Official Author Duty

It's been a while since I've had to travel very far to do something authorie. This was mostly due to the very legit reason that I was bogged down with a intense revise/write of Good-bye To All That (Touchstone, July '10). But I'm a sucker for library and school events so when I got the call to participate in the Sacramento Library Foundation's Authors on the Move dinner, I couldn't say no...Plus, a quick weekend away from home on my own sounded fun.

I like hotels. Really. And the Hyatt is a nice one. The room was big, so big that I only used about a third of it, the bed nice and comfy and I especially liked the walk-in shower.

What I ended up not liking were the paper thin walls (nothing worse than having to listen to a drunk person try to have a conversation with another drunk person at 2 in the morning) and the very loud plumbing. Every time someone ran the shower, turned on the sink or flushed the toilet it sounded as if a rhino was making a run for it. So even though the room was nice, I wouldn't stay there again. I like to sleep. Especially when I'm paying $157 a night to do it.

Sacramento is a very pretty city. Lots of flowers, trees and it's just as clean as San Diego. Driving to and from the airport the taxi passed fields of those yellow flowers from the Contact allergy pill commercial from the 80s. And, yes, just the sight of them started me sneezing.

My room overlooked the front of the hotel and Capitol Park and the Capital building. Again, very pretty and I almost went for a walk but decided to stay in and watch back-to-back episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond.

So that's me and my Mrs. MBA dress. It's served me well, but I've had to retire it. I've worn it a few times, maybe three, but it's started to show some wear. Having to pin a name tag on it didn't help and I snagged it here and there as I made my way between tables during the dinner. Who knew a book event could be so hard on a frock?

I'll have to shop for another go-to dress, but I'll put that off even though I know I won't stray to far from this look. For now, I'll hang the Mrs. MBA dress deep in the back of my closet and will bring it out for Halloween when I'll either dress up as Betty Draper or a PanAm stewardess from the early 1960s.

What I do hope to get more use of are my shoes. They're Me Too Lockets in grey suede with 3 3/4" heel and 3/4" platform that makes them very walkable.

I'm tempted to get them in black because...well for no other good reason than I like them so much in grey.

An author has to eat and since the event was going from 6-10 where we writers wouldn't be eating along with the first two tables we were to host, the organizers fed us starting at 4. I went with the vegetable napoleon but didn't end up eating much of anything.

What I did do is drink about seven glasses of water so I had to duck out during Alice Sebold's talk at the end of the night to go to the bathroom.

In short I had a great time. I got to meet Alison Brennen and hang out with Eileen Rendahl. I also got to talk to lots of people who really love books and libraries and that was the best part.

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