Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Last night, whilst Professor X and Amazing Children went off to the school board meeting armed with pitchforks and flaming torches to save the orchestra program from the chopping block, yours truly did something super fun. One of my fellow writing class students had two extra tickets to a program with authors Elizabeth Gilbert and Ann Patchett!
FRONT ROW TICKETS.
CENTER FRONT ROW TICKETS. -------> No, that's not me and my friends. I just found the pic at the Schnitz's website. But it shows how pretty it is inside.
WITH ADMISSION TO THE EXCLUSIVE AUTHOR'S RECEPTION AFTER.
I know you are insanely jealous, but still really happy for me, your friend, who got to do this cool thing.
I loved the fun, relaxed interaction of the two authors as they came out on stage, kicked off their shoes, and curled up on huge overstuffed chairs. They had met at a conference a few years ago, liked each other, and carried on a friendship entirely by letterwriting. Remember that? There is paper involved, and stamps. The Portland Arts and Lecture series brought them together to talk about their lives and writing and anything else that struck their fancy. It was a sold out crowd that oohed and ahhed and laughed as the two had a marvelous conversation. Bliss. I feel so lucky to have been there.
Afterward, I met both authors. I told Ann Patchett that I'd read her book Run and was really looking forward to reading her others. She laughed and said it was great to meet someone who hadn't yet read Bel Canto. It's sold over a million copies in the US and has been translated into 30 languages. While this photo wasn't taken of her that night, I like it because it captures her personality. Fun.
I told Elizabeth Gilbert that I came prepared to not like her because she was so wildly successful and so pretty. I genuinely thought she'd be very stuck up after having all her adventures which she then chronicled in Eat, Pray, Love and selling a gazillion copies and being on the New York Times bestseller list for the last 27 years. (Over five million copies sold, on list for over a year) But I said I'd just been charmed at how nice she was, and that her self deprecating wit made me want to be her very best friend. She laughed and asked to look at the contents of my locket, which had my children's pictures in it. She said they were beautiful. Oddly, she did not ask for my address so that we could begin a long letter-writing friendship. Oh well.
Here's a hint of the energy I got to witness last night from Gilbert. Aren't you charmed too?