Book tours can be challenging. I've got to keep up with the responsibilities of a fairly demanding career as a librarian, a job which I truly love, while trying to balance bookstore appearances and signings which are frequently out of state and sometimes require travel by plane. In addition, I've got to burn vacation time for these obligations, which can create a bit of a strain when I actually want to take time off for a real vacation or even just to visit family. Don't take this the wrong way, I know how lucky I am to have these opportunities, and I truly do relish them. I loved every second of every appearance I made and every event I attended for my Moby-Dick in Pictures book, and I expect similar experiences for this Heart of Darkness tour. It's just quite a bit of living to pack into two months, and it can get a little exhausting at times.
However, I've got two things going for me. The first is that my incredible wife will be accompanying me almost every step of the way, here in my home state and to the out of state events. Her presence keeps me happy, sane, grounded, and calm. I've had to do one or two events without her, and it's almost embarrassing how lonely and sad I was. The second thing I've got is this awesome beard I've started growing. I truly believe that the power of facial hair will give me the fortitude to withstand the challenging days ahead of me as the year draws to a close and the cold and darkness of winter close in. Hopefully the glow of this beard will outshine every star.
So, my first book tour event is this Saturday October 12 at Books by the Banks in Cincinnati, Ohio and my last event will be on Saturday December 7 at Joseph-Beth Books in Lexington, Kentucky. In between will be several stops in Ohio as well as New York City, Brooklyn and Philadelphia. I last shaved on Friday October 4 and will not shave again until Sunday December 8, and you get to watch the magnificence grow. Here is a progress shot, after 6 days. I am a little stunned at how much gray there is. I guess I got older than I realized.