P/P Column: The Book Tour Diaries – #1 The Night Before the West Coast

By: Jordannah Elizabeth

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February 15, 2016

It took about 5 seconds for me to remember today’s date. My body crashed around 5 pm after having a long conversation about historical and systemic racism and sexism in America in comparison to my personal life and the global experience (that I have only read about)… and my book, which was the point of the interview but went by the wayside in the interest of broad life affirming topics. I woke up a few minutes ago. My body is still tired, my mind cloudy, I work too much and all I’ve been hoping to do is find time to write.  

I owe The Millions a Saul Williams interview. I was all set to get it done on Sunday, my bag was packed with two notebooks, pens, five novels and poetry books, my laptop and studio headphones. I was ready to sit, transcribe and research other topics I felt were entertaining, but I ended up calling five bookstores to make sure their shelves were stocked with my books. I ended up emptying my bank account to buy books from Red Emma’s to make sure we had books on us in case something fell through. Nonetheless,  I was able to listen to Martyr Loser King about three times through while plugging away and managing real life things.

Since this is my diary, I’m not going to explain to you what Martyr Loser King is because this is not a paid or prestigious journalism job where an editor would bang me over the head to explain what MLK is, when it’s coming out, what is sounds like, who Saul is, what he’s done in the past and whatever else they could have me over journal-splain. I’m a bit tired of all the “splaining”, I’ve had to do a lot of it and hear a lot of it these past few weeks as I am back in the press. I recently spent a glorious six months out of the public eye and off the internet blogs. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I like putting out books and albums and traveling, but I also like spending time with my family and friends. I don’t think I am a narcissist. I am pretty sure I am not one, therefore, I would probably be just as happy living in the background, but I tend to do bodacious things.

My body hurts, but I am fit. It’s good to be fit with body aches than out of shape with them, naturally. I was supposed to buy snacks for my publicist and I to take to the airport, but I got two hours of sleep the night before, got up at 7am to watch and hand in my recap of The Good Wife television show for The Baltimore Sun, sent in a final edit for East Bay Express, did my laundry and did a podcast show and by the time all of that was done, I just passed out. I decided to write this diary because I haven’t been able to find time to write for myself in weeks.

Other than being tired and not having much feeling in my legs, I am in semi decent spirits. I feel a bit lonely, but I always get lonely before tour. The night before Valentine’s Day I spent time with my eldest brother, my father and across town in a different meeting I caught up with a friend which of whom I had recently survived a series of complex circumstances with. I believe we both hope to overcome and rebuild some sort of caring discourse as time goes on. The meeting was satisfying. I missed him very much. Anyway, I was in the company of three, strong willed, intelligent men with very different personalities.

I came home feeling drained…..

I just thought about how an editor would make me write more about my meetings with the three men and how it made me feel. I think I am having journalism PTSD. I am getting up the nerve to write all my editors to tell them I am going on hiatus for a few weeks.  I don’t want to “expand” right now. I just want to say what I want to say….

I haven’t slept past 8 am in dozens of days and have had a number of in depth, penetrating conversations and interactions because of this book I put out. I have been promising myself every weekend, I’d sleep in, daydream and work on my forthcoming books, but I end up getting up in the morning, to have meetings about the tour. I don’t know how I feel about it anymore. All I know is that is an honor to be a young author and I like meeting the people who read my work very much…but when it comes to me, I just have to keep up with my body and my external circumstances.

I have to cook dinner and pack. I believe my publicist will be disappointed that I didn’t get the peanut butter crackers I promised. Maybe I can muster up the energy to walk a couple of blocks through the snow.

You can order, Don’t Lose Track Vol. 1: 40 Essays, Articles and Q&As here | ebook

Don’t Lose Track Book Tour – First Leg

Feb 16th: Seattle, WA – Left Bank Books Collective
(Seattle Guest Speaker, Sub Pop Artist, Cat Harris-White)
Feb 17th: Portland, OR – In Other Words
(Portland Guest Reader: Doug Lain of Zero Books
Feb 20th: Los Angeles, CA – Private Event/Book Reading
(Los Angeles Guest Speaker – Fashion Blogger, Candy Washington)
February 27th: Pittsburgh, PA – Straybook TV Author Panel
March 17th: Baltimore, MD – Maryland Dept. of Labor’s Brown Bag Lecture Series
(Resheduled to this date) March 20th: New York, NY – Bluestockings Bookstore, Café, & Activist Center


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