So my time in Atlanta was really wonderful. I was able to stay with my oldest friend (as in we have been friends for 27 years), Jenny (if you have read the book, you have read about Jenny), and there’s just nothing like being with someone whose seen you through it all. I was also able to see other really close friends– Chris (the budding PA who got me on a bicycle years ago and started my cycling adventures), Isha (my former co-worker who is a wonderful, compassionate confidante), the Sotos (really close family friends that I have known since I was 3 or 4), and Joanna (one of my closest friends in high school who is equal parts hysterically funny and wonderfully kind– photo of me, Jenny, and Jo above). I had two great events. On Thursday night at Charis, I read from Chapter 9: Giving Up Beauty to thoughtful, provocative audience with great questions and comments. There were some fascinating people there, includling 3 generations of strong, feminists Latinas from one family (shown above). On Friday night, I read from Chapter 1 at the Borders in Buckhead. Two highlights of the Borders night:
1. One of my favorite people in middle school was a guy named Jeremy. He was irreverent, funny, and kind and not the typical angsty middle school boy which I just loved about him. I hadn’t talked to him post-high school and last Sunday, out of the blue, an e-mail pops up from him on my computer screen. Seems Jeremy happened into his neighborhood Borders which happened to be the Borders where I was reading on Friday night and there, at the entrance, was a large display of books and a poster about the event with a photo of me. Jeremy thought, “That has to be the same Rosemary Molinary (yes, my legal name is Rosemary and given the way that my last name is pronounced in the South, my first name tragically rhymes with my last name but that’s another blog post). Anyway, he leafed through the book, figured out it was me, bought the book, went home, and found my e-mail address. We traded e-mails over the week and he was able to come with his fabulous girlfriend to the reading on Friday night where he promptly made me laugh again as much as he did when I was 12. Pretty priceless. Reconnecting with friends I have lost touch with along the way has been one of the joys of this experience.
2. Jenny and I loitered at the Borders after my reading, visiting with the folks that had come, etc. Finally, about 45 minutes after the reading had finished, we headed for the door as I had to make a plane out of Atlanta. Just as we neared the entrance of the store, we saw a trio of women looking at the Hijas Americanas display. We both sort of paused. Then one of the women picked up the book and said, “Let me go buy this book.” Well, I have read blogs of writers who walked through the airport and saw somebody reading their books or other cool things like that and just thought “That must be the most unbelievable thing ever.” So there we are, at the entrance, watching this woman pick up the book to buy it, and so we tried to smoothly walk by her (well, as smoothly as we could while we were gawking and excited) when she looked at me and said something like “This is you.” It was so surreal that I am not quite sure what happened next, but I do know that I offered to sign her book (which was really funny because I had presigned the book she picked up and she was like ‘it is signed’, and so I said, ‘Well, I can personalize it.’ Yep, I had to beg to sign my book! But it was so cool to see someone buying the book on her own accord (which is how I feel when someone I don’t personally know shows up at a reading)!
Alright, I am headed back to the beach on Sunday for a few days of R&R then a couple days of surf lessons for a magazine article I am writing, but I’ll try to post some blogs from the coast! I’ll be looking for your comments along the way.