#87–On the road again and again and again . . .

 

The big deal in my life this week is the Coast Bridge Tour that I’ll be leading tomorrow. So that’s what I want to write about. Since it takes place Saturday, I won’t be posting it until Sunday, February 10.

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Note: Notice the new banner photo, new info about this blog, and added menu items. With the new book, I wanted to make these changes. When I started this blog, someone else did the setup; I just watched.  So I’m feeling pretty good about updating it all by myself.

The week of January 21– 25,  I was on the road four out of five days. Three of them were for placing my new book–– The Crossings Guide to Oregon’s Coastal Bridges. I was on the road a lot that week, starting with Monday when I went to North Bend to pick up my friend at the airport whom I’d taken there to catch a flight the week before.

Then I was back on the South Coast the next day, to finish up from the week before when I’d taken her to the airport. I’d spent the rest of that day placing books between North Bend and Bandon.

On this day, January 22, I stopped at the little library in Lakeside. The librarian bought a copy and so did her assistant for themselves––not the library. The librarian had really enjoyed Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges when I stopped by a year ago.

My next stop was at the North Bend Public Library to drop off a book. I’d totally forgotten about that library the week before, but this time, I emailed ahead and the director responded that he would like to see it. After looking it over, he decided to buy one. The week before, I’d dropped off a book and info at the Coos Bay Library, and they decided to buy one also. I would really like my books to be in every library on the coast.

Then I called the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve not far from Charleston. They might want my books in their gift shop.  I’d sent an email, but no response. This would be a new venue for both books.  The person I talked to, was interested, but they would be closing soon. It was nearly 4 p.m. and they close at 4:30. So I took off. Halfway between Coos Bay and Bandon, I realized it would’ve been faster to have gone north on 101 and go through North Bend to Charleston instead of the back route I was heading for. Too late to turn around, so I speeded up.

Soon, I turned on Seven Devils Road. If you’ve ever driven it, you know you can’t drive it fast. On a couple of turns, I had to really work to stay in my lane. So I slowed down. It took forever, but I got there before closing time. I left a copy of each book with a PR sheet for each one and my card. I learned that they would be having a meeting that evening regarding any new orders for this upcoming season. My timing couldn’t have been better. Who knew!

Then I headed for the Umpqua River Lighthouse Museum near Winchester Bay. It was closed, but I got contact info and learned that the museum was closed for the winter. A couple of days later, I called and left a message.

Yesterday, I received a response. They, as it happens, have wanted to get hold of me because of Crossings. Now they wanted copies of both books, but not til July when their new fiscal year starts. Hey! I can wait. I’m thrilled they want some. As a point of interest, when the call came in yesterday, I was wearing my whale socks that I bought at that museum a couple of years ago. Hadn’t worn them in ages. Hmm!

One of the Eugene venues I called on Wednesday.

One of the Eugene venues I called on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, January 23, I stayed home and called venues in Eugene. All said, “Yes!” except one that I’d sold a dozen copies of Crossings to just a couple weeks ago. He said to call back in about six weeks. (No doubt, he was thinking, “Give me a break!”)

So on Thursday, January 24, I headed to Eugene. I stopped at the Lane County Historical Museum at the fairgrounds. It’s a terrific place and they’re enthusiastic about my books. They took six of the new Guide.

Love the very prominent placement of my books at the Lane County Historical Museum.

Love the very prominent placement of my books at the Lane County Historical Museum.

They even placed both books prominently on a table in front. While they were cutting a check, I wandered around and saw great stuff as well as some terrific large photos mounted high on the wall—one of which was the Siuslaw River Bridge. I just had to take a photo of it.

Look carefully, middle photo is of the Siuslaw River Bridge in Florence.

Look carefully, middle photo is of the Siuslaw River Bridge in Florence.

Then I met my friend, Jan Jett, at Barnes & Noble. We headed over to the Olive Garden for a relaxed lunch and then back to B&N. I have a hard time staying away from books. In fact, the rest of the afternoon was spent visiting four bookstores and the Eugene Public Library.

I started with the library and parked where I didn’t have to pay and only had to walk a couple of blocks. I left a book for my contact. I knew he’d be out. Scott Herron was the fellow whom I actually gave the copy to. He liked it and I told him about Crossings also, which the library has in circulation. Since he was in the process of filling in slots with writers for the library’s summer programs, he asked me if I would be interested in doing one on either a weekday evening or weekend afternoon. I said I was and that I’d prefer a weekend afternoon. So I’m signed up for July 27 at 3:30. Boy, did I luck out. Talk about being in the right place at the right time.

