Posts Tagged ‘home’


Monday, September 29th, 2008


Okay, so I’ll admit it–the Baltimore Book Festival was intimidating and overwhelming in ways I did not expect. Because it was HOME! 

The festival was held in the very same blocks (see above) where I used to go to ballet class in a pink chiffon skirt.  Also the same blocks where (years later) I snuck clove cigarettes (WHICH IS BAD! BAD!) and shopped for vintage prom dresses and read “deep” poems and drank chewy coffee. 

The people who turned up (which made me almost cry) were family I never see, old friends, teachers, parents of friends and friends of parents, and it was so amazing to see them all, and it was so scary and nerve-wracking to be on a stage in front of them.  The toughest crowd I’ve ever experienced.

Partly because I wanted to do so well, to show them I had turned out okay. And partly because I couldn’t put on my pretend-self in front of them. It wouldn’t have worked.  So I have to admit it, I floundered.  It was crazy. I was more nervous than I’ve ever been, reading anything, in front of anyone. More nervous than my first radio recording. More nervous than speaking to conferences and classrooms, on bigger stages, for fancier crowds.  I lost my finesse, my composure.

It was also moving and intense and wonderful. It made me miss Baltimore so deeply, in ways I can’t even explain. 

Thank you Baltimore!  Thank you, most especially, to the Children’s Bookstore, for inviting me to come!  You were my own first experience with the power of an indie children’s bookstore to change lives.  And you’re continuing to change mine, even now.

Home from Home…

Monday, July 28th, 2008

It’s always so nice to go to Baltimore. Nice to see family, and nice to visit old haunts.  Nice to walk in the garden and paddle in the pool.  Nice to eat deliciousness from Mastellones and the Red Canoe!

But goodness, it is not nice to fly these days. Not at all.

When Mose was wee, I took him everywhere. I was on a book tour for Half/Life and before he turned one he had visited 16 states with relative ease. I’d book for light travel times and the nice people would make sure we had an empty row, and as a rule things ran on time.

No longer.  My adventure with Lew this weekend was quite the opposite.  They basically tied us to the wing.

Air Tran is from the devil!  Though our 7 pm flight was (by noon) already delayed four hours , when I called at 6:30 to try and rearrange things, I was told I had LOST MY SPACE because I was not at the airport 45 minutes ahead of the original departure time.

“But it doesn’t leave until midnight?” I asked.

“That’s correct…” retched the old hag at the other end, “but you have  to BE HERE ANYWAY or you forfeit your space.”

“Is the flight oversold?” I asked.

“No, but there are millions of people on standby.”

“I have a baby,” I explained.  “This is all way past his bedtime. Nobody really wants us to be at the airport all night. He’ll scream nonstop. Do you really want me to sit with a screaming baby from 6 pm to midnight? Do your other customers really want that?”

“No,” she said.  “No we don’t.  But if you aren’t here 45 minutes before your orignal deaprture time, you aren’t flying.”


Goodbye, AirTran. I don’t care how cheap your tickets are. You are dead to me.