Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Home Again, Home Again - For Now

Hey y'all,
So I'm back from my tour, for now. As y'all know, my two young sons (four years old, and 17 months old) came with me, and they were the best traveling companions ever. Seriously. And they are generally pretty easy kids—considering the fact that they never stop moving and there is a constant rotation of fire truck/work site/ball games in our house—but still, they are under five, for God's sake. But they were such pros that I felt like I was with the editors of Condé Nast Traveler, and maybe I was—future ones. And the best part was that we all had fun. Always important! So we're home, but I still have a bunch of dates left. So check them out, and if you are near one, come by—it'd be great to see you.

Here's a bunch o' photos. And my little travel editors say hey.

Okay, this was in Monroe, La. I drove over there from Jackson, MS to tape a radio interview at 8:30 AM for Lagniappe on KEDM with Sunny Meriwether, and yes, she is as much a bright light as her name implies. Then I had a reading that night at Windows, bookstore of the much fun Elisabeth and Pat who do The Book Report that I taped the week prior, but I had the day to myself - hence the blog posting before this one, if any of this is making sense! Help! Anyway. I forgot to get photos with Sunny or at Windows. Major :( BUT I did take pictures of where I ate lunch, infer from that what you will. This is my table at The Pickle Barrel. Do not miss this place next time you are in Monroe. It is where all the locals go. I felt like I lived there. I was waiting for my next door neighbor to walk in and sit down. It was heaven. And, yes, the pickles were homemade and great. Then I got true Southern Hospitality when Monroe resident and angle incarnate Mary Brinson met me for dinner at Genusa's before my event. Okay, if I'm not going to eat a lot down South, where will I??

The next day, my cousin Henry and I drove to Natchez, a gorgeous little town on the Mississippi which is famous for having the pilgrimage tours every spring where 25 antebellum mansions are open to the public. Girls dress up in period dress and give tours. Two of my sisters did it one year, and I was so jealous of their hoop skirts (hello, Crimes of the Heart). Maybe I wore my most colorful skirt to Natchez in some subconscious honor of that. Anyway. I had a great time at Turning Pages book store. Mary and Pat had made pimento cheese sandwiches cut into diamonds with the crust off, and sweet tea. Major yum.

Then on Sunday, we drove to Memphis, and the next morning (6/16), I did an interview on Live at 9 on WREG. Okay, I am still trying to figure out how to get to the video of my interview to play on their website, and have no idea. Can I just not be a Luddite for once?!! If anyone figures it out, please yell.

After that, we went to CMOM, (Childrens Museum of Memphis - hugely great fun. FedEX donated a cockpit to them, and my 4 year old was out of his mind with joy) then to my favorite eatery, the Piccadilly! I know, I already ate there on this trip (2x before!), but how ca I resist? My kids had the best time picking their dishes of food. And where else can you get okra as a matter of course? I miss the food I grew up on!!

Then I taped a radio interview with Stephen Usery for WYPL's Book Talk. We just sat and visited about Stuttgart, and the Heat Wave of 1980, and other obscure, but important parts of my life that I rarely, if ever, get to talk to one person about who also happened to experience them. Finally, we taped a show.

That night, I did an event at Davis-Kidd; I so love that store. It's huge, but feels like it could be your library in some crazy perfect bibliophile kind of house. Anyway, one of the people who came was this amazingly sweet new friend of mine, Lindy, who I met on Gather.com, this new (at least to me) site where you can connect with other reading/writing lovers. They become a kind of wonderful internet family for me.

The next day, we flew home. I so had to pay the extra baggage fee :( But it was the first time on the entire trip, so I can't really complain. But I will.

One night later, I had a Spoken Interludes here in NY with David Rabe, Mark Doty, and Kathryn Harrison. They were amazing - all such different, but powerful voices.

And it's nice to be home again. Jiggity Jig.


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