When Portland-based author George Wright pitched a crazy idea to me last summer, I had no clue how sane he was. As you’ve heard by now, George wanted to put together a tour in which eight Oregon authors would visit eight independent bookstores in Oregon in eight weeks from September into November. Not every author was expected to show up at every gig. There would be 28 of us sharing the load.

Two days later I was officially part of the tour, and I had signed up for three events: Betty’s Books (Baker City, September 14), Cannon Beach Book Company (Cannon Beach, September 22), and Paulina Spring Books (Redmond, September 28). I’d like to say that I went to the October 4th event at Portland’s Broadway Books in just for fun, but that’s not exactly true. I went because I was already missing the natural high of that comes from listening to heady blend of writers who reveal our world through poetry, memoirs, articles, essays, fantasy-zine novels, romance novels, historical fiction, and nonfiction (“faction”). All of these folks share with me a passion for words and an urge to communicate a certain truth.

I came away from the Portland program almost as energized and refreshed as if I’d been on the panel that night. Almost. Which is why I was delighted to fill in at the last minute when there was an tour opening at Graham’s Book and Stationery (Lake Oswego, November 15).

Don’t get me wrong. I am delighted to mix with “my own” in Portland KidLit and the Oregon chapter of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Still, stepping into a wider world of writers generates creativity from a different angle and in a most satisfying manner. What sane writer wouldn’t want that sort of craziness? Thank you, George.

Ruth Tenzer Feldman