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July 2008 Archives

July 3, 2008

A Celestial Seasonings Day

Yesterday, Tim and I spent the day at the ultra-fabulous Celestial Seasonings. Why is the company ultra-fabulous? You might think it's simply because it makes wonderful teas (not to mention because it picked QUEEN OF THE ROAD as its Adventures At Every Turn book club selection this summer). After spending the day there, I can tell you it's an ultra-fabulous company because of so much more: What a great place to work! I was told this again and again by the employees, although it was easy to tell - the whole ambience of the place, don'tcha know. (Yeah, yeah. The teas are the best. I know this. That's why they're the only thing I drink - before 5pm.)

Herewith, our Celestial day:

It started with a reading/signing/royal shtick in the cafeteria. Celestial Seasonings, in its infinite wisdom, purchased 300 copies of QUEEN OF THE ROAD for employees and their families. Now, isn't that a company that cares about the welfare of its workers? (And, I'm not just saying that because it was my book purchased. No place I've ever worked for has bought me any book! Uh... not you, House of Random. You made me a book - and a Queen - after all.)

Prior to the signing, I handed out boas to the employees in attendence - actually just the women. (The men, not so much - not secure enough, eh fellas?) It wasn't that I was being nice (really, don't we know each other well enough by now?) I just didn't want to feel overdressed myself - it was 10 o'clock in the morning, after all. (Sorry for all the feathers shedding all over the place. If you end up with one in your tea, you'll know why.)


Then, David Ziegert introduced me to the crowd...


... who, you can see, was already excited. (I had to remind myself they make tea. I mean, they probably get this excited... er, caffinated... every morning.)


This is me shticking. Yeah, I get into it. What do you want from me?


But, the audience seemed to, as well. (Maybe no one bothered to tell them I'm not real royalty?)


Afterwards, they had lots of questions about our story. My favorite was, "Since you're planning to sell your house and full time in the bus, where will you park?" I told them, "In the Celestial Seasonings parking lot, of course" and Dave did nod his approval, so we're all set! Hope they sell lawn gnomes in the Tea Shop.

Then, I signed all their books. They kept asking if I was getting writers' cramp. Were they kidding? Any potential pain was totally medicated by the adrenaline buzz I got soaking up their energy. (I'm way too lazy to produce my own. So, I soak. So sue me.)


By 11 am, Tim had parked the bus in front of Celestial Seasonings to give employee tours.


Then, Tim and I were treated to a fabulous lunch in Dave's office, with various of the wonderful staff. Part of the fabulous QUEEN OF THE ROAD promotion Celestial Seasonings is doing involves a recipe contest (what are you waiting for? Click that link and enter for "prizes fit for a Queen.") For dessert, they served an utterly divine Chocolate Raspberry Bliss Mousse made with their Chocolate Raspberry Bliss Herbal Tea (just reading that makes you sigh, right? Just wait 'til you try it.) The recipe (which I just printed off their website) is in the archives of the Celestial Seasonings Adventure At Every Turn Book Club. I can't wait for Tim to make it!

This is Dave, Tim and me. (Note our waaaaay cool official badges!)


And, with Jennifer and Tracie who were responsible for picking QUEEN OF THE ROAD for the book club in the first place! (Eternal thanks! You are now, officially, Ladies of the Realm.)


So, what to do... what to do after lunch. We had a little while before the signing in the Tea Shop. Hmmm....

Months ago, when we knew we'd be spending the day at Celestial Seasonings, but before we knew the itinerary, Tim (aka Project Nerd: Domestic Superhero, for those who haven't read QUEEN OF THE ROAD, and why haven't you?) informed me, "I'm going to get them to give me a private tour." I responded, "You can't ask them to do that!" But, Tim was adament. Fortunately, it didn't come to that, as when we got the day's agenda, it actually said they would be happy to give us a private tour, or we could just rest for a bit. I informed Tim about the offer, saying, "So, I told them we'd be tired and just wanted to rest." A divorce nearly ensued. Here's Tim in PN heaven with the adorable (and very patient) Jessica:


Afterwards, I headed to the Celestial Seasonings Tour Center where I signed books for visitors to the tea shop (one woman was heard to tsk tsk as she read the back cover, "They went to a nudist RV park!") and the public tour. (If you've never taken this tour of the world's most advanced tea production site, it's a must: The mint room alone is worth the price of admission - which is zero. Oh, and you also get free tea samples. Really - what are you waiting for?) While I signed books, Tim gave public tours of the bus:


Talking about the love of his life is probably Tim's favorite thing in the world.

