I wasn’t looking forward to the long downtime I had in Denver; after all, every day spent in a hotel without doing some kind of appearance is in my mind a waste of precious funds. However, it was good to have a day to recover from my travel ordeal (see last week’s entry), and I used the weekend to get ahead on blogging, send out a lot of emails and make phone calls for future tour appearances, give a phone interview to a writer in the UK, and otherwise stay productively occupied. I also added up my costs and made a decision: since I had no plans for Dallas, Oklahoma City or Kansas City, I decided to cut out the former two and reduce the latter to one day; my reasoning was that I can get to any of them from my home in less than a day’s drive, so I can always visit them later when I have concrete plans scheduled there. The sacrifice brought me back within budget, but I still have two months to go; if you haven’t yet donated to my GoFundMe, please consider doing so! I’d like to reach the 2/3 mark by the time I leave for the eastern leg on Monday, and I still need $780 to reach that goal.
When I got up last Tuesday morning, I was still uncertain how I was going to get to Wichita; when last week’s tour diary posted I still believed I was going to take a bus. But the Greyhound customer service was useless; I couldn’t buy the ticket I wanted online, and when all the fees were added it looked like I was going to be paying $165 for the privilege of being crammed into an awful bus for ten hours, with no guarantee my books would be with me the whole way. Add to that a twenty-something dollar cab ride in Wichita and a maybe-fiftyish cab ride to get to my presentation in Denver (my hotel was pretty far from downtown) and I was looking at about $240 worth of transportation costs in the next 24 hours. But then at breakfast, Aphrodite smiled upon me; I struck up a conversation with another guest (who happened to be an anarchist and a mycologist), and in the process realized that the multi-day one-way car rental I had rejected as prohibitively expensive might not be if I booked it for only one day. My new friend offered me a ride to the airport if I decided to do that, and I was elated to discover the cost was only $237. That took care of getting me to my presentation and to Wichita, for only a tank and a half of gas more than I’d have spent letting others drive me.
As you can probably imagine, I was in a much better frame of mind for my presentation at Liberty On the Rocks than I would’ve been had the prospect of a midnight bus ride been looming in my mind. There were about 40 people gathered to hear me speak (among them readers Leonard Fahrni and Free Girard), and the crowd was enthusiastic and asked excellent questions (the presentation was videorecorded, so it may be available to watch later). In Wichita, the group was (understandably) smaller, but I enjoyed the experience just as much because we opted for an informal discussion rather than a presentation followed by a Q & A session. That’s one of the really wonderful things about this tour: not only am I getting to meet readers and educate people about sex worker rights, I’m getting to do it in a number of different ways. Some places want a book reading; some want a talk; some opt for a discussion, and others interview me. Some people might prefer to be able to give the same prepared speech at each venue, but that would bore me; this organic, flexible approach really suits me best and, I think, allows me to shine more than a rigid program would.
Here’s my tour schedule, which is still in flux; check back when I’m getting close to you for details of local appearances. If your city isn’t on the list, but it’s within about four hours’ drive of another city which is on the list, just send an email asking me to visit. Your request will have even more impact if you can suggest a specific place I could do a book reading or give a talk, and it’s virtually assured if you can actually make the arrangements yourself (in other words if it’s your store, club or whatever).