Here's what I did get from this week. Before going to Caitlin's, a group of us stopped by St. Mark's Cathedral, a very beautiful old church in Capitol Hill. There have been a lot of jokes about us entering a church, but here's proof (stolen from Mark Henry's blog) that no one burst into flames:
Mark also got this crazy shot of us looking into a font in the church. Since all of our reflections showed up in the water, I think it proves none of us are vampires. Jewelry maker Synde is a little faint though...
I also did some coffee shop writing with Kat Richardson and Mark that day, something that is not my usual thing--largely because it's distracting. But look, there I am working hard on the Spirit Bound outline. Kat seems dubious.
As a totally weird aside, while leaving one of the signings, we witnessed a sight that's been officially dubbed The Bush People. I'm not sure what the deal was, but these guys were enmeshed in the leaves, possibly trying to blend in with their surroundings. It didn't really work and was kind of surreal.
Anyway. After those signings, I had one of my own in Salem, OR on Saturday, along with the full Seattle gang (Mark, Kat, Caitlin Kittredge, and Cherie Priest) and Oregonian author Devon Monk. Us five Seattlites drove down on Friday night with Mark's wife Caroline and their adorable dog Yoda, who was a perfect passenger:
We actually spent that night in Portland, which is a little less than an hour from Salem. We did a bit of shopping and then found ourselves at Vault, a swank martini bar. It was crowded with hook-up seeking hipsters, but we scored a table outside, which was quiet and perfect in evening weather after a sweltering day.
I can't entirely explain how amazing this place's menu was. It was thicker than Shadow Kiss. Okay, maybe not. But it was big and had some crazy choices, like this habanero martini that Mark ordered. Cherie and Kat aren't so sure about it:
Me, I stuck to safer things, like martinis infused with dark chocolate liqueur. As always, whenever I post pics of drinking with my friends, I feel it's my civic duty to inform my younger readers not to drink until you're 21. It's much better to be of age and go to places like this than smuggle crap Franzia into your parents' basement. Just sayin'. Be responsible. And legal.
Since Yoda was in bed at the hotel, it was up to Mark and Caroline to be the adorable ones in the family.
We also made friends with the bouncer whose station was right by our table. He occasionally chatted with us but was always quick to jump back to his carding duty when new groups came in. He also immediately pulled off some creepy intoxicated guy who came over and struck up conversation with me about my necklace. Whether he was actually interested in my necklace or simply its location on my chest, I can't really say for sure. Not sure I really want to think about it either.
After that night of revelry, we headed on down to Salem the next day to earn our keep at Escape Fiction Bookstore. There, we were given a lovely outdoor set-up and were immediately plied with cheesecake by the generous owners. In fact, we weren't allowed to sign until having our cheesecake.
Mark doesn't look too happy in this picture. I suspect it's because our agency-mate Michelle Rowen wasn't there, thus meaning we couldn't send this to our agent for his refrigerator.
The day concluded when we were led into the depths of the labyrinthine bookstore and shown something I did not expect: a secret door. It was seriously a wall of books that swung open and was operated with a remote control.
I was hoping it led into a torture chamber. Or maybe a room with more cheesecake. Alas, it was simply for storage, but it was still pretty sweet.
After all those adventures, it was time for lunch, a quick outlet mall stop, and then off on the long road back to Seattle. Many thanks to the owners of Escape Fiction and my fab friends for making this such a fun weekend. Thanks also to the readers who came out to see us, both the local Salem folk and those who made the trek from Portland. It was great to meet everyone--and to get my first real-life glimpse of the new VA covers. Hope to see you all at another signing someday!