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The Walk


When I’m not driving, working on my next book (yes, I still do that sometimes), submitting essays (hard to find the time), holding a book event, here is what a day in the life of this DIY Book Tour author looked like on Monday, October 17, 2016:

• Organized and emailed a set of questions, based on my reading of my co-presenter’s book, that he, the moderator, and I can think about before we meet this afternoon to prepare for our joint Book Forum on Sunday.

• Took a 10-minute walk down a country lane, lined with turning cottonwoods, with Sam the dog.

• Wrote an email to the person in charge of ordering at the Calvin College bookstore, based on a contact made by my friend, another gay Calvin alum and big supporter, who was visiting the store from Seattle. I suggested that they stock my book and perhaps sponsor a reading in the spring.

• Sent e-mails with attached flyers to Albuquerque friends who might attend the Book Forum on Sunday.

• Texted my brother Rick, who knows the Zollinger Library director at UNM-Gallup personally. She still had not responded to my suggestion for a reading there in February, to be preceded by a feature story in the Gallup Independent. Rick called after my text reminder to get particulars for his call to the librarian.

• Took another 10-minute walk.

• Posted a story about the election of a lesbian bishop in the United Methodist Church to my FB book page and connected the related struggles to our Book Forum on Sunday.

• Took yet another 10-minute walk. I do this throughout the day to avoid pretzel-ness of the body.

• Scheduled follow-ups to people who might help set up events.

• Ate lunch—black bean soup as a dip for yellow corn tortilla chips, red baby endive, carrots.

• Followed up on previous requests: Englewood Review of Books, my cousin Pat in Oregon; a referral source for Kentwood, MI.

• Wrote new requests for events: University of Arizona LGBTQ Resource Center; Broadway Books and Another Read Through in Portland, OR.

• Received encouragement in the form of a request for nine(!) review copies of To Drink from the Silver Cup to be reviewed by the ALA GLBT Round Table Subcommittee for the Stonewall Awards

• Met with my co-presenter and the moderator for Sunday’s Book Forum to craft our format.

• Ate dinner at Whole Foods, took a walk, attended a celebration for a friend who was honored for her pro bono legal work.

• Had a phone conversation with a friend on the California Central Coast regarding the possibility of events there. I had emailed her a couple of weeks ago and gotten no response. Her initial reply was that she is not able to help set up an event at this time. I explained that if she could just suggest a possible venue, I would do the work. She thought of a possibility that I knew wouldn’t work for me. Then, just as we were about to end the conversation, she hit on the fact that her sister interviews authors on a public radio station in Point Reyes. Bingo!

• Another encouraging email rounded out the day: confirmation of December 3 for a reading and craft talk at C & P Coffee in Seattle with Ann Pryzyzicki, editor of Isthmus.

• Wrote this blog post, which, due to the nature of it, went on the entire day.

If this seems like it should only take a couple of hours, think again. Every email has to be crafted; although I have some boilerplate I can paste in, I try to personalize as much as possible. This work took all day, beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 9:30 pm with breaks for meals and walks. It often feels like slogging through mud because—well, painstaking.

Next event: Book Forum with Rich Wood (A Shared Future: Faith-Based Organizing for Racial Equity and Ethical Democracy) at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 5301 Ponderosa Ave, Albuquerque, NM. Sunday, October 23, 2016, 3-5 pm.

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