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June 2008 Archives

June 1, 2008

Spend Time With The People You Love

(First, a pause for another video: The Meltdown Cruise.

It, along with the Nudist RV park, are on my website, www.QueenOfTheRoadTheBook.com. More videos to come.)

Another important lesson we learned is that all that really matters is spending time with the people you love. It sounds so simple, doesn't it? And, while it's true that in traveling around the country through 47 states (including Alaska), we met incredibly diverse and unique people, we also found that we all had one thing in common: Wanting to love and be loved. Yet, that's not what most spend their time doing. We had been guilty of that, as well.

On the bus, we learned how crucial it is to downsize and simplify our lives so that we don't end up supporting a lifestyle filled with things instead of people and experiences. Although Tim and I are polar opposites, I think that's partly why we have so much fun together - even if it's doing something that might not turn out as planned.

By now, you know that the out-of-doors is not exactly my thing. Well, after meeting a remarkable man of the bush in tiny Wrangell, Alaska, I decided that if he could live for days in a tree in the rain along the river hunting moose, the least I could do was try hiking, again. Tim was thrilled . . . until we hiked. For it was on Sitka's Harbor Mountain that we took what I would come to term The Alaskan Death March. Although even I had to admit the scenery was spectacular (ocean, islands, distant peaks, yada yada) the lack of an escalator on the steep climb nearly did me in. And why should I suffer alone?

So I devised the Five Stages of Getting Grief from Hiking with Doreen: Denial ("We're not going all the way up there, are we?"); Anger ("I can't believe I let you take me on this stupid hike!"); Bargaining ("If we stop now, I'll have the energy to do another hike tomorrow. Really, I promise!"); Despair ("Oh, why did I ever let you talk me into anything over three miles?"); Acceptance ("Fine. But this is absolutely, positively, the last hike I will ever go on for the rest of my life!") Recalling a disappointing hike through a rainforest we had taken two weeks before, I felt compelled to add a sixth stage, one which only occurs in extreme circumstances, at a perfect storm of elevation gain, accumulated mileage, mud and bugs: Confabulation ("Look at the dog! You're killing him!"). Finally, when I nagged enough to make even Tim agree to quit, I clutched the poodle to celebrate, beaming as I attempted to reinforce the wisdom of my husband's capitulation.

"I'm so glad you didn't make me continue to the top. This way, I could actually enjoy how beautiful it was. I'd even do it again."

"Really?" Tim retorted. "I wouldn't."

I hope you've enjoyed reading a little about our extraordinary journey. It you want to learn more (or just have some laughs) please visit www.QueenOfTheRoadTheBook.com for pictures of our trip, more videos and podcasts, book tour appearances and events, as well as the entire first chapter. If you do stop by my website, please be sure to click on the "Share a Thought" link. I'd love to hear from you.

June 7, 2008

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS - Fabulous Review!

I've been book touring this past week, and just got home to this fabulous review in the Rocky Mountain News! They gave me a "Grade A." And why not? I did study awful hard. (So glad I don't have to cancel my subscription. Boulder Daily Camera, you've been warned... )

Heading out for a launch party, but please do check back soon for hysterical pictures of me and Elvis - united once more - at the Borders Town Square in Vegas. Have also been to LA. at the wonderful Flintridge Bookstore, where Bus Conversions Magazine provided a bus to tour! In a week, I head to Portland (Powell's), Marin (Book Passage), Oakland (A Great Good Place For Books), then Phoenix (Changing Hands). Will also do reading/signing and royal shtick closer to home at Tattered Cover and Boulder Bookstore.

Ladies, bring your boas!!

June 9, 2008

"Required Reading" by NY POST

In addition to the Grade A in the Rocky Mountain News, my mom (whose only complaint about my book was, "You made fun of our furniture" - so I say I got off easy!) sent me this link. QUEEN OF THE ROAD is "required reading" according to my now favorite NY newspaper, the New York Post: "A Charles Kuralt-Albert Brooks-style romp where they meet up with nudists, robbers and more." Don't worry folks: In spite of the "required reading" thing, there won't be a test. Or maybe an open book one (sorry. really. well, not so much.)

Here's the Rocky link, yet again, as for some reason, Amazon is not posting this review and posting it again, here, will at least put it up there. (You know... if I could post it over there so I didn't have to post it over here, I would. Guess that only works sometimes. Was that too esoteric? Sorry, it's late. I'm beat. But, very happy and grateful for the great press and especially to all of you who have posted Amazon reviews.)

This Queen must now retire to her chambers.

June 12, 2008

Love At A Nudist RV Park

Now I have your attention! But, that really is the title of my Huffington Post article which ran today.

