Saturday, 3 September 2011
Sunny, hot, temps 86
Wow, what a difference a 2 hour plane trip makes! Hot and humid here in Atlanta. Beautiful. I've never been here before. Have come for the Decatur Literary Festival...have an event in about an hour with -
OK - I actually had looked at the time and realized I was about to miss my drive to the festival from the hotel!! So I left in mid-sentence, and good thing too. Got there, in time. Phew.
And now I'm back 'home' in the hotel. The wonderful Diondre who works at the front desk is so cheerful and helpful. I couldn't figure out how to get the internet going in the room and he came up and in a matter of seconds there it was. Not once did he look at me like I was an idiot - which I appreciate.
The event was in the church - as you can see from the photo...what you can't see is that the entire ground floor was packed. apparently it was the biggest crowd they'd had in that venue for the festival so far! Yippeee. It's not the best photo since it was taken about ten seconds after the event ended and people were beginning to leave....but still, it gives you the feeling of what Amanda and I saw. Amanda is Amanda Kyle Williams who has written her debut thriller, The Stranger You Seek. It is getting amazing and well deserved reviews and attention! And she's delightful. Loved doing the event with her...and with the moderator, who was the remarkable Teresa Weaver, who does book reviews and is smart, insightful, warm. We were in good hands.
it was very fun because they'd set up two huge chairs on the 'altar' of the church, and plopped Amanda and me down - so it felt a little like being a Queen or the Pope for an hour. We were just and wise and benevolent. Well, we were none of those things, but we sure had fun. And I hope the audience enjoyed it too. they seemed to. Now, I have to tell you that the minister at the church - his name is Todd Speed. Honest. Isn't that wonderful? So jealous.
Then we went outside, under a tent, for the signing. But they ran out of my books. Which is both good and bad. They were selling A TRICK OF THE LIGHT and STILL LIFE, and - boom - they all went. But it was fun to at least greet the people who couldn't buy.
the other photo is from the VERY fun event last night at the Norwich Bookstore - my third time darkening their door. Met the lovely Sheila there, her third time coming to listen. The last two times she and I recited The Bells of Heaven together - but not this time...but we did talk about poetry after the affair. That's her on the far left of the photo, in the front row.
I just love returning to these glorious independent bookstores - like visiting old friends - or that fun, smart, thoughtful aunt - who knew so much but never made me feel stupid. Only made me want to know more. Great bookstores and book sellers are like that. And I've met great booksellers this week. And am the better for it.
Now, as you know, New england has been devastated by Hurricane Irene...I think the real scale of it is just now being assessed - as people emerge from shock and just trying to cope - and look around. Beautiful old towns all but destroyed. Libraries that have lost their entire collections. Schools damaged. Homes gone. Never mind businesses. And many still without power.
The Norwich bookstore is helping to coordinate some of the relief - especially book related (for libraries) but I think they'll have info on other relief too. If you'd like to give money, or goods, or books - please go to their website... norwichbookstore.com
The vermont library system is also assessing the damage and beginning to coordinate rebuilding efforts. you can go to libraries.vermont.gov Thanks to marianne for that information.
If you have information on other funds starting up, in Mass. or Connecticut or New Hampshire - and of course, Vermont, please let me know....write it as a comment, or send me an email - or put it on facebook... we'll do what we can to get the word out. I know they're trying to be sensible, and coordinate, and not make it a chaotic situation.
Morning flight to Phoenix tomorrow....then day off. Ahhhh - and an event at Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale - 5pm Monday. LOVE to see you there!!! After that I'm grabbing a late flight to Houston.
Thank you for making this such a remarkable tour!!! Michael says HI - he's having a wonderful labour day with two of his sons. Swimming and barbequing and doing whatever men do when their women-folk are away (doesn't bear thinking about).
Speak to you soon!