Revision, Blogging, and Imaginary Fame

I confess I wasn’t going to post anything today. I love writing in this space and interacting with those readers who are kind enough to leave a comment, thereby publicly admitting that they have read my foolishness. Thursdays are blog days. Still, posting weekly sometimes gets a little overwhelming. Currently I am knee-deep in a novel revision of the type that never goes as smoothly as I think it will.

Part of the problem is that I get bogged down with little research questions. What, for example, besides the Bible, might a family have been reading aloud by the fire in 1836 in rural Pennsylvania? I am genuinely asking by the way, as this is a problem I’ve not yet managed to solve adequately. If you point me in the right direction, I promise to name you in the acknowledgments.

Steve the Traveling Sock Monkey is ready to go!

I’m also in the middle of preparing to go on book tour.

That little sentence gets its own paragraph because it makes me giddy. The “tour” as I call it really is just a couple of bookstore signings tacked onto a trip to participate in the Augusta Literary Festival in (you guessed it) Augusta, Georgia, at the beginning of March.

I’m pretty excited about this because I do not live in Georgia. In fact, I have never lived in Georgia. I have never even lived in a state that borders Georgia. As thrilled as I am, I might as well be going on an international speaking tour.augustaliteraryfestival

Mark Twain did that. In the summer of 1895, the then fifty-nine-year-old great American humorist hit the road, delivering recitations of portions of his own impressive and hilarious works. He did this in front of large crowds all over the world from Australia to South Africa to Great Britain, where the report of his death was greatly exaggerated.Mark_Twain_circa_1890 It should probably be noted that he was not invited to participate in the Augusta Literary Festival, though admittedly, had it existed at the time, I’m sure he would have been welcome.

Twain embarked on his successful tour as a scheme to get himself out of debt. I’m hitting the road because I have a pretty great librarian sister-in-law who does live in Georgia and is the best cheerleader ever.

I’m pretty sure I won’t draw quite the crowds Mark Twain managed, but I do hope that if you, dear reader, happen to reside in the neighborhood of Augusta or Savannah, Georgia, maybe you’ll swing by to say hello. I’m probably not as funny and charming as Mark Twain, but I promise I’ll do my best.

I won’t be traveling as long as Mark Twain did, either. His great comedy tour lasted more than a year. Mine will be a long weekend. But because I imagine I’m famous (and sometimes coincidence works in my favor) I have a speaking engagement when I get back to the great state of Missouri, too. That one is sure to draw a crowd because I will be talking to an auditorium full of high school students who can choose to either attend my presentation or go to class. If I lose out to a physics lecture, I will be particularly disheartened.

Then finally, it will be back to work, answering tedious questions about life in the 1830s and writing, rewriting, revising, and yes most weeks, posting to this blog. Because Thursdays are blog days.

17 thoughts on “Revision, Blogging, and Imaginary Fame

  1. All the best – I hope you don’t get repetitive strain injury RSI from all that signing. I believe that in 1836 in rural Pennsylvania they were awaiting the promulgation of “Launching Sheep” or perhaps another volume called “Glimpses”.

    1. Johnny Mccranie

      I’ve lived in Augusta Georgia most of my life and I love local history and will help anyway I can if ever needed….and looking forward to reading more of your post…..on Fridays…cause Thursdays are blog days

      1. Aw. Thanks! I’ll be at the library on Saturday for the Literary Festival and at Tavern Books on Sunday from 2-4. I don’t know a lot about Augusta, but am looking forward to discovering some great local history.

  2. Would your family have been able to get their hands on Dickens? His books of course, not the man himself. Or something by Sir Walter Scott? Anyway, I think to really make your tour a success, you need to get a Mark Twain wig and mustache and start practicing your Twain impersonation. I mean, at least you’ll be memorable, right?!

    1. Love it! I am specifically looking for something American, which has been part of my problem. There weren’t as many American authors at the right time that have survived in the Canon. Some of course, but I haven’t found quite the right fit for my characters and story yet.

      1. Well, if nothing else, you can fall back on a scene where they’re reading Brit lit, then someone leaps from his seat and curses, “Why can’t we read American literature in this house once in a while?”

  3. A book tour!! How exciting! 🙂 I will be anxiously awaiting to hear how it goes! As to your question, are you looking for books in particular? And how rural are we talking? I ask because a lot of townships back then had their own newspaper or print of some kind. That might be worth looking into.

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