Some of you know that my favorite author is Frances Mayes. I have always wanted to meet her, to tell her how much she's inspired me and how I have enjoyed her writing.
Tonight, I got to do just that!
I even had the wherewithal (what a great word that is) to tell her all that and more without gushing or giggling. I was so nervous all day, all the way there (2 hour drive to Portland) and the entire time I sat there at the book reading. I enjoyed hearing her read from her book but, seriously, my hands were sweating, I was so nervous about speaking to her. I had been practicing what I would say, so I would sound like the intelligent person I believe I am (hah!). When I finally had my turn to meet her, I told her she had inspired me to write and she asked me what I wrote. Whoa! I didn't expect her to ask ME a question. I told her I wrote from my personal experiences. And that I've attempted to learn some Italian. She was very kind and signed my copy of her new book. Gee, at the beginning of this day, I had no idea I'd end it with a new Frances Mayes book! I'm waiting until tomorrow to open it. Extending the joy!
Yesterday, I was reading the book section of the Sunday paper and came across this tiny ad about Frances Mayes being at Powells Books in Beaverton. I wanted to go so badly but didn't know if the planets would align enough for me to go. It's not easy to get out, especially at night and so far away. God answered my prayer. Todd wasn't working and I was feeling up to going, so I got the kitchen all cleaned up for Todd to make dinner, fueled up the Prius and took off.
I had such a good time. It was heaven to be with other people who enjoyed Frances Mayes books. It was a joy to see her and hear her read from her new book. And I'm still thrilled about meeting her. When I left the parking lot, I was trying to process the evening. Sometimes I immediately forget what I just said after I talk with someone and I wanted to remember. I do remember saying, "... and I can't remember what else I wanted to say!" But I was gracious (and so was she) and she won't remember me. I know I'll remember finally meeting her. She has made such an impact on my life and I hope to continue to be inspired by her.
It's funny, after hearing her talk, I realized just how much I've learned about her through her books. And that's what I want people to feel about my writing - I want them to know me from my words. Another thing I got from tonight was the idea (not a new one) that you should live your life and the write about it. Which is what I do anyway. Good advice - I think Mark Twain said that, didn't he?
Even more fun was the fact that I met a terrific couple who homeschool their son. They were sitting behind me at the book reading and I mentioned to the lady next to me that I homeschooled, which started the conversation with them. We talked the whole time we were waiting in line for Ms. Mayes to sign our books. By the time it was my turn, I was totally relaxed and it was pretty easy to talk with her. Again, God is good!
On my way home, I was thinking how I went out tonight hoping to meet my favorite author and always remembering this evening. Well, I think I still feel that way but I had just as much fun talking with this homeschool couple, as well as talking with the ladies sitting around me about books and writing. It was a really, really nice evening. I've been stuck on writing inspiration lately but now, I'm feeling refreshed and renewed