Saturday, February 10, 2018

Reflection on a Mad Dash Across the Country

Jeff—Saturday

Peace has finally arrived.  Well, a peace of sorts.  I’m speaking from a micro-perspective, not macro.  In fact, make that through the teensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy frame-of-reference of my six-week book tour having ended.  Bye-bye Arizona hospitality, California sunshine, Colorado highs, Washington joys (I’m talking about the state), New York fetes, Chicago camaraderie, and Minneapolis snows.

It’s now just me and photobomber alone at our snow covered farm in subzero weather. Snug as two bugs in a rug…or moths in my favorite sweater.

Hard to imagine the blush is now off my new book, but that’s the way of publishing. You build up to the launch date, and hit the ground running amid (hoped for) grand reviews, only to sense the energy of the moment gradually recede as new books move on into the spotlight.  The trick is to enjoy the process, from start to finish, and draw upon those memories to carry you on into writing the next one.



In this case, we truly did enjoy our journey, in large part because of the friends we hung out with along the way.  To me, at least, that’s what writing is all about, “a wonderful way to make a life.”

Scottsdale: Barbara Peters, Thomas Perry and....
Tucson: Chris Burke & Becco

Pasadena: SK Rizollo, Ina Jaffe, Lenny Kleinfeld, Ingrid Willis
Denver: Mark Stevens took this photo
Orange, CA: Anne Saller & Anne Cleeland
San Diego: Sam of Mysterious Galaxy
Seattle: James Ziskin & Ingrid Thoft
Berkeley: Bill and Toby Gottfried at Janet Rudolph's Literary Salon
San Francisco (Corte Madera): Allison
New York City: Triss Stein
Chicago: Augie Alesky and the Karamitsos family
Minneapolis: Daughter and Donus Roberts
NYC: Triss Stein, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Radha Vatsal, Edith Maxwell, Nancy Bilyeau. Photo by Dru Ann Love

That said, I won’t likely be writing much for a while, because in ten days I head in for shoulder surgery, brought on by a fall I took on Mykonos last September, tripping over a wrongly placed chain.  Only my reflexes and a bit of strength from daily pushups kept me from a full frontal face plant on a concrete roadway, but the old rotator cuff was a casualty of the fall. Physical therapy hasn’t brought it back to where I’d like it to be, so it’s off to the world of arthroscopic surgery at NYC’s Hospital for Special Surgery on February 21st.  Recovery includes a sling for 4-6 weeks, meaning that my posts for a while will be pecked out…as opposed to impeccable. J  It also means we’ll be missing Left Coast Crime—a major downer.

I did convince the surgeon to allow me to complete my book tour—abbreviated as is was—because writing a book without getting out there among the readers and booksellers is like missing your own birthday party.  The only condition imposed was that I keep up with significant physical therapy, so that I go into the surgery strong. The adage being “strong in, strong out.”

I should have followed another adage: “Don’t watch a You Tube video of your type of surgery.”  Curiosity got the better of me. If you’re the same sort, here it is, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Now, I’ve got to head off to the barn to see how my truck has weathered my time away from the farm.  My guess is a family of field mice has curled up around the engine block, and the battery is in serious need of a charge.  But soon all will be right with the world. 

Microspectively speaking. 

—Jeff


30 comments:

  1. I am still sad I missed you at Janet's. I wish you all the best with your surgery. I have a partial tear and keep working to stave off surgery.

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    1. Frankly, LJ, I cry myself to sleep every night thinking of our missed opportunity. :( But I guess it's a lot better than losing sleep from the bum shoulder. :) Thanks for the good wishes, and good luck with your PT.

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  2. Good to 'see' you and your photobomber (however fleetingly), 'tho I wish you'd come closer to my slice of soil. Alas. Also, alas for your upcoming surgery. I hope it all goes swimmingly and the results are worthy of Olympic Gold.

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    1. Thanks, EvKa. We'll try to make it to your bit of dirt next year, on my man with the golden shoulder tour.

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  3. Sorry to hear about the surgery, Jeff. But I trust it's not as gruesome as it appears! Remember you have to be fighting fit for me to grill you at Crimefest!

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    1. Thanks, Michael. I certainly hope it's not. :) I'm aiming to bring the BBQ sauce to Bristol, and fingers crossed I shall!

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  4. The tour looks delightful, Bro. I hope the surgery put you in top notch shape, so I can stop going easy on you.

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    1. It was great, Sis. Thanks for the good wishes, though on the subject of going easy on me, did I miss it? :)

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  5. I'm glad at got to see you at the NY event. Listen to the doctor. Good luck on your upcoming surgery.

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    1. Thanks, Dru Ann. It's always a joy to see you, and I've corrected the record above to give you credit for the photo taken that evening!

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  6. Good luck with the surgery. Glad you had a good tour before hunkering down to do some serious recovery.

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    1. Thanks, JD! Even though I had to cut the tour short to accommodate the surgery, I'm glad I did what I did. Hope you're enjoying you own...tour that is. :)

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    1. Thanks, Judy. Much appreciated, my friend!

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  8. So fun seeing you in NYC! I hope your recovery is swift.

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  9. Best wishes for speedy recovery.

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    1. That's so very nice of you, Liz. Thank you!

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  10. Good luck with the surgery, Jeff, and here's wishing you a speedy and trouble-free recovery. Barbara: now's your time to extract any kind of promises from him on the grounds of withholding vital TLC, or taking the top off a jar of his favourite foodstuff.

    The tour looked great, Jeff. Hope you'll be able to resume scribbling activities in good time to come over for CrimeFest in May ...?

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  11. Thanks, Zoë, at least for sentence #1. :). I’m aiming for Bristol for sure.

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  12. Good luck with the surgery. Wish I could be there to give you the odd shot now that you can't protect yourself. LOL. Miss you and Barbara.

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    1. Thanks. We miss you too, dear mister odd shot. :) Jen even more. :)))

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  13. Good luck with the surgery. But now, how will we get news about Greece? Guess will have to find English translations of good Greek media sources.

    One can type with one hand. I did it when recovering from a broken humerus, and it is tedious, but possible.

    I won't say "break a leg" here, but hope it goes well. It gives you a chance to read a lot.

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    1. Frankly, if you want to know what's happening in Greek politics, just keep following what's going on in the US. Same techniques, different players.

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    2. Whoops, hit PUBLISH too quickly, Kathy. Thank you for for the good wishes.

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  14. Or as a patient of mine keeps calling it 'Ma rotatory cuff!' You'll be fine, do your rehab and behave ( well behave as best you can.)

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    1. Behave? If I'd known that was an element of the recovery process I might have reconsidered the surgery.

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  15. Good luck with the surgery, Jeff. Sorry I missed you at your NY stops - traffic & weather kept me at home. Damned winter...

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    1. Thanks, Chris. Fully understandable about the effect of the weather. It's been a tough one!

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  16. Hmm Jeffrey. So in your last books you have tackled subjects that most Greeks, Europeans avoid. Your book tour has not addressed these issues in stating a view. Would love you to have some sort of agenda to progress your views which you write about. Press junkets are great but your books have a 'view' love to see your pr addressing those views as a "part time" resident of Mykonos.

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    1. Hi Anonymous. Not sure I follow what you're saying, but in exploring issues in my books I try to do so from the perspective of those affected by them, rather than offering my "view." On book tour, though, I answer whatever question is tossed at me, including requests for my personal views, rather than those of my characters.

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