Then, as if the company hadn't done enough for us, they gave us each presents: A http://www.homedepot.comHome Depot gift certificate for Tim and a spa package for me. (Someone there obviously already read the book.)

All that was left before we left, was to exact a promise that if a position as Company Shrink ever opens up (doubtful - everyone seems so happy, but still: It doesn't hurt to ask), Celestial Seasonings will hire one of us.

July 13, 2008

I Went To New York and Although You Don’t Even Get A Lousy T-Shirt, At Least the Internet Didn’t Explode!

Last week, Tim and I traveled (unfortunately, not by bus, but via United Airlines - gee, our bus never charged us for baggage) to New York. The most important thing I learned was that you can actually meet people you’ve developed a relationship with online and the internet won’t explode or anything! Who knew? (So, why didn’t you tell me? I would have done this way before now. Thanks a lot, people!)

While in New York, we stayed at Chez Orion in Queens. I’d highly recommend it, except you can’t get room service – unless you travel with your own personal “man” like I always do. (Look, most royals have several mans. I just make do with the one, OK?)

While there, we took an Amtrak train (yes, Tim was in heaven)...


... to Philadelphia to have dinner with Polly Kahl and Robin Altman:


Robin is a gifted comedian (that’s why I hate her – it’s really not because of her shoes, which I still think are inferior to mine, although that’s small consolation) doing stand-up at Helium that night and I just had to see her perform.

(That's Robin about to go on.)

If you ever get a chance to see her do stand-up, I’d highly recommend it.

Us 3 Shrinks

Polly, a therapist, has just completed a memoir and is going to start the whole agent search thing, soon. (If that won’t make you hire your own therapist, I don’t know what will. Too bad Robin doesn’t see adults.) She’s a wonderful writer. (Again, not so much with the shoes which is probably why we got along so well.)

(That's Polly and me, pondering the Meaning Of Life as only therapists can. We decide it's imponderable, and drown our sorrows in our minimums waiting for Robin to go on.)

Thus bolstered by the knowledge that the internet wouldn’t necessarily explode if virtual friends met in the flesh, I took a huge risk on behalf of the entire universe and met seven (count ‘em, seven) women I’d only known online before last week. (And no, taking a chance like that with all your lives wasn’t presumptuous at all – it’s something royals do all the time, we just don’t tell you about it, so deal with it.)

First, I met my agent, the fabulous Mollie Glick, as well as her associates for subrights at the Jean V. Naggar Agency (who also have their own clients), Jessica Regel (Jessica, I’d change that second “e” to an “a” if I were you) and Jennifer Weltz.

(Jessica, Jennifer, me and Mollie.)

Mollie and I then headed to The Eatery in Hell’s Kitchen, to meet with my fabulous Queen Team at Broadway Books, editor (and just promoted to editor-in-chief) Stacy Creamer, Marketing Manager, Julie Sills and publicist, Ellen Folan. We had a wonderful, long lunch and I even got to learn some personal things about them. (And, no. I won’t be dishing, here. What do you want from me? I want to write another book.)

Stacy, me, Julie and Ellen.

Finally, I tempted fate yet again, by meeting fellow blogger, author and all-around gorgeous gal (well, OK. I’m only gorgeous if you squint just right), Ann Leary, whose wonderful, witty novel, Outtakes From A Marriage was published the same day as Queen of the Road. We met at a French pastry shop on the Upper East Side and she made me try a fabulous puff of a chocolate thing – I may never forgive her for that, as I guarantee, I’ll never be able to find one in Boulder. Just as well, because between that and the gelato shop we discovered near Chez Orion, well… let’s just say I won’t be going to another nudist RV park anytime, soon.

