"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Celebrate the Written Word



I've just returned from one of my most extraordinary weekends - ever. The February workshop with Jennifer that birthed this blog and a multitude of other changes in my life is the only recent event that tops these last few days.

Four old friends, a book group with more than a decade's worth of reading and playing together, take their act on the road. The Los Angeles Times Book Festival at UCLA. Our hotel is an easy walk to the center of the action. We have tickets to panels, maps, lists of authors and high hearts as we enter this magical world of words. The weather is Southern California in the spring perfect. The crowds are mellow and happy and united by the love of books. I fit in perfectly.

I might be walking on air, I'm so happy, except that my tired feet remind me they are definitely treading solid ground.

I'm rooming with Patty, who has been my friend the longest in this group. We have shared rooms together often enough over the years that we settle in together as comfortably as an old married couple. My days begin in incredible fellow-writer conversations with the other Deb in the group. My days end as co-pilot with Lou, our planner and event coordinator. She drives us out on our nightly adventures while I navigate. I drive us home while she navigates. We're a great team. Such different relationships with each other, such a sisterhood, such a powerful force. I love them deeply, these women who are one of my best families.




We all have different things we want at the festival itself. Our wants overlap occasionally and at those times we wander the hundreds of booths together or sit together to hear authors talk. At other times we go our separate ways and don't see each other for hours. I share S.E. Hinton, Cynthia Kahodata and a love of children's literature with Deb. We're thrilled and shocked to learn how incredibly funny S.E. Hinton is. Patty and I share Mark Doty and a panel about memoirs. The four of us enjoy David Baldacci together, giggling like schoolgirls at his rugged good looks and polished presentation. Children's literature again brings Deb and I together to see Cornelia Funke - the one thing I promised my students I would do for them. I try to memorize her so I can take as much of her back with me as possible.


I go alone to hear another panel on memoir (I found three in all and felt like I had discovered chocolate in the words of my soon to be peer group.) and listen to Arianna Huffington. That's a treat I'll give to myself again as soon as possible. I saw movie stars (familiar faces, but no names to go with) in this session and had the most satisfying conversation with an elderly man who seemed very academic and curmudgeonly until he tapped me on the shoulder and wished me luck as he was leaving. That simple sweet gesture is one of my favorite memories of the whole time.

I have an unofficial date on Saturday afternoon at the Border's booth. I know that one of my favorite authors will be there at 4:00, and I rush out of the Cornelia Funke panel (Deb already said she didn't want to join me - I don't exactly abandon her), run up several flights of stairs, and stand out of breath as Border's employees get her set up for the signing. I'm the first one there!















Yup. It's Monica Holloway. World renowned author of Driving With Dead People. My friend and fellow writer. Her joyful energy, generous spirit and beauty spill over the table and out onto the bricks of the courtyard. I don't realize how excited I am to see her again, my sister of the yellow couch, until she looks up and smiles at me. Our visit is short but energizing and inspiring. I meet her husband Mike, the proud guy sitting next to her; Wills, her cute promoter son; and her sister whose warmth, sweet smile and welcoming hug made me feel like she was a favorite cousin. I'm so excited I forget to take pictures, so circle back again - and I'm so glad I did.

It's going to take some time to process all that I experienced in those four days. I'm excited at the prospect. For now it's enough to know without doubt that I was fully present, fully grateful and fully joyful for every minute. Amazingly that presence, gratitude and joy seem to have become permanent residents in my heart.



46 comments:

Suzy said...

What a happy post to have read. The joy and fun you had spills out all over the page.

And two of my favorite people, well actaully 3, Arianna Huffington, Monica and you were there!

So glad you had a good time.

Keep the good times coming!
Love
Suzy

Creative Oasis Network said...

Wow, sounds exciting and stimulating. Can't wait to read reviews of your favorite books! Your pictures are great - I can feel the sunshine along with your joy. Nancy

Jerri said...

This sounds like amazing fun, Deb. How wonderful that you got to see Monica again.

Your gratitude and joy in this event are balm for my spirit on this gray, rainy day. Thank you for sharing them.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Yea Deb! Yea old friends! Yea books! Yea authors, especially Monica!

love.

Terry Whitaker said...

Just the post needed to start the day with "presence". Thanks!

kario said...

Yay, Deb! What a terrific thing you treated yourself to! I'm so glad you got away to spend some time with fellow writers and friends and books!!!

Michelle O'Neil said...

