Book Travel

On the Road Again

So here I am.  Today is the first day of the three week road show for the new book.  I am excited. However, I’m not supposed to admit that I can’t wait to go.  Authors are supposed to moan and bemoan the travails of being on the road and the bad coffee and cramped plane seats and long delays and stiff hotel sheets and the concerns about getting some illness from shaking all those hands.

But I actually love the meeting people part in the book signings and the Q & A.  The whole last  chapter of “Perfectly Imperfect” grew out of all of the stories that people shared with me on the road for “In an Instant.”   The chance to connect with folks all along the road is almost like the battery charger I use for my cell phone.  it energizes me.  I draw something from it.

My dirty little secret is that I tend to get lots of writing done on the road.  The entire “Perfectly Imperfect- A Life in Progress” rough draft was written on planes and hotel rooms and trains during the book tour for the paperback version of the first book.

I know that seems counter-intuitive.  But all of you mothers out there will know and understand how little one can actually accomplish at home in the way of personal reflection.  Parts of this new book were written between microwaving oatmeal for breakfast and looking for soccer cleats.  And in this way I have mastered the art of ADD writing.

So the thought of  heading to an airport today– despite missing my family — is actually a quiet relief.  I will have only myself to think about for five days– until I return home on Friday to a pile of mail and permission slips, phone calls to return and emails to grind through. 

I’ll try to post some of my doings on Twitter– Lord, I am trying to embrace this new technology as they tell me this is the wave of the future.  But I don’t think I’ll be blogging here this week. But i always love ot hear form you– even if I don’t get back to you right away.   And for that– I hope you will excuse me. 

Right now- there are two dahlia tubers to plant and the sun is out.  The dogs are walked and I have to figure out how to squeeze a week’s worth of clothes into one carry on.  The last time I checked my suitcase, the airline broke my supposedly indestructible Tumi bag.  The handle became stuck halfway up  and so I dragged my bag through security and around the airport and hotels as if I were bent like the Hobbit.   No more checked luggage.  Who cares if I look the same in Kansas City as I do in Chicago and then Detroit?  I promise to wear clean undies.

23 Comments

  1. Laura

    April 28, 2009 at 1:15 am

    I understand completely, Lee! I absolutely love when I take a train or plane trip, because it’s total ME time. I can read, listen to MY music, write a letter (do I still do that?). It’s a time for just me and that is a rare thing to find. Have a great trip!

  2. Dorothy Levine

    May 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Lee, I sat down and read your book in one evening after buying it. I couldn’t put it down, it flowed so well. I had planned on reading it a chapter at a time and when finished, mailing it to my daughter but it looks like she will get it much sooner than expected. Your generation is the same age as my children and I hope they don’t have to be a panini, if that is the correct spelling.
    Good luck to you, Bob, and your family.
    Oh, thank you for a lovely evening even if I shed a few tears.
    Dot

  3. ann connolly

    May 2, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Hi Lee, I bought your book yesterday; finished it today(while evading a daughter in law who wants to read it) and have to tell you how much I enjoyed each chapter, altho the one about your dad broke my heart. Also wrote you a note and tried to get my brother to go to your signing on Monday–he probably won’t, but Kathy said she would be in Brookline! Also spoke to local bookstore, BookHouse, to see if they would be able to have you stop by when you are in Albany. Would love to see you when you are in the area. Wish I could tell your mom how much I enjoyed your book. I miss talking to her.

  4. Molly Saeli

    May 4, 2009 at 1:03 am

    Lee,
    I am throughly enjoying your book so far! You are an awesome writer and I get the sense that you are right here chatting with me! It was wonderful to meet you in person this past week when you were here in Birmingham, Michgan at Borders. I am sure you don’t remember me, but you signed my book and I asked you about Colgate because my brother graduated in ’80 and my husband and I graduated from Hamilton College, Tom in ’79 and Molly in ’81.

    I also was an English major and writing a book has always been something on my list, but most recently it has risen to the top of my list. I have a story I want to tell…I suffered a stroke at age 48…just 16 months ago. We were on a family ski trip, with all 4 children, just after Christmas. It was our first day skiing 12/27/07 and I had skiied 4 runs and went in for hot chocolate with our youngest son, who was 13 at the time. I pulled off my ski boots and my mind went black and my life was changed forever. I can totally relate to so much of what you and your children went through with Bob (in your book “In An Instant”), although mine was different, yet still a brain injury of sorts.

    I suffered a “dissected carotid artery” which means that my left internal carotid artery tore and then a clot went up and exploded in my brain. I was unable to talk for 3 days (and not well for long after) and my husband and all 4 children watched as their wife/mother went from the person they knew who was perfectly normal, healthy, and extremely active, to someone who could barely communicate. They did not know what the outcome would be as they all tried to comprehend what had happened in their visits to the ICU at the University of Utah hospital where I ended up. To make a long story short, I was one of the “lucky” ones, who by God’s grace, was able to travel back to Michigan and find a doctor who took a risk and opened up the artery and put three stents in. To this day, not one doctor across the country can tell me “why” this happened…no family history, no high blood pressure, just had a complete physical the month before, work out everyday. I experienced a miracle, just like your family. I want to tell people about it in my book…to give those stroke victims out there hope…hope for recovery…hope that people don’t give up on them just because they can not talk, but they can understand what is being said…it was like being trapped in my body and not being able to communicate. My girlfriends rallied around me and I had incredible support just like you and a husband who never left my side and children who were amazing, yet went through alot seeing their mother like that. I am happy to say that I am back doing absolutely everything and most people would not know I had a stroke.

    I have written much of my book, but I am at a huge loss as to who to contact for publishing or to even look at it. Do you have any starter suggestions for me??

    Now, I cannot to get my P.J’s on quickly and dive into your book for the night!
    Thanks for listening!
    Molly Saeli

  5. Monica Soebbing

    May 4, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Hello Lee…I finished reading “Perfectly Imperfect” Friday night & have wanted to share with you since then. You made me smile, you made me laugh out load, & you made me cry. It has been a LONG time since a book did all that for me. I feel as though you are a friend who understands the path my life has taken much better than all my friends can…my husband was in a car accident 4 years ago yesterday which took us on a journey unlike any we could have imagined in our 35 years of marriage. He too suffers from TBI – and luckily he too was able to return to his job. I have searched for the last 4 years to find someone who understands what our journey has been – thank you for writing your book!

  6. Zach Joy

    May 5, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Lee,

    I am the fiance of Ev from Clinique in Arlington. I just wanted to say that I am very excited to read your book! I wish that I could have made it up today to meet you!

    Zach

  7. Lee Woodruff

    June 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    those were “good” tears I hope Dorothy

  8. Lee Woodruff

    June 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    sorry it took so long to reply but i was so honored to meet you too!!!!!!

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