This post represents something new, not just for my website, but in the annals of the Internet and, perhaps, of recorded history itself:
A post for a virtual blog-world tour is simultaneously a post for a real-life tour. Additionally, a post on my Postcards website about my life in England, is also a post about my book, and therefore intersects my “Life of Writing” blog, as well. And you few, you lucky few, are here to witness it.
The downside is, three distinct virtual and real-time events all taking place simultaneously may create a rift in the space-time continuum and generate a spectral loop, causing us all to relive this day over and over again, like Bill Murray in “Groundhogs Day” or the crew of the Enterprise (TNG) when they had to live a terminal event over and over again until they managed to save the series from premature cancellation.
So do something fun and interesting today; you don’t want to chance re-living your tax audit or a trip to the proctologist over and over until the end of time. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Where I am in the virtual world is on my friend Glenn’s Tripod website. I hope you visit; he must be the last person in the world (real or otherwise) with a page on Tripod. I gave mine up during the Nixon administration. In the real world, I’m in Glenn’s back yard, sitting at the picnic table with a glass of whiskey, a cigar and an internet connection. Where I am on the New York Times Bestseller List is anybody’s guess.
The life of an author isn’t all glitz and glamour, you know; I’m rarely chased by paparazzi and I have yet to be besieged by groupies flinging their knickers at me while I’m giving a talk about “How to be a Popular Writer” at NYU. (I’ll be speaking to my agent about this, believe you me, as soon as I get an agent.) Mostly authors spend a lot of time doing what I’m doing: travelling from town to town trying to meet as many people as possible and win them over so they will go out and buy the book.
Don’t get me wrong; I love the travel, but it does get tiring. And I love meeting new people. So much so that all I want to do is talk with them and hear about their lives and get to know the area they live in. And then I move on to the next stop and realize I never mentioned my book. Not that it matters; I wrote “Postcards From Across the Pond” because I was having so much fun with my own life that I wanted to share it with others, and I see this tour as a way of allowing others to share bits of their lives with me without having to go through all the bother of writing and publishing a book. So forgive me if I forget to include the Hard Sell in my posts.
Aside from the struggle to escape obscurity, I’m having a blast. The blog-world tour has bounced me back and forth across the pond and taken me to Spain and Tenerife as well. And soon, I’ll be heading to other surprising destinations.
In the real world, my wife and I have travelled to Montreal, breezed through Albany, stayed in Syracuse, popped down to Cazenovia for my son’s wedding, and then settled in Brainard to try to fit in a few relaxing days before heading to Rouses Point and making the crossing back into Canada for the flight home. It’s been a tiring trip, but it’s our own fault: we took The Boy and his girlfriend to Paris when they visited us and the romance of the city overcame him and her proposed to her. After they became engaged, you just knew something like this was bound to happen.
It’s all been lovely but half the time I don’t know where I am or what day it is, and it has been a challenge keeping The Tour going while on the road.
But mostly it has been great getting re-acquainted with America—the real America. We got to meet my new daughter-in-law’s family and after an hour with them it was as if we had known them all our lives. They were, without exception, gracious and accommodating. Likewise other distant relatives I had not seen in years made us feel very welcomed and we were able to spend a wonderful, relaxing afternoon with my aunt, her children and their respective partners chatting around their backyard picnic table over pizza and Pespsi.
Living in the UK for so long, I only get to see America as the rest of the world sees it, and it’s easy to forget that they are some of the friendliest, charitable and welcoming people on the planet. This trip has reaffirmed my conviction that America is a great nation, and what makes it great are the people who live here.
I’m looking forward to spending a few more days among them, and today’s schedule involves meeting up with my cousin and maybe taking a trip down the Hudson Valley to visit the Vanderbilt mansion and, of course, spending time in the back yard with some beverages and fine cigars.
I want it to be a perfect day; I’m not taking any chances.
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2009 KINDNESS of STRANGERS TOUR?
Visit the Tour Page to sign up or to view the latest Tour updates.