And people have been exceedingly generous in their attendance and attentions at the beginning of my book tour these last few weeks. Most of my events have been packed and if anyone straggles in a little late, they've had to stand along the back wall. I am humbled and grateful for this response to my work.
Another thing that people have gifted to me has been THEIR stories of Lake Michigan. Sometimes they even bring a map and photos from their hikes and strolls along the shoreline (like in these two photos).
I met up with a couple in Suttons Bay who even brought along a photo collage of their walks to give to me. Jan and Bill Heston have walked many miles of my favorite stretch of shore from Frankfort north past their home in Glen Arbor.
The Hestons are a lively couple and they came to both of my events in Suttons Bay. A double gift of their presence and questions and smiles.
I had a meeting with Coryn Briggs who is the Director of Marketing for Black Star Farms. She brought her daughter to our breakfast meeting and the little girl quietly colored a picture of a birthday cake while her mother and I chatted.
When the meeting was over, the little girl solemnly gave me the picture of the cake! Since my kids are now 18 and 21, there is plenty of room on my fridge for this festive drawing!
At my first appearance for my book, Jessilyn (owner of Petoskey's wonderful McLean & Eakin Booksellers), was so intrigued with the section in my book entitled "Fascination with roadkill" that she gave me a copy of Roger M. Knutson's Flattened Fauna.
Needless to say, I was charmed by Mr. Knutson's cheeky treatment of roadkill. So charmed that I sent him a copy of MY book and he sent me a card which proves I am now a LIFELONG member of the society that counts and classifies roadkill.
One of the people who attended my reading at McLean & Eakin brought me a pair of mittens that she had made. To keep your hands warm while you hike she said>>>
I was touched.
After discussing our mutual love of Bill Bryson's work, Lynn (owner of Great Lakes Book & Supply in Big Rapids) gave me a copy of In a Sunburned Country which I had not yet read.
I think it is a rare and special thing to return from a book tour so enriched by all these gifts.
Thank you all, and I look forward to meeting many more fans of Lake Michigan and good books (like Mr. Bryson's and Mr. Knutson's) along the way.
My sister Leslie joined me on the first leg of my book tour. This is a photo of us on the shores of Little Traverse Bay near Petoskey>>>
Keep checking my author appearances in the sidebar here or on my website: LakeTrek.com