Blogging is Eating My Brain….

January 19, 2011

Okay, so I made the commitment to write a post a day on my blog and made it all the way to day 15 before disaster struck. What happened to this aspiring writer so thrilled with the challenge?

I found myself spending the weekend at a huge author/book club event, in a room surrounded by over 70 intensely talented individuals who have passionately lived the lives they write about and have been through hell and back to get published. I looked inward and saw… a fraud.

Who am I to think I have anything to say and would actually know how to say it? What have I done that merits my time to write it and the time of readers who may happen upon it?

What am I doing here?

Backing up… I have to admit that I absolutely love to read. And anyone who really loves to read knows that deep down in the places we do not share… we would love to write as well. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to read a well-written story… except perhaps the secret desire to have written it.

Recently, I have fallen head over heals in love with a white-haired, bon vivant Irishman by the name of Pat Conroy. Sure, I have read his incredible work in the past but it was not “true love” until I met him and listened to him present the past two years at the book club event know as Girlfriend Weekend.

He is a funny, funny man. He also has a very dark side that you discover when reading his novels. When asked how can he be this totally charming individual on stage while at the same time write about the deeply disturbing subjects of his books, he said, “I have found family a very difficult thing to live through, and my books reflect that.” Even off the cuff, he was profound.

Above all, this man can write. He turns the simplest phrases into magic where every sight, sound and smell leaps off the pages for his readers. Every sentence he writes is fluid, colorful and amazing. Last night, I literally devoured his beautiful cookbook in one sitting… pardon the pun. Ask yourself, when was the last time a cookbook made you cry and hungry at the same time?

Why on earth would I even attempt to continue to speak much less write after that? What could I possibly offer after coming in contact with such talent? Do I get back in the blogger’s saddle and ride again or do I wallow in my own self-inflicted feelings of ineptitude?

I guess in writing today… I have made my decision.

Annual Pilgrimage to Jefferson aka Girlfriend’s Weekend Here We Come!

January 11, 2011

In a few short days, my friends and I will head off to Jefferson, Texas for one of my favorite getaways to attend the 11th Annual Girlfriend’s Weekend – a wonderful and wacky mash-up of over 70 authors and 500 or more of the readers who love them… with a bit of camp and kitsch thrown in as only Kathy Patrick  can provide.

Kat is the owner of the Beauty and the Book Salon/Bookstore, Founder of The Pulpwood Queen’s Book clubs, Founder-Organizer-Director and Head Queen of the Girlfriend Weekend and author of the book that started it all, The Pulpwood Queen’s Tiara-Wearing Book-Sharing Guide to Life.

This is my fifth year to make this pilgrimage and you may wonder just what is it, exactly, that keeps me coming back?

As an avid reader, I look forward to meeting and getting to know the authors whose faces peer down at me from the spines of my favorite books. There is something magical about watching and listening to a writer passionately share what inspired their creations. It helps me realize that many of them are really just like you and me… only wittier, more talented and with a much better agent!

While I know why I go, what do the writers get from it? I am not saying it isn’t fun but some of the presenters are just plain famous… widely published authors, well-known and celebrated throughout the New York literary scene as well as in Hollywood and Washington.

Jefferson is a sweet town with lots of local color (and a ghost or two) but what on earth must they think of it and us? What is it that brings them to the middle of NOWHERE for what is surely the most unusual literary event in the world? I would guess that the promotion side of their business is very hard work and tedious. Through all their travels to junkets, book fairs, conventions, etc., could it be that nowhere else are they allowed to fully relax and truly enjoy themselves while surrounded and supported by peers and fans? Could it be the only place where they can get a little silly? And believe me, they do get silly. We all do! That is half the fun and that is the very thing that keeps me coming back, year after year.

With an amazing line-up of talent such as Fanny Flagg, Pat Conroy, Jeanette Walls and 70 plus fabulous authors attending, this could very well be the best event to date. Although this year’s Author Extravaganza is SOLD OUT, I encourage you to check it out and join us next year. It promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience that will keep you coming back for more.

Stay tuned for more posts as I blog live from the event and happy reading!