I wrote last week about my behind-the-scenes stress about Frankie’s insulin when I went up to Scottsdale for a book signing, but didn’t provide any details about the whirlwind visit itself. Some highlights (or, if you ask Frankie, lowlights)…
1:45 pm. Frankie and I arrive at the stylish and pet-friendly Hotel Indigo Scottsdale, in the heart of the downtown Scottsdale entertainment district, which is fitting for Frankie, who is a very hip dog. We — well, especially Frankie, whose picture is taken and posted on Facebook (scroll down to March 31) — are welcomed warmly at check in.
I am excited by the fact that the hotel has free shaded parking at the entryway. You have to live in southern Arizona to understand my excitement.
2-3:15 pm. I wash Frankie in the hotel room shower (with pet shampoo I have brought along for this purpose) because I want him to look fluffy for the book signing and he won’t be able to run very far trying to shake himself off. He is pissed, but when he dries off he looks mah-velous. I shower afterward. I am not made irritable by it, but look less mah-velous than he does.
4:15 pm We arrive at the Desert Foothills Library in Cave Creek, north of Scottsdale. There is a nature trail behind the library (you’ll have to trust me on that; I forgot my camera). I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a gorgeous setting for a library. Reverential before such beauty, Frankie refuses to pee on it, though I walk around with him for at least 10 minutes making pishing sounds.
4:30-5 pm I settle in at the book signing table with Phoenix Barnes & Noble rep Erica Ashcroft (who, like most people I seem to meet, has a picture of her dog as her telephone screensaver). Not pictured except for her knee: Layne Kizler of Arizona Dog Sports, an awesome dog gym in Scottsdale. (I am going to do an interview with Layne on this blog; stay tuned). This being a “Yappy Hour” there is wine; see the empty plastic cups in front me and the relaxed expression on my face in the picture.
5-7 pm An attentive audience of dogs and people, including three representatives (far left, with blue Crocs, and the woman hidden next to him, and the German Shepherd) of the Foothills Humane Society, who provided water and lots of great information during my talk (well, not the German Shepherd; he just sat and looked handsome). I enlisted Layne to tag team with me about how not to bore your dog and to repeat in public the nice things about my book that she said in private, because my mother taught me it’s not nice to say nice things about yourself.
That said, I sold a very respectable number of books and think the event was a great success. I officially thank the library and my accomplished and well-organized friend Dereth Dehaan, who arranged it. She is also lovely, but you’re going to have to take my word on that too because the one picture that has her in it makes me look like a troll. And there’s a great distance between not bragging and posting pictures of yourself looking like a troll on the internet, even if it demonstrates the loveliness of one of your friends.
9-10am I have arranged to have breakfast with three Scottsdale/Phoenix friends, Laura McMurchie, Kristen Jarnagin, and Jackie Dishner, at the dog-friendly The Daily Dose. As is my wont, I studied the menu online in advance of the event and really wanted the Breakfast Nachos: “Warm corn tortilla chips topped with Oaxaca & cheddar cheese, jalapenos, chorizo scrambled eggs, pico de gallo & red chili cheese sauce. Served with a side of sausage gravy.” I was intimidated into ordering something with eggwhites instead by the fact that my slimmer friends all ordered things with eggwhites.
Jackie bought SIX of my books to give as gifts to friends, which is supportive beyond words. I want to explain here why I didn’t buy any copies of the book she recently wrote, Backroads and Byways of Arizona, to give as gifts to my friends: It’s because I also wrote a book about Arizona, Arizona for Dummies, and I always get upset when members of my family and friends buy other people’s books about Arizona, because it suggests that they have no confidence in me (yet another example of my mean-spiritedness and pettiness). That doesn’t mean that you all shouldn’t buy copies of Jackie’s book. In fact I urge you to do so. She is a better person than I am and I’m sure her book is terrific because she’s an excellent writer and does far more adventurous things than I would ever do in Arizona.
I will leave you with a picture of me and Frankie because the rest of the morning was spent packing and, then, getting crazed about the insulin left on my front porch by UPS. If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see the small permanent sneer that Frankie now has as a result of his recent tooth extractions. It is no reflection on the company or the food at the Daily Dose, which was very good, even if it involved egg whites. Next time I will go by myself and get the Breakfast Nachos.