dreams do come true!
Anything is possible.
Book Expo (BEA) is vast. Hundreds of exhibtors, thousands of people,
millions of books. It's a spectacle rather than an experience, an
unscripted, three-day piece of indoor street theater with a cast of
thousands, all of whom are extras. It's not even about the books. It's
about itself.
We didn't see it all, but we saw a lot of it until my feet gave out.
And we got to meet Jane Wesman, whose epynomonous public relations
firm has made Sea Changes a success. We also met the guy who founded
Galley Cat, the publishing zine.
New York may be expensive and awful, but it's definitely where it's
at. Which is probably why it's New York.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love fest -- Lori and Bao

We finally got to meet our wonderful publicist Lori, who -- with her
offsider Lauren -- has been working so hard to make Sea Changes a
success. As far as Bao was concerned, it was love at first sight.

Lori knows just where to scratch, that sweet spot on every dog's back
just above the base of the tail that sends them into raptures of

We had a lovely visit, and lunch. And yesterday, we spent all day at
the Publishers University where I learned how much I don't know while
Bao slept at my feet. Last night, we had dinner with my brother at Le
Steak, the place that refused us service two years ago. That was fun.

But we're both tired. New York is exhausting, and ferociously
expensive. You couldn't pay me to live here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

They lost our luggage

Bao and I made it to the Big Apple right on schedule, but our luggage
vanished someplace between Dallas and here.
Happens all the time, American Airlines said cheerfully. If you don't
get it back within 24 hours, we buy you a toothbrush.
Nice of them.
Flying has changed, and not for the better. In First Class, the hot
breakfast has turned into cold cereal and yogurt. And you don't get
extra weight allowance, anymore. One ounce over 50 pounds and they
charge you $50, on the spot. In Tourist Class, you now have to pay $35
to check a bag.
Bao didn't mind. He got to have MacDonalds for dinner.
The luggage arrived at 5 am this morning, so I don't get that free
toothbrush, after all.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

We're heading for New York on Monday, and I've already started packing.

Traveling with a small dog is like traveling with a small child. I was hoping to get by with my small suitcase, but once I'd packed six servings of Cesar Gourmet Dog Dinner (handy when I can't find a MacDonalds) kibble for Bao's midnight snack, Alpo Dog Treats, Charlie Bears, Bao's brush, his little lunchbox, his pills, his book of bedtime stories and two of his favorite toys, there was no room left for my stuff. So we're taking the big suitcase.

We're going to the IBPM Publishing University and Book Expo in New York City, and then I'm renting a car and driving around Connecticut for ten days doing talks and book signings. We've ended up with three, consecutive free days (upstate New York didn't want us) so we'll drive up to Boston to check out the Isabelle Stewart Gardiner Museum and the Gentlemen of Suzhou exhibition at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Then it's back to New Paltz and Modena for two more readings, and then home. That's the plan, anyway. We'll be gone for three weeks.

Sea Changes is getting wonderful reviews. I am so relieved! And grateful. If you haven't already checked out do so immediately. Betty, thank you so much! Is there any way to put this fabulous review on Amazon?

Monday, May 18, 2009

The days are growing longer and the weather is getting hotter.

Here in Tucson, my morning walks with Bao have to be carefully timed. Too early, and we run into javelina, coyotes and bobcats. But if we leave it too late, the rattlesnakes are awake.

Javelina almost always graze in packs of three or more, and they hate dogs and will attack without provocation. They are also incredibly ugly. Even the babies are ugly.

Coyotes have been particularly bad this year. There are quite a few more of them than in previous years, and they are fearless. The women who lives down the street was walking her two large dogs the other day when she suddenly realized that they'd been surrounded by a pack of seven coyotes. Seven of them! Can you imagine it? She ran, and the coyotes chased her all the way to the gate. Scary stuff.

The bobcats tend to be nocturnal, but several neighbors have spotted a mountain lion (much bigger than a bobcat) prowling around an hour or so after dawn.

As I write this, a very large snake is making its way across my front yard. I can't tell if it's a rattlesnake, or not. But I can tell you this: I have no intention of going out and taking a closer look!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Here's the photo

We got a new phone! That's what all the peculiar posts have been about. This is us -- never would have guessed, would you -- at Fiesta Encantada, where we were VIP guests of our friend Jim Conley. This is the first time in my life that I ever got to wear one of those VIP tags. And they let me keep it! How cool is that? Mind you, I'm easily impressed. But you already knew that, didn't you?

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, May 10, 2009

We've had a house-guest from Australia for the past week. He left yesterday, and as soon as we got back from dropping him off at the airport Bao curled up and went to sleep. A deep, determined sleep. He didn't even want to walk, this morning. He's exhausted. I'm exhausted. Christopher is a dear friend, but a week is a long time.

We went everywhere. We went out to lunch, and dinner. We went to Organpipe National Monument and Saguaro National Park. We went to Mexico. We went to the Tucson Museum of Art. We visited friends. We went shopping. We went to Festiva Encantada.

Bao has known Christopher since he was a tiny puppy, but even so, he sort of felt he had to keep an eye on things. He couldn't just curl up at my feet and go to sleep, because we were constantly on the go. And when we went places Christopher sat in the front seat of the car, where Bao usually sits. He wasn't enthusiastic about that, either.

I'm a morning person, and Christopher is a night owl. So every night he'd be prowling around at 2 AM, looking for stuff to eat. This didn't bother me (I'm used to Christopher) but Bao felt the situation needed monitoring. So the poor little guy is -- as Australians would say -- totally buggered.