I’m late posting this week because I was late getting back from the South Carolina Book Festival, and believe me, it was a festival. And they celebrated writers and books. Of course I’ve been a lifelong book lover, so it was the perfect place for me. Everybody associated with the festival was extra friendly and helpful. A special thanks to Mary who managed to make every writer feel like the only writer there. It was such fun.
My daughter, Tarasa, went with me as my guest and we both enjoyed as many of the presentations as we could attend. Sometimes we had to choose between two or three panels of authors that we would have enjoyed hearing. We only made one bad decision. If we’d been closer to the door we’d have bailed on that presentation. It just wasn’t our thing. I kept having to pinch myself to keep from dozing off and Tarasa read her Festival program.
The headliner was Harlan Coben who writes bestselling thrillers. He was presenting at the same time I was on Sunday afternoon. I was on a panel about the importance of place across genres, and to be honest, I didn’t think anybody would come listen to us. But they did. Not as many as went to see Harlan Coben, but enough that we had a good session. Tarasa went to Harlan Coben’s presentation. She can hear me any time. She said it was great and that Mr. Coben was very personable and nice to everyone who wanted to talk to him. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise. Writers are just people. Some of us are friendly. Some of us are surly. Some of us like talking to people. Some of us don’t. I love talking to people myself. Especially people who like to read just as much as I do. Maybe instead of the weather we should all talk about books.
So the Festival was definitely a WOW experience for me. My daughter and I had been talking about that sort of experience before we went to Columbia. She works at a hospital and they had had a meeting on how to make a visit to their hospital a WOW experience. Now, I’m not sure I could have a WOW experience at a hospital. Not a place many of us want to go. But a Book Festival is a different matter. Just going in a place with that many books and authors is a WOW time right away. And then to have everybody be so nice and friendly, well, it just got better and better.
My newly re-designed website is up and running. We’re still tweaking a few things here and there and fixing typos, etc. Susie, my webmaster, did a great job and I really appreciate her help. I was overwhelmed thinking about the time I’d have to put in to learn how to do some of that stuff. So if you’ve seen it, let me know what you think either here or by contacting me from the website. www.annhgabhart.com
One last thing before I wear out your reading patience. I heard on the radio this morning that somebody has done a study and find that people who count their blessings at least once a week live longer and happier lives. That was one of the great things about the festival at Columbia. I’d been sort of down with my writing. No real reason. Just a worried “parent” over a “child” she wasn’t sure was doing well. I still don’t know about that, but talking with other writers and booksellers seemed to get me back on focus and counting my blessings. Then when I got home there were a few e-mails from readers who had enjoyed my book. Definitely a blessing.
So today I plan to live longer by counting my blessings. A great family. A loving and praying church family. Beautiful grandchildren. A new book out on the store shelves. Readers who are also friends. A blog to chat on. A new website. I could go on and on, but I’ll save some for next time. May you have such an abundance of blessings that it would take you a week to count even half of them.