My very first book was published in 1989. That’s right – twenty years ago. In the last century. It could make a person feel old. But I feel grateful.
I could probably write volumes about the last twenty years, most of it only interesting to me and some of it not even. I think I’ll pass. Instead, I want to continue the theme of being grateful, because I’ve just arrived home after a wonderful trip, the kind of trip that most folks think authors do all the time, and most authors will tell you are rare. I hopped a flight to Dallas, the Big D. And I met about 60 lesbians I’d never met before.
I talked about my books until I was hoarse, ate chocolate, had great food and laughed. A lot.
Shout Outs are Necessary
One Library, Two Chocolatiers and Crispy Salami
Sandy Thornton, host with the most without a doubt. She made all the arrangements, picked a hotel, chauffeured me from the airport to hotel to tour of the Resource Center in Dallas (which included a personal tour at the Phil Johnson Library) to BBQ to book club to hotel and that was just the first day.
Along the way I was the beneficiary of a lifetime of insights about Dallas, its history, the architecture and public art, the old money, the new money and the politics. I could probably fool folks into thinking I’d live there now. Best of all, on day two, our touring wandered by not one but two chocolatiers. I had to have a milk chocolate double shot mocha and a “Yes Yes Yes” truffle before I would leave. I left Dallas with profound new knowledge, up to and including the joys of crispy salami.
Carsen Taite, colleague, and one of the driving forces behind the growing Jewel Lesbian Fiction Book Club. Fast with a mobile upload of photos to Facebook, I must say. Carsen interviewed me for a short vlog (the sound effects behind us alone make it worth watching) and we didn’t get nearly enough time to talk about writing. If you don’t know Carsen’s books, you should.
Bless the Coordinator
Jennifer Owens, the Jewel Coordinator, who makes things happen working with the Resource Center Dallas , including raising the money to pay my expenses to attend the book club, which also allowed me to appear at the Uptown Borders.
The Readers, Without Whom it Means Nothing
Women came from as far away as Indiana and to be there, and it was a grand time. In twenty years of life as a writer, I’ve had few events like it.
This week gives way to next week, when my latest novel, Stepping Stone, releases. Just comparing the cover art alone, I hope it’s clear that I’ve come a long way from In Every Port. What’s up for the next twenty years? Who can say for sure? But this I know: I’ll be writing when I’m three days dead, and the only way I’ll stop is when they pry the keyboard out of my stiff hands.
And this I know for sure too: I have the best readers in the world, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.