Here I am, blogging from the road as promised. Last night was my first event of the Bay Area tour. I got into Sonoma at around five and dropped by Readers Books to say hello. For some reason–and there was no good reason for me to have this feeling–but for some reason I thought this would be a really small event. There hadn’t been a great deal of media coverage–just a small article in the newspaper, which was taped up in the window of the bookstore when I arrived–and a very short radio interview. I don’t have a very extensive Sonoma mailing list so I’d only sent out a few postcards.
But the owner said they’d been getting good crowds for their events and pointed out that the Tuesday evening farmers market always brings people into town. Scott and I went for a walk around the square, had a little dinner, and returned to the bookstore around 7. There were quite a few people milling around. I snuck into the bathroom with my worms to get them cleaned up for their appearance. I always take them out of the dirt and put them in this clear polymer gel called Soil Moist at these events. Usually you mix a few Soil Moist crystals into potting soil to hold water and release it when the soil dries out, but I just use it straight as a temporary worm medium. They don’t exactly love the stuff, but they’ll tolerate it and it keeps them clean, which makes it easier for me to handle them.
Now, here’s an etiquette question: when you’re in the ladies’ room rinsing off your worms and someone else walks in, should you warn them that you have worms in your hand, or make any mention of it at all? I mean, I’d hate for someone to walk up to the sink next to me to touch up their lipstick, get a look at the nightcrawler in my hand, and freak out. How do you handle a situation like that? I haven’t quite figured it out.
By the time I started my talk, there were over 30 people in the audience. My fears about this being a small event were totally unfounded–30 is a great crowd for me. As always, they asked lots of questions and came up afterwards to see the worms and get books signed.
Tonight I’ll be at Copperfield’s in Montgomery Village at 7 p.m. They’ve set up the event as a benefit for the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center. Maybe I’ll see some of you there.