The bus portions of the trip were longer yesterday, sometimes as long as three hours. The road we followed snaked its way through farms and Amish Country, connecting the Walmarts like beads on a string.

The mood on the bus was still festive. Some authors did the Cupid Shuffle in the aisle, while others performed DreamGirls karaoke. The best Jennifer Holliday Hudson came from the lone male on the trip, although he will probably not admit it, and the most heart wrenching I'm telling you I'm not going was performed by our bus mom, Bonnie, as she clutched The Fireman/Bus Wrangler to her chest.

The crowds kept coming at every stop as the schedule became more grueling. We weren't scheduled to finally reach our hotel in Chi-town until 12:30AM. We struggled to keep our energy up and finally had to threaten the bus driver with mutiny if he didn't stop at Starbucks. The baristas were in shock as we stormed their establishment, but weren't we surprised when people ignored the banner on the side of the bus.

Instead of waiting until The Soul Expressions Tour Came to a Walmart near them, they came to us. People scurried across the parking lot from a neighboring McDonald's and pressed their faces against the tinted windows of Starbucks, clamoring to get a glimpse. Others came inside and joined us, asking for autographs on napkins and cups and anything else they could think of, while children waved at us from parked cars.

Nina Foxx