This sounds like the perfect weekend! So great!

Monica said...

Deb, as you can see, I'm just getting caught up little reading blogs. I loved this. Thank you for the picture of Michael and I. He's been a rock, that's for sure. And seeing your gorgeous face was the best part of the whole day!! You're right, it wasn't very long, but it was pretty great. Love you.

Kim said...

That sounds like a slice of pure heaven! Thank you for sharing these wonderful moments, and for the gorgeous photos!

Anonymous said...

xanax without prescription buy xanax online no prescription cheap - xanax anxiety medication

Anonymous said...

buy ativan online ativan side effects in the elderly - order lorazepam online no prescription

Anonymous said...

ambien zolpidem zolpidem make you high - ambien side effects webmd

Anonymous said...

buy alprazolam online without prescription xanax withdrawal muscle twitching - xanax bars ladders

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam que es mejor myolastan o diazepam - buy valium online europe

Anonymous said...

alprazolam xanax xanax side effects if you stop taking - buy xanax online with insurance

Anonymous said...

diazepam no prescription diazepam what drug class - diazepam 10mg how to take

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam diazepam 5 mg image - getting high diazepam

Anonymous said...

where can i buy xanax online legally xanax quit smoking - xanax 2mg pill identifier

Anonymous said...

ativan price ativan for quitting smoking - ativan uses nausea

Anonymous said...

diazepam 10mg buy diazepam forum - buy valium online overnight delivery

Anonymous said...

generic xanax valium vs xanax effects - xanax withdrawal how long

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online overnight long recover xanax overdose - xanax pills

Anonymous said...

buy somas generic soma pictures - soma medication online

Anonymous said...

soma without prescription soma prescription medication - where to buy soma underwear

Anonymous said...

buy soma somanabolic muscle maximizer complaints - carisoprodol ndc

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online ambien withdrawal itching - overdose on ambien and xanax

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online buy ambien cr 12.5 - ambien cr 12.5 mg online

Anonymous said...

buy soma carisoprodol for back pain - online pharmacy soma no prescription

Anonymous said...

order valium online no prescription valium canadian pharmacy no prescription - valium generic photos

Anonymous said...

buy valium cheap average dose valium anxiety - buy valium online uk

Anonymous said...

buy zolpidem side effects overdose ambien cr - ambien cr dosage 20 mg

Anonymous said...

buy soma online somanabolic muscle maximizer testimonials - buy aura soma london

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol no prescription buy soma online ship to texas - side effects for carisoprodol

Anonymous said...

ambien on line pictures of generic ambien 10mg - ambien high grasscity

Anonymous said...

buy valium online no prescription purchase valium uk - valium hangover

Anonymous said...

valium pill old 97's valium waltz lyrics - valium 10mg effects

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Catbird Scout - Post a Comment meridia diet pills online - buy reductil online http://www.meridiaordernow.com/#buy-reductil-online

Anonymous said...

advitleva seroquel medication - seroquel no prescription http://www.seroqueldiscounts.com/

Anonymous said...

t, vardenafil 20mg - levitra for sale online http://www.levitrapillsforsale.net/#levitra-for-sale-online , [url=http://www.levitrapillsforsale.net/#levitra-cost ]levitra cost [/url]

Anonymous said...

tby generic for lasix - purchase lasix no prescription http://www.lasixforsaleonline.net/#purchase-lasix-no-prescription , [url=http://www.lasixforsaleonline.net/#order-lasix-online-no-prescription ]order lasix online no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

2013 generic lorazepam - ativan 2mg http://www.ativanonlinenorx.net/#buy-ativan, [url=http://www.ativanonlinenorx.net/#generic-lorazepam]buy ativan[/url]

Anonymous said...

2, order lasix - buy lasix without prescription http://www.lasixordernow.net/#order-lasix, [url=http://www.lasixordernow.net/#order-lasix]lasix online[/url]

Anonymous said...

g, buy provigil - buy provigil online http://www.thegooddoctormovie.com/#buy-provigil-online , buy modafinil

Anonymous said...

4, provigil cost - modafinil online http://www.provigilonlineoffer.net/, provigil price

Anonymous said...

1, [url=http://www.lunestabenefits.net/]Generic Lunesta [/url] - Order Eszopiclone - lunesta for sale http://www.lunestabenefits.net/.

Anonymous said...

2, Cheap Cymbalta - Generic Cymbalta - buy cymbalta no prescription http://www.cymbaltarxonline.net/.