Tuesday, March 12, 2013

#43inAZ and Arizona in Pictures

I am giving myself an hour to write this blog.
I will rely on pictures, mostly. But first with the words. (Warning from the future: there is time travel required in order to piece together this story. My brain is fried. Forgive the brain-fried author.)

So, you all know I was headed to Arizona for the Tucson Festival of Books and to sign at the awesome Changing Hands Bookstore. Let me stop here and say just how awesome the Changing Hands Bookstore is. I love this place. It makes me smile all over. I want to hug everyone in the shop when I am there. I do not know why, but this is the phenomenon of Changing Hands.

Anyway, we packed the house for the kickoff for my birthday weekend and I want to thank everyone for coming out to see me. It makes it so special to see familiar faces when I come back to Tempe. It makes me so happy that shopping local means so much to all of you. Yay Tempe! Yay Arizona family! You make me feel so loved. Thank you!

Since we're still talking and not in picture mode yet, I gotta send huge love to Lisa McMann, who not only drove us all around but who is a very amazing friend and a very special person and a very awesome woman and an all around winner. Lisa, you are the win. Thank you so much for everything. Next time, I will christen your pool with 100 laps. I will make sure to come when it's not freezing.

The weather. It was cold. I hadn't expected that even though I saw it on the weather report.
It said 60. I just reckoned it was lying and 60 was warmer than it was here, so I just ignored it, you know?
But 60 is cold.
Especially in Arizona.
But that did not stop people from coming to the Tucson Festival of Books on Saturday. As always, it was a great festival. So many authors! So many great people to see!

Oh. Back up. Let's time travel back to Friday. Friday we went to Casa Grande and visited Casa Grande Union High School where awesome librarian Lisa Morris-Wilkey set up a fantastic day for Lisa, Heather Brewer and me. A great day was had and I love being on stage with Lisa and Heather. We've known each other such a long time now, it's the most natural thing in the world to be with them doing what we love to do.

Also: Friday night I got to call RL Stine "Bob."

ANYWAY. Saturday was boss at the festival. Came home to relax in the hot tub with Joanne Levy (Joanne, does it strike you as a theme that we end up together in water?) who traveled with us all weekend as well (a shout out here to Jen Nielsen, who was with us, too!) and then Sunday was my birthday.

Here's where I thank Heather Brewer for being an amazing person and hanging with me on my birthday. It made my day special and though we didn't really do much except chill out (I had one of the best naps ever--welcome to 43) all day, Heather is the most perfect person to chill out with. Also, she gave me THE COOLEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVAH. (I don't have a picture of it, but I'll give you a hint: it was a very cool squid.)
Then my Arizona family took me out to dinner and we had a real birthday party! #43inAZ. Imagine that. Last birthday party I can remember: when I turned 21. So, it had been a while.
There was cake. (Shannon YOU ROCK.)
I got married to two lovely derby girls. (Two. I am the luckiest honorary derby girl in the whole damn world.)
I had flowers in my hair to prove it.
And there was another squid. This time a boss ceramic squid.
Prediction: when I die, I will be buried with many squid.

Picture time!

Picture thanks to Joanne Levy
Dinner before Changing Hands event with Heather, Faith, Robyn, Joanne, Amy Dominy, Jim Blasingame,
AKA my Changing Hands knight in shining armor, and Lisa. 
Photo thanks to Shannon Bailey
Reading at Changing Hands. The audience asked cool questions.
I read from 2013's REALITY BOY too. I think they dug it.

The Casa Grande Union High School Auditorium before it was packed
with students who actually SANG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me.
You guys ROCKED. Thank you.
This is me and Aaron.
Aaron is totally boss.
Aaron wrote a cool poem that was really really good.
I hope he continues to write poems.
(And maybe make it to a few slams, too. Go Aaron.)

I'm Ted Danson and I don't need no stinkin badges.

Neither of them shared their ice cream. 

Photo Crd: Erin's awesome fiancé
Tom Leveen & me during our panel.
Tom, have you ever seen Monty Python's Life of Brian?
I believe here we are playing the jailer and the jailer's assistant here.
"Well, it's not as n-- n-- n-- n-- n-- n-- n-- n-- no-- no-- no-- not as n-- nasty as something I just thought up, sir."

Photo Crd: Erin's awesome fiancé
Erin Lange rocks. Here she is cracking me up.
Random: I should mention that I ran while eating a bratwurst to get to this panel. 

Photo Crd: Erin's awesome fiancé
I'm tossing this one in there because said awesome 
fiancé caught me in my favorite pose.
This is the pose I make when I talk about the business side of being an author.
The heels of my hands are digging into my forehead so as to guard my eyeballs
from me poking them out on the spot. 
I am a huge fan of Jacqueline Woodson. Huge.
I was so stoked to be on a panel with her.
Fact: only book I brought home from the festival was Summer of the Mariposas
 by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, our fellow panel mate. I can't wait to read it.

Last sunset of my 42nd year. 

Last Mexican meal of my 42nd year.
Also, as Heather Brewer pointed out, there were huge frogs attacking from above.

The morning of my birthday breakfast, Heather and I found this on the wall of the diner.
We voted to share it with you.

Birthday with airplane. On a bench in the sun in Phoenix.

Derby wives are the most badass wives on planet Earth.
Also: First Mexican meal of my 43rd year. 

Two words: Buttercream icing.
Also note the candles say 34.
Coolest server ever. 
Happy family when I got home yesterday.
Birthday glasses FTW.

Other news:
This blog has now taken me way longer than two hours.
There is a massage chair and Pandora Cuban radio waiting for me.

Remind me to tell you about the lovely review in the the San Francisco Book Review and NYC Author Carnival next time.

Go have fun.


azshannon said...

I am glad you had such a good trip and we could help make it more special! Miss you already!!!

Unknown said...

I am so sad I missed your event at Changing Hands! But I am super excited to see Jim Blasingame in one of your photos. Favorite college Professor ever!