(Notice I "forgot" to have a picture taken of Ann and me. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, but not when you have to stand next to gorgeous her.)

On our last day in the Big Apple, I did my usual rounds of signing stock at various bookstores. This is the only place I've ever been asked for ID before signing books. I'm not kidding. I told the gal, "I'll do you one better" and flipped to my author photo:


In case she didn't quite get the resemblance, I added, "I'm the one on the right."

Finally, we met my cousin, Doug (who, although mentioned in Queen of the Road, still talks to me. Well, he's always been too nice of a guy) in the city to see an Off-Broadway musical, Adding Machine. It won tons of awards and got great reviews. Perhaps our expectations were too high, but I think not: It sucked. (Look, I'm not a critic, just a writer, so that's all I can say.)

The second it was over, Doug leaned over to me and said, "I guess I'll have to be making this up to you for a long time." (We're a Jewish family. He knows how we operate.) Fortunately for Doug, Tim's from Reno: He liked it.

July 16, 2008

Elle Magazine Review Fit For A Queen

First, excerpts from the review (then the backstory) in the August issue (which just came out while I was in New York):

"Beneath its fun and frothy exterior, you'll find in this wild ride across America's highways and byways a lovely portrait of a marriage that treats its ups and downs with humor and grace."


"Orion regales us with Americana of all sorts as she chronicles her journey with laugh-out-loud-funny tales of the many bus mishaps and unusual situations she and her husband encounter in their year on the road. Best of all, though, is watching her transformation from a materialistic couch potato into someone who learns to appreciate experiencing life to its fullest."

Back in April, when my publisher told me that QUEEN OF THE ROAD had been selected by the book editor of Elle Magazine as as a Readers’ Jury pick for the month of August, I thought it was a big deal. I mean, why wouldn't one?

Indeed. Unless, of course, the "one" were my husband. When I informed the Royal Consort about this honor being bestowed upon his Sovereign and Wife, he screwed up his face and asked, "L Magazine? What is that, a lesbian thing?"

The dear man had never heard of Elle. Well. We, of course, promptly set him, er... straight on that score. And, We could not resist adding, "My publicist is still pitching the lesbian magazines. But, they're slow and like to take their time."

July 22, 2008

My Goy Wonder

As I do more and more book groups for QUEEN OF THE ROAD (I'll post about them later this week), a common theme seems to be emerging: The women are in love with Tim. Really. (I mean, really?) This is not something I have to use my keen powers of shrinky observation to discern. Nope. They tell me this straight out. One even went so far as to warn me to be wary (of her? other throngs of bookish women?) Oh, please. My husband isn't a normal man with normal desires (the occasional nudist RV park notwithstanding). To wit: I fear his next hare-brained scheme is that we live on a boat. (Yeah, it sounds romantic, but we know nothing about boats.) What's my proof? I've recently caught him surfing sailboat sites on the net. Why, oh why can't I have a normal husband who just surfs for porn?

Not enough for ya? OK, ladies. Let's see whatcha think of Mr. Perfect, now:

Last night, Tim and I had some bites at one of our favorite spots. He ordered lobster and because he's so perfect, offered some to me, even though he knows I won't eat it. (Although I gave up keeping kosher long ago, I still can't do the lobster thing - I just don't see the appeal of having my dinner stare at me while I dismember it.) Usually, that's the end of the interaction, but for some reason, last night he queried further.

"So, what exactly is gefilte fish?" He asked. We've been together nearly 20 years, have gone to almost that number of Passover Sedars, and now he's asking? I explained it's fish ground with eggs and flour or matzoh, molded into oblong shapes, usually served in a jellied broth. (At least the way my family buys 'em.)

"Really?" He asked, dipping that other white meat into a luscious turine of warm butter. "And you call yourselves the 'Chosen People'"?

Fine. He's perfect - and funny.

Thanks so much for your support.

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About July 2008

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

June 2008 is the previous archive.

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