Friday, September 21, 2007


Emily and I made the 6-hour trip to Seattle (actually Bellevue, a bit to the east) yesterday, arriving at the hotel in time for me to take a short nap before I dressed up all professional and walked over to the fancy convention center for the PNBA event.

I was nervous but ok, until I walked into the room. See, each publisher was supposed to mail 150 copies of their author's book ahead of time, and then we would sign them all, and then each bookstore rep present would get a free copy. So. I walked into the room and there were stacks and stacks of books, and the nice organizer lady told me sadly that my books never showed up.

"No, we've looked everywhere. We were hoping you had brought them. Unfortunately this seems to happen to about one author every time."

I always seem to have a knack for "winning" this kind of lottery.

Naturally, I did what any tough, red-blooded, professional American woman would do: burst into tears and called Paul. The volunteers there were very nice and we decided to make copies of my handout and give that out instead of a book, but sadly when the volunteers filled the bags for the attendees, a lot of them didn't include my paper.

I thought, Why oh why didn't I take Clara Schnupp's workshop at the ladies' retreat on Handling Life's Disappointments?

Then we authors sat at two tables and ate our fancy supper. First fresh spinach with cubes of cold yellow beets, then the main course, then an apple dessert that was ok but not as good as Paul's mom's apple pie. The couscous was (were?) interesting and good, the pork belly tasted like any pork from the crock pot, only a little more peppery, and the "braised escarole and roasted shallots" were limp and overdone IMHO and a bit slimy. And according to my ticket this was all worth $55, which of course in my Amish mind translates to about 4 days worth of home-cooked fare for my entire household. Sorry to any purists out there: I am not a gourmet food person.

I sat near two authors who were nice to talk to--Jay Inslee, who was very much a politician, and Lisa Lutz, who was surprisingly shy.

Then came the fun part: spending 20 minutes at each of 5 tables talking to bookstore people about Upstairs the Peasants are Revolting. Many of these were small-town folks from places like Lewiston, Idaho, who were very interested in the Amish/Mennonite angle and asked lots of questions and at times said they already have the book in their store. I felt like they were rooting for me, which is very different from trying to convince people who don't really want to be convinced.

And several went on and on about how impressed they were with the Amish response to the Nickel Mines shooting last October. Did those families ever imagine their lives would have an impact on some fancy book person in Seattle, Washington, even almost a year after the tragedy? Amazing.

Then I went back to the hotel and Emily and I went out for a late meal at Denny's and talked about which guys in books she would like to date: Peter Pan and Tuck Everlasting, it turns out. Two boys who never grew up, which is very disturbing.

And then today we drove home, and there's no place like it.

It turns out someone at Good Books dropped the ball and misplaced an email and never sent the books. Ooooooh. So glad I'm not him.

Quote of the Day:
Jenny: Ben, you're handsome, but not quite as handsome as Steven.
Ben: Hey!!


  1. Actually his name is Jessi Tuck. Tuck Everlasting is the name of the book.

  2. I can only imagine you probably reacted in a "Proactive Sequence" and not a "Reactive Sequence (per Clara's workshop). My husband loves to quote Romans 8:28 in a situation like yours and initially it sometimes makes me ticked off, even though I know it's true!

    LOL at the "fancy supper". I'm in total agreement with the gourmet food! But now you're home and you can feast on Amish/Mennonite gourmet food!! I am thanking God for safety in all your travels hither and yon the last while!! God is faithful even through our "disappointments"....but then you already know that! Looking forward to more "impressions" of Ladies Retreat! :) ~karen

  3. I just have to offer condolences on the big disappointment of not having your books show up! That had to be very disconcerting, but you exhibited fortitude and carried through with the event, even stating that you had fun. I think my whole evening would've been ruined had that happened to me!