This Eugene bookstore is a class act.

This Eugene bookstore is a class act.

Parking is always a problem in downtown Eugene, I parked at one of the “Pay here” parking lots and walked to J. Michaels. This is what I call a “classy” bookstore. Jeremy, who is the J in J Michaels, took five copies.

This bookstore is an institution in Eugene.

This bookstore is an institution in Eugene.

Then I continued walking to Smith Family Bookstore near the campus. I saw more and more students as I headed toward the campus––farther than I thought. During the last couple of blocks, my feet began to hurt. This bookstore is upstairs in the Smith Building. They also took five. Both bookstores were expecting me, which makes it easier, and they both carry Crossings.

I walked about 25 blocks, to and from, and my feet were sore because I hadn’t worn good walking shoes. I was really dragging. And my arm was sore because my tote filled with books was heavy. I didn’t know how many they would each take. So I had more than enough of both books.

Back in the car, I looked at my Google maps and headed for Black Sun. I found it and parked within a block. Peter took one and will order more if it sells quickly.

Tsunami Books is one of the most popular bookstores in Eugene.

Tsunami Books is one of the most popular bookstores in Eugene.

Next it was onto Tsunami Books just a short distance away, again with easy parking. Scott took five plus a couple of Crossings. What a great note to end on.

Then I headed home. But I was going in the wrong direction. So I got myself turned around. I looked for 13th and found it, but somehow went the wrong way and was very surprised when it ended. Of course, by this time, it began to rain, was becoming dark, and 5 o’clock  traffic was clogging the streets. I got on some through street that I thought was going in the right direction and stayed on it. I saw parts of the U of O campus I had never seen before and parts of downtown I had walked through earlier and before I knew it, I was on Franklin. I turned off on 11th, which is also Hwy 126, and didn’t get off of it until I was in Florence. I have never been so turned around in Eugene. Next week I’m getting my new GPS installed, for sure.

The next day, Friday, January 25, I was up early and left at 8:45 a.m. to pick up Barbara Baker, the Outward Ventures program coordinator at Lane Community College Florence campus, to do a trial run of the bridge tour that we’ll be doing on February 9 from 9 to 5. It was pouring down as we headed up the coast. I had made a tentative schedule, which we marked up as we made various stops on our way to Depoe Bay. Then we stopped at Rocky Creek viewpoint to eat our sack lunches. During the actual tour, we’ll eat at Tidal Raves. We did stop in to confirm our reservation.

Barbara Baker at the end of our bridge tour at the McCullough Memorial Bridge.

Barbara Baker at the end of our bridge tour at the McCullough Memorial Bridge.

We continued making various stops as we headed back down the coast to North Bend. When we got out at the McCullough Memorial Bridge, the rain had stopped. It was a tremendous amount of driving but worth it. We developed a definite schedule where there will be 14 bridges discussed, 12 that will be visible, and eight that we’ll stop at.. We eliminated a few stops, so that we can be back by 5 p.m. It was good to know exactly how long it will take and now Barbara knows a whole lot more about coast bridges. (More, I’m sure, than she ever wanted to know.)

On Wednesday, January 23, the day I didn’t go anywhere, my email was hijacked. Everyone on my contact list (about 350 names) received an urgent message about a cousin in Spain needing surgery and how I flew there and was robbed etc. Bottom line was that I needed money and to send it ASAP. I must have received 30 phone calls, including my sister who asked, “What cousin in Spain?” I couldn’t get into my email even though I jumped through all the hoops and filled out an online form. So I opened a new email.

This week on Tuesday, I was able to meet with Patrick, my publisher’s assistant and a computer whiz. He got me back into my email, but the inbox and sent boxes were empty. I changed my password, and he sent my contact list to my new email.What a relief!  I really didn’t want to have to rebuild it. It has all my business contacts and Florence Festival of Books contacts as well as friends and family. While I was there, we also designed and ran off new flyers and posters for The Crossings Guide. A most productive day!

The next day, I sent in small batches, a message to everyone on my email list to ignore the urgent message and to not send money. I will keep my old email now that I’ve got it back, but will primarily use my new one. I’ve changed all my business cards, invoices, and press releases. What a pain!

In spite of the email problems, these past three weeks have gone well with The Crossings Guide––181 sold so far. It’s very exciting!

 

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About crossingsauthor

Freelance writer/editor and author of Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges, The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans, and Around Florence. Spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.
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