Sunday, March 2, 2008

Change the World Tour: Day 1

Well, I am officially on the road! For those of you who are truly hard up for entertainment, strap on your seat belts and read about my exciting day of travel from Salt Lake City to Richmond, VA.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. I saw Sara Zarr (2007 National Book Award Finalist) on Friday night and she gave me a good pep talk that settled my nerves a bit. By the time my kids were screaming and yelling at the crack of dawn today, I was anxious to go.

After packing and such, my whole family took me to the airport. My kids spent the entire drive making up completely stupid and unfunny jokes, at which they laughed uproariously. However, one from my three-year-old girl was quite clever I thought, and actually made me laugh out loud.

She said, "Why did the chicken hit his friend in the head?" Answer: "Cuz they weren't friends anymore."
Anyway, after a very sad goodbye to the family, and numerous hugs and kisses (some from my kids har har), I was off to the ticketing line. Today, I thought what better way to travel than to wear the official 13th Reality t-shirt. So if you saw a slightly goofy looking guy wearing this shirt today in airports, it was probably me.

From the front:

From the back:

The travel was surprisingly pleasant, despite an odd set back. The lady at the check-in desk told me very kindly when I asked for an aisle seat that I had no worries - aisle seats were booked for me on both legs of the flight. Strangely enough, I sat in the middle on both. Luckily, the people I squeezed between were very nice. Though one dude kept rubbing this smelly ointment on his face, and it kind of creeped me out.

Did you know you have to order a meal from Delta now, from a menu, and PAY for it? I guess those nasty two-inch-square sandwiches were just costing way too much. I settled for the free peanuts and a small bottle of water. Which were, ahem, "complimentary."

Anyway, not much else to say. While flying, I read 135 pages of "Next" by Michael Crichton, watched the movie "Enchanted" on the plane, and listened to quite a bit of Zeppelin on my iPod. It was the first time I'd travelled since being the last person on the planet to get an iPod, and let me tell ya, it was nice. Oh, and I ate chicken fingers and fries from Checkers in the Atlanta airport. I also used the facilities twice . . . okay, maybe I'm getting too detailed.

I landed in Richmond, VA just 10 minutes late, at 8:50 local time. After a slight panic attack when it seemed like the bags were all delivered - without mine - my flowered suitcase came rumbling past the plastic flaps and whatever dark things hide behind them. I hereby officially plead with my wife to buy me a bag that isn't covered in colorful flowers. I got some looks.

Angie Godfrey from my publisher picked me up, whisked me away to the Marriott Fairfield Inn, and told me to be ready at 7:30 in the morning. So here I am, in the hotel, getting very sleepy eyed as I type this. I hope I can fall asleep, slumber well, and wake up rarin' to go in the morning. The schedule is tight tomorrow - 4 schools and a book signing at Barnes and Noble.

If you live near Richmond, come see me! Monday night, 6:30 pm, 11640 West Broad St., Barnes and Noble at Short Pump. I have no idea what Short Pump means, but it sounds very intriguing.

Don't forget the 13th Reality Charity Drive. See details HERE. But basically, tell us you bought the book from now to March 9th, and the royalty goes to charity. I've already received quite a few comments and emails joining in.

Well, thanks for reading. Wish me luck tomorrow. As promised, I will do my best to blog at the end of each and every day of the tour. See ya tomorrow!


LaFemmeSimple said...

EEEEEEEEEEE! How can you sleep?!?!?!?! When I put Isaac down to bed tonight he said, "We go to bookstore tomorrow and buy Uncle James's book?" Well, you know what he REALLY said but I can't disclose that on the bloggy-blog.

Totally stoked for you bro! Knock em dead and see you Tuesday AM!

Irish said...

Hey JD - Welcome to the east coast. Good luck with the first day of your tour & with the first official day of the book being out.

~ G

tapestry100 said...

Hi JD - Good luck with everything today and remember to step back and take a breath every once in awhile. I'm stopping by my B&N tonight to pick up the book! Congrats on the book out today!

Macotar said...

Exciting times. Look back on this moment when you are doing your 150th book signing thinking...(Ya know, there were things about that insanely boring accounting job that I enjoyed, i just can't quite recall what they were).

Melinda said...


I'm sure you are already having a ball. (My daughter is STILL talking about your visit to her school. "I can make you laugh with one word, "booger.") Good luck on your tour. Thanks for thinking of all the little people back at home reading your blog and were us. Thanks for keeping us informed so we can enjoy it in some strange vicarious way.

The year of the rat, really is your year.

Congrats, fellow rat.

Anonymous said...

Hi JD!
Hope the tour and the book sales and the charity drive and everything is going fabulously great for you! All of us over on LT are wishing you well and having an exciting Green Dragon party to celebrate your success (and promote your book like crazy)!
Congratulations and best wishes!
Your (un)official fan club prez,
elbakerone (lisa)

Marcia Mickelson said...

You're too funny. I don't have an I-pod and my husband travels with a flower suitcase, so don't feel bad. Good luck on your trip.

Luisa Perkins said...

Good luck! Can't wait for more of the travelogue.

LaFemmeSimple said...


Our B&N only had THREE copies. Put your publisher on that STAT! I asked if they'd get more in and the {censored} helper said they probably wouldn't unless there was high demand.

So I guess I need to call every day and demand more copies. :)

Your book made my "Picture of the Day":

PS: I text'ed you

Summersfam said...

Congratulations on your book, James! I don't comment very much on your books, but that doesn't mean I'm not really really proud of you and what you're doing. Remember the little people when you're the next JK Rowling! Have fun on your tour!! (your cousin Karen)

Tamra Norton said...


I picked up your book today at my local B&N here in Houston (it was right there smack-dab in the middle of the "New Release" shelf in the children's dept). I even took a picture of it on my cell phone--how nerdy am I? Then I told the checkout lady that you were my pal and to watch out for you because you were also the next JK Rowling. She truly seemed excited. I know I am! Woohoo! :) Hope your day was fantabulous!

Julie E. said...

I ordered your book and it was here waiting for me when I got back into town Sunday. Amanda was quick to take it up to her room and read 280 pages before bed last night - she's loving it!!

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