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I took my old feet into a shoe store for women with old feet and came out with beautiful, ankle-high Fluevog boots into which I’ve put an additional insole. Now comes the quiet suspense of seeing whether my feet will accept the boots.

Dressing myself isn’t as much fun as dressing my characters. In Alone in the Classroom I gave Connie brown suede pumps with peephole toes, the same pair that I admired in a museum in England a few years ago, shoes worn the very year I needed her to wear them, 1937. At other times in the novel I gave her a stylish brown dress or a black lace brassiere or a black woolen cape made in France with braided frog fastenings and “made to last,” since Connie is one of those independent women who knows how to navigate the world, a type that fascinates me. She doesn’t do it by being wasteful.

She would love my boots and understand that I feel more equal to what lies ahead when I wear them. A ten-day book tour begins the day after tomorrow and takes me out to Victoria and back.

I will have her company as I tour the book. I will also have a quiver full of sleeping pills, since my great fear is that I will not be able to sleep for nights on end and will start to drool out of the corner of my mouth. I think of Huck Finn setting out on the Mississippi with “an old saw and two blankets, and the skillet and the coffee-pot.” How different it is to be flying from one place to another, peddling a book.

I’ll have my notebook and I’ll be on the lookout for interesting people, places, stories. What I notice will prove useful down the road either in a story or in a blog post, since I hope to post on this site on a fairly regular basis.

Dear reader, I’ve decided to think of these posts as letters. I miss the letters that used to arrive in the mailbox, and like to think of this new venture as a return to the old letter-writing habit.

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