I am sitting in the Chicago airport, headed home from the NYC book tour trip, and I promised myself that I will not use the entire post to complain about air travel.
I will merely note that I just got off of a flight whose terribleness was at a level that is difficult to describe. I declared to the man on my right, the woman across the aisle (though, sadly, not to Twitter since the plane didn’t have wifi) that this would be the last time I willingly allow myself to be shoved into a metal container that is launched into the air.
You know the scene in the old King Kong movie where the giant ape grabs an airplane and angrily starts shaking it like it’s a toy? That’s what it was like to be on the plane I was just on. In fact, that may have been what was actually happening, but I wouldn’t know since I was stuck in an aisle seat and the window seat people had pulled their shades because they were evidently not remotely curious about the events occurring outside the aircraft.
I suppose I will go ahead and take my connecting flight back to Texas, but I was pretty much ready to jump into cab here in Chicago. When the driver asked me where I’m headed, I’d casually say, “Austin.”
Let me start my coverage of the New York trip with a bang:
Remember how I said that part of the prize for the Epic Selfie contest was a picture of me wearing a t-shirt bearing the winner’s image?
BEHOLD: Jenna‘s awesome picture…on a t-shirt…in Times Square!!!
When I say that a selfie contest is going to be epic, I mean EPIC.
(And huge thanks to the amazingly competent and understanding folks at Big Frog Custom T-Shirts who aren’t phased at all when people call and say, “If I email you a picture of a woman lying on the ground holding a book while screaming at a drawing of a scorpion, could you have that made into a t-shirt before my flight leaves in 48 hours?”)
The New York trip was so great. It began in Stamford, CT, where evidently there is something in the water there that makes everyone awesome.
My new friend Lisa Kotasek introduced me to a bunch of wonderful folks, in addition to driving me around and playing event organizer. We had dinner at Columbus Park, where I had the most delicious food I have tasted in a very long time, and the restaurant even made a special blue SOTG drink for us!
On Wednesday, First Things hosted a lovely reception where I gave a talk and signed books. At that event, I experienced both one of the best and one of the worst moments of my existence. First, the best:
Remember Julia’s picture from the Epic Selfie Contest that I said made me laugh to the point of tears every time I saw it?
Julia came to the First Things event! And SHE BROUGHT THE TRICERATOPS HAT! Obviously, I had to put it on and start taking pictures.
(I’m sure this happens all the time at First Things lectures.)
And now for the worst moment:
I knew that Kelly Mantoan was coming, so I had a t-shirt made of Kelly’s entry into the Epic Selfie Contest! (For those of you need your memory jogged, it’s a picture of her holding my book, a Devo hat photoshopped onto her head, striking a pose like she’s in the Whip It video.)
My big plan was to surprise her by putting the t-shirt on over my dress clothes — and of course taking a picture with her! I went to great lengths to get these shirts made before I left Austin, so you can imagine my despair when Kelly arrived at the event, I ran over to my bag to get the shirt…and realized I forgot it back at the hotel on the other side of town.
Maybe God was looking out for me there. I can imagine the esteemed board members of First Things turning to see me wearing a triceratops hat and a t-shirt of a someone dressed up like Devo over my clothes, and turning to one another and saying, “Who did Ignatius Press say this woman is again?”
I had a blast at all the book signings, but the coolest moment was when a great gal had me sign her Kindle!
She collects the signatures of authors whose ebooks she’s read, and it was an honor to have mine be one of them.
This post would not be complete without this picture, which I found when I was going through pictures of the trip. It was taken by my nine-year-old son the day before I left. Joe was on a day trip so I was on my own with all six kids, and I thought that “maybe it would be fine” take them all to Mass by myself. You can see how well that turned out.
Seeing that picture made me homesick. As wonderful as this book tour trip has been, it’ll be good to get back to the chaos.