April 12 through 15, 2013, seven “real deal” authors shared their time and lives with an enthusiastic audience. They told us how they write and why it matters — about the houses they live in, the chairs they sit in, the windows they look out — and their inspiration.
I met Ursula Le Guin, an author living the essence of grace, and gently shook her hand.
Another author, superhero, careful to keep his flowing cape tucked into his jeans — the cutest man I’ve ever met — so down to earth. The first time I heard Terry Brooks read, a few years ago, his characters made me shiver aloud — in the front row.
A mother’s heart couldn’t pass up an opportunity to invite Willy Vlautin home for Sunday mashed potatoes. He spoke to an audience of smiles — humility and admiration given and received.
My writing partner, Thelma, asked me to snap a picture of her talking to a specific author; said it would make her friends jealous. Thelma casually joined the author’s flock to wait her turn. Within a few minutes Chelsea Cain promoted Thelma to her home group like they’d known each other for a million years.
This author brought a date, the woman who taught him how to tell stories, his mom. She visited with Thelma and me, telling us she hoped our paths would cross again. Garth Stein took our hands into his warm hands and said so too. They sat at our table, or we sat at theirs, — hobnobbing, as it were. Not only is he good to his mom, he writes about dogs — the measure of a man.
A criminal attorney fallen to the dark side, legal thrillers, Phillip Margolin avoids descriptive gore, choosing to let his readers scare themselves — or so it seems to me.
An old house found Erica Bauermeister — she described it, humanized it — infused the audience with its calmness.
It took a small army to put Get Lit together. I don’t know your names, but thanks for doing this for us, for me!
Gathering, surrounded by, story writers, story tellers and story readers is like bathing in lavender salts — lingering into contentment, absorbing a lifestyle, humming.