And, if you want to see my video of this incident (now, I REALLY have your attention), please go to my website, www.QueenOfTheRoadTheBook.com and click on the (yes, we're nude) picture of me and Tim in front of our bus on the left on the homepage.

June 18, 2008


I'm still on tour and will post the rest, soon, but for now, just wanted to share this incredibly fun interview I did on AM Northwest. I LOVE the hosts and just may tune in daily via internet when home in Colorado.

I mean, how can you resist a show that reports on naked bike riders - and in Denver, no less? I almost felt like my "teller" (as Tim might say) about naked karaoke was tame by comparison.

Short post - I'm still on tour. Back in Colorado late tomorrow. I'm exhausted, but happy. Have a bit of a sugar high on room service brownie, gelato and port. Yep, I know how to royally pamper myself after a full tour day.

Bliss now is a 9 am wake up call (rather than the 5:45 one I had today). Been in 3 cities in as many days. A bit discombobulating - no offense meant to Bobs, of course.)

June 21, 2008

Anatomy of a Book Tour - LA, Elvis and NPR

It's been fun, exhausting and it ain't over yet:

Flew into Los Angeles on Monday night, got picked up by media escort extraordinaire, Ken Wilson, early the next morning. We headed over to the NPR studios so I could do a live interview for Nevada's KNPR (no, I'm not disoriented - I said NV NPR in Los Angeles. Bear with me.) The show is State of Nevada with Dave Berns and you can listen to a podcast of our intervew here.


Yep, I'm wearing a QUEEN OF THE ROAD shirt, because after this, Ken and I are off to do stock signings at all the area bookstores we can. A lot of people want to know, "Why do you need a media escort?" If you had my sense of direction (or rather, lack of one), you wouldn't ask. The last thing a publisher wants is to score some great show or signing for an author, only to have her get lost on the way because she's unfamiliar with a city (personally, I would have ended up in Utah). Media escorts will then take the author to do stock signings at bookstores in between bookings. Ken is so good and has been doing this so long, he's Janet Evanovich's personal media escort: when she travels on tour, he goes with her all around the U.S. He told me they even traveled by bus a few years ago. Janet doesn't do stock signings, though. Since stores carry around 150 copies of her books (sigh), she'd be at one all day. Instead, he just takes her to events and media.

That night, I did my very first reading/signing and royal shtick at the wonderful indie, Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse in La Canada. The even was covered by the local paper, The Outlook.


That's Ken and me. Flintridge was quite queened-out, as you can see.

Part of the festivities included a tour of a bus conversion (in the parking lot - not the store - we're talkin' 40 feet, here!) provided by Bus Conversions magazine (our bus was the June centerfold! Now I can add Miss June to my crowned titles).


Then, onto Las Vegas for a signing (see? now you know why I did the Nevada NPR show) at the brand new Borders in Town Square Mall. My good buddy Alison was my media escort and took me around all day to do stock signings at various bookstores. (If you haven't been to Vegas in a while, it's grown so much - I really needed her. But, don't think she'll do the same for you. She's my personal media escort. Take that, Evanovich!) Prior to the signing, "Auntie A." and I had dinner with another good bud, Ginny. I love this picture of the two of them (that's Alison on the right):


Kristen Thomas was the event coordinator at the Borders and confided in me she was a bit nervous, since this was her first author event! I figured I wouldn't add to her (or my) jitters by confiding in her that this was only my second. But, Kristen handled it like a pro (I told her for my next book, I didn't care if by then she was promoted to manager of all the Nevada Borders - she was doing my event), even though there were some rather... let us say "unusual" aspects:


That's Kristen, me and Jeff Stanulis, Las Vegas' premiere Elvis. Tim and I had our vows renewed by him on our bus during our year-long QUEEN OF THE ROAD trip:


I invited Jeff to the signing and he did me one (or actually two) better by offering to serenade the crowd beforehand and even raffle off a chance to win a vow renewal right at the store!


Alison was smitten.


As was Ginny.

And the lucky couple? Norma and Bruce were... (you know I have to) all shook up:


But, so was the staff:

(That's Dean Austin, the General Manager in the center.)

As were all of us in the SRO crowd:


Viva Las Vegas (you know I had to do that, too).

More tour, soon...

June 26, 2008

Sir Celestial's Ultra-Fabulous Contest!

Living in Boulder, you kind of have to believe in Karma. It's in our city charter. And, since I refuse to do yoga - also in the charter (what's the point in putting that much effort into doing something just to think about nothing, when I'm already so adept at thinking about nothing without making any effort at all? I mean, if my mind were any clearer, I'd be dead.) I sort of have to go along with the Karma thing: Boulder's not likely to let that slide, too. (At the farmer’s market, Tim swears he once saw the result of what occurs when Boulder’s penchant for political correctness collides with its extremist attitude toward health: eggs labeled “vegetarian fed, cage free and voluntary.”)

