From Big Spring, we Bookmobiled our way to New Mexico, making an early and hasty exit from the Man Camp to the friendly, welcoming Pecos River RV Park in Carlsbad. So hasty, in fact, that I forgot to latch our cargo bin where all event supplies are stored. I didn’t realize this until I hooked up to the power at Pecos and saw the side door of the cargo hold flapping in the breeze.


My life flashed before my eyes. We had jounced and bounced the whole three hours from Big Spring. But nary an item had we lost. If it had been one of my kids who’d done that, I would have killed them. 🙂


Speaking of kids, I want to introduce you to my EXTENDED support staff:

  • Eric (husband): king of advertising and promotion
  • Marie (eldest stepdaughter): events, logistics, media, and two stints on-the-road
  • Heidi (digital artist): covers, posters, bookmarks, ads, magnets, decals for Bookmobile, and billboard (yes, billboard)
  • Stephanie (longtime dear friend): online/social marketing and research
  • Liz (youngest stepdaughter): first stint on-the-road
  • Clark Kent (son): stint on-the-road
  • Susie (mom): stint on-the-road
  • Susanne (daughter): stint on-the-road, LAST — mostly to give her two months to practice her driving, oh-she-of-UPS-truck-smashing fame
  • Allie (Clark Kent’s long-suffering girlfriend): right hand to Marie

They are AWESOME! I am well taken care of.


I am, in addition to doing events, working on What kind of loser indie publishes, and how can I be one too?, proofing audio book files, conducting personal promotions, and handling the details of the two upcoming book launches (Leaving Annalise and Loser).

Speaking of audio files for audio books, Puppalicious is now on sale as an audiobook! My Dream of Freedom (by Helen Colin) is done! Saving Grace is done! How to Screw Up Your Marriage is done! In production: Clark Kent Chronicles, Hot Flashes and Half Ironmans, and Leaving Annalise! Many thanks to the awesome Sandy Weaver-Carman, the talented Hanna Dettman, the speedy and fun Debbie Andreen, and the silver-tongued Ashley Ulery, voice-over artists extraordinaire.


Radio interview for you to “enjoy” on Santa Fe radio: Click Here.

Major successes this week: we booked our New Jersey and San Francisco event stores. We’re almost done with the incredibly difficult and time-consuming task of booking locations.

So back to Carlsbad: we took Petey out for an afternoon run on the Pecos. Petey, who is a very black dog, scampered for 100 yards, then flopped himself into the shade on his side each time we reached a patch of it. No amount of coaxing worked to lure him into running again. We took him for an (unwelcome) river swim, then back to air conditioning. Thanks, Petey, for saving Liz and me from the heat, too!

After a great event in Carlsbad where we saw friends from my college and island days, and at which my incomparable husband arranged for tulip delivery, we drove on to Roswell for the night. Then on to Albuquerque the next day.

Well, it had to happen sometime, and in Albuquerque I finally bombed an event. To my credit, it was the wrong store for me. I didn’t have nearly enough nose rings to interact with the clientele. I knew as soon as we walked in that it was a bust, and the store management was politely intrigued about why I’d been sent to their store instead of the two perfect ones across town packed with my more conventional audience. C’est la vie. Hopefully they’ll transfer the books to the other stores.

We enjoyed our time with the store staff and with our dear friend, actor Patrick Juarez. He’s currently working as the stand-in for Lou Diamond Phillips on Longmire, a modern western which you really MUST see if you haven’t already (A&E and Netflix). We even dined at Twisters, the site of filming for some scenes from Breaking Bad, another series Patrick has worked on. Petey staged a protest over returning to the RV from Patrick’s lovely home. Petey, darlin’, I felt exactly the same way.


We redeemed ourselves in Santa Fe with a busy event, including the unexpected and delightful visit of my colleague Wendy, right before the onslaught of the book people. What fun!

We had a few hours off in Santa Fe, so we took patient Petey to a leashless dog park. From all appearances, it was the happiest hour of his whole life. We dined at La Chuza and bought Fandango tickets to Man of Steel, only to realize I’d typed my email in wrong. With no confirmation number, we had to buy the tickets AGAIN at the theater. Most.expensive.movie.ever.


And it got worse. During the previews, I had a horrible premonition that something was wrong. I didn’t know what. I sent Eric a panicked text, but he didn’t answer as he and Marie were at Man of Steel in Houston, a double-date with Liz and I in Santa Fe. Minutes later as I stared at my phone waiting for bad news, my ex called from the emergency room with Susanne who had a flare-up of leaky gut-driven allergies. Her skin got red and painful and she nearly passed out. She DID NOT go into anaphylactic shock, but she is back on the hard-core restricted diet and steroids.  I left the movie when I got this message, and I spent the rest of the movie-time alone in the RV. Yes, crying. It was very hard not to drive home that night, but, really, there’s nothing I can do that my ex, Eric, and Marie aren’t already doing. And ultimately, it’s up to Susanne to adhere to her dietary restrictions.


We made it to our campground at 11 to find that someone had accidentally (we hope) removed our late check-in instructions and packet. We decided that we’d take whatever spot was open and apologize the next day. And so we did.


And now, one long day of driving and listening to audiobook files later, we are ensconced in the Bookmobile in Kansas, me with double sleep meds down the hatch. I haven’t slept longer than five hours any night since we left home, 2000 miles, seven events, and one week ago.


Nighty night!


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