I live a dull life and I like it that way. My evenings are the tamest imaginable. After dinner, I sit around and read, talk to BH, maybe watch a little football, or a movie we’ve rented from Netflix. BH and I sometimes take turns poking each other with forks in order to stay awake long enough to talk to one of the three magnificent daughters after 9 pm, so they won’t get charged for the cell phone minutes. Once we’re off the phone we crash. (In our defense, we wake up early.)
But the last two nights?
Hold on to your dentures, granny. We have been wild and crazy fools.
Teachers are more important, so this guy gets first mention. Meet Chris Rogers. He teaches English 9 at Morrisville-Eaton High School in Morrisville, NY. Mr. Rogers took the extra time and trouble last night to come out to the bookstore to meet an author, and to learn more about great books he can use in his classroom. He is the kind of teacher that is making the world a better place. He also has one of the strongest handshakes I’ve run across in a long time. So everybody say hi to Mr. Rogers!!!
Chris and I were both at the river’s end bookstore in Oswego, NY to hear Betsy Burton speak. She is the author of The King’s English: Adventures of an Independent Bookseller. The book recounts her adventures of owning an independent bookstore in Salt Lake City, Utah for the last thirty years. But it is so much more than that. She’s a passionate advocate for building community by supporting local businesses (instead of letting America turn into a giant chain store), and as you might guess, she knows a lot about books. I really enjoyed hearing her speak, and I love her book.
I found a much better summary of her talk than I have time to give, but before I link to it, here are a couple of quick impressions.
First, she rocked. I am a real fan, and in awe of her capabilities. She was comfortable in front of the crowd, and a confident speaker, which is always a plus. The time flew by – I wish she could have spoken for another three hours or so. Most of her comments focused on stories about how other authors have dealt with “the woundedness, the sense of isolation, and the helplessness that is at the core of creativity.” She gave countless anecdotes about how all kinds of authors have struggled and made their paths through the world of words.
I wish she had gone into an exploration of her own work, or commented more on how growing up in this region (she grew up north of Buffalo and went to Syracuse University) informs her writing, but those are deeply personal topics, and I understand how, perhaps, she didn’t want to go there in front of 3000 strangers. Still and all, it was a fabulous night.
Laura Ryan, the book goddess at the Post Standard, has a great description of the evening on her blog (scroll to the entry for 10/4). You should really take the time to read it.
All the excitement of the last two nights (plus watching the Eagles spank the Packers on Monday night) finally took its toll, and we way overslept this morning, which means I am wicked behind schedule. There are words to be written, then a visit to the eye doctor so I can actually see what I’m writing, then the gym, then home in time to listen to Neil Gaiman’s interview on All Things Considered (NPR). I am loving this week!