Thursday, August 20, 2009

An evening with the [literary] elite


So it's no secret that Pat Conroy is an amazing Southern author. I say "Southern author" not because he isn't a plain good author, but because it makes me very happy to point out that he's my kind of people. As we might say, "He done us proud."

Okay, okay. We would never say that. My people do not use incorrect grammar.

Back to my evening with Mr. Conroy. Short story: A friend of Amy's got her two tickets to the sold-out event (an estimated 1,000 people were turned away) and she asked me to go. After thinking about it for, oh, point-something-something of a nanosecond, I said—screamed—"YES!" (Also imagine me dancing around like a fool.)

To say it was one of the most delightful evenings of my life would be a…hmm. What's a stronger word for "understatement?"

Author (and wife) Cassandra King was lovely; Rick Bragg, hilarious as always; and Pat Conroy was just flat-out inspiring.

"My mama said to me, 'Don't forget to tell the stories.' " —Pat Conroy

And now I feel a duty—an inspired duty!—to get back to writing, to telling the stories.

A rainbow on our way to the Doubletree = sign of a good night.

I know it's really dark, but look! It's Pat Conroy.

The new book, 14 years in the making.

My very own autographed copy, included with the ticket.


amyb said...

On the way to see my favorite author in person for the first time and we see a rainbow? Amazing. A tiny butterfly of hope in my heart started flapping its wings again.