Firstly, book launch details. All welcome:
My husband came with me as driver (there was no way I was driving on the other side of the road and working for the week). After a knuckle-gripping start, he got into it. I pulled a muscle in my neck the day we left Ireland so was in constant pain for the first five days, which made things a bit stressful. Still, I managed to thoroughly enjoy my events and meeting the booksellers and audiences. The car remained a bit of a trauma - country roads were OK but those interstates, eek! Speeding rock-bedecked trucks, crazy weavy drivers, a dopey sat-nav...anyway, we survived!
I had various radio and TV interviews along the way but I'll link to them later, if I get the chance. Life is hectic and I am jet-lagged out the wazoo. Crazy broken sleep last night.
Our first stop was Mystic, Connecticut, a pretty maritime village on Mystic River. My event there was a meet-the-author lunch in Bank Square Books where we were warmly welcomed by events manager Elissa, owner Annie Philbrick and her dog, Charlie. We had a delicious, chatty lunch and the participants were enthused and friendly. Very enjoyable.
|Bank Square Books window|
|Pre-lunch signing in Mystic|
|Author lunch in Bank Square Books, Mystic|
|Beautiful beluga whale at Mystic|
|Ice-cream at the aquarium|
After two nights in Mystic, we headed north again to Boston, where I had a TV interview with the lovely Smoki Bacon and Dick Concannon at The Literati Scene. Then we went on to Cambridge, Massachusetts and my reading/event at Harvard Book Store.
|Miss Emily on the counter at Harvard Book Store|
|Mr Harvard himself in the Yard|
|Hipster fun-poking in Cambridge|
|I was thrilled that Jennifer Tseng, author of Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness came to my reading|
|Our house for five days in Palmer, Mass.|
|Joan Grenier, owner of Odyssey Bookshop|
|Signing at Odyssey|
|Traditionally, visiting author's sign the bog wall at Odyssey Books.|
I put an Emily quote, of course :)
|For all you 'Orange is the New Black' fans, it appears|
Pennsatucky's ancestors were from Springfield
|Communing with Dr Seuss, who was also from Springfield|
|Museum fun with Junior|
|The Lorax, Juno and Little Ponies|
We also went to the Beneski Nat Hist Museum to view birds that Emily mentions in her poetry. And Finbar, Juno and I went to Emily's house and took the two-house tour - it was moving to be in that space with them, to see their reactions to Emily's stuff and world.
|Juju, Emily and 'pink milk'|
|Items atop Emily's grave, West Cemetery|
|Jonnie Guerra, who moderated Susan Snively's and my event|
|Juno with Emily's house behind|
|Susan and I signing after our event, which went off well|
|Susan reading from The Heart Has Many Doors, her wonderful novel about Emily's love affair with Judge Otis Lord|
|Kate Wellspring, curator at Beneski Museum shares Emily-related birds with the EDIS group|
There is a certain terror in standing in front of Dickinson scholars reading a fictionalised life of our beloved Emily. But they were welcoming, laughed at the right bits and asked good questions. Inevitably someone asked 'Why bother?' but I think I managed to explain my rationale and, anyway, I sort of agree with her. Why do we do these things, indeed?
|While I was conferencing, Juno and Daddy went to swim in Puffer's Pond|
|Last pic: Huge thanks to Finbar for putting up with my neck-and nervousness-related whinging and for driving us all over.|
'The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.' Emily Dickinson