Monday, October 15, 2012

The trip I love to dread turned out to be a great time.  Any type of travel is a white knuckle experience for me, but once there, all is well.  This year, I took an extra day and half just to wander and explore, and that small change made a world of difference. 

My trade show was in Minneapolis, but I made it a point to drive all the way to St. Paul which it the equivalent of driving from Manitowoc to Two Rivers, an excursion  I have proudly conquered.  For years, I have wanted to stop at Garrison Keillor's book store, Common Goods, but something always got in the way.  Silly me, I actually thought he would be there - even though I knew he was the keynote speaker at our conference and was most likely lurking on the exhibit floor or attending a presentation. 

Last year, he announced that he was cutting back on touring and spending more time on the sales floor, but, alas. he was in absentia.  When that is the case, the display you see above is set in homage. Common Goods is a nice little store - OK, it's a nice medium sized store, about twice our size;  What surprised me was the library like atmosphere.  Totally quiet.  No music.  No talking.  I think the staff must all be mute or professional mimes since I saw them scurrying about, but but one uttered a word - not even a greeting to me when I entered.   But the store itself is bright, tidy, and loaded.  Made me a little jealous but then I have to be realistic about what that market can support compared to ours. 

I caught up with Tom Maltman, and Mike Perry at the show, along with several other writers who are beginning to recognize me.  Tom's new book, Little Wolves, will be out in January.  More on that later, except to say that if you liked The Night Birds, this one will WOW you.  My humble opinion is that, for a brief time, our community was fortunate to have a future, big time literary award winner living among us.  Maltman amazes me.  We are working to schedule a visit some time in January.  Imagine that - travelling from Minnesota to Wisconsin in January.

The show is moving to Chicago next year - half the travel time.  I am already deoint the dance of joy.  Not a pretty sight, but still noteworthy/

What am I reading?  Frankenstein, and it's Nick Hornby week...High Fidelity!

Thanks for stopping by.