A few notes and comments about being back home after three straight weeks of travel:
* First, a basic housekeeping note: If you tried to send me an e-mail in the last three weeks or so, you got an automated response letting you know that I was probably going to only respond to those e-mails which needed immediate attention (usually business-related e-mail) and that if you genuinely needed a response you should probably resend after I was home, which is now.
This still holds. I received several hundred pieces of non-spam e-mail while I was out and about, and the idea of trying to go back in to respond to them fills me with the sort of dread reserved for minor surgery on the mouth. So I’m declaring e-mail bankruptcy for the month of May — which means if you sent me an e-mail in May I haven’t responded yet, I probably won’t. Again, if you need a response, resend, but please ask yourself if what you sent really needs a response.
* The one exception to the above: Big Idea requests sent in the month of May. I have them and will be plugging things into the schedule over the next week. You don’t have to resend those. Thanks.
* Although I’m back at home and the main portion of my tour is over, allow me a quick reminder to note that there are still a few tour stops to go before the Human Division tour comes to a full and complete stop. This includes appearances in Cincinnati and Lexington next week and Dayton and the Cleveland area the week after that — none of which, thankfully, will require me schlepping my ass about on a plane. There’s certainly something to be said for tour stops within driving distance.
* For those of you wondering how I feel after three weeks of non-stop touring, the answer is: tired. Friday, my first day at home, I was basically an ambulatory wad of meat; yesterday I was only slightly more engaged, and my plan for today is to do a whole lot of nothing other than lie around and maybe strum my guitar a bit.
Touring is hard work; not in the “lift heavy objects repeatedly for the entirety of your adult life” sense, of course, but in the sense of “deal with the airport, be in a different place with different people, be nice and engaged with everyone, give a good show, eat when you can, go to the hotel, try to sleep, wake up and do it again” for several days at a time.
It’s fun and it’s worth it, but it does eventually eat your brain. About halfway through my last signing session, at Eagle Eye books in Decatur, I felt my forebrain collapsing in on itself and I barely made it through that session being able to spell everyone’s name correctly. Five days off will have given me enough time to recover before my Cincinnati event, but man, it was a close call.
* That said, it really was a fun tour with lots of highlights, including, in no particular order, investing Gene Wolfe with the title of Grand Master, having Nichelle Nicols admire my t-shirt, meeting and hanging out with really-funny-as-hell Jewel Staite, in the company of Mike Choi and his lovely wife Michelle, sharing Thai food with Amber Benson (who may be my new Favorite Person), taking part in a treasure hunt that ended with me physically malleting a (paper-mache) frog head, seeing people in my audiences from high school, college, and my AOL years, talking shop with Tom Warburton, creator of The Kids Next Door (with the introduction managed by Felicia Day), having lunch with Nancy Pearl, pitching movie ideas at the Fox and Warner lots, getting into hilarious hijinx with Wil Wheaton and getting to wander around Beale street in Memphis, soaking in rock and blues. Among many other things. Which of course includes seeing so many readers and fans, almost all of whom are entirely awesome.
Again, touring is tiring. But the compensation for it is all of this sort of stuff. Which makes it entirely worth it, in my opinion.