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Entries in Corporate Reads (2)



Just got back from (thinking...) Seattle, Dallas, and Mission Viejo. Next week, I'm off to Germany for the Frankfurt Book Fair. Yes, this is the same great city where books were burned by the truckload in Römerberg square, way back in 1933. Ah, life does have its little ironies, dunnit?

Here's a recap of recent travels, and travails:

Seattle, WA - Did a corporate read event at Vulcan Inc., which was an interesting change of pace. There was also a camera in the room live-casting the event to "employees in remote locations." I couldn't help but think of that scene in the movie, Contact, where Jodie Foster is pleading for research funding while billionaire industrialist S. R. Hadden watches remotely from some hidden locale. I waved. Not sure if Paul Allen saw me.

Next up was the big Bedtime Stories event for Humanities Washington, where we helped raise $115,000. I read ten pages of a new project. Everyone seemed to like it so I'm plowing forward, hoping the moral territory of the story is novel length.

Richardson, TX - Next morning I was off to Dallas for a splendid community reads event in Richardson. The turnout was amazing—1,400 people—my largest crowd ever. I guess things really are bigger in Texas. Fellow authors, Judy Kibler and Jaye Wells were there too (great to see you!) I also managed to sneak away and catch Monday Night Football in the new Cowboys Stadium. That mega HD jumbo-tron is incredible.

Mission Viejo, CA - On to California for the Mission Viejo Readers Festival—a great event in a lovely community south of LA. The best part was meeting Cindy Pon, and chatting with Cornelia Funke about time management—when to write, when to travel, and the fine art of saying, "No." I'm learning. Thanks Cornelia.


Fellow travelers

The students at Yulee High all had "I Am ______" buttons. Elliot's reads, "I Am Legend." Well played. I’m sitting in the half-empty first-class cabin (thanks to a fortuitous upgrade), winging my way home, knowing that I’m less than 5,000 Delta miles away from qualifying for “Diamond” Medallion status—a dubious honor at best. It officially means that I’m spending far too much time away from my family.

If there’s a level above Diamond, it’s probably passed on like some secret handshake at a candle-lit fraternity swearing-in ceremony. Let’s hope for my sake, we never find out.

My goodly wife, Leesha, does come along when she can. Or more aptly, when she chooses to do so. “That’s okay Hon, you go to Des Moines in winter, I’ll tag along for Palm Beach,” is a familiar, and entirely understandable refrain. And the kid-posse does accompany me as well, but alas, the school year is still in full swing.

But despite the bout of homesickness, the week was a grand time.

Northern Trust put on a tremendous event in Fort Myers, followed by my whirlwind weekend on Amelia Island which included daily, crack-o-dawn treks to Jacksonville for morning news segments, a trio of story-generations workshops at Yulee High School, a sold-out Books & Jazz event featuring yours truly, and a pleasant siege of signings, talkings, hand-shakings, and other book-doings through Saturday.

Susan and I share the same editor. And are equally grateful.The best part was meeting (and hearing) authors Rick Bragg and Susan Vreeland.

For an author on the road, fellow travelers are as close to family as one can get, even if it’s just a laugh, a handshake, and a pat on the back.