OK, I'm not sure what that title means, either. I really suck at titles. One day, I'll do a blog post about the title I suggested for QUEEN OF THE ROAD. Suffice it to say, my editor found it so... innappropriate (to put it mildly) that she immediately phoned (not even emailed) my agent to see if she could talk some sense into me. It certainly would have had people picking the book up from the shelves (that's my rationalization and I'm sticking to it).
Anyway, a little while ago I did a fabulous book club in Mentor, OH. (Get it now?) Holly was the one who contacted me about phoning in by speakerphone, saying I was the first author to "attend" their group and she planned to surprise the rest of the gals. I think we did! (Hopefully, their surprise wasn't caused by my calling immediately after one of them said, "That was the worst book I ever read. Holly, how could you suggest such trash?")
Holly also mentioned that having been to Graceland herself, she could really relate to what I wrote about it:
We went to Memphis specifically to see Graceland, something we’d both always wanted to do. We’re not the only ones; it’s the second most visited residence in the U.S. (The White House is number one.) The fourteen-acre, 17,000-square-foot estate turned out to be a colossal disappointment. I thought it would be far more grand. Maybe it’s just that, as a museum left exactly as it had been when the King died, it can’t help being a fashion victim of the ’70s. But, really. One of the richest men in the country, a cultural icon no less, and he had Formica countertops?
Anyway, the group asked about our time in Ohio and I was able to reminisce about the gorgeous Ohio State Campground
from whence we headed over to Cedar Point Amusement Park. There, we were treated to (some might say, "endured") several of the craziest "amusements" in the States.
I'm usually game for any ride (look, I live on a bus, people) but one of the seventeen (yes, that's 17) coasters in the park had me begging Tim not to make me do it. He did anyway, saying, "If I'm going, you're going." Nice.
I think the most terrifying part of the entire experience was the anticipation, waiting in an hour-long line for the Top Thrill Dragster, of which the park boasts, "Reaching a stratospheric 420 feet tall and topping out at an unheard of speed of 120 mph, this new steel screamer helped Cedar Point reclaim the title of owning the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the universe." On second thought, I'm not so sure if this is a boast so much as a disclaimer.
Anyway, it's set up like a dragstrip, complete with bleechers and view stands. While we sat watching, trying to figure a face-saving way out of yet another mess Tim had gotten us into, each car paused, strategically situated so that the unfortunates it carried could very clearly see the horrors awaiting them. The adults among them burst into tears. (The youngsters were just too ignorant to know any better, methinks.) Despite our advanced degrees, neither Tim nor I could formulate a reasonable escape plan. But oh, I assure you, we tried.
So, with Holly's lovely book group, I got to, as therapists say, "Re-experience the trauma."
(standing from right) Jan, Margaret, Holly, (sitting from right) Laura, Susan, Debbie, Kathy, and Kim