The entire process was kicked off by an absolutely amazing launch event in Williamsburg. It involved almost 200 hundred people and a cake that looked like LINGER (amazingly, not the last LINGER cake I was to see on this tour). I could do a blog on just that event (or any of them, in fact, but why reinvent the wheel? Wastepaper Prose did a rundown here, including embarrassing photos).
Actually, speaking of embarrassing photos, I have discovered, through the beauty of the photographic medium, that I speak with my hands, something I didn't think I did. Also, my face does strange things approximately 98% of the time. No, no, don't say, you're perfectly nice-looking, Maggie. I don't mean that my face does unflattering things 98% of the time (although some of these things are indeed unflattering as well). I mean that my face cycles through an endless supply of weird facial expressions which would look excellent on a character from Calvin & Hobbes. The things you learn about yourself on tour. Look. See? The faces of Maggie.
So, Williamsburg. Cake. We also gave away the Sharpie Guitar there -- the raffle winners were a group of readers who wore shirts that said "We keep warm with coffee and Sam." I felt it was appropriate.
Then it was off to California (which is the name of a hornpipe which I'll play for you sometime, it's quite catchy). You guys already saw how I spent the first four days. Here's California, in photographs.
California meant more Linger cake, made by a reader (it must have taken forever). (Actually, I can't use that word anymore. It must have taken a VERY LONG TIME).
California meant giant crowds amassed in bookstores to see me. Actually, this was kind of true everywhere. This is going to take some getting used to. For starters, I need to stop swearing.
California meant being in L.A. where the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile stayed at my hotel. I'm going to take that as a portent of some kind.
California meant tour stops with fantastic book stores that set up gorgeous signings -- do you see the paper cranes from Linger hanging over my head in Glendale?
California meant getting a stuffed wolf puppet from Once Upon a Time in Montrose (thanks, guys!), meeting Margie Stohl, Kami Garcia, and Kaleb Nation (better known as Shiver Guy, or at least I like to think so). It also meant forgetting my wolf puppet in the backseat of Kaleb's car.
After California, it was on to Texas, first Houston, then Austin. Oh, Texas. I sort of love you. I think I could see myself in Texas. With a better tan.
This was Texas, outside Houston -- after my event there, my media escort drove me an hour and a half to do a Russian-spy style swap with my Austin media escort who took me the rest of the way.
And this was Austin. Weird, totally cool Austin, who had three bands I wanted desperately to see there and no time to see them. I die.
And here was the truck in Austin that I wanted to steal. My media escort, Kristen, was the best thing ever, and slowed down so that I could take a picture. That is what we call "casing the joint."
And Kristen also took me for cupcakes in Austin. For lunch. She knew me. She got me. Cupcakes are a lunch food. She also gave me a recipe for Truffle Brownies which was the best thing ever (I made it the second I got home. ohgoshgood).
And in case you really wanted to know what it was like, being at one of my tour events, Once Upon a Time in Montrose did a short video of Essence of Maggie.
Basically, what it comes down to is I'm so incredibly overwhelmed and grateful -- so many readers came hours and hours to see me, and husbands stood in line for hours for their wives, and moms for daughters, and it was just all very warming to the black cockles of my heart. Plus two weeks at #1 on the NYT list and this week at #3? Thank you, guys. What a crazy life.