Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Lost & Found, VA edition

Yesterday, I learned that I should never, ever (really-under ANY circumstances) rent a car without saying "Yes please!" to the nice man at the rental counter when he asks if I'd like a GPS. Even when I'll be in a city I've been to before. Even when it's a place I used to live.

We spent most of yesterday lost in Northern Virginia, which isn't all that hard to do, given that so much of this area is newly developed and looks pretty much the same. But the special and unique part of our getting lost was that we somehow wandered so far past where we were headed (I kept saying, "I think it's just a bit further, up here on the right...") that we ended up IN THE WOODS. On a DIRT road. Passing abandoned farms that look like movie sets for some horror flick. Not good.

When we finally found our way back to civilization, we abandoned all our plans for errands and other useful endeavors and headed directly to our friends Gavin & Emily's house so we could pat their puppy. This is Soren. Can you see why some quality time with him makes life much better?

He's only eleven weeks old, but there is every indication that he'll grow up to be a very fine THAT DOG in his own right. Which you all know is high praise :)

Yesterday's other redeeming feature was last night's book signing. I'll admit, it was a little (okay, a lot) humbling: It was my first time as an author to come up over the stairs to the area where I'd be reading to see...two people. Every author knows this day is coming, the day you'll be reading to some random guy browsing the Science Fiction section next to the podium and giving directions to the bathroom. And yet you hope against hope it never will.

Steve was there, as well as Gavin & Emily. So when you add in lovely Anna, the Borders employee, we had seven of us all together. Rather than pretend that it was normal to read aloud into a microphone for an audience of seven, I asked everyone to introduce themselves so that at the very least, we'd all be friends.

This is how I met Megan, who should be paid by every bookstore in the greater DC area to attend author events. She asked the BEST questions...I wish I'd recorded it. It was like a dream, chatting with her about writing, dating, sorting out life. Megan is new to the blog world, so if you're reading this today Megan...Welcome! And thank you :)

AND THEN, my next audience member introduced herself, and it was HEIDI!!!

Now, I get rather excited to meet blog friends...I almost couldn't do the reading, because all I wanted to do was sneak off to a corner and chat. If there'd been a restaurant next door, I would have suggested we all move there and order chocolate martinis :) Heidi took approximately 14 forms of public transportation to get to the reading, which absolutely makes her my hero. And she explained blogging to Megan in a better way than I ever could have, which made the whole event like a little party where everyone kicked in something to the conversation.

SO, all that to was one of those lemon-ish days that turned out to be filled with lemonade. Thank you Steve, Gavin, Emily, Soren, Anna, Megan, and HEIDI! I'm a grateful girl.

Next stop: Philadelphia!


Susie said...

awww so cool you got to meet heidi! Sounds like you pulled the event off well. In my book publicity class last year, we had to go through tons of scenarios of what could go wrong at book readings.

The one I did had to do with a man in the audience dying during the reading! Dilemma? To read on or not? At least you haven't had to deal with that!

Anonymous said...

adam and i ALWAYS get lost in NoVa. I know the area well enough because i lived out there when i was an intern but really the only roads i know are route 7 and route 66...i should mention i don't drive in DC. I don't drive in NoVa. Drivers in this area scare the bejebus out of me.

and i was so nervous meeting you!! but you are fabulous! Come to dc again! and we'll definitely get dinner and chat! :) Have tons of fun in Philly and Chicago and any other places you go to! :)

magda said...

Hi there! Just found your blog (and learned about your fabulous book, which I'm going to buy, probably on my lunch break) from Heidi, and thought I'd drop on by to say hello :) I think I'm already a big fan.

Anonymous said...

I always get lost in No VA - and I lived there for 10 years. Sooo frustrating. Last week when visiting there I bought my own travel GPS instead of renting one at Alamo - and it works in Europe too so I'm all set (I live in London) as one who is officially directionally challeneged.

Sorry to miss the book signing by just a few days; with my two kids and two au pairs we would have nearly doubled the attendance! How sad that it was not well attended, but no doubt this will be just a blip.

Amy Boucher Pye

Nilsa S. said...

Sounds like you figured out a way to make a small gathering into a party. Mental note if/when it ever happens again (even if you don't know anyone there).

BTW, it's looking doubtful I'll make it to Evanston next week, but ... I'll put a plug for you on my blog. Every little bit helps, right?!

Elizabeth said...

Ahem... speaking of lost in NVa... I was at the Tyson's Corner Borders by mistake. So, you would have had three people there, had my mommy brain and poor sense of direction not combined to ruin my plans.

L Sass said...

So cool! I cannot wait until my day comes to show up at your book reading! NoVa doesn't know what it's missing.

That puppy is ADORABLE. Must. get. dog. now.

Patti said...

i love lemonade, but it's even better made from the bitter lemons of an eh day!

LEstes65 said...

Oh that is SO awesome!!! First the puppy? Then the awesome reading? That day rocked!!!

If you can get lost enough, you might end up at my house. THAT would be cool!!! I'll even rent a puppy if that will get you down here.

Ello said...

How cool is that! And I wish I had known, I could have made it there! But wanted to let you know that as soon as I finish all of my final grading next week, I shall posts my blog review of your book!

ramblin' girl said...

That's what TheDog looked like... oh, about 13 and a half years ago... anyway, I have questions I'm working on for you. Been a crazy week or two. But will e-mail them to you soon!

Jenny said...

Oh, man. I'm SO bummed I was out of town and couldn't be there. I would've loved to have heard the Q&As.

Anonymous said...

Hi Trish! It was a pleasure to meet you tonight in Philadelphia. It was a great crowd and you are so charming, inspiring and amazing.

I kind of hate Northern Virginia... and I don't know that a GPS would have done you THAT much good because it's developing so quickly the maps might be up-to-date (I know this from personal experience).

Oh, and it was Heidi who referred me to your site and book, I believe. But I think I saw it on another blog, too. Anyway, Heidi definitely prompted me to track you down at a little meeting room above a car repair shop. It was so worth it!

Janet Ruth Young said...

Hi, Trish---

Glad to know I'm not the only one who sometimes gets a small turnout. On Monday night I spoke at a local library and only one person showed up. Fortunately she was interested in some publishing advice so we had plenty to talk about. I'm sure she was surprised and pleased to spend so much time discussing her own writing projects. I made a huge effort to give the library their money's worth, even with only one attendee. Thanks for your talk at Grub Street, by the way.

Rachel said...

That sucks that you got lost, but at least you finally got out! And what a cute puppy! And that's so cool that Heidi was at the book reading!

Mel Heth said...

I went to a signing for Jennifer Weiner last week and there were only about 15 or 20 people there - and she's a bestseller! - and it was in LA! So don't feel bad. :) Glad you met some new friends in the process.

heidikins said...

I sooo want to go to a booksigning!! Anytime you feel like you have a low turnout, just give me a ring and I'll teleconference in or something, deal? :o)


charlotteharris said...

Ack, I am so bummed to have missed your local stop on the Frog Tour. I had it on my calendar and it would have taken me only one mode of transport to get from my house to Border's Bailey's... but alas I was frantically packing for my own trip out of town... I would have loved to have been there. Happy touring, hope you get to meet more of your bloggy friends!