I should really get off the farm more often. I’ve had a few lovely experiences recently while on book tour.
1. Copperfield’s reading in Sebastopol. There’s something lonely about showing up to a town, knowing no one, wandering around the park, wondering which part of the book I’ll read. But then I walked into the bookstore and the great staff were so welcoming and friendly, I immediately felt like I was with family. We had a small but eager crowd, and I set off reading and talking. Right before I got my spiel on, the mom and dad of Willow (a character in Farm City and my future co-author) showed up–with flowers! So adorable.
After I read some passages, everyone had great stories to share and I signed books and cut off tiny slices of my ever-shrinking prosciutto. One couple told me about a restaurant owner in Amsterdaam who is keeping two hogs in the back of the restaurant. The plate scrappings are collected and then pointedly carried through the dining area and out to the sty. Yes!
2. Back at the ranch, I have received some amazingingly generous gifts. A burdizzo! The goat castrating tool of my dreams. Thank you so much Art! A care package from some awesome ladies in LA. And yes, the bras fit, thank you. Someone else sent me a Target card, another a check for the farm. Gifts like these make me so happy and I feel blessed to be a writer who appeals to the generous.
3. I had the chance to meet a few really amazing photographers, too. One is Brown Cannon, who shot some really lovely photos of me and Chris at Eccolo, and on the farm. They will appear in August in the SFMag’s food issue. Another photo fella I met recently is Rob Howard. He kicks ass. After a long morning of shooting, we went out for Pho breakfast and talked travel. Look for his photos of me in the September issue of Popular Mechanics.
4. I cringe when I’m invited to do a tv show. I’m not photogenic, I have chin hair, and I have a problem with my sailor’s mouth. So I was grumpy when I headed to Hayward to shoot a live interview with Henry Tennebaum. I arrived uncaffienated and annoyed, I had to get up extra early to milk the goats. Henry was hilarious, with a John Water’s ‘stache and surrounded by Ms. Asia contestants. We ended up having a lot of fun. I have no idea how the show turned out. Same day I went to KGO in SF to be on Gene Burns–an AM radio show. He has one of those real radio guy voices and can read ad copy like a mo-fo. He was so sweet and had great questions, and frankly, I have a little crush on him now. Another great radio interview was with Sinday Roy with KPFA. He had really read the book and had insightful questions. Interestingly, Rose Aguilar is a raw food vegan, so maybe that’s why Sinday did the show?
Weird fact: many of the audience members of my readings have been vegan. At Green Arcade (god: their book selection is mind-blowing), a lovely vegan came up and we chatted for a long time about gardening and writing before she mentioned that she doesn’t eat meat. Now, how cool is that?
Anyway, all I’m saying is: life is surprising.