Next week on Sunday I am flying to Texas to visit John Cooper School in The Woodlands, and then I'll travel with the librarian there to San Antonio to sign books at the Texas Library Association conference. I'm so excited about visiting Texas!
I was afraid, nervous, at first. I'm always nervous to go on stage, and always nervous to travel a long distance for a book event.
It's not that I'm worried about my safety; I am a neurotic person, angsty and self-doubty about performance, not about flying. I worry about giving the audience the best possible event. Maybe I figure if I blow it locally, I can always go back and do another presentation later, to mend things. But out-of-state travel is a bit more expensive.
To my credit, I haven't blown an event yet.
They've all gone very well, and there have been hundreds. (wonder when I'll hit the thousand mark? should I pay attention to such things? hmm. I vote no.)
The teacher in charge at my last event called my presentation "Phenomenal." (I should get that in writing; the one thing I neglect to do is get testimonials...)
Phenomenal is a nice word. I'm going to try to hold onto that as I prepare for the Texas presentations. Phenomenal. :)
Ahh, Texas. I've been there twice before. Once as a layover on my trip to Mexico when I was 15, and once with my youngest when she was 9 months old, for Chickapalooza, a trip of moms and babies visiting moms and babies in Austin, Post and Altus, Oklahoma.
Our babies are turning 13 this spring. I should dig up that sketchjournal...
Of course I'll bring a sketchjournal with me on this new trip and draw the whole time.
Here are some sketches from the air from recent trips.
The first is on the way to Boston (maybe I was hungry?).
Second spread is take-off from Lansing heading to Santa Fe.
Third spread is that same trip, heading home again, flying over Colorado.A couple weeks ago while sorting stuff from my mom's attic, I found my wings -- the pin I got when flying for the first time. They were from the Mexico trip, 35 years ago. American Airlines.
Now the airlines give stickers to first-time flyers.
I found all the papers from that trip, all the pre-planning, even my luggage tags.
And a ribbon rose with 16 streamers, from a Tuna -- a traveling band of boy musicians.
Our Spanish teacher told us ahead of time that Tunas travel around Spain (sometimes Mexico) and girls sew ribbon roses for them and pin them, and then the boys pin the roses on girls they meet on their travels.
At our hotel in Acapulco, a Tuna band was playing and we stood above them on a balcony, swooning. They played a lot of songs we knew so we practiced our Spanish (I used to dream in Spanish back then, I was so fluent -- had an excellent teacher) and we sang the songs along with them.
Then we raced down to meet them, and one kissed me (woo!) and pinned his ribbon rose on me. The rose is about 2 1/2 inches wide, with foot-long ribbon streamers sewn to it. It's spectacular, even after all these years. Needs a good cleaning, though.
Who knows what this trip will bring? No ribbon roses, no kisses from Tunas (those are for teens, not married moms turning 51), but definitely a full sketchjournal.