TAoD tour day eleven
Tuesday:5 am wakeup call (I’e2’80’99ve had two alarm clocks die on me in the past week, both the dependable Swiss Army kind. Never trust a new alarm clock without a backup call from the desk.) and 6:15 pickup. Long line to get through security, longer line to get coffee from Starbuck’e2’80’99s, on the gift card given me many days ago by Mary, thanks again. Late into San Francisco, onto the ridiculously fun AirTrain ride down to the car rental agencies (I’e2’80’99d recommend that, if you have kids and a flight out of SF, you schedule twenty minutes extra to circle the airport. A free thrill ride!) To my relief, Avis had a small SUV available, so I don’e2’80’99t have to drive several hundred freeway miles hunched down behind the wheel of a pavement-scraper.
I would have driven my own car up and left it at the airport, but we’e2’80’99re a little short of cars at the moment in the King household and so I’e2’80’99m in a rental Subaru (automatic shift, of course’e2’80’94no point even to ask for a manual.) I managed to make it into SF in time to grab lunch before the Stacey’e2’80’99s event. Stacey’e2’80’99s is on Market Street just at the edge of the financial district, so one gets an interesting mix of homeless people and men in $2000 suits, and all the varieties in between. It was an enthusiastic group, and we had a good time.
Back in my shiny white automatic shift Subaru, I went down the peninsula a short way to sign late-arriving stock for Ed Kauffman at M is for Mystery in San Mateo, then drove to Berkeley to check in to the Doubletree that’e2’80’99s right on the Berkeley marina’e2’80’94an elegant view out the glass doors. And dinner with my beloved agent Linda Allen (a San Francisco resident) at one of my favorite Berkeley places, Eccolo on Fourth Street before my evening event at the nearby Cody’e2’80’99s. Unfortunately, a mixup as to time had me making my leisurely way up the street a quarter of an hour after it was to have started’e2’80’94I was originally scheduled to sign at the Telegraph Ave store, which is now on the edge of closing, its owner driven out by the shift of people with money to plunk down for hardback books away from the scruffy and picturesque haunts of my youth. And since Telegraph schedules their events at 7:30, though the Fourth Street starts at 7:00, well, Reader, I was late.
But they were forgiving. Much good discussion, a young fan with her mother asked some good questions, we talked about writing and being a writer and how characters take over and what this means.
And as we were drawing to a close, I decided to introduce a pair of friends who were witting in the back, local writers I’e2’80’99ve known for years. So I had the two men stand up and introduced the first one and talked about his books, only it wasn’e2’80’99t Tony Broadbent standing there, it was Kirk Russell. My poor enfeebled brain, after plane flights and driving and drop-ins and five hours sleep two nights running, had just shifted rails on me and switched the identities of two local writers I know, like, and have read. God, poor Kirk, he was so gracious about it, but really, I must never go outside the lines at an event.
Sorry, Kirk, and thanks for coming to hear me put my foot in my mouth. Sorry Tony, I’e2’80’99ll probably call you Kirk when next I see you. And sorry Dylan, for dragging you into my idiocy.
I did get Dylan Schaeffer’e2’80’99s name right. Do I get points for that?
And after nine hours sleep, I may get through the day without any other major faux pas. Yes, this is the last day on the road, and tomorrow I can get back to that other thing I do. Now, what was it? Oh, yes, I remember’e2’80’94I write.