When Tim and I were in wintering in "lovely" Modesto late last year, Karma intervened (no, not when we got stuck in the mud. What I'm talking about was a good thing that happened. Geez.) Since I thought we'd only be gone twelve weeks (yes, wishful thinking on my part) and I really and truly (really and truly) drink gallons of Celestial Seasonings various delectible flavors of Green Teas at home, I thought I'd brought enough with me. Not so much for five months away. Since we don't live far from their store in Boulder, I usually go there about twice a year (roughly equivalent to how often I'd leave the house) to buy the teas in bulk. When I ran out of tea in Modesto, I went on the Celestial Seasonings website for the first time and discovered... they have a book club! In partnership with my publisher! Well... what else could I do but ask if they would consider a local author. The rest is queenly history.

But, Celestial Seasonings has done so much more than simply select QUEEN OF THE ROAD for its Adventure At Every Turn Book Club, which would certainly have been wonderful in and of itself. However, Celestial is doing some incredibly additional things for this local author of theirs:

Wednesday, July 2nd, Celestial Seasonings is having me over in the a.m. (and you know how I must feel about them to get up so early) to discuss and sign copies of QUEEN OF THE ROAD for their employees. (Obviously, this is a company that treats its employees well.) Then, between 2-:3:30 pm, I'll be in their ultra-fabulous gift shop in Boulder (it really is. I love going there, not just for the wonderful teas and smells, but the creams, lotions, apparel, treats and books - and I don't even mean mine - gifts, etc) to sign copies of QUEEN OF THE ROAD for customers. Sir Tim shall park the Bus (With a Will of Its Own) in Celestial's parking lot to give tours of the Royal Rig to anyone who would like one. (I think next to actually driving it, that's his favorite thing in the world to do.)

But, wait! There's more: Since every chapter of QUEEN OF THE ROAD begins with an original martini recipe commemorating one the many disasters on our trip, Celestial Seasonings, in its infinite wisdom, asked me to come up with a tea-tini recipe which they are promoting on their website and through their book clubs! I had a lot of fun concocting it - what I remember of the process, at least (peach schnapps was involved). Furthermore, forthwith and foresure, Celestial Seasonings has also launched a contest for anyone to develop his or her own QUEEN OF THE ROAD iced-tea drink recipe for fabulous prizes. (Grand prize is a $500 American Express gift card, a signed copy of QUEEN OF THE ROAD and a $100 gift basket straight from the Celestial Seasonings shop!) I wonder if I can enter? But more importantly, can I knight an entire company? I'll have to do some research on that and get back to you.

Wait a minute. I'm Queen of the Road. I can do whatever the heck I please.

Celestial Seasonings, I dub thee... Sir Celestial! You have the eternal and undying thanks of this Sovereign. (Cheers and thanks to my royal publisher, House of Random, as well!)

Another Contest - Win David Sedaris' Book!

Why am I giving away copies of David Sedaris' When You Are Engulfed By Flames? Because I was so tickled that Amazon linked my book with his, that's why!

I'm also giving them away (one each, to five people picked at random who leave a comment on this blog post letting me know you've posted this YouTube QUEEN OF THE ROAD video on your blog - you have exactly one week) to celebrate being roasted on Chris Eldin's blog, Book Roast! Since Chris is allowing me to give away a signed copy of QUEEN OF THE ROAD to the winner of her contest, I thought I wouldn't do the same.

Here's the video:

Here's it's URL on YouTube where you can get the embedded code to post on your blog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMC8ShWoaZs

June 29, 2008

More Anatomy of a Book Tour

I think whoever made the following itinerary must have the same sense of direction as I: Fly into San Francisco Sunday morning, then high-tail it to Corte Madera for a 1 pm reading/signing and royal shtick at the fabulous Book Passage. Book Passage is a wonderful bookstore and sort of a Mecca for any writer, especially travel ones.

One of my best buddies over the last twenty years (!), Joanne (who is mentioned in the book and still actually speaks to me), drove up all the way from Capitola just to see and introduce me to her two-year-old, gorgeous daughter (in crown and princess outfit, natch. That girl is learning early the proper attire for Royal Audiences - kudos, Joanne!), Sophia. We took pictures and somehow, they didn't come out. I am way bummed. But, you can at least see Joanne if you check out her website and her amazing organization, Turtles Together. Joanne is an incredible psychologist and her program in Mexico "builds cultural connections between our children and all of marine life." Unfortunately, Turtles Together will be in jeopardy if no grant money is forthcoming, so anyone interested in helping, please head over to her website.


