Saturday, September 29, 2007

Family is a Circle of Friends who Love You

I returned home to books arriving from my independent bookstores. Look! TurnRow, the little indie that could, nestled deep in the Mississippi Delta, packages books in cotton! Quail Ridge in Raleigh uses brown paper and also includes a BookSense flier -- THE AURORA COUNTY ALL-STARS is a BookSense Fall Pick -- fabulous.

Boxes will continue to arrive and I will set-to with the task of catching up on all that needs attention now that I'm home. ALL-STARS is launched into the world -- I still have a couple of conferences to attend, but overall, the book is sailing forth on its own now, riding off in the hands of librarians, booksellers, and teachers, finding its way to children and adults everywhere. It is making that full circle that I long for as a storyteller, that response after the call. "Music is dialogical," says my musician husband Jim. "It requires a listener in order to be complete." Story is the same way. It requires a listener, a reader.

I'm going to finish a draft of the new book this fall. I'll chronicle some of that process here, and I'll write about fall travels to schools and conferences. I'll write about teaching, too. I've been teaching writing for many years and I Have Opinions. I'd love to hear yours.

I came home to friends and family. Dinner at Mary Mac's, an Atlanta institution, with daughter Hannah and two tall men, Walter Mayes and Jim Pearce. I'm married to one of these men.

Here's Hannah adding some height perspective:

I came home to a mountain of mail. Jim Williams installing lighting in my home. Son Zach telling me about his latest DJ gig, daughter Hannah coming home to do laundry and catch up. All the usual suspects and more. Family is a circle of friends who love you. Michael Hill, Harcourt's southern sales rep is in town. We went to my favorite noodle house for comfort food last night. This morning I'll pick up Carol Moyer (of Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh) and we'll go junking in the hours between the author breakfast and the author lunch at SIBA.

So I'm off to SIBA this morning -- the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance conference. It's in Atlanta this year, right in my backyard. I'll take my camera. I'm going to see my southern bookselling friends and be on a panel with other authors, discussing stories. I haven't let myself do the post-tour crash yet, but I will soon. I have one week at home before I travel to MBA -- Midwest Booksellers Assoc. -- and two schools in Wisconsin. And more.

Time to make the doughnuts. I'll be here if you want to stick around a while. Thanks for going on tour with me. It was so, so wonderful to have your company.