If I had it to do all over again, I would. My sisterhood fly tour this summer was special, not only because it was the most amazing excuse ever to get to visit my girlfriends across three states, but also because adventure is its own reward. I visited Woodward, OK, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Wichita, Kansas and Dallas, Texas in July and August to promote FAMILY CHARMS and TWIN FALLS (Lena Brown YA). I want to thank my “fly sisters” who helped me organize the events and some of whom let me stay at their homes.
True patrons of the arts: Tina Ross, Sheryl Lott, Deb Davis, Dani Stone, Kari Edelman, Heather Lamb, Judy Breckenridge, Tina McGarry and Cynthia Dutton.
While some obvious highlights were meeting readers and reconnecting with old friends and sorority sisters (THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING OUT!), I thought I’d share some less obvious special moments and photos from my tour, in no particular order.
1. The Art Deco building at the Kansas Aviation Museum.
The building is a beaut – absolutely breathtaking – and I highly recommend a visit. My “moment” was standing outside the balcony on the second floor and feeling that moment of zen on a cool summer evening. And I love that my daughter and her BFF came with me and took some gorgeous dance pics in the place, too.
2. My mentor, J. Douglas Williams, interviewing me on K-101 radio in Woodward, OK.
Cool because it was my first “real job” in high school, and it’s always fun to return to your roots and have the realization that you have achieved your dreams. Well, some of them, anyway! I’m not done yet.
3. Yoga with my high school BFF’s daughter, Addison, 6. Isn’t it so cool to watch our kids’ grow up? I love seeing my friends’ kids grow up, too. I love Addison’s enthusiasm for trying something new and she totally nailed the warrior and the tree pose!
4. The brownies at Cafe Eden by Chef Rita in downtown Woodward. Oh. My. God.
6. The conversation with my sister Amanda on our way down to the 99ers Museum of Women Pilots in OKC. Even though we live in the same town, we don’t get time alone very often since we both have active kids. On our longish ride to the airport, we discussed FAMILY CHARMS, which she hadn’t read yet, but also her feelings on the estrangement from our bio mom. It was the appropriate soulful conversation on the way to the party to celebrate sisterhood and how far we’ve come. I had similar soulful conversations in EVERY city and anyone who knows me knows I like nothing more than a deep heart-to-heart. I don’t do small talk very well, but the deep stuff is my comfort zone.
7. Getting kisses from two-year-old twins. I don’t get to hang out with little kids much anymore and I miss that cuddly stage. My soul sister, Cynthia, who used to be my business partner when we had an ad agency, is a wonderful grandma and I got to hang with her twin granddaughters for a couple of hours. So, yes, I got a few doses of adorable on my tour and that’s food for the soul, too.
8. The feeling of soaring and a huge dose of COURAGE when I toured the flight museums. Three out of five of my book parties were held in flight museums. The idea struck me just A WEEK OUT from my OKC party, but I got “yes’s” from all three and that defined my tour. Learning to fly – take the leap – and being the wind beneath others’ wings is so important. Since both of my books were about sisters and flight, I was excited I could bring something I love – museums – into the fold. As a kid I had flying dreams all the time and it’s the freest I’ve ever felt. In TWIN FALLS, one twin is afraid to fly and it’s all the other has ever wanted to do. I have no ambition to fly a plane, but I let my dreams fly all the time.
9. Seeing myself in the young readers. I was, and always will be, a bookworm. Some of my best adventures have been in a book. I love seeing the look on young readers’ faces and how thrilled they are to get a book signed for them.
10. Smiling. Laughing. Connecting. Stories do that and a sisterhood book tour can be about that, too. From one sorority pledge sister being 37 weeks pregnant to another sending her daughter off to sorority rush to me shopping for my son’s car for his 16th birthday – we’re in different places but we’re all in this together. Life is about the intersections, and I’m so glad I took the time to go on tour and am very thankful to the readers for spending an evening – or longer – with me.
Click over to the book pages to learn more about Family Charms and Twin Falls.