Then, I headed out to Portland on a 5 pm flight. (No, that doesn't sound too bad - yet. Impatient, aren't we?) I did AM Northwest Monday during the (when else) am (you can watch the interview here) then went all around town with Marilyn, my fabulous media escort (who had the misfortune of informing me there is no In 'n' Out Burger in Portland) to sign stock at various bookstores.

Imagine my surprise when we happened into Twenty-Third Avenue Books, "Northwest Portland's definitive bookstore" and saw QUEEN OF THE ROAD in the window! That's the owner, Stephanie Griffin and me posing in front. You can just make the cover out over her right shoulder. Thank you, Stephanie! (It's a wonderful, 28-year-old store, although obviously, Stephanie has owned it far less - two to be exact.)


Then, that night, off to Powell's Books for another reading/signing and royal shtick. (You can't tell from the picture, but there were two dozen people! Maybe they didn't realize I'm not really royalty. Please don't tell them - or, anyone else -especially Tim. I can imagine the payback that would await me.)


That's me in the boa and tiara, shticking it to the crowd. (Oh, please. Don't we know each other well enough by now to know I had to?)

This event was rather special, as well, and not just because it's Powell's: Two of my online buddies from Eons live in the area and came on over. Sarah is the moderator of the RV forum and has been a wonderful support for QUEEN OF THE ROAD. Carol White (along with her husband Phil) has written the book, Live Your Road Trip Dream. For anyone contemplating your own queenly (or kingly) trip in a motorhome, Carol and Phil's book is a must-read on the nuts and bolts of everything you need to do to make your journey as smooth as possible. (Sure wish Tim and I had known about this book before we started out.)


That's Sarah on the left (note her QUEEN OF THE ROAD shirt? I mean, talk about supportive. She said before the talk, people wanted to know if she worked for me or was "just a fan." No "just" about it, in this royal's book!) Carol on the right with her fabulous book.

Here's Miles (you know I love that name) the event coordinator and me striking a pose after the signing:


You can tell we all had a lot of fun.

That night, contemplating a 7:40 am flight, what else could I do but have a leisurely port and chocolate dessert? (Fine. I had TWO desserts. Only one port, though. Doesn't that count for anything with you?) All this and more at the Heathman Hotel's fabulous Tea Court. (Was everyone else just having tea? Silly them.) I'd had dinner there the night before (filet mignon, beet salad and a local pinot - thanks House of Random!) upon arrival from San Fran Sunday night, so knew they had a wonderful Reisling (that was the before dinner drink - what am I, a Philistine?). Unfortunately, when the waitress approached, after my fabulous (and very exhausting) Monday with the standard, "Is there anything I can - " I cut her off with one word. You guessed it: "Reisling." By the time she brought my first dessert, I had appologized and she took this shot of one very happy author:


Please note: Our friend Jim, also mentioned in the book (which he just finished, noting in typical Jim fashion: "Guess I'll have to pull the retainer off that attorney") is the terrible influence who introduced us to port. In the spirit of full disclosure (and fear of his attorney) I must admit the double dessert, however, was strictly my idea.

OK, last stop (for now): Back to San Francisco. (See why a directionally challenged person had to have made these arrangements?) I got picked up by another wonderful media escort (I have yet to meet any other kind), Martha, and we traipsed around the City, signing stock (and having lunch at In 'n' Out!)...

My usual Double Ds at In 'n' Out. Martha was suitably impressed.

... until my 2 pm radio interview with the fabulous Gil Gross on KGO's Gil Gross Show. Gil was kind enough to say he remembered our interview from my first book tour for I KNOW YOU REALLY LOVE ME. Truly, especially kind of him after I blurted out, "My mom and I used to listen to you all the time on WOR when I was a kid in New York City! Um... er... you must have been, like 12!" He immediately called out to the producer (we had not yet gone on air), "Great. Another one who remembers listening to me with her mother." He was laughing, thank goodness.


I so enjoyed the interview and the call-in questions afterwards. Everyone was reminiscing about their own road trips. (One involved a rather interesting episode in a car which the father refused to stop, causing the mother to get stuck in a bucket, despite an attempted hair brush rescue. Don't believe me? Fine. Listen to the interview.) I even got some wonderful emails from listeners after the show.

Finally, yet another reading/signing and royal shtick, this time at the "Girls Bookstore" A Great Good Place For Books in Oakland. This was another fun event with tons of interesting questions and I hated to leave. But, Martha had orders to get me back to the hotel...


... and I flew back to Colorado the next morning for a much deserved (I'll be the judge of that, bub) Royal Rest.

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About June 2008

This page contains all entries posted to What Do You Want From Me? by Doreen Orion in June 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

May 2008 is the previous archive.

July 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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