Monday, May 24, 2010

Wrapping Up

Okay, I’ve been home two days and I should probably have posted this last entry on Saturday, at the latest, but I was exhausted. As I told the kids at all the events, my characters share some traits with me, not the least of which being—like Nathaniel Fludd—I am not an intrepid traveler. It totally wears me out. Add that to being an introvert, and I am pretty much a wet soggy dishrag by the end of the adventure.

That doesn’t mean that I want to stay home all the time. I actually always get a LOT out of my travel experiences and am always grateful for the opportunity. It just means I have to pace myself.

The last leg of the trip was a quiet one, the only moment fraught with peril was me trying to get out of the city of Boston in an unfamiliar rental car, on unfamiliar roads and with very little idea of where I was going. Thank gawd for GPS, is all I can say. That and Google Maps steered me in the right direction. Oh, and there was a slight moment of panic when I thought I was going to have to give the cabbie a $25 tip because he had NO CHANGE on him, PLUS he refused to take a credit card! What is up with that?? Luckily, if rather embarrassingly, he approached every single person at the car rental until he found someone with change for a $50 bill while I stood blushing furiously in the corner.

One of the absolute highlights of the day was Vermont itself. As I’ve mentioned (probably ad nauseum) I’ve never been to New England, and the drive from Boston to Vermont was one continual enchantment of trees and forests and more greenness than I have ever laid eyes on. It was stunning and I longed to turn off the highway and explore one or two of the quaint little towns along the way, but I just didn’t have that much wiggle room in my timing. (They also had the cleanest, prettiest rest stops along the highway that I’ve ever seen.)

The true highlight, however, was finally getting to see possibly the cutest bookstore in America, The Flying Pig. It is in a gorgeous, old building with high stairs and wooden floors and a veritable feast of books. I also got to meet the wonderful Elizabeth Bluemle, and we had an amazing visit. She is warm and charming and effusive and a wonder-hostess. The turnout was a bit on the thin side, but we still had a terrific time.

Then I went back to my hotel and collected myself for the final schlepp home the next day.

I cannot even begin to describe what an amazing experience this has been, to meet so many new readers and talk to so many booksellers and librarians and parents. Truly an abundance of riches! A whopping big thank you to Houghton Mifflin (and Jenn in particular!) for organizing this trip! Honestly? In spite of being a less-than-intrepid traveler, I would have been traveled to the ends of the earth for an experience this rich. Luckily, I didn’t have to. ☺


Jolie said...

Just want to let you know that I discovered Nathaniel Fludd at our library in Andover, Massachusetts. My seven year old son, Nathaniel (who goes by Nate), was enthralled. Somehow you channeled him as you created your protagonist - loves to draw, fascinated by mythical creatures, not at all adventurous. We went directly to the Andover Bookstore (the oldest bookstore in the country - so cute. Next time you tour, go there!!!) and bought multiple copies to share with friends and family.

I am so sorry we missed meeting you. I bet that as you were driving up from MA to VT we were sitting beneath a tree in our yard reading your story.

What a strange small world.

Robin L said...

Oh my goodness, Jolie! I got goosebumps as I read your comment! To be driving by right as you were reading the story is too, too cool!

And how amazing that I channeled your Nathaniel! (His last name isn't Fludd, perchance, is it?) I will definitely put Andover on my list for next time. I remember driving by the town...

kelmurphy said...

It was a thrill to meet you Robin, and I am glad that you made it home... safe and sound. New England will sorely miss you, but always have open arms waiting for your return. Thanks so much for creating Nate for us to meet!

Stella said...

Oh, oh, The flying Pig! I've been there. Vermont is beautiful, except during mud season when it's just plain muddy.

Robin L said...

Kelly, meeting you was AWESOME and I can't wait to come back!

Stella, isn't the Flying Pig adorable? And I'm laughing at the muddy comment. A woman at the hotel told me their seasons included six months of winter and two months of mud. :-)