banging_head The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

–Robert Burns

Twas all going well Sunday evening. I was the featured author in The Writer’s Chatroom as part of the ongoing Virtual Book Tour that Literary Publicist Stephanie Barko has put together, and there were a dozen or two aspiring writers signed in to talk about Inheriting the Trade, my experience of writing and being published, and whatever else folks wanted to chat about. I wouldn’t know. Because shortly after we began my screen went blank. I was certain I’d screwed something up and tried franticly on both the desktop and laptop to log back in… to no avail. I e-mailed the moderator of the chat. “What have I done? I’m so sorry! What a geek I am!”

Okay, it wasn’t that dramatic. But the chat was over. As it turns out the server went kaput. In seven years of the Writer’s Chatroom hosting multiple weekly chats, this has never happened before. Their logo (above) sure took on new shades of meaning… (HUGE thank you’s to Don and Audrey for both putting the chat together AND for putting up with the crash–y’all get extra jewels in your crowns in heaven for this one!)

“Why ME???” I screamed, razor blade poised to open the vein in my wrist.

Again, not true. I’m practicing for when I write my novel… ;o)

It turns out that going on a virtual tour is similar in at least one way to a real tour. You just never know what’s going to happen. A flight gets cancelled. A server crashes. As my friend John used to say, “It’s all part of life’s rich pageant.” The good folks at the Writer’s Chatroom have assured me that we’ll get the chat rescheduled for some Sunday evening in the near future. We’ll announce it here and on Facebook and Twitter. I hope you’ll join us. Even if you aren’t a writer, and have no interest in becoming one, I believe you’ll be fascinated by how writer’s think and what we talk about.

In the meantime there are a couple of stops on the tour the past couple of days that you may find interesting. Powell’s Books has posted my essay “Family Threads: From John Alden and Drew Barrymore to Me and to You.” It’ll be included in their monthly newsletter on Wednesday that is distributed to 360,000 subscribers. Bookzillion posted “From Oregon to Oklahoma (via Facebook and Skype” about my recent virtual meeting with a reading club in Tulsa that just finished Inheriting the Trade. We spent almost 90 minutes together last week. I can’t wait for my next Skype visit. Hey reading clubs in London, you catching this? She is Too Fond of Books posted “Teachable Moments About Race” which recounts why we still need that deeper conversation about all that continues to divide us; that we haven’t healed from (no matter how much some folks like to claim that everyone should just get over it).

There’s much more to come on the Virtual Book Tour over the next several weeks. Many of copies of Inheriting the Trade will be given away. I’m inviting Murphy to tag along. His law don’t bother me none…

See you online!