Back From Tour Updates and Housekeeping

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.

24 thoughts on “Back From Tour Updates and Housekeeping

  1. be nice and engaged with everyone

    You’re quite good at that. (Also, I see you as Silverberg in 20-30 years. At speech-giving, I mean.) (That is meant as a compliment.)

  2. I believe Krissy is to you what Sheldon Cooper’s spot on the couch is to him: “That is my spot. In an ever-changing world, it is a single point of consistency. If my life were expressed as a function on a four dimensional Cartesian coordinate system, that spot, at the moment I first sat on it, would be 0-0-0-0.”

  3. You met with two of my biggest celebrity crushes: Nichelle Nichols and Amber Benson. I’m SO JEALOUS!!!

  4. Just so you know sir. Our local Midland, Texas, newspaper wanted to run a Sunday feature today on recommended summer reading and solicited my list for the summer. So I put in a pitch for The Human Division. Free publicity is always a treat, don’t you think? Enjoy your well-deserved down time and pet the cats for me.

  5. You saw the new Star Trek on the road, as well, I believe? Whadja think? Couple of good red shirt jokes, huh?

    (My reaction was, at first, “WTH?”, then I was like “bwuh?” But then I was all ::face palm:: and then I was thinking, “WTF?” Toward the end I thought “No no no no no” for a looong time and then I just ::headdesk::. But it was a lot of fun!)

  6. While I’m certain it wasn’t your intention, tweeting one day for people to email you with “Comments, criticisms, and kvetches” over the recent SFWA foofaraw and then later post with “I’m not reading anything sent to me to this point” is probably not the best way to muster support for the organisation.

  7. @Chris Jackson:
    I’m not a SFWA member and so won’t be tossing my 2¢ in John’s direction, but I rather thought those emails would fall under the business-related heading for which he was careful to note an exception. At least, I would think that John considers his responsibility to his constituents as business.

  8. While I’m certain it wasn’t your intention, tweeting one day for people to email you with “Comments, criticisms, and kvetches” over the recent SFWA foofaraw and then later post with “I’m not reading anything sent to me to this point” is probably not the best way to muster support for the organisation.

    What an unpleasant remark.

    If you can show me where Scalzi said he wasn’t reading any email sent to him to this point, I’ll send you a six pack. Hint: “respond” is different from “read.” This will be on the final.

  9. Chris, I’m glad you’re so certain this wasn’t the case. Since you are of such a certainty, it might behoove you to then not concern troll John about that very thing.

  10. Chris Jackson:

    You might have noticed the e-mail address to which I requested SFWA comments go to was an account other than my personal one. I suspect most humans are able to differentiate between my discussion of my personal e-mail account, and one tied into my responsibilities as SFWA president. Or at the very least, the ones who did in fact leave me comments did.

    That having been said, I don’t want to have a discussion of the SFWA events in these comments, please.

  11. “Nichelle Nicols …Jewel Staite, …Amber Benson …Felicia Day, …Wil Wheaton…”

    …so jealous…!

  12. A note on there being something to be said for tour stops within driving distance. Lansing, MI isn’t so far, is it? Still waiting for you to stop in. I promise I’ll bring everyone I’ve ever shared even a single word with. I’d at least try.

  13. Tour exhaustion certainly did not show in your appearance at Eagle Eye. It was great to hear you read and engage with us. Looking forward to any and every book you choose to write.

  14. What Mark said. Hope you enjoyed your first visit to Atlanta and that you’ll come back soon. Maybe DragonCon, one of these years?

  15. In choosing between driving up to Atlanta or to Raleigh for the reading (equidistant +/- 1 hour for me), it never occurred to me that Raleigh would give me an experience of a slightly less road-exhausted author…until the travel-tweets started to mark many miles and airplane gremlins.

    You were funny and friendly. If you were weary (and, really, you must have been), you hid it well. Thank you for such graciousness and generosity.

  16. I drove down from northern Virginia so my daughter and I could go to the signing at Quail Ridge in Raleigh. Awesome event and well worth the drive. (Of course bonus because I also got to see my grandchildren! ) The folks at Quail Ridge announced that they completely sold out of the copies of THE HUMAN DIVISION they had ordered for the signing. Just curious, did that level of response happen at some of the other venues as well? And a question I didn’t get to ask at the signing, will there be a way to get copies of the artwork that went with the digital version of the book?

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