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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Life As an Author On the Road...

Oh, the glamorous life of an author! (Insert hysterical laughter here)

I giggle every time a new “fan” comes up to me and says with a dreamy sigh, “I would just love to be an author and travel around like you…”

While the life of ‘us writers’ (can you hear my southern twang?) is truly wonderful and constantly adventurous—it might not be as glamorous as you think.

So today is dedicated to stories from the road. I’m on a six-week book tour, getting the word out about my new release, Welcome Home. Below you’ll find some “glamorous” tidbits of the fun we have had…

  • The choke on the backup generator got bumped to “on” as we were pulling out of Colorado – gasoline began to spew all over the RV, the road, and me… (that was a LOT of fun to clean up!)
  • First night on the road, we finally made it to our destination: a wonderful RV park in Texas. It was well past midnight; the kids and I were getting the rig set up with flashlights, trying to be as quiet as we could. Then… the water line had a leak. Oh, and not just any ol’ little, drippy leak. We’re talking Old Faithful, gushing, fountain-like kind of leak. I gave up and went to bed. (Thankfully, it was an easy fix the next day with a simple O-ring… whew!)
  • After day one’s adventures and getting myself drenched twice in one day, I prayed for a little calmer second day. On a little highway in Texas, I received my wish. Counting giant windmills to pass the time and miles, my children counted over 1400 in less than an hour. Gotta love West Texas.
  • The adventures continued as Houston traffic became hazardous to my health and blood pressure. I have gained a new respect for anyone pulling a large trailer going five miles slower than everyone else, and for people who actually know how to use a blinker.
  • Backing up with a trailer (and my whole rig is almost 50 feet long) has proved to test my best thinking skills and ability to talk to myself while driving. “Now, I need to turn my wheels right… no left… no right, to get the trailer to back up to the left?” To which my son Josh jokingly replied, “Mom? I don’t drive, why are you asking me?” (Let’s just say my comedy of errors will definitely make it in a book one day… and I'm actually pretty good at backing up now)
  • Lots of rain and wood blocks under tongue of the trailer attracted ants. Lots of them. They made a nest. Let’s just say I left those blocks (and hopefully the ants) in Alabama.
  • A truck driver stopped me at a truck stop in Arkansas as I was utilizing the lovely “dump” station for George (our RV) – I was hot, sweaty, and draining sewage – I’m sure it was a beautiful sight. He asked, “Hey, haven’t I seen you somewhere?” Ugh. Yep – you guessed it, he’d seen us on TV. But it gets better – he was reading my book, had it in the cab of his truck, and proceeded to ask me for an autograph. I asked him if he wanted to wait until I was done, or if he wanted me to go ahead and sign it then and there. He laughed so hard, he sat down on the ground.

These are only a few of my crazy adventures from the road. But there've been amazing, and humbling stories, too:

  • People who drove three to seven hours to come to one of my booksignings
  • Kayla getting to meet another 12-year-old who struggles with a rare medical condition
  • Hugs and prayers from fans all over the place
  • Being told I was the most powerful speaker someone had ever heard
  • Seeing family and friends from years gone by
  • Listening to testimony after testimony about how my book has actually changed people's lives
  • Speaking in my sister's city the very week that she delivered her very first baby!

Our God is so cool - and so very good. My life may not be glamorous, but it sure is fun...