This was a very exciting week! It actually started May 15, when I drove out to my old stomping grounds in the Columbia River Gorge to début Get Your Pitchfork On! Suzanne and Aaron opened their fantastic restaurant, Solstice Wood Fire Café, just so Waucoma Books could host an event there! (And I’m not just calling them fantastic because they are nice to me; they’ve recently been recognized by via magazine and Portland Monthly.) The place filled with dozens of old friends, and a couple new ones, and I went to sleep that night with a big smile on my face.
Monday an interview with me was posted to “Seven Questions,” which features a different author every week. I was really impressed with Laura Stanfill; she had clearly not just read the book but also done a bunch of research.
On Tuesday morning, I went to KATU, Portland’s Channel 2 television station, to appear on AM Northwest. I shared the green room with a young woman who is launching a career as a vegan chef and two guys who are touring as impersonators of Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. The hosts, Helen and Dave, and their staff were extremely accommodating and welcoming, and the interview went too fast! Next time I’m asked, I will simply say that I grew up “in the Midwest.”
Wednesday, I lived like an ordinary person and went to work. I do have a day job, as office manager of Oregon Humanities. My colleagues are extremely supportive of this little summer side-job. Thank you, Cara, Carole, Kathleen, Jennifer, Kamla, Annie, Sarah, Eloise and Alicia!
Thursday I reported to the Powell’s on Southeast Hawthorne for my first Portland appearance. The store expected 20 to 30 people and got a big surprise when at least 60 crammed themselves into every aisle in the store! I was pleased to meet “Seven Questions” blogger Laura in person, as well as Gregg Einhorn, the book’s designer.
I didn’t realize that the excerpts I chose to read were all kind of violent and depressing (cats getting eaten by predators, people accidentally cutting their hands open and getting arms torn off by farm machinery) until I was reading them. By the end, I felt sort of guilty. But the truth hurts—country life can be dangerous! Everyone looked like they were having a good time regardless—I just hope the children in the audience weren’t listening very carefully …
After the reading, friends wandered across the street to Nick’s Coney Island, whose friendly staff were waiting for us with cow-spotted balloons and a signature drink—The Pitchfork! It’s what I often drink at home: bourbon and grapefruit-flavored bitters. Carrie, one of the owners, emailed me a few days later and said that they plan to add The Pitchfork to their regular drink menu—so go in and ask for one by name!
Saturday, Mike and I packed the car and took off for Southern Oregon, where I arranged to sign books at Quady North Winery in Jacksonville. I enjoyed meeting people from all over Oregon and California, especially the owners and tasting room manager of the winery. Thanks for having me, Herb, Melanie and Emily!
Then we drove to nearby Applegate, home of friends Chelsea and Tyler—the very people who suggested I send the Get Your Pitchfork On! manuscript to Process Media. Visiting them is always an adventure—this time it was a prom-themed party. Pretty entertaining to see a bunch of 30- and 40-somethings carrying on in tuxedos and fancy dresses! Keep the tulle away from the bonfire …
There are more surprises in store next week and, in mid-June, I embark on a week-long tour of Eastern Oregon. At the end of June, I will hopefully reprise the standing-room-only experience at Portland’s Broadway Books. Stay tuned!