I had a ball this weekend folks!
On Saturday I attended the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia. I took MARTA (public transportation) from my home in Riverdale and the ride was great. It seems that the crazies follow a regular workday schedule and no one offered to sell me DVDs or gum or tried to convince me to give my life to Jesus on the ride.
DragonCon was held in Atlanta this weekend too and there were a few interesting looking characters from SciFi/Fantasy land on the train that morning. I was tempted to get off the train and take a quick peek, but one of my favorite authors, Terry Brooks was scheduled to speak at 12:30 and seats were limited so I stayed on my train.
I’m an early bird (I HATE being late!) and I was in Decatur by 9:30 and I had time to look around, get some coffee and attend a seminar.
I live in an apartment and I’ve killed every plant I’ve ever known, but I decided to see what Walter Reeves (a locally famous gardener) had to say. He has a radio show and writes a weekly column in the newspaper. He’s written quite a few books on gardening. (I paid attention during the intro)
The audience was mainly white haired southern ladies in pearls with a few husbands in attendance but just about everyone was friendly and I sat way in the front of the auditorium next to a sweet faced elder and her boyfriend (they acted as if they were on a date – I decided they were a new couple)
His talk was a lot of fun! He spoke of the reasons he got into gardening and related the story of how his parents met (a set up) and and how his mother was health conscious way back in the 50s.
After he spoke I had time to look around downtown Decatur – I walked over to the Children’s Pavilion and listened to a story for a few minutes, strolled through the Food Court, had a another coffee, and then browsed through a great little shop that sold imported home accessories. I love stores like this although most of the items are waaaay out of my price range. I just had to buy myself a souvenir of the day and I chose three delicate glass bracelets that were on sale (unbelievably cheap). The owner wrapped them very carefully, gave me a gorgeous gift bag to carry -and treated me like a valued customer. Whenever I run into some cash, I’ll make it a point to patronize her shop.
Terry Brooks (author of the Shannara series, the Landover series and more) is an attorney who started writng just for the love of it. He’s a New York Times bestselling author and I’m sure he’s pretty wealthy, but he was down to earth and genuine. He took time to speak to all of us who waited for autographs – I even met his wife. he talked about his early career, what inspires him, how he developed his characters and his love of the craft. I was charmed by Mr. Brooks.
Tina Mcelroy Ansa (author of the series of books set in the fictional Mulburry, Ga.) spoke in the late afternoon. She read us the first chapter of her new novel and she inspired me – she started a publishing company, DownSouth Press in the spring of this year and I was so moved by some of the things she spoke of that I had to give her something. She was busy signing autographs, so I asked her husband to give her the glass bracelets from the little store for me. He took my hand and led me to the front of the line, introduced me to his wife and Tina was gracious enough to put on the bracelets immediately and she gave me a hug.
The day was perfect! I started writing as soon as I got home, and I didn’t stop until maybe two the next morning. I wrote all day on Sunday (I didn’t bathe until after 5pm) and then went to a cookout.(future post – I had a ball!)
I spent all day writing on Monday and I’m proud to say that I’m on page 86 of my novel, Granny and the story is getting better and better. I’m learning that my characters have things to say, and that I have to craft the story around the points they need to make. I was crying with Geneva (my star) as I was writing and I think this is going to be really good.
How was your weekend?