BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Saturday: The Full Story

Well, I managed to wake up better than I thought I would, and I actually have a little time before I have jump in the shower, so I can report some of my Saturday in detail. Probably too much detail.

First off, part of one of the freeways here is closed this weekend for construction. Needless to say, this is the part I needed to drive on, so I had to go out of my way to get anywhere. It was fine Saturday morning when I left before 8am to get to the workshop, but not so good later. I arrived at the workshop hotel in plenty of time, but I'd never been there before and I didn't realize that there wasn't a nice little parking lot right next to the building. Rather, there was a parking ramp a fair distance out--and all the close parking spots were reserved for some stupid office building. I started my day with a long walk into the hotel, including a tromp down a flight of stairs in the ramp. And it was raining as I walked outside from the ramp to the hotel. Oh, joy.

Registration went smoothly. I found my name tag immediately and the woman at the table not only recognized me, but she gave me directions to my event today. The room was already full when I went in and I ended up having to sit at the back. I wanted to be closer up, but I needed a seat on the aisle so I could stick my foot out. Sigh. I'm so tired of the fashionable cam boot.

The workshop was interesting. A great refresher of GMC and it got me thinking about TOD and how I'm using these elements. I was able to gush to Debra Dixon about how her GMC book was the final light bulb that went off for me, and it enabled me to write a book that I sold. I also got my copy of Bad to the Bone autographed.

Since the workshop ran over, and I had to go home before the book signing at the Mall of America, I hoofed it quickly to my SUV. Okay, as quickly as the fashionable cam boot and my hobbled foot would allow. Did I mention it was a long walk? Did I mention it was raining? Did I mention people can't drive in MN when it's raining? It took much longer to get home than I would have liked, and when I walked in the door, I was absolutely flying around the house to get ready. I ended up leaving 10 minutes later than I wanted to, but I figured I'd be okay because I'd built in extra time to the schedule to walk in.

Well, needless to say, I didn't factor the entire world being on the road with me. Remember, a segment of the freeway was closed, so I had to take a detour. I sat through 4 lights at one intersection on Hwy 7, and sat through 2 at a couple of others. I finally made it to the next highway only to encounter traffic pretty much at a dead stop the whole way. The freeway which is normally so congested, was the best out of all the roads I was on as far as traffic went. Then I hit the side streets around the Mall of America. OMG! I have never seen so many cars and so many people in my entire life. I don't think there was this much traffic in downtown Manhattan! =8-O And if there were this many cars surrounding the mall, you can just imagine how many cars were in the mall parking ramps!

I almost got a spot in the second row because someone was pulling out, but there was a car in front of me and he grabbed it. :-( I went up and down row after row and everything was filled. Everything! I finally found a spot in the last row of the first level. Just what my foot needed--another long walk!

I can't even tell you how many people there were just swarming all over the parking ramp (in and out of cars), how many people were entering and exiting the mall, or how many people were teeming inside the mall. It was incredible! I usually do my best to avoid the MOA--too many tourists, too hard to find a decent parking spot, too big a mall--and this just reinforced my decision to give it a wide berth.

Fortunately for me, I had managed to park right near the bookstore. Of course, I'd looked at the mall map, figured out I needed to go left at the hallway intersection. When I hit it, I paused for a moment, and kind of glanced around. Good thing I did. Wrong Way O'Shea strikes again. There was Barnes & Noble on my right. Sigh.

I was ten minutes late, but I was not the last one there. A couple of the authors signing with me walked in right behind me--although I didn't recognize them--and a couple came in much later than me. One of those people said she ended up parking on the 4th level because 1, 2 and 3 were all full.

Kelly at BN was incredibly nice and treated us all to whatever we wanted at the cafe and then we went up to the table in front to sign. I ended up hauling the big version of my cover mounted on an easel for no reason. There was no place to put it up, but I did get my bookmarks out.

I had a couple of people bring copies of The Power of Two in from home for me to sign, but otherwise it was all Through a Crimson Veil that people were interested in. It was really interesting to see the aversion to futuristic romance again. I'd seen it once at the literacy signing at RWA in Reno, but this was kind of an eye opener for me despite that. Maybe it's the repetition thing reinforcing it.

I ended up being the last author to leave. How does that keep happening? But the mall was still swarming with people. Even the ramp was still fairly full, although there were a bunch of open spots too. So there I am, driving in the dark with it raining, and trying to figure out where I'm going. I didn't get lost, though--a moral victory--and I got home a little before 10pm. A very long day considering I left the house that morning at 7:50.

So today my foot really hurts and I'm still swollen even after sleeping. And I need to get moving now to drive in the rain to St. Paul for MBA. I'm really exhausted and just want to crawl back into bed and sleep for like another 8 hours. :-) Of course, when I get home, I have to do laundry and put away all the crap I tossed around in my hurry to get to the book signing last night. I haven't been able to really watch any television, so I have no idea how the poor people in the path of Rita made out, but I'm hoping since the hurricane's strength was weakening, that it wasn't as bad as everyone had feared.

MN Weather Report: 64 degrees. Rain.