Last tour report from Memphis, Tennessee, PLUS how to order the beautiful book of these reports: In Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 7th grade I sewed a dress to get into a special writing program for 8th grade. I'm not sure how my sewing proved I was qualified as a poet, but seemingly my jury was as sideways-thinking as I was and I got in. Armed with my new cowgirl dress, I was ready to write poetry. I had decided I was a shoo-in because I had dutifully copied down all of the lyrics from Mom and Dad's Simon & Garfunkel Bookends record. What more training did I really need? I'd been writing stories in the blue notebook that my dad got me and I had memorized all of the lyrics to Jose Quervo with Shelly West as my mentor. Plus, I had gone a step further and created an interpretive dance illustrating the finer points of that song. I was on my way as a writer.
Due to an over-indulgence in Nilsson, the Rolling Stones' Greatest Hits, and Simon & Garfunkel and the pressure my southern gothic heritage, my poems tended to focus a little too much on mental institutions. But Madonna and Cyndi Lauper made sure I didn't neglect love poetry as well. God bless the people who bought my poetry collection at the Las Cruces Mall one Sunday when I set up shop in front of the Hallmark store.
But everyone starts somewhere, even champion ping pong players.
I started these tour reports by accident two months ago with a report on giving a tour of the Airstream in Arkansas to a group of women in pink track suits. It has been a happy accident because I have enjoyed writing them and I have especially loved your responses. The reports have made me put on my writer's hat nearly every day and because of that I have felt more of a writer than ever which is a ecstatic state of being for me.
This has been a marvelous tour which is not to say it hasn't had it's challenges. The oil light in the Jeep has a mind of it's own popping on whenever it wants. The coolant had to be topped off every 800 miles. The Airstream fridge stopped working a week ago. Last night the tread blew off an airstream tire and took out part of the septic system with it. The check engine light has been on for the last five days and there's a very squeaky sound coming from the engine. And Billy broke a tooth on a hard tortilla chip! But all of this can be fixed and it's part of the territory that comes with being on tour for two months. It's good to keep in mind if you are thinking of being a wayfarer yourself. It's not all sunsets and big nights of music.
But our experience over these 8500 miles has certainly exceeded all of our imaginings and we've made new friends and drawn closer to our old ones. We are very grateful to all who have housed us, made meals, or looked after us in your own particular way. We are thankful for the prayers and positivity.
I am truly thrilled that you all have traveled with us through my reports. Thank you for reading and for liking and commenting. You have brought me so much happiness.
HOW TO BUY THE FIRST EDITION OF MY REPORTS IN A BOOK:
I am going to publish these reports in a beautiful boutique magazine format as well as a PDF of that magazine. It will include all of the reports and photos as well as additional musings and photos from the tour. Some of you have expressed an interest in seeing this come to fruition. If I can see that I have at least 10 people interested in a copy of the printed book, that will reduce my cost. The print magazine will cost $22.50 with USA shipping ($10 for printing, $10 for my writings & time to design it, $2.50 for shipping), the PDF will cost $15. International costs below.
I've done a lot of research on this and $10 is the very best price I can get for printing a full color book.
If you could let me know if you would be interested in either format by comment or direct message, I would be glad, then I can get an idea of the interest out there and decide on my print run. Or if you want to pre-order and HELP OFFSET the up front cost of printing, you can send the money to firstname.lastname@example.org via Paypal.
Shipping to Canada would be $8, so the cost is $28, shipping to the rest of the world outside the USA & Canada will be $10, so the total cost is $30. PDF version is $15 no matter where you are. All print orders will also come with the PDF version to read on computers or tablets. Special offer to those in Britain: I can bring your print copy with me across the pond in May and send you the PDF until then to save on shipping, if you like. EXPECTED delivery time is the end of January!
I would LOVE to do this.
Photo from Old Mesilla in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Thanks to Fur Dixon for the lovely dress!