12 November 2007

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Roseburg, OR: 7,570 miles

It does get tiring. There's only so much really awful AM radio anyone can reasonably be expected to listen to. NPR wears thin after a while. I'm sick of the CDs I brought. We tried listening to a Bill Bryson book on tape yesterday and couldn't get into it. The scenery only gets you so far. The little trimuphs, are little indeed. I went into a Borders in San Francisco and there were seven copies of my books rather than the usual four. That perked me up for a little while.

City Lights Bookstore didn't have my books. One of my goals in life is to walk in there one day and find one of my books on a shelf. It's one of my favorite places. As much as San Francisco isn't one of my favorite places, so long as I can go and hang out at City Lights for a while, I never regret going to the city.

I've begun toying with openings for book four in the Ray Sharp series. The first attempt had him burning his nose with the juice from a xiao long bow - a Shanghainese juicy pork dumpling. Stab number two has him kicked under the dinner table by his colleague and friend Lei Yue for asking an impertinent question of a potential client. I don't know yet. I'm currently rereading Moby Dick and neither of those ledes are "Call me Ishmael."

Moby Dick is funnier this time than it has been in the past. And I'm convinced that in many places it is deliberately humorous. That never struck me before. There's plenty of seriousness going on as well, but I sure have been chuckling a lot more than the last few times I read it. Maybe it's my mood. It's one of the reasons I do reread it every ten years or so - it's like an old friend of Eva's used to say: "Every time around the fishbowl, it's a whole new world."

That's still sort of true with book touring, I think. But I am beginning to have more fantasies than in the past about breaking out of the fish bowl. Only problem is, does that mean I have to flop around on the linoleum gasping for breath?

Did I stretch all that too far? Did any of it make sense. I haven't had coffee yet.

1 comment:

Tim said...

You're a hero, Eric. This is an epic trip, and you've inspired me to do the same in July when my new one comes out. I'm even going to buy a car for it, since my current heap hasn't got that kind of mileage left in it.

Keep rolling, and I can only hope the books are jumping off the shelves.

Tim Hallinan