Today is my birthday. Happy Birthday, me!
Though it’s my birthday and I’d love to take it easy, I knew I needed to take Friday off to handle stuff that hadn’t been done yet (like mowing the lawn and getting ready for my book launch), so today had to be another big travel day. My original thought had been to do the southeastern swing down toward Lawrenceville, Madison, and the Ohio River counties, but Debbie and I had dinner plans to celebrate my birthday and I was afraid that itinerary was just too ambitious. So I went for the middle central Indiana route that still took me pretty far south into Orange County.
That said, I was down in Greenwood at 9 a.m. for the opening of the Greenwood Public Library. I’ve spoken there before on previous occasions, so I wasn’t unfamiliar with the library or how to get there. I spoke with Cheryl, the head of adult services, and she was amused by the adventure I was undertaking. She allowed me to take her photo with the envelope, but she was going to pass it onto Susie, the library’s multi-media department head, who also heads up a mystery reading group. I’ve met Susie before, and I probably should have sent the original letter directly to her. Anyway, here’s the library and Cheyrl with the envelope.
From Greenwood I went to Franklin. They’re both in Johnson County, but Franklin is the place where Nick Bertetto, my series’ main character lives, so I wanted to make certain that city’s library had the contest materials. The Johnson County Public Library, which is the name of the library in Franklin, is located on the campus for Franklin University, which also just happens to be where Nick received his BA in Journalism. Anyway, I stopped by and spoke with Tod, who took the envelope and said he’d give it to the library manager, Ann. Tod thought the contest was a fun idea. I think he’s planning to enter. Here’s the Johnson County Public Library and Tod:
I caught S.R. 44 out of Franklin to S.R. 135, which I took south to Nashville and the Brown County Public Library. Going into southern Indiana meant going back into the hills and forest area. For those who’ve never been to Indiana or for those northern Hoosiers who haven’t made it down to Brown County, it’s the home for one of the state’s best parks, Brown County State Park, and also has a quaint downtown with unique little shops that attract hordes of tourists from spring through Thanksgiving. The library fit the town perfectly, built into a hill with a brown stone and limestone facade that felt very natural. I found Diane at the reference area, and she had a positive reaction to the adventure and the contest, and said she’d seriously consider ordering my books and doing something about the contest. She had a lot of people in line to be helped so I didn’t feel like I could take up too much more of her time trying to get a photo. But here’s the library:
I took the roller coaster ride that is S.R. 46 west from Nashville over to Bloomington. The one thing that struck me during the drive, in addition to the loopy twists and turns, was the number of flooded fields. We had a lot of snow during the winter and have had quite a bit of rain so far this spring, so I guess it makes sense, but it must really difficult for the farmers. I located the Monroe County Public Library in downtown Bloomington and drove around for about 15 minutes trying to locate a spot to park. Finally I decided I’d have to go to a public lot several blocks from the library and walk back, which I did. I went into the library and was introduced to Sarah, who handles programs for the library. She was enthused about the contest, but she was also thinking ahead to the winter and the possibility of having a program with mystery authors. I assured her I knew other mystery authors I could put her in touch with, so I maybe back in the winter with friends. It was great talking to Sarah. Here’s the library and Sarah with the envelope:
From Bloomington I got on S.R. 37 and went further south to Lawrence County and the city of Bedford. The Bedford Public Library was my destination, and I found it on K Street in the downtown area. I parked and went inside. I spoke with Mary, the adult services librarian. She said she’d give it to the programming person to “whip something up,” and I thanked her for that. I have really appreciated how most librarians have embraced my visits and my contest.
Here’s the Bedford Public Library, but I can’t find a photo the photo of Mary. (Sorry, Mary…)
I went even further south on S.R. 37 into Orange County, but just barely. I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time, so my scheduled stop was at Orleans, a few miles past the county line. I found a spot on the street right outside the library and went inside and spoke with Tammi at the circulation desk. She listened to me explain about the adventure and the contest. Tammi took the envelope and said she’d give it to the library director, who was at lunch. Here’s the library and Tammi with the envelope:
I backtracked on S.R. 37 to Bloomington. It was my intention to take S.R. 46 to Spencer, but I was so close to Oliver Winery that I couldn’t resist stopping and buying some of their Sauvignon Blanc, a wine my wife and I are enthused about. If you have not been to Oliver Winery, it’s beautiful place, like a little bit of Napa Valley in Indiana. Then I backtracked, but not too far, to catch the road into Spencer and the Owen Valley Public Library. Brenda, the circulation clerk, told me that everyone I should talk to was not there today, but she’d be happy to talk to me, even though she was “just a clerk.” I told her I would be delighted to talk to “just a clerk,” and that she was an important person in the library. Brenda liked the adventure and the contest and took the envelope, but was shy about letting me take her photo, so we compromised and she allowed me to let Nicolas Cage hold the envelope. (I hope I don’t get myself in trouble for this…) Here’s the library and my good friend Nicolas unwittingly promoting my contest.
Last stop for the day was in a county I’d already covered, Morgan County (Mooresville was one of my first stops), but I wanted to cover Martinsville, too. I took S.R. 67 to the Martinsville exit, then cut across S.R. 39 to the city. I drove past the town square and then found Jefferson Street and the Morgan County Public Library. Inside I found Krista, the library director, and she remembered my advance letter. We talked a little about the adventure and the contest. She told me they had all my books. I told her I LOVED Martinsville! She laughed and let me take her photo holding the envelope:
I had thought it wouldn’t be a long day, but I didn’t get back to Plainfield until suppertime. So much for my ability to estimate driving time…ha! I’m not getting better, even though I’ve nearly covered the whole state.
With six more counties and eight more libraries down, I’m getting there. The total is now 78 counties and 90 libraries. Only 14 counties to go!