Friday, May 28, 2010

Homeward Bound

A little over two months ago I was sitting on a bench on the platform of the railway station ten minutes from my home in south-west France. It was cold, it was wet, it was still winter. I was excited, stressed, depressed, all at the same time.

I was waiting for a train that would take me to Paris, and from there to the United States, where ahead of me lay two months of touring, talks and travel, to promote three new books which had come out at the start of the year.

I was daunted. And, to be honest, if I could have turned around there and then, and gone straight back home, nothing would have made me happier.

A song kept going around and around in my head.

I’m sitting in a railway station got a ticket for my destination...
... And every stop is neatly planned for a laundry and a one-night stand...

Homeward bound, I wish I was... homeward bound...

Ok, so I amended the lyrics a little, but you get the point.

Two months on, here I am sitting at Gate B41 at Dulles International Airport in Washington DC. I have given more than 20 talks at events in bookstores and libraries all over the country, culminating at Borders at Bailey’s Crossroads just outside of DC, and the LaPrade Library in Richmond Virginia.

I find it hard to believe that it was eight weeks ago that I flew into Minneapolis, jumped into a rental car, and drove immediately to Uncle Edgar’s bookstore to sign the piles of books that Jeff Hatfield had waiting for me. Since when I have lost my coat and found it, lost my cellphone and (miraculously) found it, lost my voice and found it, and lost my heart to a dog called Odin. I also lost my way in the dark of southern California, and almost got shot. In the end I very nearly lost my sanity - and I’m still looking for it.

But here I am, finally... homeward bound. And I have that song going around and around in my head again. As they call my flight...


3 comments:

Donis Casey said...

You have my heartfelt sympathy, for I too have a tremendous love/hate relationship with travel, and a long book tour is mostly hate. I hope it was very much worth it for you, and you and Janice are able to take at least a little time to recoup when you get home. And if I may quote an apropos song lyric myself--
"So happy to meet you, so sorry to part."

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